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The Social Diary ~
The Ezine Covering the World of High Society ..& more
Offering #68 - Introduction
by The Social
Diary Wine Expert Columnist Gary Parker
Another month, another fun and fine selection
offered by the Gary Parker Collection. Say, that rhymed, didn't
it? Guess I am feeling good. No, I haven't just finished the two
wines we are offering this month, it is more a reflection of how
much I enjoy bringing these interesting selections to you. Anyway,
don't mind me, I'm the "my glass is (over) half full"
2003 Bozzano Merlot, Bien Nacido Vineyards
It was November of 2004 when last a Merlot
was offered in our club, that being the Strada Merlot. Not that
Merlot isn't worthy of our very particular choosing. It's more
of a nod for those of us who watched the movie "Sideways"
where Merlot wine was notched seriously downwards by its main
For the last thirty years, Merlot has gone
through a "boom". Even though it has been over-planted
to sometimes poor choices of vineyards and locations, (mainly
to satisfy the early and great demand for this soft-spoken red
wine), great examples of its potential have seen our shelves.
The Bozzano Merlot is just such an example.
And what's more, we now we have a Merlot
from one of the more distinguished and famous vineyards in Santa
Barbara County. It is the combination of the "terroir"
of Bien Nacido Vineyards, the people who manage it, and the close
relationships they have developed with others in the wine industry
of the region that makes Bien Nacido Vineyard and the Santa Maria
region unique in the wine industry. I am sure you will love this
2003 Quinta Vale Dona Maria
Please allow me to use quotes from Cristiano
Van Zeller of Quinta Vale Dona Maria:
"The richness of the Douro Region
and the wines produced there can and should be promoted using
the very aspects that make it unique in the world; its geography,
soil and climate, the numerous different high quality native grape
varieties, the different style of wines those grapes can produce
(from all styles of Port to white and red still wines), all the
different vineyards (Quintas), and their ancient history".
"Our efforts are about innovation.
Our wines are about personality, character, excitement, pleasure,
fun, reliability, innovation, people, and life. A small and dedicated
team of viticulturists and winemakers - Sandra Tavares da Silva,
Franscisco Olazábal and I - try to make sure that all that
was said above has real meaning. We hope that when tasting our
wines you will feel that we have accomplished at least some of
Offering #68 - Notes
2003 Bozzano Merlot, Bien Nacido Vineyards
Growing Region: Santa Barbara County, Ca.
Varietal Blend ……………… 100%
Alcohol Level 15.5%
Fermentation ……………… Barrel
Winery Price $35.00
Case Price $28.99
Notes: Merlot on steroids
is what came to mind as I was contemplating tasting notes for
this monster. And while Santa Barbara is not renown for producing
great examples of this varietal, we have one before us in Bozzano.
Appearance: Clean and
almost steely looking label is attractive on the heavy bottle
with the deep punt. Black cherry color with blueberry air bubbles.
It is very dark, nearly black. Highly viscous, with an almost
oil like viscosity that takes minutes for the legs to fall from
the edge of the glass.
Nose: The exotic and sexy
nose is excellent in quality, and is a high attribute of this
wine. Deep dark cherry essence smacks with vanilla oak, blackberry
and roasted nuts. Heavenly scents of fresh ground coffee, dark
earth, chestnuts, and more smoky toasted wood. WOW!
Texture: This is a highly
extracted, rich, powerful mouthful of wine, with plenty of grip,
serious fruit, and great length on the finish. The high alcohol
content is detectable in the palate, along with a "strawberry
acid" component and a bit of astringency.
Flavor: The flavor wheel
gets quite a spin with this baby. Much of the descriptors from
the nose follow through to the palate: Dark cherry, blackberry,
rich vanilla oak and coffee/cappuccino. I also loved the milk
chocolate flavors with a touch of cinnamon.
This Merlot will last for a decade and a half, but can also be
consumed in its present state with great enjoyment. Another fabulous
wine for your collection!
2003 Quinta Vale
Growing Region: Douro, Portugal.
Varietal Blend ……………… 100%
Tinta Amarela, Rufete, Tinta Barroca, tinta Roroz, Touriga Francesca,
Touriga Nacional, Sousa
Winery Price $45.00
Case Price $37.99
Notes: Wines from Portugal can be quite excellent,
especially the red wines. Wines from Quinta Vale Dona Maria are
no exception, taking advantage of their excellent location and
the quality of their vineyards. Obviously, when looking at the
varietals in the blend, you are going to be experiencing different
wine flavors than you may be accustomed too.
Appearance: A rather simple
looking, no frills package. Thankfully the back label has some
nice information on it to read. A dark reddish black color is
fairly even throughout, with a touch of crimson on the edge.
Nose: A quiet, subtle
nose was my experience for nearly one hour, before opening up
with a wonderful whiff of dark cherry, plum and raspberry fruit.
The hits just kept coming, and beautiful nuances of sweet oak,
fresh herb and lavender worked their way up to me.
Texture: There is a seamless
texture rarely offered by a wine from anywhere around the world.
It is full, rich and balanced, a most definite stand up and take
notice wine. Seems old and young at the same time, and has a delightful,
sweet creamy fruit that lasts in your mouth all the way to the
Flavor: It is not as shy
on the palate as it was on the nose. Smoke, wood, and deep, deep
dark berry, Bing cherry and ripe raspberry fruit sock it to you.
Vanilla oak is embellished with a dark chocolate malt, coffee
beans, and a hint of black pepper. Yummy!
This wine definitely has the ability to go many years, but it
is approachable and enjoyable now. I would be challenging myself
to not drink all the bottles in my collection before their time.
5-10 years in the cellar is my best guess, but why wait?
Parker is the Principal, Founder, Chairman and CEO
of The WineSellar Group. From a background of culinary arts, architecture
and art, Gary opened The WineSellar & Brasserie in 1988 with
a pioneering concept of combining a fine wine shop, a state of
the art wine storage facility, and a highly regarded French restaurant
named The Brasserie, all under one roof. With its top rated Zagat
level cuisine, and Gary Parker's hand picked wine list of 2,500
classic wines, The WineSellar & Brasserie garnered instant
notoriety. The wine list has won The Wine Spectator Grand Award
(one of the best 100 wine lists in the world) every year since
1988. Gary subsequently created The WineSellar Club and www.winesellar.com,
an Internet wine auction site. Gary is recognized
as a leading authority in fine wine, and is active as a spokesperson,
appraiser, auctioneer and panelist in the industry.
(editor's note - Gary is a former principal
owner of Laurel Restaurant & Bar. Gary established Laurel
in 1995, which he sold in February 2005).
to New this Week.......Gary
on Discovery Channel's ... Shark Week - 'Dangerous
Jobs That Bite Harder!'
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