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I have zero patience 

1 Nov


Should I save bubbly for special times?

Mayhaps.

Should I share it?

Indubitably.

But I tofurked up.

It’s like the veg way of messing up. Tofurk-ing up. My mom was critical of my expletives so I’m exploring my alternative options. Bear with it.

I funked it up on the sharing part but I was sent two Rotari samples, one white and one rosé and…I love rosé and…I was stressed and…okay look I opened it and said to myself “If I finish it a day or so later it may have less bubbles but what the fudge I want it now. I will share the brut later but I want the rosé NOW.

I was SO excited for this because WHAT?! It is grapes made into bubbly just like Champagne but…Italian. 

To be more specific, it’s bubbly from Trentodoc, the second oldest sparking appellation after Champagne.

Like Champagne they make their sparkly from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir–Champagne also sometimes includes Pinot Meunier but this bubbly sticks with the first two. 

Like Champagne the base wine is made and bottled then more yeast and sugar is added to create a second fermentation. At some point after the potion rests on the dregs of exhausted yeast there is disgorgement: all the sediment of the leftover yeast is expelled. Perhaps a small dosage of wine n sugar tops it up. A cork, cage and foil are added and it’s off to the races. Or to the bloggers. Whichever.

That is “traditional method”–or in this case “metodo classico”–sparking  wine!

It’s a lot. But! Does it taste good?

I tasted:

Rotari Rosé Trentodoc 2013

Okay holy frug. Here are my happy thoughts.

Appearance:

Pale, pink-salmon, fine light bubbles.

Nose: raspberries strawberries cherries all the red berries + Wet rocks n yeast.

On the tongue (everyone’s favorite organ): oh the effervescence of a traditional method bubbly! Transfer and tank method cannot surpass the elegance of the bubbles, and this traditional method has all the right stuff. Them’s the high-labor high-price breaks.

High dang acid, medium alcohol, And the flavors oh right those! In addition to those delightful wet stones you get the very light hints of brioche that come from so much time sitting on the lees. That is, the yeast remains. Those are the lees.

It really is a whole lot of strawberry and raspberry and stone and as I said the brioche. So like butter and yeast and cream. My favorite bread and fruit products, usually eaten separately now combined into a sublime beverage.

Fork yah.

As NOIR as my lipstick: dark Halloween wine

25 Oct


Sometimes I match my lipstick to my wines. In this case Pinot NOIR. Goth-y like my soul. Funny thing is Pinot is often more a cherry red than a dark dark black-red. We’ll get to that. 

These wines, like unexpected presents you get and did not know you needed, showed up at my door.

Okay Mark West, whaddaya wanna do?

Mark West. The gentleman sending me wine. That’s a lie. A very nice publicist named Lucy sent me these. On behalf of Mark West. The winemaker that specializes in ye olde Pinot Noir.

I got two renditions. I got the 2014 California Pinot and I got the 2014 Mark West “Black” Pinot. 

Guess which one I liked best. Hint, it matches my lipstick. And eyeliner. And toe nails.

So briefly I’ll tell you the regular ol’ Cali version is nice. I feel like one more year might have smoothed the tannins and cedar and vanilla and cloves n nutmeg into the ripe red cherry tastes but… I feel like there is a tad of astringency that people who are not like me might like. If you are into Cabernet Franc buy this one. Even if you are not into Cab Franc it is totally a fuckable wine. 

Upon reviewing the tech sheets I saw that the California Pinot was 95% Pinot Noir, 3% Syrah, and 2% Petite Syrah, which maybe explains the not entirely unpleasant rough angles in this one.

As for the Mark West Black. My heart’s desire. At least my heart’s preference. It is darker-and therefore more appealing to me both aesthetically and temperamentally. The fact that it is 81% Pinot Noir and 19% Syrah perhaps helps explain its moody hues. Syrah can a deep dark wine. Ergo methinks it is a natural to blend with Pinot NOIR. It has perhaps riper and darker berries on the nose. Along with vanilla and a hint of cinnamon.

On the tongue it is slightly fuller yet silkier than the Mark West California. The tannins are there but they are dancing with the velvet fruit. They know their place. They sing vanilla notes of new French oak. In a Pinot their place is to be silky.  The berries are of black cherry and blackberry and maybe some blueberry. And a hint of spice n violet. Can we all get INTO eating violets?

The finish is not so lengthy yet the taste lingers. In a mellow way. A understated aftertaste redolent of yet more vanilla.

I would not call it overly expressive of the Pinot Noir grape. Nor is it overly complex. But fuck this is THE wine to sip by itself, by YOURSELF when you want a sip and aren’t hungry so much as craving the taste of a blackberry pie without the filling factor.

My Next Wine Adventure

24 Aug


Oooh oooh passed “With Distinction”.

Brag moment: I got a 96 percent on the test so I only missed two questions. I wish I knew huhwhut (that’s the snobby way of pronouncing what) I had missed. I’m pretty sure one of them had to do with the body of Albariño though. Huh.

I start level three soon and am studying already. It goes much more intensely into viticulture and vinification. It’s longer and tougher. The course is 11 weeks. The test involves blind-tasting and essays. Apparently I’ll be happy just to pass.

But in the meantime I am happy to toast to 96 percent. And because I am an overachiever am gonna attempt to see if I was class valedictorian. Doesn’t mean much in level two by I choose to live in the now. Cheers.

Wine School Week Deux

14 Jun


Week two started off in a thank-God-I-ubered sort of way. We were supposed to have gotten to the Syrah/Grenache chapter last week but didn’t so we had yet even more things to taste and learn about. Friday night’s agenda:


I don’t think I had ever had a Châteauneuf-du-Pape and was very excited. I liked. It’s an elegant sip. 

I was perhaps even more excited to move into the Rieslings though. Even though it means learning the rather complicated German categorization of wines based on when they are picked. You’d think that it would be the way to know how sweet a wine is going to taste but really all the first three levels (Kabinett, Spatlese and Auslese) tell you is how much sugar the grapes had before being fermented. If all that sugar gets converted to alcohol it could be a grape picked later in the season, with more sugars developed, yet it still would be dry on the palate. Also despite the fact that “trocken” means “dry”, a trockenbeerenauslese is not dry. Nor a beer. 

It is a wine made from grapes affected by noble rot and therefore extremely sweet. The “trocken” refers to the dried out appearance of the grape when picked. 

But still Riesling was fun.

As were the others but dang was that a night. And things were not getting too much lighter the next day:


The next day we sped through sparkling wines, sweet wines plus port and Sherry. Before lunch.

Oof.

After lunch was hard alcohol which fortunately did not involve too much tasting, as I don’t think we are going to get too many questions about cognac, whisky and such. But I do now understand the inner workings of both pot and column stills.

And now I am off to make more flash cards to study with. Cheers, dahhhhhling!

A castle n 3 towers

10 May

The me. The wine. The hair all over the dang place.
Well heck. I’d hang there. And by “there” I mean if I could go to the Haut-Médoc in 2010 and nab some of these appellation contrôlée grapes I might just do so.

2010 Chateau Fontesteau Grand Vin Cru Borgeois

PS cellartracker was slightly less unenthusiastic than I but a good deal of those notes were made years ago. 6 years of waiting did well for this bottle.

Yeaaaaa Bordeaux. When it is good (unlike earlier that week at a bar with some overly oaky Bordeaux) it is more than good, it is better. In fact it is Bordeaux-ing on the best.

Mwahaha word jokes.

Country: France

Region: Bordeaux–the Haut-Médoc

Those grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot

That nose: Cherries, gooseberries (as I imagine they may taste) and some realm of “hey that is fresh”!

In the mouth, it is luscious in a “I do not wanna stop”
way. I mean it. The perfect amount of tannins.

Full confession. I didn’t take notes after this. I mean, Jonathon Gold doesn’t take notes while eating at a place he is reviewing so why should I?

Oh right! Because drinking a wine so good you drink a little much and then decide to go to sleep is gonna inhibit your memory. Oops. Lessons learned:
1) Take a break. Do not swig. Normally I don’t but now I reallyreally won’t.
2) Take notes. Also I normally do this but WTF, I got cocky. Ego adjusted.

Looking forward to living the dream. Responsibly. With notes.

no make-up Burgundy went to bed this way 

2 Mar

  
The title of this post is how I consumed this wine. I was given little notes from ye olde Garagiste so the notes I give on this are the unvarnished truth of what I thought, unaltered by other tasters’ notes and just before bedtime when I am vulnerable because I fear the bed monster. Only because I have major problems sleeping. That’s where the fear is from. Don’t get ideas.

So. Another Garagiste-procured pick. I’m on a bend. Also I feel no need to buy other wine seeing as I have this enticing collection right now.

Paul Croses Côtes de Nuits-Villages Grand Vin de Bourgogne 2011

That link will give you other tasters’ thoughts. Should you doubt my sleepy musings.

Burgundy in color. Hahahahhahhaa. 

Okay, if you are learning wine, know that “Bourgogne” is what we English-speakers call “Burgundy”. That lovely Pinot Noir-rich region of France. The color of this wine is the color. That explains how we named the color Burgundy burgundy. Ain’t nothing like a burg Burg!

This is medium-light in body. Medium-high in acid. Juicy as sin. And I swear to heck it has tiki spices to it. Largely it is the taste of Velvet Falernum so I am gonna say allspice. Yes. This wine is like a goddamn Christmas holiday in spices crossed with Easter in terms of springtime fruit.

Oh, you beguiling region Bourgogne. Beguiling.

Sexy minx.

Smooth motherfucker.

That’s you.

The wine! That is the wine. It really is smooth.

Okay I am done. No I’m not. This wine hits your tongue with an acidic and spicy kick then slides over the tongue. Smoothly in the center but you will feel the sides tingling. It is nice. I don’t know that I am a Burgundy girl in general but I’m digging this doll.

GARAGISTE!

17 Feb

This is me waiting, desperately for the decant. Let me at it.

  
At long last I got my delivery. The wicked awesome Jon Rimmerman of the Garagiste goes about and finds wines like this biodynamic oner, and then emails wine lovahs (only if it is lovah with an “ah” not an “er”) with deals. JK re: “ahs”. Pretty sure anyone who signs up gets emailed. Sometimes wine you’re ordering is not even in the bottle yet. But Garagiste has tasted and knows what goodness is to come. There are DANG good deals. And the newsletter musings make amazing reading 1-2 times a day. Provided you are a wine lovah. Lover.

To my (initial) chagrin, they don’t send you your wine until A) you have at least 12 bottles that you’ve ordered, aka a full crate o’ wine amassed, (which takes time since sometimes the wine you order has not even been put in a bottle yet, much less made its way to Washington) and B) shipping conditions from Washington to wherever you are happen to be perfect. And finally I had both 12 wines and the weather was right and I got my first selection.

And much as you want to dive in this box o’ bottles, a maddening letter is placed atop your selection admonishing, downright ADMONISHING you to not drink for another couple of weeks because these babies have been jostling about during shipping the last day or so and they need to rest their tired souls. Let your wine rest. Or else! And you figure you’ve been patient enough so far, so may as well be patient just a wee bit longer.

And to make the waiting even more excruciating Garagiste says to most enjoy this particular bottle  it may need 30-60 minutes of decant time post pouring. BUT they say to sip along the way and so sip I friggin did. 

Ohhhhh shit and the official website for this wine says after all that initial waiting just for a sip or two, to cork the bottle and taste again and again over the next few journées (like, aujourd’hui, aujourd’hui, aujourd’hui and also demain and maaaaaaybe the day after but who the fuck are we kidding) to see how the wine develops and improves. So more bloody waiting. As in, don’t polish off the bottle in a night.

Oh right what we are drinking:

2011 Nicolas Joly Savennières “Les Vieux Clos”

Biodynamic.

From one of my favorite places to source vin. The Loire Valley. Savennières. Doy.

The grape is Chenin Blanc, m’dears.

The bottle itself advised “vigorous decanting”. I poured this golden elixir from some great heights observing the neck for sediment in some great lights. As one must to decant. With vigor.

Garagiste advised that Joly follows the tradition of German Riesling houses and over-fills, so not to be alarmed by damp cork. Good. Because that cork was funky. It looked kinda gross.

So many warnings. So many admonishments. By the time I got to sipping I was terrified. I sniffed long and hard at first. I got nettles, peaches and PINEAPPLE. I love pineapple. And an element of resin. In a way I assumed would be sweet.

It is not sweet! Happily surprisingly. It is full-bodied without being syrupy. Full without being thick. Dry without being bony.

A kumquat may be cooling his heels in there. Kumquats are welcome to cool whatever body part they want in my wine, incidentally. Fuck those who take the rind and discard the rest, I will take it all. Ahem.

There is underlying honey but the first hit says “pine tree” followed by pineapple. The back of your tongue says allspice. That’s happy. The finish burns out with all those elements, swirling about in your mouth. Then you are good to go.

It stands out to me that this wine starts as a jumble of tastes but by ten seconds post-swallow those jumbles knit together.

The Impressionist painting of wines. If Monet made wine, this would be it.

These are my “first fifteen minutes notes”. I’ll revise in about a half hour.

The decanting should be more…vigorized?

Okay time has passed, time for more notes. Post channeling-Courtney Love-circa-1993-ish. And documenting via selfies. Ugh me.

MORE spice has developed. The spices don’t fade, they get stronger by the minute.
The allspice gathers the most momentum, along with some orange zest. It gets sweeter but is that the temperature playing a part?

I dunno. I liked this wine five and a half times better than I thought I would.

I like it a lot.

Or else I wouldn’t share it, kittens.

24 hours later:

OH SHIT! 24 hours n that shit gets cray. The allspice increases tenfold. The acid mellows. The color still looks like unhealthy piss but so does a good juice or so so I will let it pass.. Heck.

Less resin (althpoug it is still there) and more honey. This time the allspice is IN THE FOREFRONT, IT IS. RESIN IS STILL THERE HARDCORE OH SHIT IS THAT MY CAPS LOCK ON? my bad

And now it is two nights past popping:
There is an emerging grassy minerality. The spices say “less allspice, more pepper”. Maybe even an arugula leaf or so. The resin is an afterthought, a smooth finish.

Three nights:
I’m down to the dregs. It is significantly sweeter. The honey is expressing itself more than resin. Think pineapple with allspice but it has been drizzled with honey. I think 1-2 days in was the prime, which does not surprise me.

So buy and if you are curious, eke it out. Otherwise go wild big spender. Buy several. Drink that mother down in a night or so. Then do it again.