April 2005
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Day April 27, 2005

Domaine Sorin 2000 Cuvee Tradition Cotes de Provence

The Domaine Sorin was quite the surprise – I’d met friends for a Friday after-work stop at Tarragona on Capitol Hill. Tarragona is a small wine and food shop, run by Paula and Michael Hatch, and they’re running a series of themed tastings. The theme was the Rhone, with several affordable white, rose, and red wines. The standout, in my book, was the 2000 Sorin Tradition, which is a dead ringer for a decent Bandol. Which makes sense, being produced just outside the appellation boundary in St. Cyr-Sur-Mer (the village next door to Bandol on the Mediterranean).

The wine has a deep, dark fruit nose, with a big load of Mourvedre “leather and mineral” stink but no “barnyard.” My friend Vinny calls this “tree bark” as well, which is an apt description but one that doesn’t immediately come to mind for me (I guess I spend less time snuffling trees than he does). The Sorin has a decent though not deep palate, and a reasonable finish. The best part is that it retailed for $10/bottle, about right for having at the house for everyday dinners, etc. And a much better wine than anything you’ll find domestically for the same price.

Real’s new Rhapsody release…not ready for prime time

I hate to say this, since I’m an alumnus of RealNetworks from the early days and still have a soft spot for them, but the new Rhapsody release is seriously, egregiously buggy.   It looks great, and it seemed to represent a step towards unifying all my digital music (everything except DRM-controlled iTunes files and my iPod), but it began crashing shortly after installation.  Then, for awhile today, Rhapsody was failing logins – according to my friend Carl, who called Real, they had some "server" data synch issues.   The upshot is that I’m looking to downgrade again until Real works this out.   But not a particularly auspicious rollout for a product designed to lure people away from iTunes…