Sunday we went to Harvest on Hudson for a 70th birthday party for a dear friend. Gorgeous evening on the river, food didn't quite match the view, and the wines were quite a few steps behind the view. I didn't get the name of the decent Sauvignon Blanc I had outside before dinner, nor of the revoltingly sweet Merlot I was offered with my filet. But between the 2 I did spot the label on a bottle of 2004 Cavit Pinot Grigio that was poured in the dining room pre-meat. Actually, not so bad for inexpensive PG. A little dilute and short, but the flavors that are there are reasonably clean- citrus fruit, a little melon. B- Still, the wines mattered little, what mattered was a chance to celebrate a milestone with a truly great lady.
Monday Betsy and I met friends for dinner at a local restaurant- kind of a comfort food place. Betsy had ribs, I had meatloaf, and I brought in a bottle that I thought Joe would like (I was right). The 1999 Woodward Canyon Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley) was a pretty much everything I look for in a New World Cabernet- cassis and crushed red berry fruit, firm but ripe tannins, long finish. Vanilla-y oak is out front but integrated, certainly this wine is ripe but there is enough acidity to keep it lively. Develops aromas of mocha and smoke. Needs time, but a very nice WA cab. A-
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.