Thursday, November 3, 2005

It's 30 Miles to Chicago, I've Got a Bottle of Wine, It's Dark Out and I've Got The Reidel

Uncork it!

Welcome my friends to another addition of Thursday night wine blogging; America's fastest growing Thursday night diversion. Where I get toasted, and you get to read all about it.

Tonight Mrs. P is joining us in a special guest tasting role as we tipple the 2000 Napa Valley Zinfindel offering of T-Vine. Ah, T-Vine one of the very few California producers that I truly enjoy. I've been drinking the "T" for at least 5 years perhaps a couple be honest with you, in all the excitement I've clean forgot.

No matter though, it couldn't have been much longer than that since T-Vine has only been producing since 1992. Prior to that, Gary Brown, the label's owner and jack of all trades spent time at Turley, another of my California favorites.

Like Turley, T-Vine is a mouth full of power that literally threatens to blow your head off, much like Dirty Harry's 44 magnum. Unlike Harry's gun, T-Vine will do it with the utmost of elegance and sophistication. A powerful wine, the nose and flavor reveal themselves in layers of taste that last and last and last.

The name T-Vine stands for the Trinity, not of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, but rather of Body, Spirit and ........well of something else. To be honest I really can't be bothered with some new age mumbo jumbo when the wine tastes this good.

I've had all of the T offerings; Merlot, Grenache, Cabernet, and the subject of tonight's tasting, the aforementioned Zin. Enough of my rambling though, lets get down to tasting this 14.5% alchohol by volume monster.

Oh yes, this is very good. First sip; plums, black cherry maybe some raisin. It sits in the palate and then releases to almost a scent of blueberries on the wind and pepper. God, that sounds weird, but I'm tellin you that is a great description of what I just tasted.

Mrs. P is taking a sip, heh, she didn't know what she was in for. "Black berries" is her comment. "But can you guess the varietal" I say. "Oh, no way". "Come on what is it"? "Zinfindel"?

Yup, I married well.

Ok it's been about five minutes, lets give it another try. The berry is still there, although I'd agree that Black berries......or maybe it's black cherries are more predominant. The is some chocolate now, peppery chocolate. Geez this is a blow the back of your head off wine, but the thing about T-Vine is that it is such a balanced explosion. Can something be smoothly explosive? I wouldn't have thought so, but this wine is definately changing my mind.

This is why as an avowed California style hater, I keep coming back to the "T". It's elegantly powerful, and in being so has maintained a subtlety and nuance while still playing to American tastes.

T-Vine may not be easy to find, it isn't a big producer and I've only been able to find it at one place in Chicago. This bottle cost me $40 and I've seen their cab is now up to around $60. If you're looking for a good wine, and are in the mood to spend a couple bucks on something special, give the T a swirl!

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