25 December 2006

2004 Morgan Cotes du Crow's

Merry Christmas, y'all.

There's a sort of unofficial tradition that I started at the big family gathering a few years back. The Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are non-alcoholic affairs, and everyone's fine with this. However, I started bringing bottles of wine and holding little tastings out of the back of my car, parked out on the street. I'd bring a full set of crystal glasses and everything. Today, unfortunately, it was cold and rainy, but this is the wine I was going to be using: the 2004 Morgan Cotes du Crow's. (Note: the possessive apostrophe is used properly here; an older version of this wine was called "Crow's Roost". For further clarification on the proper usage of apostrophes, consult Bob The Angry Flower.) It's a Rhone-style blend made of half Syrah and half Grenache, sourced from the Monterey region of California.

I got to spend some tine Christmas evening hanging out with a friend of mine, and decided to try out the new decanter. At first test, the wine was pretty brash, but while tasting it in fifteen minute increments, I found that at around the one hour mark, it had mellowed out well. Several hours later (and while watching A Christmas Story), I'm quaffing the last glass. Cranberry aromas, with strawberry and plum skin flavors and a, bright, tangy acidity. Medium finish with mild tannins. Oddly, on the tail end there's some of that ashy quality you get with French wines, but none of the barnyard aroma.

I'm anxious to try some double-blind tests with decanting; I know it's not required for every wine, but I've seen it make a difference before.

I think it would have gone well with the baked ham and my aunt's broccoli-rice casserole, not to mention Mom's fantastic sweet potato casserole, with the brown sugar and pecans and marshmallows on top. Right now I wish I had some leftovers.

In closing, thanks for the Christmas greetings from many of you, and I hope that all of my readers got to enjoy their Christmas weekend with friends and family. Here's looking forward to New Year's Eve!


Anonymous said...

I have always liked that wine; it's a good rendition of a Cotes-du-Rhone. On decanting: for Christmas Eve I splurged on a bottle of Ch. Leoville-Barton 1996 -- wonderful, superb -- and it didn't need decanting at all. Our bottle of Quinta do Vesuvio Porto 1990 however practically had a crust on one side of the bottle. I had to pour it through a strainer.
Question: Are you the only drinker in your family? How did that come about? My parents were teetotalers, alcohol never touched their lips in their long lives, yet here I am, a wine writer for 22 years.

Benito said...

No, I'm not the only drinker, it's just not part of the standard family gathering to have alcohol present. The curbside wine tasting also has the benefit of providing a brief respite from the heat and bustle of the big family get-together.

I'm hoping to do some double-blind tests with the decanter to see what kind of a difference it makes. I'm generally not drinking 10+ year old Bordeaux, but I know some folks who decant almost all red wines regardless of age. I'm just happy to have another piece of wine-related glassware.

Allen said...

Ben, Next year I think we need to do a Jambalaya cooking in the street to go along with the wine tasting.

Happy New Year