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Old 24-01-2004, 03:16 AM
Dale Williams
 
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Default TN: CalCab, Muscadet, Haut-Medoc

Betsy's away at NC coast doing some concerts, David is with his dad, so I'm
forced to fend for myself for a few days. Wednesday I concoct a strange (but
tasty) red-wine sauce for a pan-seared porterhouse utilizing leftover mushrooms
and shallots. Seems like a good time to try a gift bottle, the 2001 Lion's Gate
Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Nose of sweet oak and something I can't quite
place......a tentative sip- I've got it: Welch's grape jelly. Grape jelly and
blackberries dominate the palate. Moderate tannins. OK acidity, but short
finish. C+
(note- a sip each of two following nights showed the grapiness lessening, but
at best would bring up to a B-)

Later that night I open a bottle of the 2002 "Clos des Briords Vieilles
Vignes€ť Muscadet Sèvre & Maine Sur Lie (Marc Ollivier). Somewhat tight, with
a lot of body for a Muscadet. Corked and refrigerated, then brought out for the
following night's culinary experiment €“ shrimp and leeks over pasta. Big,
with flavors of lemon juice over granite (ok, so I haven't tasted that combo,
but I can imagine). Lots of minerality, lots of citrus, lots of acid, lots of
lots. Great wine for $10 or 12. A-/B+

Friday some good friends took pity and invited me to dinner, even going so far
as to invite Lucy the Wonder Basset. They were serving lamb, so of course I
thought Bordeaux. The 2000 Ch. Lanessan (Haut MĂ©doc) could have used some good
decanting time, but still did the job with the tasty roasted lamb. A bit tight,
but with good cassis fruit and a hint of spice. Some cedary oak, good finish.
Tannins could use a little time, but tasty now. A very good buy in $15
Bordeaux. B+
Nice evening with good friends (and little kids who adored Lucy). Basset needs
kept it from being a long evening, but it was fun. For a little while I almost
stopped missing Betsy.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B
a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party
where it was only choice.
Dale

Dale Williams
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