The Weekend Wrap
This weekend was a beautiful one up here in the Tundra, with temps sitting in the mid 20's and some nice light snow. The run on Saturday morning was wonderful--the falling snow dampened the din of the city and the only sound you could here were footsteps for much of the run.
On the wine drinking front, it was a productive weekend (including tonight)--
Varietals #7 & 8 Arneis & Tocai Friuliano
The wine--2005 JB Cellars Margaret Anne, Mendocino CA
Anne picked this one up at Byerly's because of the interesting grapes involved. Both are Italian in nature but these grapes were grown in the cool temperatures of Mendocino. I had a tough time with this wine because it was slightly corked. I'm a little more sensitive to TCA than most people and I have a tough time evaluating a wine once I sense it. Regardless, this wine was fine--it reminded me of the table whites we had when we were in Italy--a little grassy, very little nose, and honestly not that much flavor. The structure was good and the wine was dry--pretty good with food, but definitely not a sit and sip wine.
Varietal #9 Gruner Veltliner
The wine--2004 Hopler Gruner Veltliner, Austria
I love Gruner Veltliner. Dry and minerally. A little fruit but definitely not overpowering. This grape has become my favorite white grape. Maybe it is because I have relatives from Austria. I am soooo happy that Austria is making a comeback and we are able to get these incredible grapes once again.
Varietal #10 Pinotage
The wine--2003 Wamakersvallei La Cave Pinotage, Wellington, South Africa
When I asked for a Pinotage at the wine store, the clerk's eyes shine and he walked me straight to this one and claimed it was in the top 5 wines in the store. It was pushing the price threshold for the wine century club (~$24), but based on this recommendations, I had to bite. I'm glad I did. This wine was deep ruby--dark and beautiful. The nose was lush and dark. The flavor--chocolate, raspberry and spice. Yummmm. I won't go on, but I would definitely recommend this one
Varietal #11 Grenache
The wine--2006 Almira Los Dos, Campo de Borja, Spain
Admit it, when you hear for Grenache, you think of Gallo White Grenache from the late 80's. It was popular at the same time as White Zinfandel and it still confuses people. To get a good idea of what a real Grenache tastes like, head for some Spanish wines--this one is Spanish and it is a Grenache. It should be great, right??
Hmmm-- after the Pinotage, I knew there would be a letdown. I was right. I picked to eat this wine tonight because we were having Mexican food and this was a Spanish wine. They serve tamales in Spain, right??? This wine is actually 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah, but I'll only take credit for the Grenache. The wine is rather weak in color--not quite like a Pinot Noir, but definitely not as beautiful as the Pinotage or the wine with Petit Verdot in it. The nose matches the color--it is rather underwhelming--a little fruit and a little earth. The structure of the wine is good--light tannins (there but not strong) and a taste of blackberries and maybe cranberries. In spite of this, overall I think this wine is underwhelming--however, for $10 I might pick this one up again.