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In a land far away and definitely a long, long time ago, I did radio sports play-by-play for basketball and football. I thought I might take that approach through Tuesday for the two or three wines I taste over that time period.

Now before my friends get concerned about an intervention, I haven’t consumed wine in nearly a week because of the holidays. So with lots of time home for taking down the tree, house cleaning, laundry, and making a couple of massive pots of chili – a few bottles are likely to get popped open.

So here’s the format for the call:

Day 1, Friday Dec. 27

chteau-bonneau-2008-montagne-st-emilion-bordeaux-433-1Chateau Bonneau 2009 Montagne St. Emilion, Bordeaux – This is outstanding table wine. The bottle was a gift from a French national who was quick to note it was nothing special just really good table wine. And that tops any description I could give it.

A few notes though would call attention to its drinkability. There’s not much going on here but it’s very well-made wine. Bonneau is a very small operation near Montagne in the Saint Emilion region east of Bordeaux (the city).

The alcohol is a modest 13.5 percent. I picked up nice fruit from the Merlot and Cab Franc blend. It has a modest little finish that most would find pleasing. In doing a little research I found recommendation that the bottle would peak in 3-4 years. I’d say it’s there right now.

What’s wrong with a nice round and soft Bordeaux blend with a pot of chili? Nothing at all.

This wine is available through several outlets in the state for just under $20.

Chateau Bonneau 2009 Montagne St. Emilion, Bordeaux, $19.99, Recommended Bordeaux at this price point.

Day 2, Saturday, Dec. 28

Beringer 1999 Marston Vineyard, Spring Mountain, Cabernet – Wow! A little wow is needed when you open up a bottle of older wine and it lives up to expectations.

MeRiedelCab

Sipping the Cab from my new Riedel Vinum XL Cabernet glass! It’s HUGE!

But let’s set this up: It’s 50 unbelievable degrees in Indiana today. So this afternoon I decided I needed to grill out – when will that chance come again – April? So I bought a nice ribeye and pulled an older bottle from the wine storage fridge.

My grill would not fire up 😦 .. not sure what’s up with that. But I spiced up the ribeye with a thick coating of sea salt, Texas spice rub, and fresh ground pepper. I seared the steak in a frying pan then tossed it into a hot oven for just a few minutes. It came out perfectly medium rare.

beringerI had three bottles of ’99 Beringer Cab but the first two had gone bad. I suspect too much travel and bad corks. But this bottle of Cabernet had held up nicely. I jumped online to find reviews and found several 2013 tasting notes. I found those to be consistent with what I found in the glass — big tannins, big finish, big nose of oak and fading fruit. Now while that may sound negative it’s not – it was great wine for the steak and some sea salt chocolate that followed.

If you’re into wine and have not consumed older bottles, it’s really a step you need to take to expand your palate. This was a $50 bottle of wine when released. It’s was a nice change of pace and great ribeye companion.

Beringer 1999 Marston Vineyard, Spring Mountain, Cabernet, $50, Highly Recommend – if you can find it.

Day 3, Sunday, Dec. 29

chili

cantina-tudernum-fidenzio-Cantina Tudernum Fidenzio 2007 Montefalco Sagrantino – This is not your local grocery’s wine. My wine buddies and I call this “big boy” wine. So put on you’re big boy pants as we round third heading for home (thanks to the late Joe Nuxhall for that) and let’s talk Sagrantino.

I’ve written about this wonderful Umbrian wine before and decided it would be perfect for a day of making chili. Each winter I make two giant pots of chili and freeze it in single serving containers. I end up with chili for the rest of the winter season.

But I digress. Sagrantino is grown only in a small area of Italy – Umbria to be exact. There is a limited number of producers. The wine is probably best known for its scarcity and it’s big tannic characteristics.

This wine is aged 12 months in oak. It has a roasting spice characteristic .. think thyme or rosmary. It’s rich with a heavy but wonderful feel in the mouth. This is not wimpy wine.

It’s also not cheap. This bottle retails at $46. But Sagrantino is unique. You can find Sagrantino at better wine shops – but probably only in larger cities. It’s great wine and definitely something a bit different. I love it.

Caintina Tudernum Fidenzio 2007 Montefalco Sagrantino, $46, Very Highly Recommended.

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