Happy New Year!

Have fun and stay safe! And of course, drink some excellent bubbly, as we are at the moment! See you next year!

Esta Obvio!

Tu necesitas beber esto vino si quieres vino blanco y barato. Sorry, got a little carried away with my Spanish there. Our second bottle of the evening last night was this little gem, Obvio, Vino Torrontes 2005 from Argentina. Synthetic cork, 13.5% alcohol by volume and cost me $9.99 at the Curious Grape. For those who don’t speak Spanish, Obvio means obvious, so my title today is “It’s obvious!” and the first sentence says “You need to drink this wine wine if you want white and inexpensive wine.

I almost titled this post “Deja vu” because I swear I’ve had this wine, or something quite like it in the past, yet I can’t place when or where. Whatever the case may be, it’s yummy. This is a light and simple wine, very floral on the nose. My notes say: topical fruits in the mouth, good acid holding it together. Easy to drink and I lurve it(apologies for the spelling, just a small joke among friends). Great value for the price and an interesting grape.

For the second time this week, I was sent scurrying off to learn about this grape in my Oxford Companion to Wine, and since I’m trying to increase my knowledge, I’ll bore you with what I learned too. As usual, Jancis Robinson is both helpful and informative as I find that the Torrentes grape is parented from the Muscat of Alexandria grape. And I think that’s where the deja vu came in, it is slightly muscat-like, but has just enough different characteristics that it didn’t come to mind immediately.

It’s Juicy!

And I don’t mean that in a bad way. Tonight’s bottle was a Mauritson 2004 Zinfandel. Real cork, 15.1% alcohol by volume (or 15.5% if you read Mauritson’s website?) and cost us $27 minus a club discount.

Quite different from the 2003 Mauritson Zinfandel I tasted here. It’s not jammy this time, but juicy. Big mouthfuls of strawberries and blackberries. I swear a hint of vanilla on the nose, though Matt completely disagrees. The big alcohol in this one doesn’t bother me as it’s easily countered and covered by the fruit. A little scent and taste of oak, but not overpowering or offensive at all. And I remembered to decant! I got none of the peppery taste of the 03 and none of the initial alcohol scent, though the decanting might have helped that. This just tastes good and worked really well with the beef strouganoff I made for dinner. Excellent finish, with a good lingering mouth taste. I have another bottle. I wonder if I keep it around for a bit if it will show some of the jam that the 03 does?
My mouth is watering looking at the purple inky color of the wine in this picture. It was seriously a delicious bottle of wine and really easy to drink.

Wine with an Identity Crisis

Last night we drank this bottle of Paringa 2004 Chardonnay/Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc. It ran me $9.99 at the Curious Grape, is 13% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure and comes to us from South Australia. This is another bottle bought in my pursuit of the everyday wine.

In my opinion this wine doesn’t know which of these grapes it wants to be and the blend didn’t work for me. It’s composed of 47% Chardonnay, 38% Semillon and 15% Sauvignon. The nose is oaky and a little buttery, but the Sauvignon Blanc gives it subdued citrus in the mouth with a bit of grass and mineral. The combination just seemed odd and contrived.

In the mouth, it felt oily and had a long, not altogether pleasant finish. Maybe if it had been a little colder, but our wine fridge seems to have decided it wants to stay at one temp and no amount of fiddling on my part is changing its mind. I wouldn’t buy this bottle again, it’s NMS.

Tasting at Arrowine

We decided to head over to Arrowine last night as I had gotten an email saying they were having a tasting. They ended up pouring a Sauvignon Blanc, an un-oaked Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir and a (cheap) Bordeaux. We bought a bottle of each of the whites, I especially liked the Sauvignon Blanc, but Matt was more partial to the Chardonnay. Neither of us were overally impressed with the reds, plus, we have bottles of red coming out of our ears. (You may think I’m joking, but at last count, I think we have 109 bottles.) The Pinot tasted like it had some potential, but it was young, only a 2005 and needed some time to come into its own. The Bordeaux was cheap. And it tasted cheap, heavily oaked and really unappealing.

Also picked up a few cheap bottles while there, though even the poured whites ended up being under $20 each with the tasting discount. More to come as we get into those bottles!

2004 Domaine de la Salette

I picked this bottle up for $6.99 at the Curious Grape on my excursion for everyday wines on Thursday. The full title includes Vin de Pays des Cotes de Gascogne. Closed with a synthetic cork, it weighs in at 12% alcohol by volume and is composed of 75% Colombard, 15% Ugni Blanc and 10% Gros Manseng.

For the price, the wine makes a pretty tasty white table wine. It reminded me of a slightly odd cross between a sauvignon blanc and a riesling. Light and floral on the nose, but with the citrus and acidity of a sauvignon blanc in the mouth. I thought the structure was well done and would definetly recommend this at the $6.99 price tag.

Love VA Wines?

Go over to Fermentation and read this post.

I knew that these laws were being pushed here by lobbyists. As we were visiting Virginia Wineries earlier this year at least one of them, Tarara, had a sign up asking patrons to sign a petition against the enactment of the law forbidding VA wineries to sell directly to retailers and restaurants. Something they had previously been permitted to do.

I wish I knew what good, if any, wine distributors actually did. To me, it seems like they are simply a middle-man in the process of getting wine to retailers and restaurants, thus driving up the cost for the ultimate consumer and hurting small wineries, especially local ones who could use any leg up they can get.

The development of this law makes me sad for the future of the wine industry in VA. And for me, since I doubt I will be able to get the Governor’s White from the Williamsburg Winery for $7 in the store anymore.