94 Galah cab/malbec Clare Vly
96 Les Terrasses red table wine Spain
96 Pike's shiraz Clare Vly
97 Backsberg shiraz South Africa
97 Michel Lynch Bordeaux
97 Warrabilla Brimin cab/shiraz Victoria
By Vote for Fave Two:
Roll Call: Judi, Jim, Ruthie, Steve, A. David
My Tasting Rating (0-10): 7
An intentionally eclectic wine selection because Arte Cafe serves eclectic dishes. Example: They now have a sushi bar. What red wine goes with sushi? None. But we tried!
Notes: A very good wine dinner. Very good wine, very good meal. I had the short ribs which were excellent, but next time it will be the whole bass. And as good as the sushi was, it adds a healthy chunk to the bill! Live 'n learn.
The Backsberg shiraz was an overwhelming favorite picked by everyone as either number one or number two. Pretty darn good for a South African wine. But this one, like Tom Clancy in a 400-level Creative Writing class, stood out in a field of some very good wine! Usually South African wines are unfocused and exhibit no particular terroir. The Backsberg could have easily been mistaken for an Aussie shiraz. Forward fruit, good balance, long finish. Softer tannins.
The Pike's shiraz is a very consistent people pleaser. Concentrated fruit, cherries, blueberries, mint/eucalyptus. Very good finish. Very typical Aussie shiraz. That's why Aussie shiraz is going to take over the wine world. If the stuff wasn't so expensive and the superstars so limited in production, it would have already topped the wine charts.
The Warrabilla cab/shiraz from Victoria is a beauty; a great food wine. The black cherries and Concord grape flavors are nicely balanced with acids that makes you salivate like Pavlov's dogs. Soft and easy tannins. Worth aging 3 yrs. Then ring the bell.
The Michel Lynch Bordeaux was a little young, but it still had some of the Bordeaux dark fruit flavors. Ostensibly missing the Bordeaux nose. Not even a hint of it. And I swirled the bananas out it. Gave it a good 20 mins to come around too. It didn't. Would like to try again in 5 yrs. Not sure if the nose will develop or not, but the shotgun blast of flavors should come together.
The Galah cab/malbec was very good, but it would not have been mistaken for a meritage or a Bordeaux. If anything, I would have been called it very nice cab. You know, like a Checkers cab with no dents, a nice wax job and no puke in the backseat. <Ewww>
(Click on thumbnail for full-sized image)
Some images may have been archived.
Just email me and I will restore.
If we poke out its eyes...
Our server, Heather