Posts Tagged ‘In pursuit of the juiciest wine

30
Dec
12

In Pursuit of the Juiciest Wine: Day 126 – E=MC^2 Quantum Reserve Relativity Vineyards 2007

The end of the year is near, and so is my most prolific poem writing year or nearly most prolific poem writing year. On December 26, I realized I wrote 92 poems and two poem translations this year. That seems a lot, at least for me. But it seems like previous generations of poets wrote a lot more. You hear stories of how they work up each morning at 4 a.m. and wrote for a couple of hours into the sunrise. My generation and the ones following my generation are not at all like that. It seems, however, I should be able to write at least 100 poems per year. You know, two per week. That shouldn’t be that difficult. I’m mean, especially if I’m a poet. But lately (over the past few years), it seems one poem per week is a good pace. But since I was close to 100 poems for the year, I tried to write and get there. I’m at 96 poems and two translations, now. I’m not going to make it to 100. It’s not that I can’t write, but I don’t know what to write about. Nothing is coming. Maybe it’s just because my three years of writing Paleolithic poems has come to its end, and I’m having a hard time remembering how to write a standard poem. The 96th poem I wrote was a blank verse sonnet (unrhymed sonnet) titled “Coda.” I woke up with it. It came out quick and easy. And it might be the last Paleolithic poem I write. Even though I thought I had stopped writing them in November sometime, they keep popping up. I still would like to move on.

E=MC2 Quantum Reserve Relativity Vineyards 2007 bottleSince I’ve nothing to write about, I’m going to drink and write about it. I am fully aware that a drink cannot fill the emptiness of an unwritten poem, . . . but the writing about it can be a temporary fix. Bonus! I’m going to be drinking what I hope is very good wine: E=MC2 Quantum Reserve Relativity Vineyards 2007.

I went looking for images of this wine, but there’s not much out there, and there’s not much written about, either. It is a blended red wine. It is 15.4% alcohol, which is a lot. I found someone who claims the blend is:

zinfandel, petite syrah, syrah, charbono, gamay, cab, and malbec, selected from excess bulk wines provided by some more well-known and unnamed vineyards.

(http://spiritofwine.blogspot.com/2010/04/relativity-vineyards-quantum-reserve.html).

I did take this picture of the cork. You can click it to make it bigger.

E=MC^2 cork

The label is hard to make out. But the in embossed in black near the label’s top, it reads “E=MC2“. Below that in red, it reads “RELATIVITY VINEYARDS”. And in the red band, it reads “Quantum Reserve”.

E=MC^2 Quantum Reserve Relativity Vineyards 2007 label

The back of the label indicates the wine is from Saint Helena, California.

Enough of the surface stuff. Let’s get the bottle’s insides. Let’s get to the tasting.

Einstein's tongue

E=MC2 Quantum Reserve has dark cherry color. It’s about 85-90% opaque.

It’s nose is delicious. There’s vanilla, plums, raspberries, dark cherries, black currants, and a hint of strawberries. I think it going to be jammy.

It’s oddly salty, especially on the finish. That’s weird. I’ve never experienced that before. I wonder if Saint Helena is near the ocean. (I just checked. It’s about 60 miles inland. I doubt salty ocean breezes travel that far.)

I pick up cantaloupe on the taste and maybe a hint of chocolate and a hint of raspberry jam. It’s hard to pick up much. This would be a really good wine if it wasn’t salty. It’s less salty each sip, but it is still noticeable . . . noticeable on the finish but not in the mouth. I think the salt is some how related to the Malbec. There’s also cherry Kool-Aid on the finish.

What a weird wine.

I’m going to give this 87 points. Without the salt it could be an 89, but it’s difficult to be sure.

I definitely over paid for this one.

And now for a haiku I wrote earlier this year:

   Einstein's Haiku
     (For Melissa)

   Everything I do
   Means I want to love you squared –
   Come with me and prove

To learn more about the cool things going on in that haiku, go here: https://thelinebreak.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/einsteins-haiku.//

01
Dec
12

In Pursuit of the Juiciest Wine: Day 124 – McWilliam’s Hanwood Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

McWilliam's Hanwood Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2007It’s the first day of December, which means my birthday is nearby and, most importantly, my first semester in the Creative Writing program at the University of Southern Mississippi is coming to a close. And it was a very trying semester indeed. So relief is on the way. . . . Well, some. I still have to layout and edit the next issue of Redactions, a chapbook for the winner of the Palettes & Quills biennial chapbook contest, and do some prep work for ENG102, which I’ll teach next semester. But, you know what? For one fraking month I won’t have to use a fraking alarm clock!

I do have two papers that are due soon, too, but one paper just needs to be proofread and the other 80% complete, so it’s time to pre-celebrate with McWilliam’s Hanwood Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2007. I hope it’s good.

It’s color is a deep inky black/purple. It’s 100% opaque. The meniscus is underdeveloped.

The nose is filled with cassis, sour cherries, plums, and vanilla.

Already, I’m thinking a steak would go well with this wine. A steak cooked on the grill and that’s slightly charred on the outside but medium rare on the inside.

It essentially tastes dark. It’s just a big dark taste. Nothing is coming through. It’s a black hole of flavor. No. It’s a flavor singularity.

Wine Black Hole Singularity

The finish is dry and sticky. It’s presence remains on the tongue for some time in a chalky manner.

This wine wasn’t worthy enough of a pre-celebration, but I’m glad I got to make the “Black Hole of Flavor” picture.

87 points.//

09
Oct
12

In Pursuit of the Juiciest Wine: Day 123 – Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon 2010Some of you readers (I’m so grateful that you stop to read what I share) will notice I have not been posting much. I’m always going, going, going either with my own school work or with teaching, but tonight I’m caught up and I actually think I’m ahead in my work. So I’m finally taking time to do a wine tasting because I need a break of some sort.  So I’m going (there’s that word again) to slow down for the night and take a deep breath of Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon 2010. And then I’m going (again with that silly word) to have some macaroni and cheese with hot dogs. (Did I mention I’m a poor college student . . . again . . . for the fourth time in my life. Some people go straight through a college career. I play hopscotch with attending college and being in the working world.)

So here’s to day 123 on the Juiciest Wine tour.

My glass is a foot away, but I can smell some berries. After I bring under my nose, I smell vanilla, currants, cherries, plums, and jamminess.

According to the Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Tasting Notes, this wine is:

  • 87% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 9% Merlot
  • 3% Zinfandel
  • 1% Sangiovese

Now I know where the jamminess is coming from.

I just love the nose.

The color isn’t as opaque as I would expect for a Cabernet Sauvignon, but it will suffice. With a nose like that, most everything will suffice.

Oh, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease taste good.

Most of the taste comes on the finish with some red grapes, spice, and some tartness. I bet the tartness is the “boysenberry pie” the tasting notes mention.

In the mouth, I pick up some cranberries, but the tastes are so subtle.

I like this wine, but it does need some food to bring out the flavors more.

I would never guess this is a Cabernet Sauvignon, though. The body isn’t big enough and it’s too subtle. But as an everyday wine, I’m enjoying it.

I wish the tastes were as wonderful as the nose.

I’d say 87 points.//

08
Sep
12

In Pursuit of the Juiciest Wine: Day 122 – Van Ruiten Old Vine Zinfandel 2008 Lodi Appellation

Van Ruiten Old Vine Zinfandel 2008 Lodi AppellationWork. Work. Work. Fantasy football. Work. Write. Grade papers. Grade papers. Grade papers. Work. Work. Work. What’s wrong with that list? It doesn’t have wine in it. Well, I gotta fix that, and so I will with a bottle of Van Ruiten Old Vine Zinfandel 2008 Lodi Appellation.

I only picked up this bottle because it’s an old vine Zin  . . . and because I could afford it. Transitioning to poor college student again is going to be challenging. I hope I can do it. Be poor that is.

When I poured this, it looked really thin. It appeared almost as thin as Pinot Noir. A Zin should be deep and juicy looking. It should almost be black. It should not be  this  60% opaque, rosé colored wine. Oh boy.

The nose is better than the color with a floral bouquet and some light cherries and some wood. (I usually can’t pick out wood, like cedar or oak or whatever woods wine drinkers pick up, but this time I do, but I don’t know what type of wood. Oak I guess.) And lots of spicy vanilla. Real vanilla. Not that imitation vanilla. And maybe some rum, too. Wow. Rum and wine. If you had that on you alcoholic daily double, then you hit the jackpot tonight. I think there’s a hint of tarragon in there, too. (Isn’t there an upset stomach remedy that includes soaking a vanilla bean and some tarragon in rum . . . or is that just something that sounds tasty?)

Wow. It finishes really hot. This must be loaded with alcohol. It’s making my eyes blink. Maybe there is rum in it afterall.

When drinking it, I can catch a bit of lovely jamminess that usually accompanies a red Zinfandel, but it last only for 2/10 of a fraking second.

There’s not much body with this.

I usually think Zins go well with pizza or pasta in red sauce, but I don’t think this one will. However, it seem like a hard sausage would be a good complement.

The more it opens, the more the jamminess appears and the longer it remains in the happy zone of taste buds, but then the hot finish takes it away. This means I have to keep drinking and drinking and drinking to maintain the jamminess. Drink. Drink. Drink. Ah. I just had a hot flash. Wait, can men have hot flashes?

This wine seems like it might lead to heart burn in the morning.

The more this opens, the better it gets, but the finish is a party pooper. Without the finish, this would be a thin 88, and maybe an 89. With the finish, it’s a thin 87. Meh. There are better wines and Zins for the same price.//

24
Aug
12

In Pursuit of the Juiciest Wine: Day 121 – Ergo Tempranillo Rioja 2009

Ergo Tempranillo Rioja 2009Tonight concludes the first week as student and teacher at the University of Southern Mississippi. It was only a half week, but, man, it felt full – for sure . . . and busy. So this evening, I’m just going to relax and recover, because this all starts up again tomorrow morning when I make syllabus plans for the next week of teaching ENG 101.

Tonight’s wine is Ergo Tempranillo Rioja 2009. Bonus, I will use the decanter for the first time in my Hattiesburg Hacienda.

When I was looking for images of this bottle, I kept finding returns with “Martín Códax Ergo Tempranillo” or variations on the order of words. I just looked on the back of the bottle, and “Martín Códax” is there. I think it is the vineyard. According to Wikipedia:

Martín Códax was a Galician medieval jogral (non-noble composer and performer — as opposed to a trobador), possibly from Vigo, Galicia, in present day Spain. He may have been active during the middle of the thirteenth century, judging from scriptological analysis (Monteagudo 2008). He is one of only two out of a total of 88 authors of cantigas d’amigo who uses only the archaic strophic form aaB (a rhymed distich followed by a refrain). And he also employs an archaic rhyme-system whereby i~o / a~o are used in alternating strophes. In addition Martin Codax consistently deploys a strict parallelistic technique known as leixa-pren [. . . ]. His dates, however, remain unknown and there is no documentary biographical information concerning the poet.

And then a little more research tells me:

Bodegas Martín Códax was founded in 1986 and was named after the most known Galician troubadour whose medieval poems, the oldest of Galician-Portuguese language, are preserved. In the poems, the troubadour sings to love and to the sea of our coastline (http://www.martincodax.com/en/bodega).

Sweet: School. Decanter. Wine. Friday. Poet. It’s on baby. It’s on.

The color is dark maroon with hints of light purple or pink. It’s about 80 percent opaque.

Thee nose is spicy and with dark berries and with some dirt. To me it smells like what Spain would smell like near the Atlantic Ocean or the Straight of Gibraltar. Yes, I’m actually picking up salty sea air odors, and I picked up before using that quote about who the wine was named after. Ok. . . . A little more research shows me that this winery is in northwest Spain and right close to the Atlantic Ocean.

Cambados, the capital of the Salnés Valley

Cambados, the capital of the Salnés Valley

The winery is in Cambados, the capital of the Salnés Valley.

A little more research suggests the vineyard is closer to the Mediterranean Sea and in northeast Spain.

But if I think about it some more, Rioja is in central northern Spain.

Ergo, ha, I don’t where the hell this place is.

Arg. Nonetheless, it’s near salty water and I can smell it. It’s in there, damn it.

I had this wine the other day, and I thought it was okay. Today it’s a bit more tart and drier than I remember. The berries taste lighter than they smelled. It’s not as fruity or fruit forward as I thought it may be or remembered. There’s a bit of dark chocolate in here somewhere, too. And some plums.

It’s a pretty good wine. Certainly it’s 88 points, but I don’t think 89 points. It’s a good everyday Tempranillo. Have some. I think it might go well with some spicy shrimp sushi or well-cooked barbecued chicken.//

08
Aug
12

In Pursuit of the Juiciest Wine: Day 120 – Tittarelli Tempranillo Reserva 2005

Tittarelli Tempranillo Reserva 2005I went to Bed, Bath, & Beyond yesterday to pick up  a $2 wine glass, because it has to be better than drinking out of that mini-jelly-jam-mason-jar-wine-glass from the Juiciest Wine Tour Day 119. And tonight I will test it out on Tittarelli Tempranillo Reserva 2005 because there’s nothing else to do, and the daily late-afternoon/early-evening thunderstorm has come and gone, and my stuff won’t arrive from New York until Monday, so bottoms up.

Wow, that’s a big picture of that bottle. I took it with my two-month old Galaxy S II phone, and it takes huge pictures. The original size was like 12″ x 44″. I tried to shrink it down, but I guess I didn’t shrink it enough. If you click on it, you can get an even bigger image. (I should have kept the resolution at 72 when I shrunk the size, but I made it 300 dpi for a better pic, which is probably why it’s still so big. Ok. Boring.)

According to Cellar Tracker, “Tempranillo is the premium red wine grape variety from the Rioja and Ribera del Duero region in Spain,” but this one is from Argentina. I love Tempranillo, but I’ve never had one from below the equator. (Cellar Tracker is somehow associated with Grape Stories, which is a place where I put these reviews, too, but an abbreviated version. If you like wine, and want to know about any bottle of wine you can find, they probably have a review of it there.)

Enough chit chat. To the wine. Allons-y.

This wine has been opened (as well as the back door) and in glass for over 30 minutes. It’s a new world wine, so it should definitely be ready to drink by now.

The nose has leather, smoke, pepper, and dark currants and maybe watermelon. It smells like a picnic on the edge of a forest. I’m waiting from drunken woodland creatures and ungulates to stagger out. [Wait for it.]

The color is a dark maroon, and it has long, sexy, colorful legs. The meniscus is short and dark, but not as dark as the wine.

It’s very dry on the taste and finish, which tastes cheap.

The taste is herbaceous and it makes my mouth pucker as if I had just sucked on some alum. I can find dark, sour cherries, too.

I don’t know what I think about this wine. It certainly lacks the soul of a Spanish Tempranillo.

Bleu cheese would probably go good with this. I don’t recommend drinking wine with chicken wings, even though I have, but if you do want to combine wings and wine, this might be the wine to do it with. . . . Ah, man, will I ever find good wings down here in the deep, deep south. Now I’m hungry for chicken wings. Sigh. I guess I’ll have a chicken Waldorf salad instead. [Read the last two sentences like Eeyore for the true tonal effect.]

Eeyore

Where are the chicken wings in this rainy, rainy Hattiesburg? Oh where? Oh Where?

So this really isn’t a good wine, especially as a Tempranillo. Eeyore says, “And a new wine glass didn’t even save it.”

86 points. Enough said.//

04
Aug
12

In Pursuit of the Juiciest Wine: Day 119 – Dynamite Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

So I’m in Hattiesburg, MS. Unfortunately, my stuff is not. United guaranteed it would be here by the 7th, but it won’t arrive until the 13th, so I have to drink wine out of this mini mason jar wine glass for nine more days.

Mini Mason Jar Wine Glass

Yay.

Dynamite Cabernet Sauvignon 2008Since I’ve so little to do, I’ll be sampling the Dynamite Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (Red Hills Lake County).

I’ve had Dynamite before a long time ago, and I remember liking it, but my palate was young then. I’m going to try it again. Allons-y.

The color is a very deep, dark purple. It’s 99% opaque. But that might be misleading because the glass is so narrow. The meniscus, however, is a purple pink. Looking at the meniscus I anticipate that this wine has not quite reached its potential drinking age.

I’m not getting much on the nose, but I pick up some dark cherries and pepper and, maybe, some black licorice.

The finish is quick. No. Delayed. It disappears for a while and then it returns with sour black cherries. The taste buds actually recede but then blossom open to receive the next taste – a taste of black cherries and white pepper. I think I even pick up toast. (Oh, I miss my toaster.)

This is a really smooth wine. It’s pleasant. But it needs some cheese to bring out the flavors.

If I were in Brockport, I’d probably pay $10 for this, but in Hattiesburg, I paid around $16 for this. Wine here is much more expensive. I think I might have to cut down on my wine expenditures or readjust how I drink wine. I had a good system down for finding good wines under $15, but I’m going to have to raise that range to like $25 for down here. I even had some good everyday wines for $8 or $9, but down here, I’ll have no such luck.

So with that in mind. Is this wine worth $16? No. $10? Yes. Or maybe it depends on where you live.

It’s really a good wine, but it does need some food encouragement.

I’ll say 89 points.//




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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