30 December, 2008

Open that bottle! Review of 2003 Ridge Pato Mataro

What I love about the holidays is the chance to get together with friends, old and new, and have the time to really appreciate everything!

So, with alacrity, I responded to Luscious Lush Thea's invite to her "Open that Bottle party! (Xandria---Girl! What you missed on account of that frozen tundra!). Knowing Thea's cellar, I wanted to bust out something special. And what with the other invitees, I had to find something super fun. Way in the back, waiting for an occasion was one of my special bottles. I had to almost physically wrestle four bottles of this from the Ridge Tasting Room person's hands. I cajoled and nearly wept. The next time I went back, I promptly joined their ATP program!

One went to my Uncle Manolo who only drinks Spanish wine. The rest I have parcelled out for special occasions. I have enjoyed each bottle more than the previous and this was the last:

'03 Ridge, Mataro: I love Mataro/Mourvedre/Monastrell...a rose by any other name...etc. etc. It's a difficult varietal to track down good examples of. This was a stellar bottle. Made in the single vineyard Ridge style and launched from only 375 barrels, the color was dark, tempered ruby. The nose was perfumey, blackberry deliciousness with a hint of savory bark. The flavor was pure luscious blackberry with tannins as smooth and lush as the pear shaped tones of an Episcopal choir. Whoosh! Delish!

Silver Oak, Lovingly decanted by Thea. KostaBrowne '05 Pinot cleverly negotiated by Alex P. Cain Cuvee, as new to me as new acquaintances, Andy and Katherine. '89 Georges Latour unfortunately as soured as Doug and Kris are sweet! What an great experience to leave Christmas town and hop on the shuttle to 2009-ville!

I completely recommend Thea's party idea to everyone! Bring together wonderful friends and each bring a beautiful bottle you are saving for a special occasion and get all Sideways---in a good way!

No, but I do like to think about the
life of wine, how it's a living thing.
I like to think about what was going
on the year the grapes were growing,
how the sun was shining that summer
or if it rained... what the weather
was like. I think about all those
people who tended and picked the
grapes, and if it's an old wine, how
many of them must be dead by now. I
love how wine continues to evolve,
how every time I open a bottle it's
going to taste different than if I
had opened it on any other day.
Because a bottle of wine is actually
alive -- it's constantly evolving
and gaining complexity. That is,
until it peaks -- like your '61 --
and begins its steady, inevitable
decline. And it tastes so fucking good!

- from the "Sideways" Screenplay

Many thanks to all of you read the blog and comment from all over the world! We thank you and wish that 2009 is your best year ever!

Happy New Year!


The Wine Brat said...

Liza my friend! Thank you so much for your contribution. The Mataro was like drinking blackberries dusted with cocoa. Absolutely stunning!

I can't wait to attened or host another OTBN. There is no better reason to open something special than good friends.

Happy New Year!

Unknown said...

Ooh! I should have dusted the blackberries with cocoa! Next time! THanks for hosting! Sign me up!

New Hampshire Wineman said...

Liza, when I hear people say that wine-blogging is a bore, and I read what you wrote here:
"The flavor was pure luscious blackberry with tannins as smooth and lush as the pear shaped tones of an Episcopal choir. Whoosh! Delish!"
I just have to scratch my head; this is one of the most rarified "verse" in all the descriptors I have read anywhere in wine literature. You rock girl!
Dennis Tsiorbas
aka: NHwineman