This particular visit was all about reds, and as my fellow wine lovers know, I am enthralled with the deep, inky kind. First up was a 2006 Duas Quintas, a light red made from the Touriga Franca grape grown in Portugal's breathtaking Duoro region. The fruit was whispy on the tongue, with a nose evocative of dark raisins.
Our next taste was a Paso Robles Cab from Laurel Cellars. This 2006 gem was one of the most aromatic wines I have encountered in a while, with musky sandalwood and spice redolent of my favorite Caswell-Massey cologne. This wine had really ripe tannins, which prompted my friend Danny to remark "This makes you wanna chew!" His wife Julia concurred, pronouncing it "a slutty steal."
I really thought I'd stuck my face in a jar of my mother's homemade blackberry jam by mistake when I encountered our third taste of the evening. St. Francis Winery & Vineyards produces some of the most elegant wines in Sonoma County, and their 2006 Cabernet proves that theory. The tannins are tight and indicative of a young Cab, while the nose is reminiscent of a ripe Zinfandel.
The final sip of the evening was a rich offering from Lodi's Klinker Brick Winery. I have a particular affinity for Old Vine Zin, and their 2007 vintage received 91 points from Wine Spectator and is a spectacular combination of black licorice and jelly bean. Vern was proud to note that his palate screamed "bacon!" upon tasting this one. Personally, I thought it had more of a pork rind appeal...but to each his own...
PS Wine & Speciality Foods: 188 South Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs 760-322-4411