Friday, July 16, 2010

Newton 2004 Napa Valley Claret (California)

I promised Carolyn that I would be having this in my glass - I then immediately when to the wine rack and pulled it out and popped the cork ... I did not want to lie to myself or Carolyn.  I remember this wine perfectly, I tried it at the annual California wine show here in Toronto a few years back and I thought the wine was delicious. A five grape blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc - it misses being a Meritage (or Bordeaux blend) wine because of the addition of the Syrah (which is not one of the recognized Bordeaux grape varieties) - so instead this is a proprietary blend (for those interested Malbec is the fifth grape of Bordeaux).  After the show it took me a few months, but I finally found a few bottles in the US, where I paid $18.69 for this bottle (the white price tag is staring at me at I type this).  I have seen current vintages of the same wine selling for close to 30 or more, I have not bought any bottles since (too rich for my blood).  Nose has plum and black cherry, some spice and dried berries; sniff hard enough and you can pick up a twinge of the alcohol that makes your nose hairs jingle-jangle.  Palate rocks the mouth with big flavours:  plum, red and black cherries, spices, peppery notes and there's a huge bite from the acidity squaring off with the 15.5% alcohol ... 15.5% alcohol, hmm, I best be careful not to finish the bottle myself - maybe I should invite some folks over to share ... ah, heck, I'm already half a glass in, I'll let you know if I am nursing a headache tomorrow.  Cheers.

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