Sunday, April 29, 2007

w.o.w. - Hannibal Lecter recommends...

Readers of Silence of the Lambs might have gotten their introduction to Amarone from that book, but did anyone run out and buy one? I know- you didn't have any fava beans around the house anyway, so why bother. Well here is your chance - this 2001 Amarone from Zenato is a classic - deep color and rich flavors of chocolate covered cherries, raisins and licorice. Really, really big red wine to pair with a full-flavored meal. We took advantage of a recent cool spell to match this wine with some yummy curried beef. Outta sight. Look to spend about 50 bucks on this wine at Spec's in Austin or Houston. Also Cova in Houston is featuring it - ask for Danny and he will be glad to pop one open for you.

Monday, April 23, 2007

w.o.w. - shine on

Spent Saturday hangin out in San Francisco with the gang at the winery and got some great info on status of the 06 wines and what is coming up for 07. After all the learnin' we were ready for some practical exposure so we popped some shiners (ya know - unlabeled bottles) of 05 syrah and 06 sauv blanc. So wait, you say, why are those wines of the week? I mean, where are we supposed to get shiners of new wine????? Well the rockroom of course! Stay tuned as we have some barrel samples of 06 wine ready for tastin...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

w.o.w. - cheap date

This week we offer some relief from the pricey and unavailable. Not that there is anything wrong with being pricey and unavailable, after all those are qualities that many work hard to achieve. We just don't like such qualities in others. People or wine really. Or maybe we want others to think that we think pricey and unavailable is just dandy and our kind of thing as long as we can get the pricey and unavailable quite easily at a steep discount. So let's act like this lovely Spanish white wine from Oro Penedes Hill is just that. After all, it is an exotic blend of Muscat, Xarel-lo, Macebo and Parellada grapes from the Penedes region (an area near Barcelona mostly known for bubbly called "cava" made from these same grapes). Certainly not boring with its interesting muscat-driven muskyness. In fact, Central Market in Austin has Chilean muscat grapes on the shelf (see photo above) and they are some of the tastiest grapes you will ever find. Nice with this wine as you will really get what muscat is all about. And not sweet by the way, like an Italian moscato or Texas muscat canelli. No, this wine is dry but loaded with floral and fruit aromas a flavors. And only about $10. I found it at HEB in Hyde Park. Pricey and unavailable around the corner. At a steep discount.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

wow - Miles would NOT approve

Well drinking through a few wines this week I just did not have one that was up to snuff for wine of the week. Therefore, a detour...

For those of you who saw the movie Sideways, remember when the tasting room guy asked Miles if he liked the cabernet franc he was sipping? He wrinkled his nose and dumped the glass in the spit bucket, dismissing cab francs in general for making bad wines. Of course at the end of the movie he sips his precious 61 Cheval Blanc from a styrofoam cup, I guess not realizing it is a blend of cab franc and merlot - the two grapes he trashes in the movie. Great case in point of a wine snob that does not know what he is talking about. Very common. Which is why the safe strategy is to never categorically dismiss any wine as you might be surprised at what you like. OK, so my rambling gets me to the point that I popped the cork on a 2004 rockroom cabernet franc and it is tasting really nice. It does have some of those herbal, earthy even veggie aromas that I guess Miles hates, but they come together in a way that is, well, almost pinot-like. Between that and its light color and soft tannins, this wine really made me think about pinot noir! Although I must admit that just about everything makes me think about pinot noir! Including wines that make me think - "man I wish I could dump this crap and have some pinot noir!" So where can you find some of this lovely cab franc? Well, only in the rockroom. Price? - sorry, like our other Austin-made wines it is not for sale, but it is certainly available for tasting. Just come by and say the word!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

rockroomer sighting!

rockroom co-operative operative David P was sighted recently in the deep South... In case you have not been keeping up, Saronsberg Wines of South Africa lured David there for harvest (which is now finishing up) so they could learn the secret ways of the rockroom. The above mugshot is from the Saronsberg home page - go there and read all about it. As a result, I predict great things from the 2007 Saronsberg lineup. Way to go Dave!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

wow its a burgundy

Ok, so you won't often see a w.o.w. recommendation from Burgundy as I think it is hard to find really exceptional Burgundies 'round these parts at reasonable prices. That said, this weekend rockroom hosted two "Wines of Burgundy" fundraiser tastings for Jessie's school and in the mix was a wine worthy of w.o.w. The 2003 Faiveley "Clos du Roy" is big for pinot noir with solid tannins (maybe due to the French heat wave of 2003?) that easily held up in the face of some chunky county-style pate' and blue-cheese stuffed mushrooms. Lots of complex flavors with smoky, spicy aromas, a dose of that French "barnyard funk" but also a solid dollop of good fruit (cherry?) flavors. Seems worthy of its Premier Cru status (which only about 11% of Burgundies get) yet a reasonable value at $34 from Austin Wine Merchant. Might be because the wine comes from the village of Mercurey which is in Burgundy's Chalonnaise subregion - south of the highbrow Cote D'Or sweet spot of Burgundy. Anyway, whatever the reason, it is a really solid wine o' the week.