Yesterday I had the chance to open a bottle that I had been saving for quite some time: Chappellet. This Chappellet Mountain Cuvee is a classic Bordeaux blend. The Cuveé designation means that the wine is a blend and this particular cuveé was made by selecting the best batches produced from mountain slope fruit within the Chappellet Estate, consisting of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec and 1% Cabernet Franc.
This wine is fruit-forward, exhibiting a subtle juiciness without being jammy, an indication that the winemaker, Phillip Corallo-Titus, handled really well the challenges of the 2008 vintage. The wine maker suggests this wine is for near-term consumption. However, when I first tasted it in 2010 I thought it was complex enough to do some experimenting with mid-term cellaring. Now, the wine shows waning flavors of concentrated red cherry and plum, while oak-ageing adds a toasty note on the finish. The tannins are well integrated, providing a lingering and pleasant finish. The finish isn’t the memorable kind but the kind that will accompany braised meat well. I felt compelled to open this bottle while Ginny Garcia was visiting Providence. I had slow-cooked short ribs the previous night, leaving plenty of leftovers for next day. After a few minutes, our conversation lead us into tapas time. The short ribs were so tender, with all of their fat rendered and added roasted red peppers, this meat dish was crying for some tannic wine to help break down the proteins. Call it happenstance or call it organized chaos, the combination of conversation, short ribs and Chappellet worked out just fine. I purchased this wine at Yankee Spirits in Attleboro, MA for $26.00.
On a recent trip to Wisconsin, I stopped by Loop Liquors in Chicago for a collaborative engagement with Ted Kontos. He is the owner of Loop Liquors and his place is totally awesome. How many liquor stores would let you open and drink the wines you purchase? Next time you’re in Chicago please visit Loop Liquors at 1610 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622. The selection is modest but well worth it
What we had
Among the many bottles we feature that afternoon, this Malbec was the clear winner. The point of the tasting was to showcase the best wines in the store under $20.00; this bottle really delivered. A fairly elegant expression of Malbec from Valle de Uco in Mendoza, Argentina. The wine opens up with violet and cherry aromas, underscored by a touch of sandalwood. Upon tasting the wine, there is an unresolved tension between its juiciness and its acidity. This tension however, is nicely framed by soft velvety tannins. Perfect for “Empanadas de Carne” estilo pampero, or meat turnover Argentinian style.
That I have a keen interest in all three. Through this blog however, I invite you to explore one of my true passion: the world of wine. I have a knack to find true gems which allows me to explore beyond the established flavor boundaries, re-educating and expanding my own palate. True gems for me represent quality wines of any varietal or blend at affordable prices from any region in the world. I am a wine enthusiast; some may say I am a wine philosopher. I am currently serving as the wine resident for Harvard Neighbors at Harvard University. I have taught wine classes and led wine tasting in Argentina, Canada, England, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain and of course in the USA. Nevertheless, I am intent on providing a thorough representation of my own palate and sharing my views about the wines I taste for the benefit of other wine enthusiasts–friends and family in particular.
Code of Ethics
I believe that everyone deserves a thoroughly pleasant experience while visiting this blog. Everyone deserves an opportunity to express their views on any topic discussed in this blog regardless of who they are and regardless of their views in topics discussed in this forum. I will also write only about my own experience while reporting on wines I have tasted and I will not get my views be influenced by factors other than my palate and my wallet. I shall adhere to the this Code of Ethics and I request that all visitors, contributors, and volunteers will do the same.