Friday, September 22, 2006

Solace in Wine

Sometimes a nice glass of wine and good company are the only things that keep me going.

Yesterday, after the usual long day at work, I discovered yet another damn problem in my life. Lately, all sorts of complications, worries and headaches have been interfering with my peace of mind. Not too much different than most people’s lives I suppose.

So after dinner, my best girl and I retired to the front porch with my crazy shepherd dogs and popped open a bottle of Domaine de la Janasse Côtes du Rhône 2003. Suddenly, things didn’t seem so bad.

The heat has finally broken here in South Carolina and my front porch has once again become my favorite place in the world. The night before last, we dined outside with a pepperoni pizza and a bottle of Luna Vineyards Sangiovese 2003.

Two kick-ass wines in two days—maybe life isn’t so bad.

Côtes du Rhône-Villages is by far one of my favorite appellations. The 2003 Janasse is really an exceptional example of what this area is all about. While I love the pricier wines of the Southern Rhone, for ten bucks a bottle, this wine is an absolute steal. Here's a great link for info on the wines of Côtes du Rhône.

It’s mostly grenache with some syrah from 40 year-old vines. Something I love about French wines is that they tend to be less sanitized. The Janasse has the distinct cherry and white pepper notes that I expect from grenache, but it also has some earthy and smoky nuances. It’s also bottled unfiltered, which I'm a big fan of.

The Luna was another thing entirely: lush, ripe and seductive. It's a wine to be lusted after. Check out the link above for their highly descriptive tasting notes.

Sangiovese is a real chameleon. Depending on where it’s grown and how it’s treated, it can end up being very different. After drinking a decent amount of Chianti (also made from sangiovese) lately, this Napa Valley version really blew me away. Both are very good, but very different.

Green’s has the Janasse. The Luna was a Mr. Friendly’s wine sale find.

Well, it’s almost the weekend. Hopefully we’ll have some more cool evenings and some more great wines. I need the escape.

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