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Astrale e Terra

My Mother-in-law’s visiting this week.  I had a request for a steak dinner tonight.  So… dinner was:

Appetizer – tex-mex grilled jumbo shrimp.  These are the bog standard president’s choice jumbo tiger shrimp, drizzled in lemon juice, and then tossed in Club House brand Tex Mex spice.  Grill them for a minute on each side, et voila.. heaven on earth.  Accompanied by Anselmi 2001 San Vincenzo, this is a wonderful snack.  The wine was fruity, peachy, no oak, and a delicious accompaniment to the slight fire of the shrimp. 

The main course was rib-eye steak in a red-wine gravy, with portobello mushrooms, accompanied by a composed salad, and crusty french bread. Before cooking I drizzed olive oil on the steak, sprinkled it with sea salt, garlic and cracked pepper, and then injected it with red cooking wine.

With dinner, the wine was Astrale e Terra 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon.  I picked it up in a wine shop in Henderson NV about a year ago for around $40 US ($47 from the winery).  It’s described in various places as a Bordeaux style cabernet.  Brentwood Wine Auctions says  "Dark color, very rich and focused, with tiers of currant, cedar, tar, anise, mocha and vanilla. Turns austere and tannic on the finish, with a leathery aftertaste."  The bottle I had was eminently drinkable, although it needed a good hour open to open up and display its real character.  Initially it was quite thin, with a predominantly currant flavour.  I got the anise, mocha and vanilla towards the end of the bottle.  I wouldn’t have described it as a tannic finish, although austere is probably a good description in general.

A good and complex bottle where the flavour changes dramatically over time.

Dinner was fabulous.  I’ll have to invite my Mother-in-law to stay more often…


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