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Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Chuck Furuya (his back in the background) hosted a Big Red (also known as Bruce Liebert--on the right with Judith) tasting at Vino's tonight.  They were all Shirazs:

1.  2004 Colonial Estate Shiraz "Explorateur" from Australia's Barossa Valley, normally costs $30/bottle (these prices are from a wine store), but is now selling it for $19.99, except that it is sold out.  Robert Parker gives it a 91 rating.  Terms like opulent, creamy and velvety permeated.

2.  2009 Mollydooker "Blue Eyed Boy" from South Australia, a wine Brian Plascher gave a 98 rating, was the overwhelming favorite of the group.  The body was at an ultimate, a true fruit bomb.  This is a $50/bottle wine that you can order for something closer to $40... but need to pay the shipping.

3.  2004 Relic "Alder Springs" rates a 90 from Wine Advocate.  From Mendocino County, you can buy this wine in a market for $40 to $50/bottle.

4.  2005 Booker "Fracture" is a 92-93 (the 93 came from Robert Parker) rated wine from Paso Robles.  The best price you can find would be around $60/bottle.

Two ounces each for $40, with bread.  Chuck did the articulation.  Why Shiraz?  Chuck worships the French originals, likes the California growth, and, was troubled with the Australia version, especially Penfolds, which sells one of the more expensive Shiraz Grange Hermitage.

That would have sufficed for me, but I was invited to join Judith and Bruce for dinner next door at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse with Qi Gao and John Michael White, who apparently has a private table here.  The Caesar Salad with anchovies and blue cheese was great, the French onion soup okay and ribeye fabulous.  We had a Lynmar Estate Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley, north of Napa/Sonoma.  This is a $30/bottle wine from a wine shop which means you double to triple the price in a restaurant.  The discussion of topics I can't repeat was the highlight of the experience.  Thank you John Michael.


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