The Negress denounces the passage of time: 1999 Patrick LeSec Rasteau Vieilles Vignes,Toad Hollow Apropos and 2011 Mission Point Pinot NoirAugust 27, 2012
The Negress has had death on her mind a lot lately so the 1999 LeSec Rasteau Vieilles Vignes and Toad Hollow Apropos roared out of memory like the morning after a cheap, greasy meal. A friend’s Mom died, leaving a central Illinois basement and house awash in mysterious liquor and wine caches. The basement was humid and filled with cases of indeterminate Scotch, several cases of a French white with moldy labels and rotted corks, plus multiple bottles of creme de menthe with just enough gone to suggest sequential outbreaks of excessive grasshopper consumption and complete amnesia of the previous purchases. This is the sort of drinking that adults in university towns could get away with before drunk driving, interventions and 30-day “leaves of absence” conducted on the down low if tenured; followed by contract cancellation if not. Of course, so many are adjuncts now nothing might happen for different reasons. Welcome to the age of disposable academia.
Back to the wine. Most bottles you and the Negress buy are designed to be quaffed quickly. All the vinification techniques in fashion now suggest that more wine makers should put a “drink by” recommendation on the label. As in “as soon as you can.” The Rasteau and the Toad Hollow deserved to be drunk young. They were faded beyond recognition and tasted feeble and forgettable. Cote du Rhones Villages wines are not usually feeble, but this senile Rasteau was (according to a bit of research, this one was about seven years too old). The Negress suspects improper storage may have been part of the problem. She also knows that Toad Hollow makes impeccable value wines, but the Apropos was truly nothing special.
To regain some palate perspective, the Negress picked up a bottle of 2011 Mission Point Pinot Noir at Trader Joe’s on a co-worker’s recommendation. She will not extend the recommendation, but will pose one of her favorite questions, “Why do California vintners try to turn Pinot Noir into Cabernet Sauvignon?” If you’re looking for more candid assessments of Various Buck Chucks and the rest of the Trader Joe’s ilk, try my pal Tim Lemke’s site Cheap Wine Ratings.
Speaking of pals, please raise a glass to the Negress’ old one, Brent Grulke of SXSW, who died unexpectedly Aug. 13. Grulke worked for the gargantuan festival back when it was a puppy. He was the stage manager when there were only tens of venues. He later rose to be the guy who picked the bands that played and was immune to persuasion by anything other than the submitted demo. Brent, a lot of us who miss the old festival (and know we are too old for the reboot), will miss you and hope your family has what they need in this troubled time.
Posted in Health and Wellness, Knitting and Feministing, Wines of the world in danger | Tagged Brent Grulke, Cheap Wine Ratings, Cotes Du Rhone Villages, Mission Point, Patrick LeSec, Rasteau, SXSW Music, Toad Hollow, Trader Joe's |