For those of you not lucky enough to know Carpenter, he recently relocated to Summertown, a suburb of Oxford, England, with his lovely wife, Rachel, and their darling daughter, Anna.
While those of us left behind miss the Carpenters, most of us "chat" with Phil throughout the day, thanks to Facebook. Phil's own blog is Santa Barbara Wine Talk, http://santabarbarawinetalk.com/sbwt/
He and Rachel have relished tasting many of the "local" wines that line the shelves at neighborhood shops. Face it: We have the Central Coast; Phil and Rachel have France. Next door.
This week: Phil tasted a 2012 Leon Perdigal Côtes du Rhône, and I sipped a 2008 "L'Ange Rogue" from McPrice Myers (grenache, Santa Barbara County).
In Phil's words: "While I was perusing the aisles, this bottle popped out to me … expert marketing, if you ask me: The right glisten off the label on a beautiful Summertown afternoon.
"I've always LOVED CdRs due to their "Bang for the Buck" potential. Swooped this into the cart ASAP.
"I wish I could tell you more about the esteemed Leon Perdigal. I'm sure our Somm friends could dispatch more info about the gentleman. After reading the back of the label, I fully expected to get rather "geeky" with this wine. Sadly, I couldn't find too much info.
"Perdigal is a famed cellar master. Making his name at Ogier, which has been around since 1859, Perdigal was its first celler master, and established quite a legacy. Ogier is the largest cellar in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, with the ability to make large amounts of wines under one roof.
"Upon initial pop, this wine was full of smoke, black pepper and licorice. After I let it breathe for a bit (two hours), out came ripe cherry and raspberry, underbrush and savory herbs.
"The initial impression was very disjointed, but it leveled out a bit. Still a solid acid streak going, but a real bramble, dark blue fruit on the end of mid, going to finish. A rather ripe CdP, and I was not expecting that.
"Look, I understand the disjointed effect is probably due to this bad boy being freshly bottled. On potential, I don't know where it will go. As I mentioned, the wine has some acid, but it's pretty ripe off the bat. All and all, not bad for L7 ($11.32 U.S.), and as a candidate for a "daily drinker" wine.
My turn: Friends gifted me this bottle for feeding their cat. I have great friends. I opened this Tuesday, and let it breathe for, oh, about 10 minutes. And then I took a sip.
I wrote: "Lovely" — but it deserves stronger. Try: "Exquisite." What a stunning wine! Smoky dark cherry with a finish that lasted a full minute. Great weight in the mouth. I'm literally drooling as I write this, remembering the dusky spice, and sheer power. A better pairing would have been pulled pork or a turkey burger, but on my plate was … a tuna salad. The fish mellowed out the wine, but still. Wow. More, please.
The second night, the wine was much more subtle, but still displayed cherry and blackberry with light smoke.
Retail: About $30. Santa Barbara County, www.mcpricemyers.com
Who else wants to have Phil be a regular contributor to "Thursday's Bottle?" Can I have a show of hands, please?