The Basement Door

For this April 1, I thought it would be appropriate to review some very special wines I’ve tasted. Having worked long and hard at this particular group, I even borrowed (stole) a few descriptions by other wine writers whose work I admire. I know some may think it’s all whiffing, sniffing and guzzling. But believe me, it can be very hard work. Especially with these particular bottles!2013 Lemon Hills Vineyard and Lemonade Stand, Sauvignon Blanc, $47.00 (on sale this month for $2.99) 17.9% alc. California, USA. Is this citrusy and crisp or just sour and tart? Like being whipped five or six times with a leather belt by a dominatrix; then just as it starts to hurt she gives you a slice of fruitcake. Great legs but a wrinkly butt. I suggest it be put back on the horse. I recommend this wine be laid down for some time…and forgotten about.

1999 Just in Time Vineyards and Auto Recycling, Pinot Noir, 16.7% alc. $37.93, New Zealand. Made from organically grown grapes fertilized with overflow from the onsite outhouse. This wine reminds me of rusty bolts, with a hint of WD40 in the nose. Shades of old vinyl seat covers from Tijuana accented with the color and finish of 3 year old 10/40 oil and brake fluid. Share this with all your friends who have grease under their finger nails.

1998, Devil’s Vineyard and Marriage Chapel, Virtuous Red (a blend of…god knows what) 24% alc. $299.00 (includes buffet) Las Vegas, NV, USA.Upon opening, I noticed the cork smelled like a wet hymnal in a South Louisiana Baptist Church. After further examination, there was the distinct “eau de toilettes de camping”. A fellow taster suggested it tasted “like a herd of donkeys defecating in a vat of blue cheese”. After it breathed for a week or so, the oak became more pronounced. So much so, I was pulling splinters out of my mouth for another week.

2001 Silicone Estate and Surgical Clinic, Cabernet Sauvignon 15% alc. (but much of that was added later) $1375.00 Malibu, California, USA. Like Britney Spears: lacking substance, depth and thoughtfulness but very well put together and improbably fascinating, if you don’t look too close. Like so many of its type, it promises more than it delivers. Legs of steel, firm and round in the mouth but disjointed and ultimately tart. My guess is, it won’t mess up your cheeseburger!

1988 Smith Vineyards and Veterinary Service, White Merlot, 19% alc. $27.00 Gongawannannana, Australia
This wine reminds me of the time a college friend, on a dare, bungee jumped into a vat of cat pee and gooseberry leaves. While he lived to laugh about it, his hair was never the same. I now understand why the winemaker went insane shortly after the release of the wine.

2003 2X4 Vineyards and Cabinet Shop, Chardonnay, 16.7% alc. $98.95 Napa Valley, CA, USA
At first, I thought I was smelling this wine through a bunch of 2X4’s. Then I looked at the name of the winery. And guess what, I was! Unfortunately, that didn’t dull the strong aroma of old gym socks and jockstraps. After a few hours of breathing, the smell of year-old goat cheese dominated.

2008 Sauvignon Blanc, Penguin Vineyards and Fish Farms 9.3% alc. $12.99 South Africa
I’m sure this penguin ate too much squid and beans and couldn’t help himself. Hopefully, you won’t foul yourself if you try this one.
Our regular columnist M. Stefan is on vacation, slugging down loads of high end, too expensive for the rest of us, wine. Our guest columnist Vinous M has years (actually a few hours) of experience critically analyzing the finer things in life. So we thought we would give him a try.

After our editor showed him which end of a bottle to open and how to use a screwcap, we turned him loose. Loving adorations can be sent to: