jamie goode's wine blog

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The perfect wine...for tonight

I don't know about you, but for me, mood has a lot to do with my drinking pleasure. Sometimes it takes me a long time to find just the bottle that's right for the moment, which is one of the reasons I'm quite keen on having physical (as opposed to virtual) wine merchants nearby so you can buy the right wine for any particular evening, rather than having to rely on just what's in the cellar or stash at home.

Tonight is a beautiful evening. Warm, but not muggy. I'm sitting outside in the slowly fading light, with the kids in bed. I guess one of the benefits of these northerly latitudes is the long summer evenings, even if, in some sort of trade-off, you have to sacrifice the frequency of warm summer evenings in exchange for their duration.

Fiona is out for the evening with her girlfriends, and I've put some meat on the barbie. It's a Weber gas barbecue, and while for a long time I was wedded to the charcoal ritual, I have to confess that the convenience of gas means you can fire up the grill much more frequently and easily, even if it doesn't satisfy all those Neanderthal fire-making male urges.

What wine for tonight? Well, it's a Californian wine that, perhaps, in another context, I'd dismiss as rather crude and over-done. But tonight, it's perfect. Well, that may be an exaggeration: if you offered to trade me a Grand Cru Burgundy from a top producer, a first growth Claret, an aged traditional Barolo, or a Chave Hermitage, I'd accept in the blink of an eye. But you know what I mean.

EOS Reserve Petite Sirah 2004 Paso Robles, California
An inky dark purple black colour, this is a bold, intense red wine of real character, although it won't appeal to everyone. It's bursting with rich blackberry and raspberry fruit, together with some bitter dark chocolate notes, as well as a bit of earthiness. I'm even getting a hint of rubber here. All this is underlain by some firm spicy tannins. Not at all shy, but savoury and dense enough to stop it being just another sweet, over-ripe, over-cooked new world red. Hard to score such a distinctive wine. It's edgy, imperfect, but interesting. 89/100 (9.99 Co-op)
Petite Sirah is actually a synonym for the Durif variety. You can read a lot more about it here, at a website set up by an advocacy movement for the PS grape variety in California.

Labels: ,