A Ten Year Old Merlot & Some Random Thoughts

Trying to pick up the pace on the Digital Tavern, but I've been focusing on a rather large project that I'll fill you in on sometime in January. Patience and focus. Two of what have become my ubiquitous phrases when offering advice (solicited or not) to clients and friends.

So the Dr. tells me I've got to control my cholesterol. Good god. I'm committed to doing all I can to avoid medication. Chances are it may not work. Most of this stuff is hereditary. But here I am devouring the oatmeal in the morning, taking long walks, slamming red yeast rice and going in for good doses of Omega-3 and doing my daily intake of psyllium husk. Ahhhh. You gotta love the fiber.

And no. This is not the focus nor patience I'm talking about. But as a pure lamb loving carnivore who jumps at every wine dinner opportunity he can get, this author has cut way back.

But tonight I opened a wine that perhaps I shoulda unleashed years ago: a 1994 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Napa Valley Merlot. I'll admit my expectations were low. Especially given the poor showing a 1994 Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon gave just hours before Tim and I boarded our flight to Portugal a few months back. I won't bore you with the notes. But if you've got that Montelena in your cellar, take my advice and send it to auction.

On the contrary, this 1994 Merlot surprised me. To be sure, Merlot is the grape varietal everyone likes to make fun of — dis, so to speak (that would be colloquially speaking, of course). The nose exhibited an abundance of dried cherry, sandlewood and a hint of asparagus and dried sage. On the palate it tasted ripe showing good acidity and nicely resolved tannins. Full-bodied, round and a respectable finish. Certainly, not the tired cedar, cigar box and leather disappointment I expected. So naturally, I give this wine a well-deserved score of 90 points. Not sure if there is any other bottle in existence as I write this. And I wonder why it lasted so long in my cellar. I can only speculate that I was visionary in my storage strategy. That is, I kept it so I'd have something to drink and write about tonight. I should note the price tag is still on the bottle. At $24.99 in 1995, this wine was not cheap back then — especially for a Merlot. But then again I question Dean's assessment and unfortunate decanting of the same wine only ten years older (1974) tasted just a few months ago. But what a menu.

So Bob Dylan had his 5 minutes on 60 minutes last Sunday. Okay. Maybe it was more, but it only felt like 5 minutes. Unlike the 1994 SLWC Merlot, the Dylan interview was a huge disappointment. I can only imagine that there was just no great material and Dylan was a total bore as an interviewee. I mean editors can work wonders even with the most media challenged talent. But Dylan? Good god. Keep him off television. See him in concert. Listen to him on his records and maybe (just maybe) read his new book — I haven't so I will not speak to his prosaic or storytelling capabilities.

It's the holiday season. My birthday is just a few days away. And to celebrate a few bodies and I are getting together to see what all the fuss is about with Screaming Eagle Cabernet. Screaming Eagle is arguably the most sought after and highest priced Napa Valley Cabernet in history. I guess we'll all find out if it's worth the hype or the price when we pop open four vintages next week. My brother Jon and singer-songwriter legend Al Stewart will join me and others on this historical evening. I'll be sure to report back.

I see Joi is globetrotting again. Been meaning to connect with him. But our schedules are just not syncing yet — I'm anxious to give him a heads up on the aforementioned project I'm working on.

Doc quotes one of my marketing mentors, Al Ries, regarding the lack of focus airline marketers exhibit and why they are getting hammered by my favorite airline to hate: Southwest Airlines.

I hear that Liz may find herself in Southern California early next year. Hope we have a chance to connect. As a closet MT transitional blogger I'm hoping to gain some insight and choke down a few tips over great wine and food.

I've been out of it (blogging) for awhile, but recently I've noticed a lot of activity and pointers to 43 Folders. What's up with that? I mean I haven't been THAT much out of it.