March 23, 2007

Live tasting: 2004 Edmunds St. John Rocks and Gravel

It’s an Élevage first, a live tasting. Meaning, I’m drinking and typing, allatthesametime.

In all seriousness, I usually don’t write while drinking (usually I’ve had my share), but this little wine just made me cozy up to the keyboard and share with y’all.

Now I love a bargain, and the 2004 Edmunds St. John Rocks and Gravel is just that. Locally, you can get this for as little at $14, before the pretty much standard discount for six or 12 bottles depending on the store.

You might be thinking, no, no, no, it’s the 2003 that’s being closed out locally for that price. And that’s true. But the 2004 just showed up and the price tags haven’t changed. So if you like what I think is one of the top California producers of Rhone-variety wines out there, don’t delay. This deal might not last.

What does the wine taste like? I think the winery’s web site does a good job describing things, though I would add that there is a bit of alcohol showing in this otherwise impeccable blend of grenache, mourvedre, and syrah.

It’s earthy but clean, savory but rich in fruit, smokey without the flavors of oak that marr most wines from my native golden state. And the texture, that’s what Edmunds St. John wines are really all about. Silky smooth without any sense of artificial texture enhancers like powdered tannin and fancy tricks in the cellar.

Is it grand vin? You know, the stuff you pay more than you should for, that demands aging in a cellar better than you have. And then there’s the occasion it requires that never comes.

No. This is wine for drinking, preferably with anything grilled, meat or otherwise. It will last a while, but there's no need to hold it.

So pick some up for your summer barbeques, after you’ve downed some nice dry rosé and need something with a little more heft. Wine this good shouldn’t be so cheap. Thank you, I will have some more.


cartermann said...

Haven't had this one yet, although I've bought a few bottles. The R&G really should not be drunk until at least 5-6 years after the vintage and will continue to improve, not just hold, thereafter. The 2001 is drinking really well right now.

Hope all is well. By the way, I love that wine terroirs website you wrote about a while back.

Vincent Fritzsche said...

I was a fool not to buy more of the 2001. That was a favorite. These wines do age, but they're never tannic so they're easy to drink young. Glad you like Wine Terroirs. Bertrand is great.