This is the only bottle of wine I've ever kept long enough to actually collect a significant amount of dust. I've been hold on to it for some sort of special occasion.
Some of you might suspect what has occasioned my opening of this bottle. For the rest I'll tell you at the bottom. Let me just say, however, that this wine was worth the wait. This is Val Verde Winery's Sangiovese. They only make about 200 bottles a year, and they generally sell out in the first few weeks. They don't even offer samples; there's just not enough of it to waste a bottle for samples. I bought this in August 2003, just before I left Del Rio, Texas, for the last time, not knowing whether it would be any good. But I knew I wanted to have it on a special occasion, so it's been sitting in the house unopened for two years and change.
Let me say, it's terrific, starting with the glorious color. The nose includes notes of blackberry and pomegranate, and if you close your eyes even a hint of a nice juicy steak--really. And it works. Low alcohol content--only 11.5%--makes it sublimely drinkable (unlike most of the California reds I've had lately), yet it's still very dry. And the taste--oh, forget it. It tastes like extremely good red wine. I can only do the wine snob thing for so long (I'm going to have to work on that before my Nebraska Hedonist trip this summer). Let's just leave it that this stuff is outstanding and if you're ever in Del Rio in late summer, you should get some.
Today was one of the wettest days in Tampa history, the fourth wettest on record as of 5'30 this evening--but it's still raining. We've had about 8 inches so far in downtown, 10 out at the airport; MacDill saw seven. Parts of South Tampa have seen as much as a foot of rain. Roads were closed, cars flooded. But in Tampa we got off easy; part of Pinellas County across the bay saw 15 inches of rain in the 8 hours between 9 and 5 today--and as I said, it's still raining. At one point today it was raining at the rate of 4 inches per hour. And this is coming with thunderstorms, embedded hail--we were even under a tornado watch for most of the day. Amazing for February; good thing I like rain.
It was funny, though, around 11'30 or so out at MacDill we actually got a break from the rain. The clouds parted for just the briefest moment, and the sun shone through. A sunbeam landed directly on my cell phone, and it rang. And it was the University of Virginia, calling to tell me I'd been accepted.
And that was the special occasion.