New World Vs. Old World
We started off with the North Creek from a magnum and it was delicious. Pure pleasure! Medium bodied with lots of fruit, but not a "fruitbomb" and not jammy in-your-face. After enjoying this California beauty we tasted the Chateauneuf du Pape. Initial impression: tannin, austere, not as much fun, not as much pleasure. However, after a few sips, it got a lot more interesting as we started to notice the nuance and complexity emerging from the more tannic structure. When we later returned to the North Creek, it seemed kind of flat and disappointing. Both these wines were great with the outstanding Lamb shanks in Port and Red Wine prepared by our friend Mary.
Moral of the story? Everything is relative and context is important. We would have been thrilled with either wine, but the contrast between them made the second wine, in either case, seem lesser. We have noticed that old world wine tastes more and more like new world wine and visa versa, but not in this case. Vive la differance!