Last night I sent Bob into the cellar to choose a decent Rhone and he came back with a 2007 Vieux Clocher Chateneuf du Pape. I was busy at the stove and heard him return and start the cork removal process, and without turning around I asked what he'd picked. "A clocker!", he said proudly, fully serious, making me think he'd picked up some new complimentary term from watching the London Olympics which we were watching at the time. It wasn't until I turned around and saw the bottle that I realized that it was just Bob's usual difficulties where foreign languages are concerned. Pretty funny, though; I'll never look at another Vieux Clocher without remembering and laughing.
The wine: color, a maturing garnet red. Nose, stewed fruit that had me deeply concerned at first, but the wine hadn't really opened up yet and when it did that quality, though still present, integrated well enough into the warm, grenache-driven flavors of strawberry, passion fruit and pepper. The 14.5% alcohol didn't give off any heat, but the wine had a lush California sweetness to it with Fig Newtons on the finish. Very pleasant but clearly at peak; drink, don't hold.
Made me pat myself on the back for buying so few 07's.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov