I love making a good pizza and drinking a great wine to go with it. My lovely bride asks me if we aren't over-doing the wine we sometimes have with pizza and I tell her simply, "no!" We often drink a Chianti or a Cabernet Sauvignon with pizza. And tonight, the Cabernet Sauvignon was the 1996 Lindeman's St George, one of my all-time favorites!
I remember tasting a bottle of this in 2000 and then securing four dozen bottles. This was one of my all-time great buys and the wine has improved and served me well over its lifetime. I was running down to my last few bottles several years ago and topped off my holdings by buying four more and six of the 1998 St George (an even slightly better vintage). We also have a couple dozen of the 1997 St George which is a great wine, if not quite as complex as the 1996 or 1998.
This wine has large berry flavors, most closely to raspberry or sweet (over-ripe) blackberry. It is beautifully balanced. However, this wine is starting to show its age and should be drank in the next year or two. I think I have about three or four bottles left, so this should not be a problem. The fruit is not as lively as it was three or four years ago.
I have always liked the St George Cabernet Sauvignon as one of my go-to Cab Savs. An even better one (but with more variability vintage to vintage) is the Wynn's John Riddoch. The Wynn's John Riddoch also tends to cost about 50% more per bottle, but for great vintages, can be worth it. But my love affair with the Lindeman's St George has served me well year-to-year and I have bought so much volume that I am always able to get quite good prices for it. In totality, I have had the 1989, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003 (only available as a clean skin), 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009 vintages.
Is this too good a wine to drink with pizza? I don't think so. "Yes," I could have a decent and much cheaper Chianto to go with pizza, or a cheaper Cab Sav, but why should I when I have a bottle of the 1996 St George staring me in the face when I open the Vintec? If it needs to be drunk in the next several years, there is no time like the present! And I can guarantee that it makes a great pizza even better!