4 cheers for me! Not 3 cheers, 4 cheers!  This is to toast my 4.0GPA after eight months of dedicated nostrils to the textbooks.  If i can keep my brain sharp over the summer by practicing on the software learned, sketching daily, and trying to get the jump on the material for Term 3 in September, fingers crossed I will succeed.

I have been tasting vino, cooking with vino, sharing vino experiences with friends and discovering many new vinos in the huge wine markets here in Minneapolis – more  than ever available at the LCBO’s largest stores in Ontario.

Las Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha 2007 is on the very edge of its cellarability and many retailers are trying to clear out old inventory.  This dusty bottle was discovered at Haskell’s in Apple Valley for ~$12.00USD.  Experience tells me this Spanish vino will be big.  Really rich and spicy on the nose but medium on the palate.

About an hour before dinner, I popped this baby open; just in case it needed decanting. Deep dark purple with slow thick legs! Jeepers!! This stuff is potent at 14.5% alc/vol! Rich nose of licorice, black fruits and a lingering whiff of cedar.  The mouth-feel is indeed medium and a little fiery as that alcohol stings the tongue a bit; tannic weight is medium too, so there’s not much puckeriness from that.  Swallow is smooth and slick leaving a moderate finish of chocolate and pepper.   I like it just as it is and it will pair perfectly with dinner, but i WILL decant to mellow out some of the alcohol’s sharpness…

We’ve scored some elk sausages so we’ll be grilling them up and topping them with tomato sauce (roma tomatoes, shallots, garlic and day-old baguette whizzed up in the food processor with a little (a lot) olive oil).  Elk is typically VERY lean, but with these sausages, there’s enough fat to keep the moisture content high.  Grilled just until the juices run clear then let to rest  five or so minutes.

The decanted Garnacha poured out into my now-favorite stemless glasses and passed around the table.  YUM!!!  Soft and mellow in the mouth without that harsh zing of alcohol, cleansing acidity against the sausage fat and tomato sauce.  Awesome.




**images credit:  “Haskell’s, The Wine People”  Reposted and linked in good faith.  Image is not the property of thevinoboy.com and is reposted under fair-use provisions for product review and critique.

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