Thursday, September 29, 2005

Wine Review: Columbia-Crest 2002 Reserve Syrah

After all the big Paso and Santa Barbara Syrahs we have had this Columbia Valley, Washington Syrah seems so light, but oh is it smooth! Nice nose, great color, subtle mellow flavor and a wonderful light finish. Rated 91 by both Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast, this is a real treat. [My Rating [Link], 9] Winemakers Notes:

The wine is a deep purple color with aromatics of white pepper, rose petal, cocoa and raspberries. A perfect balance of subtle earth, coffee and chocolate are joined by raspberry-blueberry lushness on the palate. This Cote Rotie-style Syrah features a small amount of Viognier which contributes an interesting apple-pear character to the long, lingering finish.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Babcock Winery and Vineyards

On September 25, 2005 we tasted at Babcock Winery and Vineyards [Link]. Man, their wine is great! They have some great Chardonnays with less than 30% MLF, killer Syrahs, a yummy Super-Tuscan and surprisingly good Bordeauxs. They make an out-of-this-world Meritage blend. I know this is not Bordeaux country, but they grow grapes in a vineyard called "Hidden Valley." Reportedly this area has been getting quite a bit of acclaim from folks like Robert Parker and Wine Enthusiast has name them one of the top 100 wineries of the year. There Pinots are on par with Sanford. Plus, the Sanford family has sold their interest in Sanford. So we did the naughty, we joined the Babcock wine club.

2004 Pinot Grigio, Santa Barbara County, $16
[Our Rating [Link], 7]  Not that impressed with this. Sue liked it I thought it was just okay. They started this tasting with their weakest wine.

2004 Chardonnay, Rita's Earth Cuvée, $20
[Our Rating [Link], 8+]   This was quite nice with 25% MLF. A Euro style Chardonnay, very pleasant and light. This would be a nice light summer wine.

2004 Pinot Noir, Tri-counties Cuvée, $20
[Our Rating [Link], 8++]   This was very nice, a good quaff. 8 months in French Oak. We liked this enough to buy it.

2001 La Moda Toscana, $25
[Our Rating [Link], 9]   I am kicking myself, why didn't I buy this? A Super Tuscan, 70% Sangiovese and 30% (Happy Canyon) Cab. Sav. I really liked this!

2002 Cabernet Sav, Central Coast, $18
[Our Rating [Link], 9]   A good deal on a very good Paso Robles Cab. These Paso Cabs keep getting better and this is a good example. According to the pourer the fruit was going unpicked and they got a great deal on it. They sent their crews down to the vineyard, picked it themselves and turned out a fine cab.

2001 Fathom, Santa Barbara, (Meritage Blend), $35
[Our Rating [Link], 9]   This great Bordeaux blend is proof that great bordeauxs can come from this region, if the fruit comes from a hot and fogless place like "Happy Canyon."

2002 Syrah, black label, $22
[Our Rating [Link], 9]   This was excellent, we liked it better than the Mellville. Fruit from seven vineyards. Why didn't I buy it?

2004 Pinot Gris, "Naughty Little Hillsides," $25
[Our Rating [Link], 8+]   Despite a butter taste from natural yeast this wine had 0% MLF. It was very nice.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

SJ Bike Shop Wants to Buy Votes?

It appears STBikes, a San Jose, California bike shop, wants my vote bad enough that they may be willing to bribe me for it.

ST Bikes Ad

This came in my E-mail today (September 6, 2005.)

If I am reading this right, if you vote for them in Metro Magazine's [Link] "Best of Silicon Valley Contest" you will receive a discount. Plus, if I am reading this right, the more times you vote for them, the more times you will get the discount. If they win this "contest" they get "free" publicity in Metro magazine.

Am I reading this right? Is this is really as this appears to me? If so, how can this possibly be ethical?