Saturday, March 7, 2015

Miss Jaq is Back

This time last year, we were contemplating a trip to China to visit with Miss Jaq. At the time she was working in Luoyang - possibly the biggest city you've never heard of. Luoyang has a population of 6.5 million and, if Miss Jaq hadn't gone there, we likely would have gone through life never having heard of it. Doesn't really matter though because - unlike her stint in Abu Dhabi - Miss Jaq didn't care much for Luoyang and didn't return there. She was enticed to return to China and to Shanghai however - and that's where we were going to catch up with her.

Turns out that the position in Shanghai was even less agreeable than the one in Luoyang and she left the new job at the first opportunity. As soon as she told us that last Fall, we decided against going to China if she wasn't even going to be there.

Miss Jaq is back is Vancouver though and we had her over for a long-needed catch up and to let her watch some RuPaul's Drag Race. Funny, but that show doesn't make it to China.

1873.  2003 Rockford - Rifle Range Cabernet Sauvignon (Barossa Valley - Australia)

The great news was that we got to see our wonderful friend again. The not so good news (for her anyhow) was that she's still recovering from some nasty leftovers of her latest Chinese foray and she isn't drinking wine at the moment as alcohol doesn't seem to be agreeing with her constitution for the time being.

That fact was made even sadder for her because we'd pulled the cork on a treat that we'd been saving. We tried enticing her with a small glass or at least a sip or two but there was no persuading her.

We don't see much Rockford available for sale in the Vancouver market - at least I don't seem to. We've tried a few Rockford wines at Australia Wine Appreciation Society tastings but I can't say as that I've ever had a full exposure to the winery. Over the years, I've been well aware of Rockford's reputation of being a leading Barossa producer and we'd even hoped to pay a visit when we were in the Barossa. That visit didn't pan out but we did score a half bottle of the Rockford '09 Cab to go with a smoked meat pizza on our final night in the Barossa. That just made me even more favourably inclined to the brand. Accordingly, every once in awhile, I'll run across a bottle in town and instinctively reach for it. It can be hard to give bottles like this time in the cellar but we do occasionally give it a try - until one of those grand occasions, like tonight, arrives.

Even with a decade's age on this bottle, it still started out with big, dark fruit. It was a good thing that's we'd paired it with some big flavours of their own - mussel soup and lamb kebabs - because this was no easy sipper. By the time we got the to last glass, however, the wine had mellowed nicely and it was a lovely sip all by itself.

Unfortunately, we only had the one bottle. So, Miss Jaq didn't and won't get to fully appreciate or celebrate with us this time but she promised to be better in time for the annual Miss Jaq Wine Picnic. That's a promise we intend to make her keep. We might not have any more Rockford to bring along but I'll do my best to find something appropriate to the occasion.

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