Archive | September, 2015

Garnacha Day!

24 Sep

September 18th, 2015 was deemed #GarnachaDay from Wines of Garnacha. If you are a wine newbie, the Garnacha grape is also known as Grenache, which is widely planted in Italy, France, the USA and Spain, and is as big and popular as cabernet!  I was happy to join in a virtual tasting panel from Snooth. Here are my in-depth tasting notes for the wines I tasted:

Clos Dalian 2014 Garnacha Blanca, Terra Alta, Spain 12.5% ABV.

Deep Straw in color. With an aromatic nose of pineapple, white peach and pear. In the mouth, bracing acidity followed by long lasting and rich lemon, dominant on the palate Residual notes of sodium, granite, clay and petroleum. A solid expression of white Grenache grape, suited to help quench the hot spanish sun, early evening tapas, and complementing salads, shellfish, white fish, white meats, cheese or light pastas.


White Grenache

 

 

Beso de Vino Old Vine Garnacha 2014, Ariñena, Spain 13.5% ABV

Color is deep ruby with a purple center. The prominent nose of dark fruit and wet stone leads into the mouthfeel of black cherry, black plum, and green underbrush with notes of loamy earth, silt, stone, and toasted young oak.

Beso de Vino

 

 

Viñas Del Vero’s Secastilla Garnacha 2010, Somantano, Spain. 14%ABV.

Color shows a garnet center with deep purple edging. A large nose with black fruit, a touch of funk, aged tobacco leaves and forest floor. On the palate, reserved dark fruit gives way to smooth tannins enveloped in a series of notes that come after the hidden acidity springs forth: black earth with clay and mineral-rich soil. A clear-cut result of deep-rooted, older vines and some decent age on a well-conceived wine, a good demonstration of how Garnacha evolves. Solid value. My favorite, and a huge hit of the virtual tasting.

Secast2

The spanish wines we tasted remind me why I love this grape and how flexible and expressive a grape it can be. You might think you love Châteauneuf-du-pape without realizing you love the main ingredient, grenache. #GarnachaDay is an excellent reminder of both the amazing wines from Spain as well as the fabulous wines worldwide that owe their backbone to garnacha.

What’s your favorite garnacha/grenache wine?

à votre santé!

 

 

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Trois Belles Dames Françaises! (Three Lovely French Ladies)

8 Sep

Les Hauts du Tertre 2004 Margaux, Bordeaux, France. 13%ABV, $45/bottle from Xavier Wine Company.

Color is opaque garnet with purple edging, the nose offers cassis, black plum, menthol, rose bush, and stone.  On the palate, cassis and a touch of black cherry are met with forest floor, notes of eucalyptus, saddle leather, mocha, cedar plank and wet stone on the luxuriously supple and medium finish. The tannins are quite reserved and after decanting for half an hour, this Margaux drank so easily I found it difficult to put down the glass. I was impressed by this nicely-aged bottle, a second label of the fifth growth classification of Chateau du Tertre, and paired it with mild cheese, pasta and a spicy tomato sauce, and sockeye salmon but it would also pair well with red meat. I truly enjoyed it so much just by itself!

 

Tertre

 

 

Jacques Puffeney’s Cuvée Sacha Arbois 2012. ABV 13%, $34/bottle from Crush Wine Company.

Made in a classic Jura style (this is not your mother’s chardonnay), this blend of savagnin and chardonnay features sherry-like oxidation for an intense and very dry white wine. A deep straw color with a nutty almond nose that could be mis-interpreted as being off, one sip quickly proves otherwise to the savvy taster. Features the flavors of dried pear, lemon zest, saline, black walnut, and limestone. This wine, slightly tart and acidic, is best for an advanced palate and begs for fresh fish or shellfish but delights with anything that likes a dry counterpart- mild cheese, salad, cooked vegetables, tapas, etc. After a week of rationing this beauty, I finished the bottle with some grilled peaches. I’m so glad to have managed to snag a few of Puffeney’s remaining bottles, but they disappear oh-so-quickly from my cellar!

 

Cuvee Sacha

 

 

Château de Valmer Vouvray 2012, Loire Valley, France. 11.5%, ⓊP; $16/Bottle from Mayfair Wine & Liquor.

Pale straw with green tinge, the nose offers citrus blend, wildflowers and honeysuckle. In the mouth, fleshy white fruit including red pear, gala apple and quince, a solid sense of minerality, with an off-dry finish. One of the few wines my wife will drink an entire glass of, Vouvray is a wine I buy in late spring and again in late summer when I want a sweet wine that isn’t sweet, that is delightful in the afternoon sun  when the bottle is chilled and that opens up her aromatics after warming to pair perfectly with a summer salads, vegetable medly, fish or white meal entrées. Delightful from opening to empty, I don’t know why I drink so few bottles of this (perhaps the wine is too much a crowd pleaser?) but at this price, I really should have a case in the cellar when I know I like Chenin Blanc but I adore Vouvray and the Loire Valley’s more aromatic, fruitier, slightly sweeter appellation.

Vouvray

 

à votre santé!

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