August 29th, 2011

Sarah Goes To The Swinery.

Garagiste fired up the old grill again last week. We soaked in a little sun on a gorgeous Friday afternoon and enjoyed some burgers from Seattle’s ‘Temple of Porcine Love’.

The Swinery, an excellent name for a butchery, occupies  a small space in West Seattle.  It is unabashedly devoted to fulfilling a carnivore’s deepest desires. We arrived looking for burger supplies and left with that plus sweet coppa for snacking and some hot links for sampling made only hours before. To up the ante of our little soiree we opened a flight of Malbecs: two Cahors and one each from the Loire, Jumilla, and Mendoza. Meaty wines for a beefy menu. 

Masquerading under many different guises the line up split the tasting party with half.  Some enjoyed the Malbecs regional differences while others were completely turned off by the wine's savory animal qualities and tannins. 

2007 Cantelauze Rose Four years old and still drinking with more flavor than some 2010 roses sampled earlier in the summer. I wouldn’t hold onto this wine much longer. Though it will certainly hold up to lighter fall fare and hopefully your last bottle is gone as the turkey is coming out of the oven in November.

2005 La Chapiniere Cot The quaffer of the bunch with pleasing flavors of cherry, figs, and mild chalky tannins.

2004 Pico Madama Monastrell Petit Verdot For such a warm region the better made wines from Jumilla manage to maintain balance in acidity and tannin structure.   The complementary chocolate, leather, fig, raisin, and spice flavors showed the wine's age without seeming baked.  

2008 Tikal Patriota Mendoza  Brash and fruity without the unappealing cream soda quality I find in Malbecs treated to excessive new oak. 

2004 Un Jour Cahors Brooding and opaque.  This aubergine hued Malbec lived up to its gothic reputation with a modern twist.  The tannins on the Cahors did not disappoint. Along with a more terrior based nose came chalky tannins that stripped all moisture from your gums. Not the friendliest wine from the word go. Two days later and the tannins had calmed like a still sea after a rough storm to show a wine with old world power sown together with graceful fruit flavors of black currant. It had come out of its shell so to speak.