It's rare that I would open 2 bottles for just the two of us, much
less three, but managed it last night. Betsy had a dress rehearsal but
would be home for a late dinner, but I didn't think my dinner wine was
best served by being opened early, and I wanted a glass while cooking.
So started with a half bottle of 2003 Mayacamas Chardonnay (Mt Veeder,
Napa). Nice clean brisk Chardonnay, no butter here, nice base of pear
and citrus fruit with just a hint of vanillin oak. Good acidity,
fairly big in the mouth, nice wine for my tastes. B+

So dinner was a roast chicken that shared the pan with some potatoes,
broccoli, and cauliflower (all accented with thyme and garlic), plus
some lseaweed salad leftover from previous night and some sauteed
arugula. The planned wine was the 1983 Ch. Giscours (Margaux). OK, I
know Giscours had a sucky rep in 80s and 90s, but I've enjoyed '70 and
'79, generally love '83 Margaux appellation, saw it for $20, and
needed to fill out a shipment. Not expecting a stunner, just hoping
for a decent mature claret. Cork came out cleanly with Ah So, only
about bottom third soaked, decanted, time to try. Damn. Even with
tempered expectations, a disappointment. Tired thin black plum fruit,
still some woody tannins, a bit of ashtray. Not so much over the hill
as never tried to go up it. I'd had a long day and just didn't feel
like suffering through this. Opened another wine, though I admit a
taste at end of the night actually showed a bit better than this.
Still, at peak the best I could say is C/C+

Replacement wine was a Burgundy (didn't have any more mature Bdx
standing up), the 2004 Camille Giroud Bourgogne. No sign of the green
meanies here, big for Bourgogne, black cherry fruit, moderate acidity
and some tannins that are a little hard, nice enough but comes across
as a tad clunky. More about Pinot Noir than Burgundy for my tastes.
Still, not bad. We'll see how it does tonight. B

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't
drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no
promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.