With the longest thirty days in this year and still counting, people have had a chance to do some extra cleaning and straightening and it is probably still an ongoing endeavor, as so many people are still working from home. My Bride is still working as hard as ever from the home office, in fact she created a new command center and took over the half of the library and I am still attempting to adjust to retirement. As I have reported, my Bride has been experimenting with new recipes and I think that we have been enjoying the fruits of the cellar, especially after I had made an inventory of what is down on the main wall at least, and all the while maintaining my writing and all the extra duties that it entails.
One of the older wines that was totally forgotten about, and I checked to see if I had even mentioned it, on my original article and I had, but there was no mention of it on the print out from the winery. I found a bottle of Prager Winery and Port Works Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1995, and it was purchased in 1999. Prager Winery and Port Works was founded in 1979 by Jim and Imogene Prager who thought and proved that world class ports could be produced in Napa Valley. His first releases were a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Chardonnay and his original Noble Companion Port and the total production was only one-hundred-twenty cases, and he is now up to four-thousand cases. With his wife and seven children and some in-laws, it is still a family affair and I can still recall all the fun we had tasting the wines all for the princely sum of five dollars, of course time have changed and it is now forty dollars for a tasting and you keep the glass. We had Jim Prager doing the pouring that day. I can find no production notes on this wine, but I know that we liked it, because we had basically bought a couple of cases of assorted Ports and this one bottle. For being a quarter of a century, this wine still had the color, nose and taste of a much younger wine and it probably had another ten years before it would have started showing its age; that is the joy and the sorrow of having a cellar and only one bottle of a particular wine.
The other oldie, but goodie that I found was a Tommasi Valpolicella Classico Superiore “Rafael Vineyard” 1993 and the funny thing is that later that evening one of the other bloggers that I enjoy had mentioned that he had opened a similar bottle only twenty years younger. Tommasi Viticoltori is one of the largest wine producers in the Veneto and they are known for their Amarone dell Valpolicella Classico wines. The winery was founded in 1902 and today there are multiple members of the fourth generation in the company. They are based in the Piedmont, in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico zone. Valpolicella means “the valley of many cellars” and some liken it to be the Italian Beaujolais, because of all the versions and how at one time it was pushed and expanded in its production. The wine is probably known in importance as falling after Chianti, Barolo and Brunello for name recognition, quality and quantity and was awarded a DOC in 1968. The grapes used for Valpolicella in its many versions are Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and Molinara. The term Superiore may be attached to any of the wines of the Valpolicella region if the wine has final alcohol proof level of eleven percent or higher and if it has been aged for at least a year prior to commercial release. When we had this wine, it was feisty out of the bottle with a strong nose and then it opened up and blossomed in the glass during dinner. It was a pleasure drinking it and it was much better compared to plenty of the wines that we have encountered in restaurants today. Unfortunately, we didn’t finish the bottle with dinner and the next day, even though I had sealed it using a pump, the life was gone and thankfully there was not much left to lament. The good news is that we have been having some great fortune with some of the older and forgotten bottles in the cellar.