Friday, March 19, 2010

Best Wine Friday!

It was a crazy week for me. I was at a work meeting at an undisclosed location but the sun was sun shiny and I did get to play some golf. I'm glad to be home.

Anyway, sorry about a lack of posting. I hope you understand.

But getting back on track brings us to Best Wine Friday. The best wine I had this week (and I had a bunch).........

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

How much: $55

This Napa producer has been a well known player since the dawn of the California wine business. Almost to the point where I had forgot about them. Under the radar? Iconic. This wine is mostly Cab (92%) and the rest is Merlot. This thing is complex but to the point. Big. Bold. All the black fruits giving way to some fun spice and meaty (umami) flavors. It has a richness to it that I appreciate.

You can wait on it but you know what it tastes pretty damn good right now and after a few minutes in the Riedel it really, really is a good drink tonight.

I would love this with pepper steak, filet mignon. This night I had it with some slow cooked brisket and some grilled flank steak. The grilled meat really made it pop.

If $55 is too much for the Wyandotte County crowd then I guess a back up plan might be Boone's Strawberry Hill.....still widely available for less the $3.

Final thought for the wine week (if you have time):

As if it all weren't confusing enough there is the iconic Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, Stags' Leap Winery....and the Stags Leap District. WTF, right?

That is a lot of effing deer jumping around.

There is a story but let's suffice it to say two people used the same name........and a judge had to sort it out. Clear as mud right? To make it more confusing they named the area around it Stags Leap as well which encompasses an area in which other people own vineyards so those producers can put the Stags Leap name on their bottle as well. Confusion abounds to this day.

So, it is all in the apostrophe and whether it is the Winery, Wine Cellars or the District. In fact, I suggest you focus on the Winery versus Wine Cellars with the later the more famous, iconic property from the late 1800's. They both make very good wine.

The District suggests an area that boasts steep cliffs and a result of temps averaging 10 degrees more and soil that is mostly gravel and ash. Perfect for Cabernet. Some call it Bordeaux West. You'll see several producers that use this fruit and put it on the label.

My only thing is is easy enough to figure all this out standing in the aisle at Lukas but not when looking at wine list written by a drunk and overworked wine steward and the casualty could be your pocketbook. This is one time where I recommend paying attention to what you are ordering.......check to make sure that is what they bring.........and don't be afraid to call them on it if it isn't right.

Cheers! Vaya Con Dios!

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