My first wine in three weeks!

Yesterday, I wrote about being ready to “come off the wagon” and have my first wine in three weeks after an extended period of illness and treatment of antibiotics.  I also mentioned the pressure associated with opening ‘just the right bottle.’  I had pretty much selected the wine (for reasons mentioned in yesterday’s post) as a Cabernet Sauvignon, and I was leaning towards the 2008 Stonefields Vineyard Arbitrage Cabernet Sauvignon from the Wrattonbully region of South Australia.  However, when I was over at my cellar retrieving some wine this morning, I decided to bring back and try either the 1999 Zema Estate Cabernet Sauvignon or the 2006 Coldstream Hills Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and brought a bottle of each back to the apartment.

The 1999 Zema Estate, however, is one of the truly magnificent Cabernet Sauvignons I have had over the years and I only had three bottles left.  It is a wine to share with great food and great friends.  Having even fonder memories of the 2006 Coldstream Hills Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon than the the 2008 Stonefields Aribtrage, I decided that would be by bottle to “come off the wagon with.” 

The reason I decided to switch to the 2006 Colstream Hills Reserve Cabernet was various, including:

  • It was slightly lower in alcohol (14% versus 14.5%) than the Stonefields Arbitrage.
  • It reminded me of the gracious individual and the “heart and soul” of Lindeman’s for 12 years, Damien Harrison, who sold it to me and is a legend in the wine industry and the great wine times we have had together.
  • I did review with my bride, Deanna Lang, who writes DAZ in the Kitchen, what we were having for dinner tonight which is a minced meat, cheese and elbow pasta casserole dish for which I thought the slightly more complex (but not overly complicated for the casserole) wine would go better with, considering the extra onions, garlic and other spices she tends to add into most recipes, and I am expected she will tonight also!

Therefore I made the switch to the Coldstream Hills Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and glad I did!  This wine cost about $50 per bottle (even though I was able to get it at a stock clearance for $30 per bottle).  Upon decanting, it appeared slightly flat and a bit tight, but within ten minutes had opened up nicely, became more flavorful, and had a strong taste of blackcurrant, slight taste of black olive tapenade, and a bit of leather which appears to be as much a matter of texture as taste.

I personally love the smell of leather and find a wine to be more enjoyable when it is a bit leathery on the tongue and palate.  (I have only met one person in my life who hated the smell of new leather, but that’s a different story!)  I also surprisingly loved the ritual of decanting and serving the wine and was shocked at how much I missed the ritual and experience during the last three weeks, but that’s the topic for another post.

Now that I have had a glass while writing this blog (and ‘no’, I did not make it to the library to read!), I am going to wait until dinner to have another glass with the mince casserole!  Back to the good times of enjoying great food and great wine!

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