Cape Gazette
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Wine

Beringer Knights Valley Cab provides steady quality

By John MacDonald | Jan 21, 2013

I just returned from the Virginia wrestling duals. You folks know I love amateur wrestling, and this event is terrific for a fan. There is competition on every level from K-8 to D1 College going on from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on 10 mats. Many of the teams and wrestlers are highly rated, and while the early matches can be blowouts, the last match determined four of the championship duals. Way better than watching a bunch of overpaid, underperforming whiners and crybabies bumbling around on TV.

There were quite a few competing from Delaware, with Saint Mark's, Sussex Central grad Codey Combs, now at Arizona State, and Caravel standout Jarrod Garnett, who is ranked No. 4 and a senior at Virginia Tech, having success. Combs and Garnett won all their matches and Virginia Tech won the college division. When I read the program I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Bedford Hills, N.Y. was competing. This is my old junior high school. A grandson of a former teammate was coaching the team, so I had the opportunity to be filled in on news about old friends.

Don’t have much good to say about the food, but the chain restaurants near the Hampton Coliseum were extremely busy. We dined in ignorance in a place that serves ”Bloomin Idiots,” chemically treated steaks and greasy stuff. Normally a place I avoid due to old-man digestive system, but I was with a crowd, including kids, and they do serve a Cobb salad that usually won’t kill you. We visited a place that served crabs on Saturday. Here I got lucky because the wine list was very good and fairly priced as well. It served most of the list by the glass.

For you Chard searchers, I sipped a Deep Sea Chardonnay 2009.  I found it on sale under $18. You may remember, I wrote it up a few months back after it won gold at Critics Challenge International Wine Competition. Here’s a synopsis: clear golden, opens to aromas of mandarin orange with green apple, yeast, honey, lemon zest and hints oak. They lead to vanilla, butterscotch and nutmeg flavors balanced by crisp acidity and mineral notes.

Beringer Knights Valley Cab 2010 was also available. I rate it 91-plus and when I came home looked it up. It can be found priced under $20. Those who are frequent readers may remember I am a big fan of Beringer. The firm habitually makes fine product and has held the price line, unlike some of the Cali three-card-monte guys. The 2010 is just barely entering its drinking window, but the proper balance is there, indicating another year or so will reward. A little swirl releases dark fruit, blackberry, herbs, anise and some tar supported by firm tannins and plenty of mineral zip.

Knights Valley verticals are a good way to go to observe wine aging properties. In each vintage since 2005, KV has been rated 88 points or better, and I have usually added one or two price points.  Your wine person should be able to find a mixed varietal case at a reasonable price.

Seems like I am continually referencing Greg Dal Piaz. The guy does very nice research and usually has insightful critical evaluation to guide interested people away from some of the traps and pitfalls set up to ensnare busy people without a guru. Please check out this article by Greg, writing in Snooth, for input on some of the problems that are driven by ratings and raters. I hate to throw myself under the bus, but I prefer trying to write for informed readers. Go to http://www.snooth.com/articles/the-problem-with-wine-ratings/.

Please take note that one major area where I diverge is to provide points, up to three, for fair and value pricing.  Due to restrictions placed by the wine illiterates in the state government, we in Delaware often pay too much or are unable to access great product without breaking laws that appear on the same pages as buggy whip and outhouse appliances ordinances. Contrary to what you will be told by your Delaware state legislators, the very strong wine, beer and liquor distribution companies who lobby heavily in Dover to promote their monopolistic practices wrote most of our liquor laws, and few favor the pocketbooks or access of the savorers, relishers, guzzlers, sippers, swillers and common sewers among us.

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