Monday, January 10, 2011

Owen Roe Sharecropper's Cabernet Sauvignon `07 $19.99 (not TJ's) ***

Washington State.  In wine parlance, it is "New World" and with that comes a lot of new development, creativity and whimsy.  If France is the grandfather of Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington State is the prodigal grandchild who cast aside the dusty accoutrement of collected generations of antiquities and kept the core of the family tree.  In this case, good wine that is true to the flavor profile.  The label and name may be whimsical and iconoclastic but the taste of this wine is classic, and good.

We had just come home from seeing Al Pacino on Broadway as Shylock in the Merchant of Venice (a Broadway adaptation of a classic, a lot like Washington State wine).  The play was edited heavily to humanize Shylock, but I was still stunned by the production; the words of Shakespeare rang true. (Even if 1/3 of the plot was cut out). 

When we got home, I scurried to feed the dog, cat and then the humans.  We had leftovers:  Game pie, chickpeas, chorizo & spinach, and a partial loaf of bread. I was perusing the wine-rack when S said, "Why don't we have this" and she pointed to the bottle of Sharecropper's on the counter. "Why not?" and I ran to get the camera.

Owen Roe Sharecropper's Cabernet Sauvignon `07 was a surprise.  I don't know how it came to be on the counter.  It has a cute label, a horse pulling a cart loaded with a wine barrel, I take it to be a riff on the Conestoga wagons that brought pioneers to the Columbia Valley.  Is Own Roe a wine pioneer?  Yeah, I think so.  I would never have guessed this to be a "New World" Cabernet had it been a blind tasting.  It has all of the hallmarks of a solid Cabernet, a dried cherry/black current taste, intense, a bit juicy, but not overpowering.  A dry(ish) tannin finish, and a smell that is not exactly fruity, but not totally spicy.  It is very distinct, maybe a hint of earthiness?

After aeration (Nuance): This wine became smooth... oh so very smooth.  The tastes were still there, (notably dried cherry) but the smoothness was delightful.  I love the change that aeration creates in wine.  It is like unwrapping a present:  sometimes you get an iron and ironing board and sometimes you get chocolate or an iPad! (what can I say, it was a good Christmas!)

After dinner, we ended the day by watching "Annie Get Your Gun". Although I am not a fan of the message that AGYG sends, (I'm not a fan of how Shakespeare wrote Shylock either); But I am a fan of entertainment, both were entertaining, and spurred some interesting conversation, over a some very good wine (and Port!)

Since I can't seem to find a clip of Barbara Hutton singing "Anything you can do, I can do better", I'll just end today with a nod to Mr. Pacino.  He really was an amazing Shylock.

If you prick us, do we not bleed? 
If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?
And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? 
If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.
The Merchant Of Venice Act 3, scene 1, 58–68

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