From the Cellar

Drinking with Dave + Dinner, Night 2 (California / Portugal)

10 Aug 2016

(December 23, 2015) ... I had no idea I would end up at Dave's place again, but my wife had a previous engagement and let me loose on Michigan once again - so whom do I call when this happens, Dave!

I know I did not mention the menu from the previous night, and all I can remember is Spadini (which were excellent) - this night Dave orders out to his favourite Middle Eastern joint (which was also excellent) ... but when we are together it really is all about the wine and here's what we opened and tried:

We started with another of my contributions, Baileyana 2014 Tierraslo Pinot Noir - Dave's a big Pinot-guy so I thought this might be a good place to start:  cranberry notes with simple fruit, raspberry, and red currant; it's also quite juicy and smoky, and there's even a floral element that creeps in with time - there's no doubt in it's California origin.

Next up, Dave grabs a bottle of Sonho Lusitano 2010 Pedra Basta, which he has raved about to me in the past It's a Portuguese blend made up of  30% each Trincadeira / Aragonez / Alicante Bouchet and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a richness of dark fruit, gentle spice, white pepper, and layers of deliciousness ... it also has the honour of being the first bottle we finished (either night).

From there we move on to a wine that changed my outlook of Cline Cellars (whom I already adore for their take on Zinfandel):  Cline 2013 Big Break GranacheThis is the first year they made this wine commercially available (rumour has it they have made it in ultra-small batches previously); it's aged 12 months in 35% new French oak and boasts a robust 15.5% alcohol.  Aromas were menthol, pine needles, smoky, meaty, spearmint, rosemary, herbal, floral (my turn to say "wow") - the palate follows with a spicy character, along with some coconut, Vics-Vapo-Rub (attributed to the high alcohol and pine needle aroma), and really sweet fruited yet balanced with notes of spicy, minty-menthol and meaty character ... tannins come across as silky-smooth ... in thirty minutes blueberry, raspberry and cherry are added to the mix and the alcohol has dissipated.  This wine is complex and gorgeous and might just be the best bottle we have had together (but something tells me its not the last bottle we'll have together).

I was so impressed with the wine that I did a video review of it, check it out here.


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