First we take a quick drive down the I-5 to sunny California....the Russian River Valley to be specific.
2009 Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards Pinot Noir ($27.99)
Hearty aromas of black fruit with just a hint of tobacco on the nose. Beautiful fruit shines through on the palate. Finishes well, with soft, velvety tannins. 91.
After our successful experience just down the coast, we will head a little bit East....or West, I suppose, depends on which way you want to get there I guess. This wine pairs very well with shrimp, as long as they are done on the barby.
2009 Thorn-Clarke Shotfire Quartage (Barossa Valley, Australia, $26.99)
A blend of the big 5 Bordeaux grapes (so that should make it a Quintage, right??), it features big, ripe red fruits on the nose and palate. The smallest hints of caramel add to the palate. Tannins have smoothed out nicely making this an excellent drink right now, but another 4-5 years in the bottle would only enhance. 92.