By now, some of you may be aware that the Easter Season is upon us, actually when you read this, Easter will have past and that is all well and good, as I do like to get ahead with my writings whenever I can. Some of you, may also be aware that basically Holidays and family gatherings were taboo, unless you have a private jet and then you can do whatever your heart desires. For us peons, there was always the concern that the State was hiring an army of Gladys Kravitz’s to snoop and report on neighbors if you had God forbid family or friends visit. Everyone had visions of battering rams and SWAT teams descending on your home for trying to maintain some serenity and sense during this period of lockdown.
As you know, hopefully, I have been making some sense of the wine cellar. It is amazing at the projects one can find during forced lockdowns. I had put plenty of white wines in the auxiliary refrigerator in the garage of both wines that I knew were good for immediate consumption and bottles that I wasn’t sure if they were still with us, or among the honored dead. I went out and rearranged the refrigerator, to make better use of the space, and neither of us drink diet pop (or soda for you non-Michigan heathens) and hopefully we will eventually find out, if we have been using valuable real estate for flat-uncarbonated drinks. I also found an almost empty half-gallon bottled of Margaritas, and for the science-minded, I can report that the Margaritas were still tasty and one less bottle taking up space. I grabbed two bottles that I was pretty sure that they had over-stayed their time in the cellar, just by looking at the color of the wine. I may be wrong, and it is a bit fuzzy, but it seems to me that fifty years ago, most of the white wines were in colored glass bottles to diminish the effects of light and especially sunlight.
The first bottle that I opened was a Martin Codax Albarino Rias Baixas 2006 from Spain. Martin Codax is a co-operative of growers in the Rias Baixas. It was formed in 1986 and is named for a famous troubadour from the 13th Century of old romantic Spain. The winemaker and one of the original founders of Martin Codax is Luciano Amoedo, who was also one of the most vocal in getting Denominacion de Origen (DO) appellation for Rias Baixas in 1988 and the main varietal for the co-operative is Albarino. While the orange-amber shade may be an interesting draw for a lager, it was a pretty good visual that the wine had not aged well. It had a solid synthetic cork that was a devil to remove, but I guess it wasn’t as air-tight as it appeared to be in the struggle to uncork the bottle. I took one sip and it was enough to let me know that the drain in the sink would appreciate it more than I would. The other bottle was Haywood Estate Winery Vintner’s Select Sauvignon Blanc California 2003. Peter Haywood founded his Haywood Estates Los Chamizal Vineyards and had his first crush in 1980 and he began a history that started with Zinfandel. The vineyard overlooks the historic town of Sonoma. This particular wine that I had was not an estate wine, it carried the California appellation which meant that the fruit could be sourced from wherever and blended to offer a good opening price wine. Once again, the color was very dark, but since I have had some history of having some older Sauvignon Blanc wines that held up, in spite of the color of the wine, I was willing to try again. Unfortunately, even with the wine really chilled, I could not drink it, it was passed it time, and several people have written over the years that an over chilled white wine can mask flaws and make the wine palatable, but it didn’t work here. Thankfully neither of the two wines were that dear in price, to make this a tragedy.