Friday started another weekend of wine assimilation. Last night we got together with friends and decided to make wine the main course of the evening. The first bottle we corked was a ubiquitous Bogel Petite Syrah 2004. It's been some time since I had this wine, but I thought I'd see how my taste buds have changed. It didn't taste as good as I remember. I thought it had a juicy quality that I don't care for.
After polishing off that bottle we took a field trip to a liquor store adjacent to a Costco store. I know, this is sinful in the eyes of someone that has become accustomed to wine boutiques, but it wasn't a let down. First off, they had free samples from Martha Clara Vineyards from the North Fork of Long Island. Each wine we tasted was almost half of the price you pay at the winery, but we ended up buying two Cabernet Sauvignons from not so ordinary regions as well as a Merlot from Navarra Spain.
We opened an Argentine Catena Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza and tasted it next to a Cousino Macul Cabernet Sauvignon from Maipo Valley, Chile, both from the 2003 vintage. While being extremely different they both delivered for the prices we paid (around $13). The Catena was full very full bodied with concentrated dark fruit flavor and a touch of pepper. Very reminiscent of quality California Cabs for twice the price. The Cousino Macul had a remarkable dusty aroma that I could only associate with the odor of a moist cavern. Dark fruit flavor with sweet tannins that end on an earthy note. They were so different that I could not pick a favorite over the other. The Chilean one is much more interesting although it isn't as crowd pleasing as the Catena.
The Monjardin Merlot Deyo 2002 seemed to go over well too. This Spanish merlot was mysterious and it seemed to show a maturity and complexity I rarely taste in a straight merlot. All three of these wines were a bargain. There were several other bottles that caught my eye there at the Costco infected wine store including some Italian reds and a few Oregon Pinot Noirs.