Unplanned Insomnia, Fresh Start

I NEVER have trouble with insomnia. I can sleep just about anytime and anywhere, but tonight I just couldn’t. After a few games on the phone and staring at the darkness, I remembered that nothing helps me sleep like a glass of red wine. I don’t know why, but it does.

That brings me to my next point. Over the last few years Julie and I have purchased a LOT of wine. Texas wine, mostly, and we have yet to make much of a dent in the cellar stock… so I went rummaging through my shelves of wine looking for just the right bottle to open. I wanted something I haven’t opened at home before, but also something that I would be pretty sure would satisfy my “appetite”.

If you know me well, you know that I like bold – but not turpentiney – red wines. I have a good Chateau Neuf de Pape waiting on the top shelf, but I need to let that wait a lot longer. I also have some really nice Texas Tannats (Westcave and Bending Branch) that would satisfy me quite nicely, but I want to open those when I can share and see people’s eyes light up and their jaws drop. Yep, they are that good.

I have at least two bottles of Hilmy Politics and Religion… 2010, that is. OMG those are yummy, but I want to share them as well. There’s William Chris Junkyard Dog. Again, that’s for knocking people’s socks off. Then there’s my prize collection of Sandstone Cellars Touriga. That’s a little too much for a nightcap…

To tell you the truth, I really want a Cabernet Sauvignon, but I honestly don’t have many. I quit buying Texas Cabs a while back because they just weren’t “right”. Especially when I can get a nice Napa Cab for so much less…

Note: I DO have some really nice Texas Cabs, but they are older Pleasant Hill and library Messina Hof bottles that I don’t want to open just yet.

Then I spotted a bottle that I forgot I had. Bending Branch 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon from Newsom Vineyards grapes. Let’s see… I have never been disappointed with any bottle of Bending Branch anything that I have opened at home, so I pulled it out and noticed at least one more bottle below it. Hmmm. I must have bought two for some good reason…

I wish I hadn’t smashed the screen on my Surface Pro because I really want to do a Visual Tasting. Definitely a solid Cabernet Sauvignon with just a little bite to it like I like yet still presenting good fruit. Now I wish I had a steak to go with it. Yet it still works well as a blogging companion tonight. I apologize for not being able to describe it very well, but I’ll do what I can. The nose is blackberry on top of a black cherry base. The tannins present well on the nose, giving it some earthiness without overpowering the fruit. Celery. Very faint celery is how I perceive the tannins. I LIKE celery, so it’s a good thing.

The mouth feel is dry, but not because the tannins overpower the fruit. I can barely feel the alcohol except in my throat – I didn’t even look to see the content of it. Tannins are definitely unfolding as the back of my tongue is happy and not cringing.

It actually finishes wetter than it starts with the earthiness still hanging around.It’s a long, smooth finish. And I’m ready for another sip.

Maybe we need to treat Texas Cabernet Sauvignons like we do old-world Cabs. Buy them early and let them sit. Just about every winemaker and wine writer I have met agree that for some reason, Texas wines do much better when they are allowed to age in the barrel and bottle instead of being pushed out the door.

That’s one thing I really like about John and the Bending Branch family (and many other Texas winemakers) – they do it right.

I will sleep well now.


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