To shake things up a little this week, I thought I’d review a couple Non-Tuesday Wines. By that I mean that these two wines are $25 or more per bottle. Why not splurge a little every now and then when you’re celebrating a birthday, a promotion or even just the fact that it’s Saturday and you’re not at work? We treated ourselves this weekend to two great reds: Henry Drive’s Shiraz and a Cabernet Franc from Monte de Oro. Enjoy!
I was eating dinner recently at a great Atlanta restaurant called Muss and Turner’s when one of the co-owners, Ryan Turner recommended Henry Drive’s 2006 Dead Letter Office Shiraz. Knowing better than to ignore Ryan’s suggestions on wine, we tried it and loved it. This wine is a blend of Shiraz grapes from two different vineyards near the coast in South Australia. It’s a dark, purplish red color and has a high ABV of 15%. The wine delivers an intense fruity bite of blackberries on the front of the tongue followed by a long, very smooth aftertaste of vanilla. There was also a notable lack of the earthy taste found in many Shiraz wines, which seemed to add to the wine’s mellow finish. I wonder if because of the high ABV, the flavor would’ve opened up even more with some time in a decanter. That’ll be an experiment for another time – the wine was so good, we didn’t have the patience to let it sit. If you like big reds, you’ll enjoy this dry, complex Shiraz – the splurge was well worth the price. By the way, if you’re ever in Atlanta, stop by Muss and Turner’s for excellent, simple food in a friendly neighborhood atmosphere. The beer and wine selection is inspiring.
Our second bottle of Non-Tuesday Wine was a gift from some friends who recently took a trip to Southern California. They returned with a bottle of 2006 Estate Grown Cabernet Franc by Monte De Oro. This wine, produced in California’s Temecula Valley, has a rusty red color and 13.55% ABV. This wine tastes of overly ripe fruit, but in a good way. The slightly smoky aftertaste reminds me of fortified wines like Port or Madeira. I also picked up flavors of caramelized sugar, fig and charred oak. Although I loved this wine, my wife commented that anyone who doesn’t care for the deep flavor notes of fortified wines and the smokiness of Scotch probably won’t put this one on their list of favorites. If you love those flavors and want a really unique Cab Franc, I highly recommend this one.Reporting from the front porch swing, Mark D.