An Iconic Wine Looks at 30

The year was 1984: the first Apple Macintosh computer was on sale and Ronald Reagan was in office. “Terminator,” “The Karate Kid,” and “Ghostbusters” were in the theaters and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” ruled the radio. The “MTV Video Music Awards” came into existence, and the Soviets boycotted the Los Angeles Summer Olympics, as payback for the Western boycott of the Moscow games. While all of this was going on, a young winery nestled in the heart of Napa Valley gave birth to what would become an icon among American Bordeaux blends. Flora Springs was in its sixth year of operations when they decided to create something spectacular; a hand-selected, signature red blend from the best lots of their estate vineyards that they would call Trilogy. The inaugural 1984 blend (the same vintage as a certain wine blogger) was composed of a third each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, giving rise to a big, bold wine with plenty of structure to age gracefully (just like yours truly)…

1984 Flora Springs Trilogy

But perhaps the best test of time, at least in the wine world, is a vertical tasting pitting an “aged” wine against a younger, newer version of itself. For this meeting of the vintages, I compared the 1984 Trilogy with the 2008 Trilogy, pairing them both with the archetypal big red wine meal: a juicy steak, roasted Brussels sprouts, creamy mashed potatoes, and a bright, beautiful salad. Let me tell you, it was magic.

1984 and 2008 Flora Springs Trilogy wines

The 2008 Trilogy is a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Merlot, with a smattering of Petit Verdot and Malbec for good measure. Aged for 22 months in 100% new French oak, this wine has plenty of character. Perfectly balanced tannins intermingled with the right touch of oak and black fruit flavors to yield a delicious wine, with and without food accompaniment. Thirty years into its development, the 1984 Trilogy displayed the brick red hue one might expect, and offered a candied, dried fruit bouquet. These flavors carried through to the palate, offering notes of dried plum and baking spice. While some might say this wine was “past its prime” I liken it to the Audrey Hepburn of wines; an icon, displaying classic beauty throughout its time.  The mature character of the 1984 vintage allowed it to do what we all strive to accomplish: leave a lasting legacy in the mind, and the palate wanting more.

Corks: 1984 and 2008 Flora Springs Trilogy

Cheers!

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Is it Butterflies… Or the Bubbles?

Butterflies_BubblesHappy Love Month to all you Valentine’s Day enthusiasts out there! For those of you that are less enamored with the forced love celebration, at least it’s an excuse to drink champagne with the one you love. Not that you need an excuse, mind you, but there are lots of great deals and promotions this time of year that make taking advantage of this Hallmark-driven holiday a rather attractive proposition (and honestly, how tough can a great meal and bubbly with your loved one really be?).

This Valentine’s Day, why not explore the wonderful world of Sparkling Rosés? This group generally pairs beautifully with the luxurious and decadent world of gastronomy that always seems to envelope this day of love, and provides the extra panache to make your celebration sparkle. Here are my favorite deals for Valentine’s Day 2014:

  1. Wine.com is running a spectacular deal from one of my all-time favorite Champagne houses: the Piper-Heidsieck ROSE-SAUVAGE-BRosé Sauvage “Bodyguard” Limited Edition sparkler is just $49.99 with this deal. That’s 33% off! It’s a dry sparkler, with plenty of brioche notes, red fruit flavors, and toasty richness. The flamboyant, pink crocodile (latex) skin bottle also makes this one perfect for a Valentine’s girls night out! Wine.com also has a number of great deals on sparkling wine and chocolate packages (you know, if one-stop shopping is your thing).
  2. Mumm Napa Brut Reserve Rosé is 20% off for Valentine’s Day; pair it with some pink roses, as they suggest, and you’re on your way to one romantic evening. Mumm even has a creative, easy appetizer recipe to pair with this dry bubbly to set the tone for romance.
  3. At just $14 a bottle, Michelle Brut Rosé doesn’t need a special promotion. A dry sparkler with plenty of character, Michelle offers some cocktail recipes to dress things up even further. While the French Kiss may seem like the logical place to start, my pick would be Everybody’s Sweetheart.

However you decide to celebrate, here’s wishing you a romantic evening worthy of one of these great deals. Cheers!