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Old 28-11-2009, 04:22 PM posted to
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Default TN: Santa Ema Reserve Merlot 2004

Santa Ema Reserve Merlot Maipo Valley 2004

In recent years, my responsibilities as a 25 hour a day caregiver to
a semi-invalid have obviated my indulging in much wine pleasures.
Last night, I bent the rules and pulled something out of my little
cellar to accompany a USDA Prime rib steak that I unearthed in my
freezer. This morning, I looked at my wine spreadsheet/database and
discovered that the last new entry was in July of this year!

When I first tasted this wine, one of my notes stated that this was
one of the most complete Merlots in recent memory. Getting it out of
the bottle proved an unexpected challenge. My Leverpull type opener
shredded the cork into a jagged half remaining in the neck. Next, I
tried to remove the remains with a two bladed wine tool. It was of no
avail, and the only alternative was to push downward, sending a small
shower of cork bits where they were not wanted. On my top shelf, I
retrieved a decanter, which required some fast scrubbing before it
could do service. Fortunately, I knew the whereabouts of some
cheesecloth, having utilized it to wrap a Bouquet Garni the previous
week. Wine filtered and breathing, I heaved a quick sigh of relief.
Maybe I will live long enough to see most wine producers switch to
sturdier synthetic corks or quality screw caps instead of the
traditional but troublesome bark of a certain species of Oak tree.

Tasting it at half hour intervals for one and a half hours before
serving time, my previous notes still stand. The primary overtone was
of ripe Blackberries, with a little earthiness and still present
rounded Tannins. The body was full and syrupy, and the sensations
lingered until I was finished scrubbing pots and headed for

My most recent kitchen acquisition did double duty. It is a digital
thermometer with a metal wire shielded stainless pointed probe.
Inserted into one baking potato in the 375F oven, it rang at
precisely the moment the the internal temperature reached 210F. Off
to the warming drawer the potatoes went, while I increased the oven
temperature to 425F. A quick browning of the steak in some Olive Oil
in a cast iron skillet, was followed by inserting the probe, now set
to ring at 140F when the skillet with steak went into the oven. While
the steak was reaching the desired internal temperature, I quickly
sautéed some sliced almonds in butter and added the fine young
Haricot Verts that I had blanched for five minutes earlier in the
day. A most successful dinner.


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