One of the things most enticing aspects of joining a wine club was the ability to taste a winemaker’s offerings over time. Last summer, I took at bottle of Eric Ross’ Struttin’ Red to a poker game. It was a 2010. It was a great bottle for this setting. Most of my fellow aspiring card sharks are beer drinkers, so I was not going to be called to share much more than a swallow. I would also be consuming it over several hours. The fare for these gatherings is a typical chip/salsa, salami, olives, stinky cheese and other spicy bits of summer goodness. The bottle held up terrifically. As the night went on, the wine developed and was different from all four glasses.
Fast forward to a Friday night at the end of my first week back to work after the holiday break. I was tired and had some friends coming to socialize. For fun, I brought my remaining 2010 bottle of Struttin’ from the cellar and opened it along side the 2011 offering. Each wine shared a common structure, but achieved different results on the palate. The 2010 seemed spicier at the finish, but the fruit of the 2011 seemed to life the wine. Bother were incredibly fun to drink and fueled our conversation into the night. I’ll definitely hold on to a couple 2011 bottles to see how they compare to future offerings.