Myself and four beautiful women in a spiffy Italian wine bar/restaurant called Stuzzichini (on Broadway and 21st)...not too bad I'm thinking. After an OK Barbera, I spot a Petit Verdot on the all-Italian wine list...very unusual to see this bottled as a varietal in Italy, so as a lover of PV, I quickly order a bottle. The Casale del Giglio, Petit Verdot, 2005
is from Lazio, the region around Rome. This is another surprise because the area produces primarily white plonk in the sub $10-a-bottle range and very little red of any significance. So, this could have been a disaster order (although the sommelier thought he might have sold out of it, always a good sign), but thankfully we got a winner. Crushed blueberries on the nose, this is full bodied with a velvet covering and supersoft tannins. Lots of black fruit and violets, it's drinking very well right now. Good stuff. Not bad for $48 a bottle in a wine bar - if you see it, and are in the mood for something different, try it.
Then we retired to our favourite unpretentious little wine bar, Turks and Frogs on 11th in the Village. They have a compact but quality selection of wines. We put the new vintage of Dreyer, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma, 2005
head to head against the Chateau Vieux Riviere, Lalande de Pomerol, 2001.
Cab vs. Merlot, New world vs. old world. The Dreyer smells like creamy butterscotch, the L de P like smoked plums. Edge to Dreyer.
The Dreyer tastes like blackcurrant, lychees and baked pears. The L de P tastes like boiled beetroot and plums with a little dirt thrown in, and has a thick glycerine mouthfeel. Both are full bodied. Tie.
The Dreyer has a longer finish. Overall, both wines hit close to the "wow" factor, but the Dreyer wins the head-to-head as favourite of the night. Oh, cost wise the Dreyer was $12/glass and the L de P $14.