05.17.19 | A Lesson in Hedonism
A Lesson in Hedonism
We've come a long way since I first started here last summer. At that time the cellar was scarcely filled and what it did have was wine that maybe I would cook with. As some of you may remember our Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserves came in last week and this is how far we've come ... we actually have Reserves! What makes a wine a Reserve other than it being stated on the label? First and foremost, it is wine that is of the utmost quality so the wine maker will put it aside or age it a bit longer before selling it. Most wineries take this distinction seriously. Spain and Italy have strict laws around their Reserves. In Spain the wine must be aged for at least three years and aged in oak for at least six months. In Italy, most need to age at least two years, but Barolo must be five years and Amarone four years. The US, however, has nothing on the books about what makes a Reserve and what doesn't. Nothing about studying wine is easy.
To discover some of our Reserves, read on, and please oh please DECANT:
2011 Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant Reserve - $110
The person who buys this wine will break my heart. Most know I am a huge Randall Graham fan and adore Bonny Doon. 37% Mourvèdre + 34% Grenache + 20% Syrah + 9% Cinsault = BLISS. This beauty is deep violet with spearmint and cherries with a bit of earth on the nose. It is wonderfully sexy with blackberry, cherry, boysenberry, herbs, mushroom, and of course leather. This is ready to drink but could lay for another five years.
2016 Domaine de la Solitude Châteauneuf-du-Pape Constanza - $140
Remember the "I'll have what she's having" scene in When Harry Met Sally? Bingo. Lay this down for the next five to seven years for an unbelievable bottle, even though it could be opened now (but shouldn't be). 100% Grenache! Bright and complex with scents of vanilla, game, sandalwood. Red fruit all around with an inkiness, anise, and Provençal herbs.
2014 Vega Sicilia Alion Tempranillo - $160
Buy this. Lay it down until 2028. Not kidding. Sultry, elegant, and 100% classy (and Tempranillo). That's what we expect from Vega Sicilia: a lesson in hedonism. Black plum, berry, and chocolate tease the senses upon the first smell. Medium to full-bodied with blackberry and cassis. Fruity, juicy and finishing with wood. This is a wine you could decant for two hours, come back, and maybe it is ready to drink.
2015 Noemia Patagonia Malbec - $170
Considered to be the best Malbec in the world, we happen to have two bottles at City Club. (I regularly serve its little sister at happy hour and that is an impressive number in itself). Fresh herbs, coffee, and berries on the nose. A rich texture mixed with minerality, red plums, chocolate, and spice. Easily sit on this for another 5-6 years.
2006 Vega Sicilia Unico Tempranillo - $600
This is the jewel in City Club's [wine] crown and that's a hell of a crown. 94% Tinto Fino (which is the local strain of Tempranillo) and 6% Cabernet. The north facing vineyards are directly in front of the winery with soils that are rich in limestone. This helps explain the tension of the tannins. It has a youthful floral nose mixed with dust, cedar, herbs, and perhaps a bit of Indian spices. An elegant and soft mouth feel complete with berries, tea, plums, and prune. Take your time with this when you finally open it ... which could be all the way until 2035.