I just went camping at Mount Sunapee in Sunapee, NH, braving the rains this past weekend with my friends Brian and Steve. Being the budding wine and food enthusiasts we are, we made it a trip punctuated with robust – perhaps excessive – meals, primarily meat from a pan or soup from a can, paired with exceptional beer and wine. Here follows the wines we enjoyed, in the form of scarcely adulterated tasting notes:
2006 Clos du Bois “North Coast” Zinfandel: The kind of wine you drink and forget. Presumably garnet red in the glass (we drank it from plastic cups around a fire, though).
Nose: Overripe lush dark fruit (plums, blackcurrants). Pungent white pepper. Oak toast.
Mouthfeel: Extremely mellow – hot summer? Incredibly ripe. Tannins barely containing fruit, low acidity. Much more oak contaminating the fruit, toasty, smoky. Poorly balanced. Drink now.
Silky. Paired with steak tips rubbed in salt and pepper pan-seared over coals. Bordeaux would have excelled.
2007 Michael Pozzan “Annabelle” Sonoma Pinot Noir: Truly Burgundian character. Cool climate showing in the lean acidity and excellent body. True value, far exceeding normal domestic Pinot. Delicious. Pale brick red in the glass.
Nose: Perfectly presented aromas of red berries and earth.
Mouthfeel: Tannins a whip-crack around the really connected fruit core – so subtle. Raspberries.
Extremely earthy – truffles and loam, a touch of thyme or sage. Bright, intense, balanced. Long finish.
2007 Joseph Carr Merlot: Value buy, personal favorite among Napa makers. Rich and opulent without being overbearing. Well-balanced, great intensity, medium-bodied, long finish. Ruby red in the glass.
Nose: Redcurrants, plums. Slightly earthy.
Mouthfeel: Like the Pozzan Cabernet Sauvignon, like drinking velvet. Tannins so smooth they wash away food without interfering in an obvious way. Acidity just perfect. More red and darker fruit in the mouth accented by a hint of “fruitcake” richness, the Merlot signature. Great with pan-seared steak tips, rubbed in salt and pepper (yes, we did this twice in one weekend).