Sunday (what a gorgeous fall day!) Betsy and I went to dinner at the home of some friends. I carried along the leftover '99 Poyferre, which was still going strong- round and ripe with a bit of vanilla and cedar. Plus Ron had a red open as we arrived:
2004 Rosenblum "Heritage Clones" Petite Sirah
Big and a bit hot. Dense blackberry and black plum fruit, some notes of chocolate and toast. A slap-you-around kind of wine, not my style. I can see how some would love it (and did). I can't get past the alcohol, but if you like the style you probably like far more than I did. But for me, B-/C+
There was also a white aperitif
2005 Whitecliff Vidal Blanc (Hudson Valley)
From the Shawangunk area. Light, off-dry, short. Fruit gives me hints of melon meets apricot, but so dilute that it's hard to tell. I politely move on. C
With the stuffed lobster, there were 3 wines on the table:
2005 Brundlmayer "Terrassen" Gruner Veltliner (Kamptal)I brought this because I'd had Ron's baked lobster before and knew the stuffing was pretty spicy. This is dry but with a sweetness to the fruit I thought might temper the spice (and did). Light to medium bodied Gruner with a good fruit base. Citrus peel accents over nice apple fruit, some white pepper. Good acidic balance, good finish for a GV priced in the mid to low teens . B+/B
2004 Milton Road Chardonnay (I believe South Australia)Forgettable soft Chard. Oak chippy flavors , tropical fruit, short and dull. C+/C
2004 Cambria Katherines Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Maria) Also tropical, also oaky but the flavors are more distinctive and the oak more integrated. Good depth for an inexpensive Chard, I could use a tad more acidity but this isn't bad. Peach, mango, and pear flavors, a bit of spice and toasty oak. B
With the cheese course another guest passed the (as far as I can remember non-vintage) Sharpe Hill Ballet of Angels. I don't know the cepage, I don't know the producer, and don't want to. Sharp, short, and sweet, a wine to make one crave White Zinfandel. Funky/musty floral aromas, canned peach flavors. A 19th century portrait of a little girl on label might be best thing about wine. C-
Fun night, though some of the wines weren't so fun.
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.