28 October, 2008

2006 UNTI Petit Frere

I took this up to Lee and Nancy's for the 2009 rendition of "Pumpkin Festival.... North." On deck for dinner were simple thin pies (think Roman style) from Mezza Luna in town.

This nice, dry Grenache, Mouvedre & Syrah blend, while called "little brother", really just isn't. It's a nicely bodied Rhone blend with enough blackberry fruit up front to balance the Rhone sensibility on the back and providing a pleasant balance for everyday southern European inspired cuisine.

Mick Unti is doing a great job of very reasonable, drinkable and well-paired juice for food.

2006 Unti Sonoma County Petit Frere
Retail: ~$20
Grade: B

01 October, 2008

2006 Summers Napa Valley Estate Charbono

..she said..."Rambo, what means "Charbono?"

He said "huhhhh?" in his most Scooby-Doo like inflection.

Now, although Bill got all in my face and called me full of $h*t and a wine snob at the Rains' luau and it was all the zen master I could muster to not break his finger as it dented my chest, I really don't think I am, especially since I'd never heard of Charbono. Accordingly, in my geekdom, I did some research before I tackled this and stumbled across some really interesting info.

While there's too much to post here, I do recommend taking a look into several of the links in this search as it's kinda fascinating.

So, here's the reader's digest version....

* Only 80 acres grown in the USA. 100% in California.
* Imported by Italian immigrants in the 1800s
* Is a Piedmontese varietal - possibly related to Charbonneau (fr.)
* Is the 2nd most popular varietal grown in Argentina

Ok..Cool. Now what? Well, try some.

I know. Too far out of the box, too difficult to find, blah-blah-blah-blah.

No? Good...actually, Great!

So this Charbono has wonderful mouthfeel that's extremely soft and delicate, but with significant bright fruit, mainly dark berries, but not a Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot type of berry. When I say significant, I mean subtle. Huh?

How can that be? Yeah, I know, but I don't know any other way to describe it.

I had this with a hearty fall soup, but it would also play well with most meats (non-beef), fowl (particularly Duck or Ostrich), and several other fall-style vegetable dishes.

2006 Summers Napa Valley Estate Charbono
Retail: $23
Grade: B+