Saturday at 6p found me rummaging about in our wine cellar for a few things to bring to the home of a couple of dear but non-drinking friends. Seven of nine would be imbibing.
I rather quickly scooped up a couple of sparklers to serve as starters. One of these, the Cantine Ceci “Otello” Vino Spumante, $22, was a reject from a September column on fizzy reds and turned out to be huge hit. Can’t think now why it didn’t make the cut.
Unsure of what was on the menu, I plucked a ’09 Drouhin St. Veran, $14, (not pictured) for white drinkers, and the Tami ’10 IGT Sicilia Frappato, $18, at left in photo above, for those preferring red – although it was my guess that everybody would want at least a sip of each. The Drouhin has been our house white for months now, we have lots of it and know it to be supremely reliable.
The frappato was something recommended by Steve Mosher of Somerville’s Wine & Cheese Cask, and I had been looking for an opportunity to taste it. The ’07 Turnbull Wine Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($48) at right in photo, was brought by someone else – we’ll call her Jane – the wine being recommended by a wine shop she consulted specifically for the occasion.
Can you guess what happened? The Frappato with its modest scale, lovely bright fruit, and vibrant acidity lit up the faces at the table. The word “delicious” was thrown about. Everyone wanted more.
The Turnbull, despite being given a hard decant, had the opposite effect. Borne down by fifteen and a half degrees of alcohol and an impenetrable concentration of fruit, it felt like a dead weight in the mouth. Few drained their glasses of it. No one asked for a refill. It let us all down, not least the hopeful and generous-hearted guest who shelled out almost $50 for it.
Originally published on Boston.com
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