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Day 233: And Sometimes, You’ve Got To Enjoy The Moment . . .

cask cabernetSundays are great days to sit around, relax and prepare for the upcoming week.  It’s also a time to visit with family, friends or both.  Last night we talked about visiting with Elaine and Sam and how much we enjoyed having them stay with us.  We really had fun when Elaine’s Mom and Dad – P&L – arrived at the house around 11:30 last night!  Yep, we’d been putting wood on the fire pit for a few hours and had settled in for a nice quiet evening, and that is where we were when they pulled into the driveway!

It’s always cool to visit with folks that you just plain like to be around – such is the case of P&L – and so even though they were actually not supposed to be here until this morning . . . they made it last night.  It says a lot about folks that are willing to get in a car at 10:00 at night and drive for an hour and a half.  It says one of two things really – 1)Wow, those are some amazing friends and SO dedicated to seeing family – or 2)Are they slightly crazy?  Getting in the car and driving for an hour and a half just to try some wine?  While most people – in the sanity column – would easily choose number one.  And why not?  It makes sense.  Those who know these folks are–well–they are number 2!!

The good news in all of this is that we enjoyed some delicious wine. . .compliments of Jean’s adept abilities with the ring toss.  You know, carnival ring tosses are usually good for a stuffed animal or two; well, we had the opportunity to play a ring toss for WINE at a recent event and even though we spent quite a bit of money–we spent less than the retail value of the wine! Tonight we enjoyed (and I mean really enjoyed) a 2008 Cask Cabernet Sauvignon from Francis Ford Coppola’s Rubicon Estates.  And, even though we’ve had some really amazing wines during this blog, this wine really stands on its’ own.  “Cask” is Rubicon Estate’s tribute to the style of Rutherford Cabernet produced by Inglenook Winery in the 1940’s, when it was regarded as the best in Napa Valley. This 100% estate Cabernet is aged for two years in American oak prior to release. It reveals a nose of currant, cherry, and earth. The palate is rich and full-bodied, with suave tannins, layers of creamy fruit and spice, and scents of tobacco and cedar on the finish.  Smooth doesn’t even begin to tell the story of the finish. . .it was a fantastic wine! Wine Spectator rates this wine at 94 points and we couldn’t agree more.  It’s  a really good red wine–but it also has a higher than blogging price tag.

As Sunday winds down and Monday is on the horizon, we pause to reflect on a terrific weekend with Elaine and Sam and P&L (NOT profit & loss!)  We ended up with a terrific wine and even managed to sneak in some pizza tonight.  We hope that you’ll figure out a way to get a hold of this wine.  It’s a classic–in the making!

Here’s to a much less eventful week – Please remember to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and recycle whenever possible.


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Day 138: Better Than A Tucker . . .

coppola rosso

So, way back in 1988 a little known film by Francis Ford Coppola hit the screens of America’s movie houses. . .Tucker, A Man and His Dream starring Jeff Bridges debuted to less than thrilling audience attendance.  Yes, the film was critically acclaimed, but audiences just couldn’t connect with the content.  The film recounts the story of Preston Tucker and his attempt to produce and market the 1948 Tucker Sedan, which was met with scandal between the “Big Three automobile manufacturers” and accusations of stock fraud from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  Coppola had a certain amount of personal affinity with the short-lived legacy of Preston Tucker. His father, Carmine Coppola, had been one of the original investors in Tucker stock and purchased one of the cars off the production line.  Coppola included the involvement of Preston Tucker’s children, grandchildren and members of the Tucker Estate during the development of Tucker in the late 1970s, as well as during filming in 1987.  Despite helming his “labor of love,” Coppola was insistent that Tucker: The Man and His Dream would be his last Hollywood project.  He reiterated a long-held dream of his own, embarking on a “period of amateurism and experimentation as a Hollywood dropout.”

Who would have known that shortly after this film’s release, Mr. Coppola would go into the wine business by purchasing a vineyard. . .and who would have thought that a few short years after that, Mr. Coppola would begin producing award winning wines recognized throughout the Napa Valley (Geyersville, California) as big, bold and trend-setting.  We even visited Rubicon Estates when on a wine trip there in 2008. . .and on the second level of the expansive tasting room was a fully restored, 1948 Tucker automobile.  It was–a thing of beauty.

Tonight’s wine is a tip of the hat to Mr. Coppola and his movie magic and wine making prowess.  Jean found this while on a ‘scouting’ trip to HEB.  We opened a 2011 Rosso & Bianco Rosso Red Wine–Rosso is made from a blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from diverse growing regions across California.  We immediately noticed an overwhelming aroma of dried plums, dates and apricots.  The nose was distinct; however, the tasting was much more complicated.  We struggled for any fruit on the palate or the finish.  While the tannins were relatively smooth, the wine had nothing to offer in the way of real taste.  The winery stated, “The supple texture and rich, juicy flavors of plum, cherries, mocha, and strawberry jam make this wine a perfect accompaniment to almost any meal.”  We were left with a meal and a red wine to help wash it down.  At less than $15 a bottle, you can do really well by finding other wines in the same price point with better flavor and better finish–there are plenty of better wines.  Is this wine too young?  Perhaps, but one could suggest that it’s commercial value through thousands of cases is better suited to the wine DRINKER and NOT the wine LOVER.

Regardless, we are fans of several Coppola wines.  His top of the line, Rubicon Estates vintages are the stuff that legends are made of and red carpets are made for, but tonight’s offering was no better than a Saturday matinee.  We’ve watched Jeff Bridges in Tucker, A Man and His Dream several times.  While the film wasn’t a commercial success, if you watch Mr. Bridges,  you see some acting brilliance that would carry him through the 80’s, 90’s 2000’s and now in the 2010’s. . .talk about a true professional at his craft!!  Sometimes we go to the movies because the story line grabs us; sometimes we go because the actors/actresses appeal to us. . .and sometimes we go to the movies to escape.  Tonight we escaped–but still had to taste the wine.

Please remember to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and recycle whenever possible.