Monday, Mar. 14, 2011
Keep the tassels twirling
By Teri Citterman, Wine Press Northwest
Now that the Oscar's red carpet is respectfully rolled up and you've probably had your fill of bad girl ballet, I was peering into a juicy red bubble of love and started thinking about all the wonderful things that simply fit together - like Pinot and Noir, Adam and Eve, ballet and burlesque. Yes, you heard right! Grab a glass of grace and goodness and let's make those tassels twirl with a flurry. Black Swan madness - that's what I'm talkin' about!
Dive into the full fleshiness of Syncline Wine Cellars 2009 Subduction Red. Young and ripe and heavily steeped in my favorite Mourvedre, this wine spills over its cup size - uncontained and juicy. Dark plum and blackberry untie into a loose string leading to a spicy finish. Supple and seductive, this wine twirls its tassels with smoldering intensity. I love that it's the real deal, bouncy and perky - an expressive handful, meaning a mouthful for every occasion.
Taking second position, the Jones of Washington 2007 Estate Syrah pours with arabesque grace - long legs extend with sinewy muscle and razor-pointed toes. Blackberry! Blueberry! Raspberry! Oh my. Poised in its berry cobbler filling wrapped in an approachable mystery inside a mocha finish, this wine is dancer-balanced on point with strong aptitude and delicate precision
Stage left and back to bawdy, lips doused in a shimmer of red, Strut Wines' 2008 Red Over Heels from British Columbia checks its inhibitions at the door. It's crimsonly simple with astute acid and tannic intentions. Silken and wiggling, this wine breathes Merlot in the form of canned cranberry, cherry and spicy red currant. Black sheer stockings with seams up the middle light up the night, as a plunge of low-cut fruit envelopes your tongue. Grab the pole, honey, I think we've caught a live one!
Now wait a minute! Burlesque and ballet are not just about chicks flitting around on stage in tu-tus or G-strings. Boylesque anyone? Wilridge's 2008 Melange is loaded with leather and soy sauce, this rock salt of masculinity blows blackberry, candied orange peel and cedar. Its unparalleled enthusiasm reveals violet, black plum, baking spice and a slight hint of lavender wrapped up and worth ogling in those tight tight tights! It's hard, if not impossible, to overlook those sturdy tannins staring back at us with intensity. A yummy package indeed!
And of Wilridge, there's more and more. Its 2007 Nebbiolo does not mince words in its chasse across the stage. Chasing who knows what or whom, it's pretty and light, and packs a powerful tannic punch with a steel fist in a velvet glove. With its grand jete it splits the air, and grand-plie lands deep and fulfilling. This wine springs solid mid-tongue tannins that hit right where you hoped they would in sudden bursts of bright cherry and pomegranate, its finish releases into a strapping pirouette of black rope licorice.
And then, in all its drama, Torii Mor 2008 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, slithers on stage as the naughty housewife. Light as a feather duster and sexy as French lace, this wine kicks off the covers, revealing a lot more going on underneath layers of smooth spice, bright cherry and blackberry. It's a pretty wine, simply robed in earthy ruby, cranberry and dried red fruit. Poised acid entwines its legs around bump 'n' grind rhythms of raspberry leading to a time-consuming (in a good way) finish.
But back to ballet, nothing says Black Swan like Efeste 2007 Final Final Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Mourvedre. It's an eruption of dark chocolate and juniper spice. Powerful and ironic, this wine drinks you in with Port de Bras strength in its carriage. Daring and provocative with black plum rippling through juicy boysenberry, it's a bottle of balance with a dense backbone of mischief and mayhem. Cherry undulations lead to a lasting finish that opens wider and wider as the curtain draws to its final close of prolonged applause. It's called Final Final for a reason.
Barrister Winery's Rough Justice truly is the stage kitten of wine. Breathing gently with black plum boa and black lace - purring and pleading to be subdued by a swirl of Graham cracker piecrust. Rich and jammy, this wine does a little more than suggest you pay attention with shocks of blackberry filling, pasties a-twirling silky tannins and a drawn-out finish to make any onlooker pretty damn eager to indulge.
And with that, L'Ecole's 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, takes center stage with its quick complexity - Entrechat-Quatre, powerful thrusts of blackberry and dark cherry. Inspired by the grace and elegance of a swan, this wine shows French discipline in its Old World structure - with an earthy rawness that comes from none other but the underworld - beautiful, balanced and bawdy.
Finally, the Nelms Road 2008 Merlot may be the road less taken. Or not. This ruby is a dalliance from disciplined correctness. It tempts your taste buds in a mouthwatering tease of deep, sweet black currant and pepper. Vanilla, blackberry and dark, ripe raspberry meander through a rage of round and supple tannins full and cascading to a fine and warranted finish. While you know where this wine is going, it's an arousing journey to get there.
Who's not having a good time now? I dare ya!
Signing off, Juicy McFly! (my official Burlesque name)