Random Wine Notes While Eating Extruded Bison
Recent unbottlings, accompanied by a variety of sausages and other processed meat products courtesy of the Swan Valley Co-op private label "Lake Country Select".
Niagara - Stratus Red 2002: Been waiting to dip into a bottle ever since I started seeing the White Stratus pop up on the wine list at the Sparrow, Crush and The Swan.
Was the first bottle of the evening, and is developing very nicely. Sipped with some home made foccacia. When I bought it last year, had a distinct orange peel finish to it which has mellowed out. One of the more complex Niagara Reds and highly recommended. Is it the Opus One of Canada? Not yet.. .but on its way.
California - Ridge Lytton Springs 2004: Second bottle of the night, paired nicely with the lamb sausages. Little bit of zin zip, a touch young and oaky perhaps but a nice treat shared by some good friends. Made me run home and check out my Ridge box. Still hanging on to a '02 Sonoma Station for a couple more years I think.
New Mexico - Shared my last La Bomba Grande as the third bottle after the Stratus and the Ridge. Recounted the story of the mad professor who made it, relived the breathtaking beauty of the canyon-side vista of the tasting room.
Niagara - Marynissen Merlot 1999: Excellent with the bison garlic sausage. Marynissen was the first VQA winery Sheena started seriously collecting many years ago. Still doing lovely reds. Some of the older vinifera in the region and it shows. Their merlots have always been a bit bigger and richer than most. And this one holding up nicely. Probably won't push the 1/2 case that is left more than another 2-3 years. A vertical tasting is beginning to speak to me....
And the extruded bison? Well, when you buy the buffalo jerky at the Swan River co-op, and then read the checkout receipt, that is exactly how it is bar coded. "Extruded Bison". Yum.