Posts Tagged ‘Cabernet Franc

09
Mar
12

In Pursuit of the Juiciest Wine: Day 111 – Baron Philippe De Rothschild Escudo Rojo 2008 Maipo, Chile

Quick, Said the BirdToday I started reading Richard Swigg’s Quick, Said the Bird: Williams, Eliot, Moore, and the Spoken Word (University of Iowa Press, 2012). The book is about the sounds in the poems of William Carlos Williams, T. S. Eliot, and Marianne Moore, and so far it’s not about spoken-word poetry. So far it’s damn terrific. I mean, “Wow, someone devoted a whole book to discussing the sounds in poems!” You’d think there’d be more since poetry is sound. It’s meanings mostly arise from its melodies, harmonies, rhythms, intonations, and breathings, yet few write about this things other than an essays. So here’s a whole book, and I happy for it.

Baron Philippe De Rothschild Escudo Rojo 2008Tonight’s wine is Baron Philippe De Rothschild Escudo Rojo 2008 Maipo, Chile, and when I uncorked it, it gave a tremendous pop, which is very fitting considering the book I’m reading. And as I poured it into the decanter, I got a very wonderful smell of juicy fruits and berries.

For now, I’m going to let it decant a bit longer while I add some more thoughts to my review of Quick, Said the Bird, which should appear here in a day or so.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

While you wait, here’s a little story about this bottle. I picked up in Hannaford Farms in Rutland, VT, about two-an-a-half months ago on our way to Dixfield, ME, to visit my girlfirend’s father and step-mother for Christmas. I’ve been saving it ever since. Well, I’ve been wanting to drink it, but I had to save it for an occassion when I could write about it since I don’t know where else to get it. Mahan’s doesn’t have it 😦 Boo.

Anyway. From the back of the bottle:

[. . .] the Rothschild name comes from the German phrase “Das Rote Schild,” a reference to the red shield which originally served as the Family sign. “Escudo Rojo” is the literal Spanish translation.

“The Red Shield” of wine. Hmm. Well, I’ve been shielding you enough from a description. So in the words of the French, allons-y le bouclier rouge.

The back of the bottle also says this wine is blend of “four traditional grape varieties,” though it doesn’t say which ones, and I can’t find any sources on the internet. Based just on the waft I got from pouring I’m going to guess one of them is a Cabernet Sauvignon, and I’m positive about that, and I’m going to guess Syrah and Merlot.

Now, that I’ve smelled it with integrity, I’m sticking with my guess. I’m also adding that I love this nose with cherries, peppers, and a hints of cantaloupe and earthiness. It smells juicy. It smells like there’s a Washington Merlot in there, which may be why I’m getting juicy green apples. Oh, and vanilla. And some cola. My gosh, I’m drooling over the possibilities.

The color is dark, royal purple that is 85% opaque.

The finish is tart as you might get from a green apple. Why do I always pick up the finish first?

It’s also a bit bitter on the finish.

The nose is way better than the taste. The nose is all hope and warm fuzzies of goodness. The taste is kind of ordinary, or maybe my expectations were set to high from the nose.

You know what. I’m changing my Merlot from above to Carmenere. That’s what is hurting this wine. To me Carmenere smells like Merlot, but it doesn’t taste like. It’s like Merlot is The Beatles and the Carmenere is the Dollar Store version of The Beatles, or The Monkees. (I thank Harvey for that Beatles-Monkees analogy.) Carmenere’s DNA is very similar to Merlot, too. Actually, the more I sip it, the more I pick up some luscious cherries and pepper. It’s getting better with each sip. The bitterness and tartness are fading. It’s juicy and dry at the same time. It’s juicy on the palate and dry on the gums. It’s lip smacking. There’s some smoke, too.

Anyway, I’m liking this more and more. I think it will go good with a spinach salad that has crumbled bacon. It should also complement smoked gouda cheese.

I’ll say 88 points, or a B+.

I don’t remember what I paid for it, but I wouldn’t pay more than $12 or $13.

Oh so I did some more research. This wine is:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon 40%
  • Carmenere 37%
  • Syrah 18%
  • Cabernet Franc 5%

Okay. I taste that Cabernet Franc, now, but it’s good. I usually despise the Cabernet Franc, but it’s hiding itself inside the Carmenere. It’s wearing Carmenere camouflage.

To read the tasting notes I found, which also includes the blending notes, click Baron Philippe De Rothschild Escudo Rojo 2008 Tasting Notes. It even has a map so you can locate Maipo Valley, Chile.

Their tasting notes say it’s “round, fruity.” I say it’s “cubical and dark berry.”//

11
Feb
12

In Pursuit of the Juiciest Wine: Day 109 – Chateau de Ribebon Bordeaux Supérieur 2009

Chateau de Ribebon Bordeaux Supérieur 2009Tonight’s wine is Chateau de Ribebon Bordeaux Supérieur 2009, which is $14 at Mahan’s Liquor in Brockport. This is an affordable Bordeaux, which is like an oxymoron, but it’s “Supérieur,” which means it has attitude. Therefore, I assume this wine is going to try really hard to prove its worth to me. You know, it’s going to try and impress me with some sleight of hand tricks. Or maybe its just confident and knows what its all about. Its like, “I’m know I’m good, damn it!” and then it snaps its fingers. I hoping for the latter . . . I think. Either way, there’s going to be attitude.

This Bordeaux is 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10 % Cabernet Franc. Usually, I think, Bordeauxs are more Cabernet Sauvignon than anything else. So odd.

The color of the wine is deep claret. Well, that’s what the back of the bottle says. I don’t think I’ll disagree.

Here’s what the whole back of the bottle says:

Variety :

60 % Merlot, 30 % Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10 % Cabernet Franc.

Color :

Deep Claret

Nose :

A gently perfumed nose of blackberry, cherry, and cassis fruit and chocolate layers with some spices and cedary notes.

Palate :

This stylish wine shows elegance and concentration with brooding fruits, delicate tannins, and cedary, integrated oak.

Complex and inviting, the structure is fine, the fruit intense, and the finish persistently long.

Assessment :

Great wines produce by Alain AUBERT (6th generation of Aubert producing wine in the region) and his daughters.

They are also producers of the famous Château La Couspaude and Château Haut-Gravet in St. Emilion.

(“St. Emilion” means they are from east Bordeaux, or the right bank.)

When I poured this into the decanter, I picked up lots of berries on the nose. The odors just wafted up. I picked up a bouquet of flowers, too. I have a feeling it has decanted enough. French wines tend to need time to breathe to open up, but we’ll see.

(I’m did my tasting notes before I read the back label, except for the color part and the blend infromation.)

So the nose. The nose has dark berries and a deep, dark forest. I also get dark chocolate. A salty, dark chocolate.

The taste is mild, but this may be because I’ve been drinking Cabernet Sauvignon almost exclusively for the past week or so. Actually, there’s not much happening on the palate. This maybe why I lean to new world wines instead. They are bigger and more pronounced. This old world wines are more subtle. So subtle they don’t even pronounce the “b” in subtle.

The more I swirl it, though, the more it opens. I’m getting dark cherries and dry raspberries and dry blueberries. Oh, and earthy, too.

The finish is chalky, which may mean it needs a little more time to open up.

I’m barely picking up the chocolate that is mentioned on the back-label tasting notes.

This wine is ok. It stands up. It’s not great, and it’s not bad. It’s ok, and it has no attitude.

It does get juicier the longer it’s open. The cherries come out more, and the dry raspberries and blueberries are no longer dry but are juicy.

I’ll say 88 points.//

19
Dec
11

In Pursuit of Juiciest Wine: Day 105 – Columbia-Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Lately, I’ve been talking a lot about the Columbia-Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2007. I’m been saying so much good about it. I’ve been comparing it to other cabs that cost twice as much or more, and saying the Columbia-Crest is just as good or better. I’ve been saying this is the best cab under $10. However, I’ve never really sat down with it and explored. It’s just an everyday wine to open, pour, and drink. But tonight the wine and I will have a conversation, and we will see, or taste, I’ve been speaking the truth.

Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 on stand

The picture above shows the bottle in the craziest wine rack I’ve ever seen. My brother gave it to me for Christmas, which the family celebrated early this year. Isn’t it crazy?! It’s just a piece of wood with a hole and keeps its balance and holds the wine without tipping over. I’m really in awe of this rack. It’s amazing. When my brother gave it to me, I thought it might be a wine rack. The slanted cut of the whole indicated that, but I couldn’t figure out how it would work. I struggled to figure it out, but I could not. Then he showed me. I couldn’t believe it, and I still don’t.

But to the wine.

This cab is a blend. It’s 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and the remaining 5% is Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah. I found that out from their notes, which you can download and read by clicking: Columbia-Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 notes.

The color is a dark purple, but it has hints of spry brightness, especially in the meniscus. It looks lively like it’s saying, “Hey man, don’t despair on this dark winter night with no snow to be seen for miles, even though there should be a foot or more of the lovely white. I come with the vigors of spring and the hooves of Pan.”

Pan with iPod

Adam Reeder's “Pan With His iPod”

The nose is simple, straight-forward, and not big or deep as you may expect from a cab, but it does have some darkness. I also get some vanilla and some other sweet smell, maybe chocolate. Oh, and some cassis.

I pick up tastes of chocolate and cherries and on the dry finish are some spices and maybe some clove. It’s kinda fruity, but I’m not sure what fruits, maybe a hint of melon and/or mango.

It’s really not complicated, but it’s quite good. Plus, it’s not very big, so it can pair well with many more foods. OH! and as mentioned before, it’s awesome with thai peanut curry sauce: https://thelinebreak.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/perfect-thai-peanut-curry-sauce-cabernet-sauvignon-combo-compliment/.

I love this wine mainly because it’s so good for under $10. It’s not a 90 good, but it’s an 89. Go get.//

16
Dec
11

In Pursuit of Juiciest Wine: Day 104 – Franciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Franciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2008Well, I could be reading submissions for Redactions or I could be drinking this Franciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, which someone gave 94 points. Man, I’ve got to try that, especially for only $17.

I went looking for images of this wine, and I noticed that some places were noting that this is a blend, but the percentages were different with each place. So I went to the Franciscan website and found the correct information. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon 86%
  • Merlot 12%
  • Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, and Malbect 2%

(I’m not sure why they spelled “Malbec” with a “t” at the end, but they did.) To download some more information, click Franciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 PDF to read their PDF about the wine. While you are reading that, I’ll do the tasting.

The PDF says the color of this cab is Ruby red. I’ll agree. I’ll also point out how the meniscus is purple, like the purple you see on the horizon at sunset.

On the nose I first get plum, dark cherry, and vanilla. Then I get some mushrooms and toast. I can barely smell the cab franc, which always stands out to me.

Hm. All those grapes in the two percent are undermining this wine. The Merlot, however, is saving it. It’s like a battle between the juicy Merlot and the dark two percent, and the Cab is on the sidelines not sure which side to join.

As for tasting notes, I get pepper and mushrooms. It finishes with cassis, like the PDF says. It’s also dry on the finish. The more I sip, the drier it gets, but, also, the more some cherries come out. Juicy cherries. I think the Merlot is winning the battle. You know there is also some cola in there somewhere, too. Again, the more I sip the more chewy it gets, and the dryness sticks to the roof of the mouth.

This is such an interesting wine. It doesn’t know what it wants to do. It’s erratic except that it gets better with each sip. This would be good with some Chinese food. Something with pork. Like a pork in a plum sauce. Mmmmmmm. And fried rice. Or pork in a barbeque sauce.

I like this but not for the price. There are so many good cabs out there for less. I don’t know how anyone gave this 94 points, let alone over 90. I’d say like 89 or 88. I’d rather drink the Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 for $8. Half the price and better. Don’t underestimate that Columbia Crest. I think I might be having an affair with that wine. You wouldn’t want to be seen with it in “good” company, but, man, it can show you a good time.

American Prayer is The Doors best album. It’s a great album. Can we still like The Doors? Yes, just like I enjoy Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2007.//

27
Nov
10

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day sixty-nine (Chateau Hyot Castillion Cotes de Bordeaux 2008)

I’m in the red Roof Inn in Rutland, VT, again. This time I’m heading home from Thanksgiving with my girlfriend’s family in Maine. On our drive back we stopped at a rest stop on route 93 about one hundred yards into New Hampshire. It had a big ass liquor store, so I of course went in to see if they had any wines that I hadn’t had. They did, and they also had Two Hands Shiraz, a good wine I had recently  with guest editor Sarah Freligh at Flight Wine Bar as we went over our Pushcart nominations. However, it was $64, so I got a Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Chateau Hyot Castillion Cotes de Bordeaux 2008. The back label of the Hyot said it had “huge fruit,” so I was sold.

Here’s what the whole back label said:

Variety: 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Color: Dense ruby/purple

Nose: Delicious blackberry, cherry, and cassis fruit interwoven with notions of solid and subtle oak.

Palate: Concentrated, medium body, with huge fruit, minerals, and supple tannins.

Assessment: Produced near the famous vineyards of Saint-Emilion, Chateau HYOT epitomizes the power and complexity of which Bordeaux blends are capable.

While most wines in this area are typical Merlot, both Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon play important roles in adding layers of complexity to the finished wines.

Anyway, to the tasting. Allons-y.

Oh yeah, I’m drinking out a plastic cup again, so you are warned.

The nose is dense and earthy and cheap smelling.(My girlfriend gets vegetables. She, of course, is correct.)

This nose suggests the wine is going to be oily.

It tastes cheap, too, and it’s not the plastic cup.

It’s a bit tart, too.

I’m not finding the huge fruits or subtle tannins. In addition, I’m not finding any images of this bottle on the internet, and, coincidently, I’m not finding anything about it on the internet. Am I the first reviewer of this wine?!

I don’t have much to say about this. It’s about 86 or 87 points. It’s 87, I suppose. I wouldn’t get this again. I wish I had a pizza instead of sushi, now. It will go better with pizza or hamburger. This would be really good with a big, fat, juicy hamburger with lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and bleu cheese.

Big fat juicy hamburger with onions tomatoes lettuce and bleu cheese

A Perfect Match

By the way, you should go to Flight Wine Bar. It’s awesome and at ease. And the staff is great. Go. Go now. Tell them I sent you. It won’t get you a discount or anything, and they might wonder who I am unless you mention Redactions, and still . . . but go anyway. It will be fun.//

12
Oct
10

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day fifty-nine (Chateau Malbat Bordeaux 2006)

Tonight is my girlfriend’s birthday, so I am making Spaghetti Puttanseca with Flaked Tuna sans Olives. With it I will serve, Chateau Malbat Bordeaux 2006.

Kevin Smith in MallratsThe name does not inspire much confidence because I immediately think of Kevin Smith in Mallrats as he tries to fly through the mall in his Batman outfit.

Chateau Malbat Bordeaux 2006A little research tells me this Bordeaux is 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc.

A little research also tells me there aren’t any good pictures of this wine and none show the whole bottle, so here’s the best picture on the internets.

The first thing I smell in this 75% opaque but spirited purple wine is the Merlot. It smells like a wonderful Merlot from Washington. So cherries, green apples, a little cola, and some caramel or vanilla. The Merlot dominates the nose. There are also currants and maybe some plum.

I think my favorite part about any wine is the nose. It’s so evocative in sense and imagination.

This tastes nothing like its wonderful nose. It’s not bad, but it’s not wonderful. I get cloves on the palate and tobacco on the finish. The acidity makes me think it will go good with tomatoes. Maybe the spaghetti puttanesca with tuna that I ‘m serving.

There is a definite battle going on between the Merlot and the Cab Franc. And the two disparate tastes aren’t jiving well. It needs an alimentum interruptus. It needs red alimentum. Or maybe a few more years.

This wine is okay. By itself, it’s 86-87. With some tomatoes in spice and garlic, the tobacco really comes out, and it flies like Kevin Smith to 88.5 points. And like the flying Kevin Smith in Mallrats, it comes up a little short.

Yet, with the tomatoes, it is still Yum.//

04
Jul
10

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day twenty-eight

Marquis Philips Sarah's Blend 2007It’s July 4th, and I’m about to go on the roof to watch other towns’ fireworks. That’s right. Other towns’. As in firework displays from multiple towns. Last year at this time, my girlfriend and I were able to witness firework displays from 17 towns except Brockport’s. Last night, we watched from the roof and saw Brockport’s and about four other towns. Tonight I expect we will see a dozen and maybe Rochester’s, too, which is celebrating its 175th birthday. So soon I will be on the roof drinking Marquis Philips Sarah’s Blend 2007.

I’ve had this before, maybe not the 2007, but I’ve had it, and it was wonderful and juicy. So here’s hoping the country’s and Rochester’s birthday can be celebrated, in part, with a juicy wine.

Sarah’s Blend is 62% Shiraz, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. It’s a strong Cab Franc.

It smells fruity and juicy with plums and maybe some vanilla and caramel.

It has a slightly sour finish, but that may be the peanuts I just had, which wasn’t a wise move. The body is almost perfect for a juicy wine, but it’s slightly too thin. Nothing at all to complain about, and I like it.

The peanut taste is gone now after a few sips. The sourness is gone. There is a little dryness and pepper in the finish.

This is a really good wine filled with currants and over ripe plums and dark cherries and a subtle hint of almost ripe strawberries.

It’s yummy and jammy. It’s dry and jammy joy.//




The Cave (Winner of The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013.)

The Cave

Poems for an Empty Church

Poems for an Empty Church

The Oldest Stone in the World

The Oldest Stone in the Wolrd

Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex

Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex

Pre-Dew Poems

Pre-Dew Poems

Negative Time

Negative Time

After Malagueña

After Malagueña

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