Harvest is on, rain stay away
The rain began in earnest as I was leaving Denver last night and by the time the lights of the Eisenhower Tunnels on Interstate 70 were overhead some drivers were pulling over to wait out what had become a torrential curtain.
Everywhere you hear tales of heat and drought and the mountains of Colorado are no different. The ground is so dry that even during the height of the storm no puddles were forming, every bit of life-restoring moisture being sucked into the earth.
Winemakers aren’t eager to have rain now, with some early ripening white grapes (sauvignon blanc, chardonnay) already ripe for harvest and teams of pickers moving through the vineyards. Sugar levels are inching up and too much water – whether from heaven or hoses – could delay harvest just long enough for the birds to find the berries.
So we’ll talk instead about wine already in the bottle.
Folie á Deux Alexander Valley Sonoma County 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon – Not sure how long this wine has been in my basement – I mean, wine cellar – but I wish there was another down there. No oak to speak of (are you sure this is a California cabernet?) but lots of fruit, balance and depth. Dark, rich fruit – bush-ripe currants and forest berries (a hint of being wild, uncultivated but not sweet); with some bramble and fresh-turned earth scents. My notes read “tobacco, mocha, cedar,” which indicate something else there in the finish. I’m going back to the basement, maybe there still is another down there. I saw it on wine.com for $20.
Doña Paula Los Cardos Mendoza 2011 Malbec – Say “malbec’ and most people will respond “Argentina,” symbolic of how well that country has adopted and adapted a French grape to the American palate. Lots of fruit, great price, just what the doctor ordered for your ailing palate. And you have responded: According to the trade association Wines of Argentina, shipments of Argentine malbec to the United States have quintupled since 2005 to almost 5.6 million cases. This wine offers the soft blueberries without being jammy, with easy tannins and a sense of depth and complexity to add polish. Imported by the Trinchero Family Estates. $10 SRP.
Doña Paula Los Cardos 2011 Chardonnay – Why do I want to duck whenever someone says “Chardonnay”? For starters, how about wine manipulated to show too much oak, yeast-derived flavors, and a wine that tastes like fruit salad, not chardonnay. So I was surprised and pleased (OK, so I’m easy) to find the Los Cardos Chardonnay showing nice acidity and a light touch of oak to match flavors of pears, bananas and tropical fruits. At $9 SRP, this is a wine you’ll be happy to serve.