Tuesday, November 22, 2005

More November Reds (2): France Bordeaux, USA Zinfandel

CHATEAU PLAISANCE PREMIERE COTES DE BORDEAUX 1999, Bordeaux, France, 12.5% XD, CP143-2210 $20.67 (Tasted November 22, 2005)

Opimian writes: "This one is superb, dark and thickly concentrated with a rich and fragrant plum-style bouquet with touches of warm cedary-oak that surround the sweet ripe fruit with berry-like flavours. .... age at least five years." My notes: Cellared October 2002. Red ruby light in intensity with a cedar fragrance overriding any remaining plums. Perhaps past prime, without the fresh fruit or fullness expected but some faint black/blueberry. Finish is well balanced and subtle plum/berry. A dry uninteresting sipper better paired with slices of prime rib au jus, or pork chops with apple sauce. Will cellar but don't expect much more. Not a value (IMHO).

ROSENBLUM CELLARS ZINFANDEL 2004, Napa Valley, USA, 15.7% D, #284653 $19.95 (Tasted November 24, 2005)

Vintages writes: "Rosenblum is THE Zinfandel specialist serving up aromas of blackberry, raspberry, and mocha. Ripe berry fruit flavours, balanced by cedar tones. Very nice berry spice finish. We prescribe it with roasted duck, venison, or spareribs." Gordon Stimmell comments: "If you like chunky, dense reds, go for [it]. With its blueberry, black olive and chocolate layers, weighing in at 15.7 per cent alcolhol, ... perfect for spicy spareribs." The label says: "This wine exhibits hints of raspberry and strawberry." One of Vintages' Essentials Collection wines. My notes: A deep ruby with a soft strawberry/raspberry nose. The taste is bright strawberry/blackberry with a soft tannin and cedar background and a finish that is long and warm. Medium- to full-bodied but not as unctious as some vintages and softer than most cabernet sauvignons as a sipper, similar to a merlot but with the zinfandel flavour difference. Goes well with mild cheeses, meatballs in a sweet and sour sauce, chicken wings or with prime rib, lamb, or dark meat fowl. Drinks well now and could cellar for a few years.

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