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Battle of the Bottom Feeders

Outer Limits

At this year’s South by South Wine Festival, a 1987 Guenoc Merlot was de-robed and thrown into the ring as a “gag”, so I took it upon myself to find a challenger. Out of the cellar walked the 1978 Ernest & Julio Gallo Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve. I was fairly confident that the Gallo was senile, lost, and most-likely deceased.

To my surprise, I was mistaken. Both of these contenders were still alive. The Guenoc having survived its glamslam 80’s identity crisis was cloudy with a bright nose. Standing under a belittled prejudice, the Gallo stood tall, still holding color, fruit, and a fuller mouth. Odds were against these under-estimated underdogs. Neither was very good, but each deserved respect. The gag was on us. Laughing in disbelief, it became a game. Of the 15 votes officially tallied…Gallo 10. Guenoc 5.


Wine Auction Packages – Highland Fling 2006

Outer Limits

The following 2 Auction Packages raised funds for educational causes. What can you do? See what your donation could do!

LIVE AUCTION PACKAGE ONE (2 Baskets & Consultation- Raised $700) 1. “Best of Breeds” Basket (Donor: Aimee & Greg Randle and Central Market Westgate)

2001 Rodano Chianti Classico (Italy)

This powerfully-built, dense, elegant, and moderately tannic Chianti reveals loads of fruit and is everything a Chianti is supposed to be. Forget the garbage that normally passes as Chianti inAustin. This is Chianti. (GTR) 95% Sangiovese/5% Cabernet Sauvignon

2003 Garaudet Pommard Noizons (France)

Through all of the “Sideways” Pinot Noir craze, somehow we’ve ended up on the other side of the tracks, clapping our hands in honor of Pinot Noir ‘wannabes’ that don’t taste like Pinot Noir. Through the usual hit and miss of Burgundy (especially in 2003), this is a bulls-eye. From the homeland of Pinot Noir comes a Pinot Noir that can back up what is says. How refreshing to have a Pinot Noir that is humble and honest, but shines as a sophisticate. White Pepper. Black Pepper. Cinnamon. Fruit. Spice. Yum, Yum… (GTR) 100% Pinot Noir

2002 Susana Balbo Cabernet Sauvignon (Argentina)

This medium to full-bodied wine reveals the truth about Cabernet Sauvignon. Cab is good food. Compared with most of the overpriced, one-dimensional, personality-less Cabernet Sauvignons from the U.S., this actually tastes like the varietal it represents. Its personality is tightly wound and its finish drives this ‘raw ungabunga’ with dry tannin. (GTR) 85% Cabernet Sauvignon/15% Malbec

2003 Brothers in Arms No. 6 (Australia)

 “The 2003 No. 6 exhibits a deep ruby/purple-tinged color along with a spicy, fragrant nose of ground pepper and Maryland’s Old Bay crab seasoning. The intriguing aromatics are followed by a fruity red with a good texture as well as supple tannin. This relatively new operation was formed by growers who got tired of seeing their grapes made into wines that fetched high prices and received top awards when made by other wineries.” (Parker) 70% Shiraz/30% Cabernet Sauvignon

2003 Domaine L’Oratoire Cairanne Rsv de Seigneurs (France)

“Syrah dominates the dark ruby/purple-colored 2003 Cotes du Rhone-Villages Cairanne Reserve des Seigneurs. Revealing sweet fruit in addition to a chunky, robust constitution with loads of blackberry and currant fruit, low acidity, and a ripe, fat finish.” (Parker) 75% Grenache/25% Syrah

2001 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre (Italy)

The full-bodied Palazzo della Torre, , reveals a deep ruby/purple color along with chocolate, earth, smoke, melted asphalt, black currant, licorice, and new oak in the aromatics. It is a heady, intense, surprisingly powerful, substantial red to drink with grilled meats over the next 2-5 years. (Parker) 70% Corvina/25% Rondinella/5% Sangiovese

2. “Randle Collection” Basket (Donor: Aimee & Greg Randle)

1996 Ch St. Jean Cinq Cepages

The dark ruby/purple-colored 1996 Cinq Cepages exhibits a moderately intense nose of black cherries, chocolate, smoke, dried herbs, and toasty oak. As reported last year, it appears to be California’s version of a big, rich St.-Emilion. Offering elegance and finesse along with copious quantities of fruit, glycerin, and flavor, this medium to full-bodied wine has evolved nicely over the last year, and can be drunk now as well as over the next 12-15 years. Wine Spectator #1 on Top 100 List… (Parker) (75% Cabernet Sauvignon…and Cabernet Franc/Merlot/Malbec/Petit Verdot)

1997 Joseph Phelps Insignia

Joseph Phelps’ flagship wine is their fabulous Insignia, a wine with a tremendous track record back to the debut vintage of 1974. It is produced in significant quantities (18,000-20,000 cases) for a wine of such quality. The prodigious 1997 Insignia lives up to its pre-bottling promise. Tasted on three separate occasions, every bottle has hit the bull’s eye. The color is a saturated thick-looking blue/purple. The nose offers up explosive aromas of jammy black fruits, licorice, Asian spices, vanillin, and cedar. Full-bodied as well as exceptionally pure and impressively endowed, this blockbuster yet surprisingly elegant wine cuts a brilliant swath across the palate. A seamless effort with beautifully integrated acidity, sweet tannin, and alcohol, it is still an infant, but can be drunk with considerable pleasure. Anticipated maturity: now-2025. Wine Spectator #5 on Top 100 List… (Parker) (83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, and 3% Petit-Verdot)

1998 Silver Oak Napa

The attractive dark ruby/purple color is accompanied by sweet aromas of cassis, smoked herbs, oak, and earth. Gritty tannin is noticeable in the finish. Drink this Cabernet during its first 10-12 years of life. (Parker) (93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot)

3. Two-Hour Wine Consultation with Greg Randle (Donor: Greg Randle) You will also receive a consultation to help select wines for your cellar, organize your cellar, or to help you orchestrate a wine tasting. An unbelievable chance for you to have a personal, custom-wine consultant at your fingertips!

SILENT AUCTION PACKAGE ONE (Raised $115) “World of Syrah” Basket (Donor: Aimee & Greg Randle and Central Market Westgate)

2002 Qupe Syrah Central Coast (USA-California)

“I actually preferred the 2002 Syrah Central Coast.
California’s answer to Crozes-Hermitage, it offers up notes of black currants and cherries, considerable herbaceousness, and a peppery, crisp, elegant, medium-bodied style. Drink this attractive Syrah over the next several years.” (Parker)

2004 Cimicky Shiraz Trumps (Australia)

“A great value, the outstanding 2004 Shiraz Trumps is a 100%
Shiraz aged in old wood. It exhibits a dark ruby/purple hue along with a forceful, flamboyant nose of road tar, blackberry and cassis fruit, licorice, and pepper. This opulent, savory, expansive cuvee will provide thrilling drinking over the next 2-3 years. For some reason, this high quality winery never receives the press it merits.” (Parker)

2002 Salentein Syrah (Argentina)

”This Syrah is full bodied, intensely flavored, and complex and fleshy; a well-structured Syrah, with tastes of black licorice, plum, toasted oak, and beef. Similar in style to many Napa Syrahs. A long, long finish. “ (Wiegand)

2003 Montes Alpha Syrah (Chile)

”Suave, stylish wine, with aromatic black cherry, blackberry, vanilla, violet and mineral notes. Shows darkly roasted coffee bean and tar notes on the finish, but relies on guile and finesse overall. With the 2003, cutting-edge Chilean winemaker Aurelio Montes has made a Syrah that is more stylish and fruit-driven than in previous vintages. The grapes are harvested from a low-yielding hillside vineyard in the Apalta Valley. Aged in French oak for a year. #62 on Spectator’s Top 100 List. Drink now through 2007.” (Spectator) 90% Syrah/10% Cab Sauv

2003 Durand Syrah (France)

Way down in the appellation of Corbieres (in southwest France) Guilhem Durand produces one of the world’s best-value Syrahs. Nuances of ripe black plum make this generous red immediately inviting. Hints of tobacco, dark chocolate and roasted herbs and black pepper provide extra complexity and character. And although rich and accesible on its own, this over-achieving red has enough acidity and grip to pair with just about all things Provencal! (KL)


Tea Brewing Instructions

Outer Limits

The temperature and quality of the water is very important. We encourage infusers so you can control the steeping time. Your personal tastes and the type of tea determine the temperature and time:
Black Tea – boiling water (212 deg F) 3-5 minutes
Green Tea – below boiling (165-190 deg F) 2 minutes
Oolong Tea – boiling or below (190-212 deg F) 3-7 minutes
White – below boiling (190-208 deg F) 5-7 minutes (try boiling & below boiling)
Puerh – boiling water (212 deg F) 3-5 minutes
Rooibos – boiling water (212 deg F) 4-10 minutes
Herbal Tissanes – boiling water (212 deg F) 5 minutes
Many Green, Oolong, and White Teas can sustain multiple infusions. Brew longer for each infusion.
(from the Tea Embassy)

…and don’t forget Sun Tea… Tea of the Gods…
Let it brew outside in the sun for 2 days…


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