Thank DOG I Don’t Have to Unfriend Christie

Oh, how I love trying a friend’s wine.  OK, a couple of corrections there.  First of all, it’s not a friend-friend, just a facebook friend.  Larry Schaffer wouldn’t now me from Adam, and I only follow him because he is mildly interesting, has a blog which is extremely wine-nerdy, and speaks the wine-snark fluently–though often with a decidedly unhumoros somm-tone.  Oh–that and we have 152 mutual friends.  And while I LOVE trying *friends’* wine, there is a giant cringe-factor which can play into not only how you actually ‘source’ a wine, but how long it takes you to get around to it.  I mean–EVENTUALLY, it,s gonna happen.  We are so connected these days.  I went to follow a winemaker on InstaGram the other day and found I had been following him for months! And then there is the OMG HERE WE GO part.  Am I going to even be able to WRITE about this?  WHAT IF IT TOTALLY SUCKS?!?! This wine did not start off on the right foot.

Worst Screw-top EVAR.  Either a flaw with this one bottle–hopefully–or the entire run, but the skirt is not chamfered or ‘spun’ into the groove below the cap.  To compound this, the threads on the cap itself were completely stripped.  And, yes, I know how to open a screw-top wine.  Do you?  Dorks skip the next paragraph:

A screw-top wine is not opened with the thumb and fore-finger like a bottle of Pepto-Bismo or a plastic Pepsi bottle.  Grasp the entire cap and skirt–just place the entire neck of the bottle in your palm–in the palm of your hand, thumb-up–heel-up, and twist the ENTIRE assembly together in the palm of your hand.  You will feel the gap be created between the cap and the skirt as the skirt spins on the neck-chamfer and the cap unthreads upwards.  Oh and do me a favor:  Pass this one to 1 or 500 waiters in the area who still open screw-top wines like a bottle of Bud.

I hate screw-tops.  Let’s get that out of the way.  I HATE SCREW-TOPS.  And when this one came apart in my hands, it did not help this wine’s grade.

Clear darkish ruby with clear edges.  OVERWHELMING nose blasts you in the face un-apologetically casually waiting for you to get out of the way.  Perfectly ripe cherry and coca-cola and apple butter polish with a little vit-C, sweet oak and a wisp of dank briar.  A bit thin on entry, but fruit rounds out perfectly in middle while a lovely acidic bite steers everything into the slightly polishing but still-lively tannin.  A touch of heat early-finish, but not enough to whine about.  Just a fabulous wine.  Balanced and nuanced in all the right ways.

2009 TERCERO Grenache Cuvée Christie Santa Barbara Co. 14.5

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