It's been a slow week and not a particularly good one for wine, at least for me. At the start of the week, I clearly had whatever the wine equivalent of a black thumb is. To start, I opened a bottle of the Wooldridge Creek 1998 Applegate Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and found that either it was meant to be fizzy or the bottle was corked (unusual given that it had a synthetic cork). With its highlights of kerosene and naptha, I dumped it and and opened a 1997 Chauteau Soussans Margaux. Ugh. It went beyond disappointing: it wasn't corked, it was just nasty -- thin, astringent, and a totally flat finish. At that point, I switched to beer for the evening -- when you dump two bottles of wine down the drain in an evening, you're not looking at good odds.

The next night, I popped open a known winner: a 2002 Tyrus Evan Syrah (from Walla Walla) and enjoyed its fruit and spice. And yesterday I went to Whole Foods to find they were having a tasting: 5 wines for $1. So I tasted five 2003 Marquis Philips wines. The starters were all in the $17 range and included a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Merlot, a Shiraz, and a blend called Alice's Blend. I finished with their premium Shiraz 9 (which stood at $40). I'm not a big fan of Merlot as a standalone varietal, and this one wasn't a standout. The blend similarly didn't impress me. But the Cabernet and the two Shirazes were wonderful. So, net-net:

Good

  • Tyrus Evan 2002 Syrah
  • Marquis Philips 2003 Shiraz 9
  • Marquis Philips 2003 Shiraz
  • Marquis Philips 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon

 Not so good

  • Wooldridge Creek 1998 Applegate Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Chauteau Soussans Margaux 1997
  • Marquis Philips 2003 Merlot
  • Marquis Philips 2003 Alice's Blend