Saturday, May 1, 2010
A bottle of pure POW!
Last weekend I had an urge to pull out a bottle from my closet and enjoy it with someone. There was a tenderloin left over in my fridge that needed eating, a perfect excuse to bring out a big, bold red. So I invited my friend Curt over, who also brought along his own beef tenderloin, some fresh green beans and some slaw. I baked an acorn squash, seasoned it with butter, nutmeg and brown sugar.
The selected wine was from the Australian producer Mollydooker, the 2007 bottling of The Maitre D, a moderately priced Cabernet Sauvignon from the McLaren Vale. I had heard a lot about the various Mollydooker wines, all of it praiseworthy. But many of these wines are very expensive. The Maitre D, however, I saw for $23, so I picked up a bottle and put it in my closet. That was last year.
Interestingly, this wine is not corked. It has a screw cap. And as more and more research evidence comes out, it is becoming increasingly clear that screw caps are superior to cork. The most recent Wine Spectator has an item that shows evidence that wines with screw caps are protected from oxidation much more effectively than bottles with corks. And you don’t have to worry about tainted corks either.
When we opened this wine, it presented the typical Aussie nose full of jammy fruit. When Curt took his first sip, he immediately said, “Wow!” Indeed, this wine had power. There was big, bold fruit, a chewy punch of blackberry backed with soft tannins. As the wine aired out a bit, the fruit took a softer position, allowing flavors of vanilla and chocolate to come through. Later still, it became toasty. But all the way through the bottle, blackberry played the starring role. Clearly, I think this wine could have managed more time in my closet, even with its less-than-ideal conditions. It went very well with our delicious and tender beef tenderloins, and despite the softer tannins, it matched well also with the acorn squash and all its flavors.
I will certainly consider buying more of the Mollydooker wines I find in the moderate price range, but when it comes to the more expensive items, I’ll stick to my French Rhones.
I’ll rate this one an 8.5. See my wine rating scale at the left.