Good Morning Gentle Readers,
These are, by no means, the only picks of the litter (so to speak) but they are very good wines that are likely to be available today to anyone with access to a decent wine shop.
Duckhorn Pinot Noir
Thanks to the generosity of our host (and his wine savvy best friend) I was fortunate enough to have sampled a couple of glasses of this at a Christmas party recently. Duckhorn rarely disappoints and the 2007 vintage of this Pinot is quite good.
Wine Enthusiast liked it 90 points and had this to say.....
A lovely, polished wine.......Dry and silky, it has alluring flavors of cherries, cola, mocha and spices.
St Francis Merlot
Some vintages are better than others but in my experience the St Francis is a consistently good yardstick with which to measure Merlot. It is a Merlot that even Miles could like.
I reviewed some here.
2005 or 2006 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet
The Knights Valley had a few off years in the early part of the zeros (that's some kind of dumb sounding way of saying the first few years of the decade). The 2005 was outstanding and I reviewed it here.
I enjoyed some 2006 at McCormick and Schmick in El Segundo with good friends who were laid over in LA. Final destination, Kahului International Airport (Maui, yes, I hate him too).
McCormick and Schmick is generally a good choice. Except that this time we were seated at a table for four that was borrowed from nearby Richmond Street Elementary School. Being a party of six, only one of which was actually in grade school, we were a bit cozier than anticipated. The waitress, er, ah, server didn't come to the party until half past the meal, which is forgivable, but it bugs when the pre-game stuff like water, bread, and drinks just sort of dribbles to the table.
Oh, here's your wine. Who wants to taste? Ooops! I'll send Octavio with water. Oh, sorry. No butter? I'll get it. Bread? Oh, to go with the butter. Everybody's done with the first round of drinks? Well, I'll get your beer now, Ma'am. Really? You wanted the French Onion soup and the Coke right now? Oh, that's right, your son is in the throes of a debilitating migraine headache and needs food, caffeine, and something to wash the Motrin down with.
She pours the 2006 Beringer Knights Valley and life made an absolute You Turn. It was excellent and would prove to be the high point of my meal.
Wine Enthusiast offered up a well deserved 91 points for this rich, creamy, inky wine that exhibits aromas of plum and leather. You'll find flavors of blackberry and blueberry with velvet tannins and a long finish.
I'd tasted the 2005 Knights Valley with a client at the Rusty Pelican on the water in Newport Beach a few weeks prior and it was very good. The 2006 turns out to be better. Beringer is definitely back on track with the Knights Valley Cabernet.
Course it was sixty bucks on the wine list at McCormick and Schmuck, an unconscionable 300% plus markup on a wine that can be had for twenty bucks ($18.92 at Sam's Club) anywhere in the Southland.
I'd pair this Cabernet with a good steak and I'm betting yours will be better than mine was. Sure, go ahead and ask, Gentle Reader, who orders steak at a seafood place? That would be moi, and I've enjoyed many a great turf dinner at the McCormick & Schmick in Irvine, so I was quite taken aback that any chef would allow something this ghastly to leave the kitchen. Worse? It wasn't even the cut I ordered.
That said, avoiding this McCormick & Schmick this New Years Eve is a priority. Other than that, celebrate life, my friends.
A glass to your health!