Friday, June 20, 2008

Class versus Crass

I knew I wouldn't find this wine in Canada but I lucked out to find it in a pretty sheik little restaurant called Herbsaint in New Orleans. As soon as I saw the Familia Cassone, Obra Prima, Malbec Reserva 2003 on the wine list I ordered it. Wow. Purple, opaque with a complex nose of red fruit and lychees. Silky, racy and elegant, with classic pomegranate and a long finish, this is impressive. Perfect foil for duck gumbo followed by prime ribsteak. At $42 (on the wine list, meaning you should be able to get it retail for about half that) this put a 2005 Chambolle Musigny ($120) and a 2004 Cote Rotie ($160) that my Western Canadian friends ordered to absolute shame. For those of you not acquainted to Argentine Malbec, I urge you to search out examples like this.

Now onto something completely different. I usually like zinfandel but this one turned out a little disappointing. The unusually named Klinker Brick, Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi, 2005 showed a little pepper and currant on the nose, but unfortunately it tastes a little too much like cough syrup to be really enjoyable. Simple to boot. Big alcohol at 15.5%. A crass waste of money at $23 a pop. Yuck.



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