The Food Maven Diary
Wine Buy: Laurel Glen Terra Rosa 1999
As you may have noticed, I took a holiday break. But I'm back (here and on the radio), Sean is back (here and from visiting his parents in New Hampshire), and Carol Berman, our Food Talk sommelier, is back with weekly wine buys. Tomorrow, expect some food highlights from my end-of-the-year binge.
Oh baby, it's cold outside … and there's nothing more appealing to me right now than a hearty red and bowl of stew. Straight from the warm (okay, hot) Central Valley of Chile (where it is summer right now) comes a terrific Cabernet Sauvignon made by Patrick Campbell, a very well respected California winemaker.
Patrick is from Sonoma County, where he is a specialist in Cabernet. Unfortunately, the price of land in neighboring Napa and Sonoma counties has skyrocketed, making it impossible to produce well-priced wines. In Chile he is making wine from 80 and 90-year-old vines, which is a good thing, using state of the art equipment, which is also a good thing. Carol says that he's even taught the locals a thing or two about wine making.
The result is Laurel Glen's Terra Rosa 1999 (and other vintages). It is excellent for drinking right now, but I found that the bouquet definitely opened up after an hour in my glass, and that the wine softened a bit. Not that it was harsh and tannic or acidic at first. It had, I thought, just the right balance.
Sniffing it and tasting it, I immediately noticed a very strong berry-currant bouquet. Carol Berman tried to add mint to the mix (you know these wine people). Let's just say, I'm more sold on the berries and currants (cassis in French).
Regardless, this is a great wine for serving with grilled meats and poultry, or those cold-weather braised dishes (short ribs, lamb shanks or coq au vin anyone?) or stews that we crave when the temperature drops to freezing. For $10.99 a bottle, perhaps less at some stores, how could you go wrong? If your New Year's resolution was to drink better (not necessarily more expensive) wine, give this one a try.