Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day BBQ

My honey and I has a few friends over Sunday for a Memorial Day weekend BBQ. Last minute improvisation wrecked havoc with the menu but the food and drinks flowed for several hours and I don't think anyone went away hungry. While margaritas, beer, and mojitos were the mainstays several bottles of wine were opened. Strangely, people avoided the whites (since they kept their corks on they will live to serve another day). For the red drinkers (your author included) we had a lively little offering:

  • Beckman Estate Grenache 2006: I tell ya, every time I taste a Beckman wine I am happy and this time was no exception. Aged in 100% neutral barrels you get the full head-on expression of the fruit. The bouquet is lively with wonderful red fruits (especially strawberries) and just a hint of vanilla set the mouth to water. The medium-bodied wine delivers fantastic fruit and soft tannins with good acidity to swirl around the mouth and ending in a nice lingering finish. The alcohol runs a little on the high side but you don't really notice it (at least not in the first glass). Brilliant job and I loved it as a summer BBQ wine.

  • Francis Coppola 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Collection Ivory Label: What a mouthful that is... and so is the wine. Big, bold, expressive, rich. Beautiful nose of red currant, plum, and a hint of vanilla this wine was delicious delivery just the right mix of blackberries, mellow tannins (surprising in a pretty young wine) and alcohol in a concentration that produced a lingering finish well received buy the assembled company.

  • Fess Parker 2005 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard: Believing you should always share your good stuff with friends I broke open a bottle of one of Fess' great Pinots. I gotta tell you, I love Fess Parker wines more and more and I think I am winning converts. This is a GREAT wine for any New World Pinot Noir lover. The nose is a wonderful blend of plumb, currants, and I swear a hint of smoky meat linger in there (which of course could have been the ribs on the grill but since I liked the hint of smoke I'll keep it in the review). This wine was bold with the structure behind it to make it more than just a flash in the pan (or mouth in this case). The blend of red fruits, solid but not harsh tannin, fantastic acid, and alcohol was a near perfect blend for me on this day delivering a lip-smacking joy that lingered for a long, long time.

  • Leonesse 2006 White Merlot: From the best reds on the Central Coast (Beckman, Fess Parker) I decided to throw in something from probably the best wine maker in our own Temecula, Leonesse. Wanting something that looked like a summer wine but was unusual I chose the Leonesse White Merlot. I confess, I like this wine for a warm-weather, spicy food companion. This fruity wine bursts with strawberries and cherries both on the nose and palate without being a "sweet" wine. The folks at Leonesse have been dabbling in this area (fruity wines that aren't cloyingly sweet) with some good success and the White Merlot is just one more example of this.


  • Wines reviewed in 2009: 182

    3 comments:

    tercero wines said...

    Thanks for the 'props' on the FP Bien Nacido pinot (I am asst winemaker at FP and Epiphany). We are very proud of the wines we produce, and I'm glad you've noticed the uptick in quality over the last few years .. . .

    We fly 'under the radar' for most serious wine drinkers, and we're glad that what's IN the bottle is changing this on a daily basis . . .

    Also gotta agree with Beckmen - Mikael Sigouin and Steve Beckmen have things DIALED IN over there!

    Cheers!

    Anonymous said...

    I'll have to grab a few bottles of the White Merlot for my own use. it's rather yummy!

    -rw

    Mike Pape said...

    As long as y'all keep making wines this way I'll continue to sing praises and spread the word.