Thursday, June 11, 2009

Joseph Phelps, Le Mistral 2005 ($35)

Monterey county, CA

I first tried this wine a few years ago at a somewhat high priced steakhouse. It was priced, as most restaurant wine prices are, at higher than retail yet I couldn’t complain as it was moderately priced (around $75), compared to everything else at well over $100. Upon the server’s recommendation and after asking for their choices in red blends, I decided to try it. At the time, I remembered it to be a very nice, well-balanced wine, which accompanied our steaks perfectly.

Created in the style of a Rhone wine from France, the blend consists of the following grape varietals:
59% Syrah
23% Grenache
8% Carignane
5% Petite Sirah
5% Alicante Bouschet

Fast forward a few years now as I found this on the shelf of a local wine shop (Total Wine). I was curious to see how the current vintage (’05) was compared to what I had a few years back. Sorry, I don’t remember that vintage year. Once again, this proved to be quite nice and I probably should have grabbed a few more bottles to hang onto. I’m hoping the store has more ’05 when I return.

With subtle scents of leather, black pepper and ripe strawberries it suddenly brought me back to the wonderful steak dinner I originally had with this wine. The taste encompassed blackberries, cocoa and a hint of peppery-spiciness. On the finish you’ll find a pleasant, silky mouth feel making this a medium to full bodied wine. In my opinion, this wine is definitely ready to drink and may be cellared for 1-3 years more. The 2006 vintage is released now yet I haven’t had a chance to try it.

Enjoy with your next NY strip or rib eye on the grill this summer.

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