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Wines to Blizzard By – 2015 Edition

IMG_1068Blizzards are a fact of life in Southern New England.  They come, they shut everything down for a few days, and they go.  To get through one it is prudent to have many things on hand: candles, batteries, flashlights, a generator, an alternate source of heat and, perhaps most importantly, good wine.  We don’t love blizzards, because they are quite frankly a major pain in the ass.  We do, however, try and make the best of them, and that means breaking out some good bottles while we hang out on the couch with the pooch.  Here’s what we opened over the past few days in between shoveling.  You can read about how we drank our way through the last big blizzard here.

The wines!

2010 Chateau La Tour de Bessan – from Margaux, in Bordeaux, this is one of the first bottles of our 2010 IMG_1073Bordeaux stash we have opened.  We’re glad we picked this one, because it is quite good, and it is also ready to drink now.  The wine is 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc.  It’s got that softer side you would expect from Margaux.  Dark fruits, with currant and blackberry preside over some nice nuances of oak.  The tannins here are soft, and I would not hold this for another ten years.  Five should be OK.  It’s got a nice long finish to the medium body experience.  A good wine here, and not too expensive as I believe we spent about $20.  Not quite value list though.

2009 Chiesa Carlo Roero Monfriggio – from one of the “other” Nebbiolo DOCG regions in Piemonte (e.g. those not named Barolo or Barbaresco) this wine was opened as a time check on another bottle, that one being a 5 liter of the same juice.  We have a couple of bottles to monitor progress on their big brother, just to make sure we don’t let it get past its IMG_1075prime.  That said, the wine is really very good right now, and certainly will last a long time to come.  Right out of the bottle it was a little light, with the aromas subdued.  It quickly opened though, and provided some beautiful cherry flavors, mixed with complex elements of flowers, leather and tar.  Medium body framed the fruit and tannins, which were still stiff and promise good aging potential.  We sort of just kept drinking it, commenting on how good it was, and that is usually a very good indication of a wine that is drinking well.  We’re very happy to have the 5 liter waiting for a special occasion.  It’s not in danger of old age yet.  The only sad note was that our first bottle was badly corked, so we’ll have to stop by the wine shop with that and see if we can get it replaced.

There are many excellent Nebbiolo wines from the “other” DOCGs: Roero, Ghemme and Gattinara.  You should try some.  While in general not quite as powerful as their better known cousins they do represent a better entry price to the wonderful world of Nebbiolo.  Some of them can approach their more famous brethren.

I believe this is about $25 at Gasbarro’s Wines on Federal Hill in Providence, and worth it.

2004 MIBAL Seleccion – a big time Spanish wine from the Ribera del Duero, this MIBAL is 100% Tempranillo. It’s listed at 15% IMG_1071alcohol and that might be on the light side of reality.  Very full bodied and unctuos, the wine is dark and opaque with ruby flashes.  Dark fruits come through on the nose and palate, rich and almost candied.  There is a definite savory, meaty quality as well.  Eleven years old now, the wine shows no sign of aging either in the color or on the palate.  It is still quite tannic, although eminently drinkable.  This will last another 15 years.  Too bad it was our last bottle.  Wine-Searcher still shows some available, and under $30.  This is a big, luscious Ribera del Duero.

Something about being stuck in the house for three days underneath all that snow makes us bring out some better bottles.  These were all good.

We’re sort of hoping for more snow (just kidding).

A votre sante!

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