Saturday, October 10, 2009

Celebrating with a Selection from the Bottom Third

Sometimes I wonder what I am going to do with all those bottles in the bottom third of the wine cabinet that makes up my own personal reserve section. It's a collection of bottles that I've acquired over time . . . sometimes the purchases have been deliberate and more often made when I've been plied by a few too many sips in the tasting room. Because of the investment that has been made (both dollars and the time that they've aged) I'm reluctant to crack them on a whim so there is a risk that some of these wines may start to diminish . . . and that's the biggest sin for any wine lover.

Luckily we had an unexpected occasion that struck our Friday night and overcame any inhibitions about digging deep for a celebratory bottle: two of my life-long friends and their wives had their babies on the exact same day . . . twin boys to one and a little girl to the other!

So what was the wine that fit the occasion of October 9? I went with the 1999 Pine Ridge Cabernet Stags Leap District, it was as deliberate of a choice to drink as it was to purchase. Ten years to the day the grapes would have been freshly macerating in the tanks, starting the life of this awesome wine that still held big, dark fruit flavors with soft tannins. This is a wine I would have purchased back in Minnesota, during my early and impressionable wine buying days. I remember being motivated in part because this was named as Wine Spectators #4 out of their Top 100 wines the year it was being sold . . . back in the days when that mattered to me. Even though I was such a newbie then I know that this bottle was purchased with MUCH anticipation and then lovingly carted around the country until now.

Cheers to Henry, Charlie, and Isla!