TN: Brunello, roses, VdP Cab, Chard by the river

By Wednesday Monday's brutal heat and humidtity were a distant memory. Sunny, low humidity, high of 79. I rendevoused with a load of friends for the riverfront concert, bearing grilled squid salad, "Spiritual" salmon (prepared with tequila, bourbon, and vodka, from a local smokehouse), cheeses, and salami. Others had ribs, a variety of salads, fruit, more cheeses. Lovely lovely night, good music (the Brooklyn Big Band), lively breeze (some people went to cars for sweatshirts!), gorgeous sunset over the Palisades. And, of course, wine:
NV Juve y Camps Cava rose Really dry, cranberry with a nice bitter lemon note, I'd like it a bit more but it seems rather thin. B-
2009 Alois Lageder Lagrein rose Cherries, raspberries, flowers, a touch austere. A hint of tannin. Nice. B
2004 Michel Bouzereau Bourgogne Chardonnay Lighter styled, apple fruit with a little hint of oak. Could use a little more heft and acidity, but not bad. B- =A0 2008 Les Traverse de Fontanes (VdP d'Oc) Fred pours me this blind, asks me to guess grape. Sniffing I get cherries and herb, first sip lots of acid. I say Sangiovese, realize I'm wrong before he even answers- Fred's French, he's not buying Italian wine! I revisit, still dominated by acid, the fruit is more red currant, with a little brett and a lot of green bell pepper. I switch to Cab Franc, no, it's Cabernet Sauvignon from the Languedoc. I'm shocked they couldn't get it riper! Others like this, but I'll pass. C+ =A0 2004 San Filippo "Le Lucere" Brunello di Montalcino OK, one of the hazards of winegeekdom is that non-wine people bring special bottles for you to try. My friend Dolores had splurged and bought a 2004 Brunello, from a producer unfamilar to me. Usually when I try Brunellos I don't know they are a spoofy mess, a thin poor substitute for CCR, or a spoofy poor substitute for CCR. Happily, this turned out not to be the case. A solid and tasty bottle of seemingly traditonal Brunello. Good acidity, prominent tannins, this needs time. Black cherry and raspberry, pomegranite, orange zest. Quite tasty. B+
OK, overall not greatest wine night by river. But our little group wasn't so little, and tons of good spirit, good conversation, and deep satisfaction with the setting, music, and weather. That's better than an '82 Mouton!
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
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