Love, Like Great Wine, Not So Easy to Find

“Once you have made up your mind, stick to it; there no longer any ‘if’ or ‘but’.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Do I lift the sails, do I take down my defenses, can the universe be signaling to me, yes, this is the "droid you've been looking for." You had to be there for that to make sense. I don't know how to approach this, I didn't think it would ever happen, I really didn't believe it would be possible, but here I'm. How can this amazing human being, I'm only starting to get to know, who checks all the boxes on my list, yes, that checklist we all have if we're honest.

But, then there's a slight hiccup in the road, a bump if you will, that makes you question, what am I doing here? That must have been the very question, Napoleon's Generals must have been asking each other as they rolled into Waterloo.

Fast forward a few days, and now I know, after just a few days of conversation that I should have known, unlike Napoleon, not to roll into another relationship so quickly. Yup, I'm that guy you've all heard about that wears his heart on his sleeve. Friends advised me to "slow my roll," but I didn't listen and like Mr. Bonaparte, I had my ass handed to me, once more. Yes, ouch, honesty sold here. So too much honesty? That's not what you came here for, am I right? You just wanna get the deets on the latest wine discoveries, am I right again? If so, then stay tuned, and scroll down, it's all there.

But the 'loves' I find in wine, well they're not so frequent either, but when I do see the one I want, from an unexpected place, my heart goes all pitter-patter. Which is a technical term you know, for how much I like a bottle of wine(s) I'm about to share with you, one I encountered during the last wine studio?

As you can see from the picture, both are 100 percent Merlot, but from two very different vintages. While the 2008 did have the advantage of more time in bottle (which some folks call bottle maturity) the 2011 was no slacker, it just wasn't ready for prime time as they say. Each of these wines was both pretty, suave and sophisticated in their own, way, I ultimately gave the 2008 higher marks. Many of those tasting that night also agreed. Both bottles were open a few days, one with the coravin and the other with a low-tech air suctioning stopper. Even after being open and decanted the 2011 was tight, the tannins chewy and the acid blazing.

While specific chemical compounds are part of every wine, not every wine can be produced by mixing those compounds into the water to create something truly remarkable. That's something that only a particular clone, a place, weather conditions of a single vintage, etc can singularly produce. It's my opinion the wines I know and love cannot be replicated by a simple combination of chemistry and water. Take, for example, the two bottles featured in today's article, which I will get to in a moment. So yes, while love is not easy to find, a love for these wines in today's review will wow you and thrill you every sip, slurp and maybe even the eventual burp, oh-my.

Here come the tasting notes, Barone Ricasoli Casalferro 2008:  100% Merlot that drinks like a dream. This wine is easy on the eye, soothing and seductive from the get-go, there's something about its amazing richness and intensity, which draws you in right away. One the very best 2008's I've tasted in some time and would give any right bank Bordeaux a run for its money. Some will say it's too modern, no, but I feel ya it's just seductive. Still, it has a lovely vein of acid, which keeps the abundant red and dark fruit in check. Well-integrated tannins and a long mouth coating finish.

Drinks like a mid to high priced Napa Valley Cab, and pushes near the boundaries of where I like to spend my coin. After finishing this bottle late in the evening, just a few weeks ago, I paired it with grilled Tri-Tip, and prawns, I scored this wine, 94 points. This is the power of a renewed focus in the cellar and the vineyard, but more specifically the power of cellaring wine and doing it correctly.

Here come the tasting notes, Barone Ricasoli Casalferro 2011:  A delicious Merlot dominated blend, a nicely perfumed nose. Still, a very young wine, sporting youthful tannin and grip, dark ripe plums and ripe blackberry fruit sing a merry tune, on the mid-palate, filling your mouth with joy, but a spine of acid keeps things harmonious. The other usual suspects also attend the party, leather, underbrush, and licorice. The finish is long and pleasing; you'll be sad when this bottle is gone, of that, there is no doubt. But a note of caution, if you order this wine and open it now with its zippy acid and grippy tannins, you may not be prepared for this very youthful wine. Give it more time and space, don't be a fool and rush it. My score for this wine is 91 points. 

Full Disclosure: Reviewed wines are from medias sample provided (not for sale) for the review process.

All original content: Including text and photographs remain the copyright © of the author, (W.R. Eyer, Fotogui Photography Inc., and the Cuvée Corner Media Company) except where otherwise noted.

That said folks, yes, sometimes love sucks, but until next time folks, remember life is short, compromise is for relationships, not wine. Slurp long and prosper cheers!


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