The Next Day
The next day, after our visit to the Jack Daniel's Distillary, we were driving back to the Franklin's house. We stopped into the Wild Oats, now owned by Whole Foods, and got a few munchies and snacks for dinner. I was not yet hungry after the huge lunch and fried okra I ate, but I played along.
We started with 4 cheeses. We got a lemon stilton, a cheddar, a hard Italian, and a horseradish aged cheddar. The funny one was the lemon stilton. For me it was a love hate. The bits of lemon mixing with the creamy stilton was nothing like I have ever had. The aroma was a stilton lemon pledge scent that grew on me. I actually tried the horseradish one first, which has been a strongly flavored favorite of mine for snack. That was a good thing that I did. After I tried the lemon stilton, that about over powered the all the cheeses including the horseradish one.
We also cut up some Tuscan bread from Provence. We dipped it in some olive oil spiked with salt, pepper and parm cheese. We sat chatting and nibbling while a big pot of water was boiling to cook up some raviolis that were left at the Franklin's house, and were from Costco. We nibbled more while the Burghs fixed up another batch of beans and greens. I gotta say, after eating so well all summer, after eating Lazzaroli's raviolis and fresh pasta, it is tough to go back to the Costco brand of anything. We tried to dress the Costco raviolis with olive oil and parm, but it did not help. I am not going to on about that anymore cuz it was lack luster to say the least. What I really want to talk about...
is the wine. Here is the story. The Franklin guy went on his 1st and only trip to Sanoma in 1990. He found himself at the Oakville Robert Mondavi vineyard, and he bought his first bottle of wine. It was a Robert Mondavi (before Robert Mondavi went all wrong) Oakville Cabernet, 1987 that was just released in 1990. That was back in the day when you could still bring bottles of all you want in the cabin of a plane, and drink up on the plane if you wanted. Anyway, he brought the bottle back to a dorm, various apartments, and even had carelessly left the bottle on a radiator all winter. There was a 5 year period when he had the bottle boxed up in the earthen basement and completely forgotten about. As the Franklins moved to my fair state of TN last year, he found his bottle that he has been toting around this country, from West to East, and from North to South. When and where to drink this bottle he asked. Well, with his best friend from college visiting, and let me tell you the Burghs are quite the wine experts, he thought it was the time to enjoy his bottle. As any wine maker will tell you, wine will do you no good in the bottle. It must be enjoyed. I believe he enjoyed his time with his dear old friend, and this was the day for this 20 year old bottle.
So we popped it open. The cork looked great! The resistance on the cork seemed like a good seal. There was no evidence of mold. The color, it was a deep garnet red that the photo could do no justice. The aroma was fruity, villiani, and a hint of cedar. The aroma, I just could not get over how lovely it was. The tannins were so mellow, that it was like velvet on my tongue. The wine was well integrated and basically the bottle was poured at the right time. Anytime before, such as in the 1990s would have been to early. What a fantastic bottle of Mondavi Oakville we had that evening. The Burghs were chiding that we were probably the only people in the wide world to be drinking an Oakville Mondavi Cab, and not have it be a bottle labeled as a Reserve. So, to satisfy my curiosity, I did poke around the internet to see if there was any bottle like this left, and as the Burghs said, there was none to be seen on the first 5 pages of a google search. I am so honored to have been a part of this lovely truly unique uncorking experience.
After we cleaned up our dishes, and washed away the last residual in each wine glass, I felt a bit sad that the 1987 Oakville Cab ride was over. The Burghs looked at me and Franklin with big grins, and said, "Ah, but there is always another bottle to experience and share!" Ah, then I smiled and I started thinking about the next bottle.