Posts Tagged ‘syrah

09
May
12

In Pursuit of the Juiciest Wine: Day 113 – Jade Mountain La Provencale 1999

Jade Mountain La Provencale 1999I’ve been saving this bottle of Jade Mountain La Provençale 1999 for quite some time and for a good occassion. Since today I finished grading all the portfolios for Introduction to Creative Writing, the last class I will teach until fall 2013, I decided to drink it. In addition, I decided to drink over teh next couple of months what few wines I have been saving and aging.

This wine is blend of Mouvedre, Syrah, and Grenache. I think this wine is trying to capture the spirit of Rhone wine.

So I dusted it off and decanted for well over an hour.

The bottle is a very light green that’s almost wholly transparent. I would expect this type of bottle for a white wine and not a red wine. But wuteffer.

Here we go.

When I poured the wine from the bottle to the decanter it was dark in color and odor. The cork had an old, deep purple stainon its bottom, as well.

When I smell the wine from the glass, I pick up mushrooms and assorted vegetables. On a deeper smell, I pick up some wood and raspberries, and deep in there is some very dark chocolate.

The body is cool, thick, and dark. I also pick up raspberries and white pepper. There’s also this juicy plum feel to it. I think I get cantaloupe, too. Or at least the shape of the chopped up cantaloupe that you’d get at a breakfast buffet table.

On the finish, there’s a slight sourness and a light, chalky residue on the tongue. There’s also the feel of Steak Montreal cooked medium-rare.

I like this, but I did hope and expect it to be much better. I’ll say 89 points.

This would be good with something that has basil in it or with spicy, garlic shrimp from a Chinese restaurant. It would probably be good with pizza or Italian food, too. Hm. How about cherry tomatoes and mozzarella cheese tossed in extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and basil. Mmmm. That would be a good match, I bet.//

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.”//

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.//

12
May
11

How Many Calories Are in a Glass of Wine?

I know some of you wine drinkers are counting calories or watching your weight, and you are probably wondering how many calories are in a glass of wine. As a result, I have been doing some research to determine how many calories are in a glass of wine. The calories vary by varietal, but they all have a similar number of calories. Below is a chart I made for the most common varietals, or the ones I drink most.

Three notes.

One: I broke this down by ounces, glass, and bottle. A bottle is 750 milliliters or 25.36 ounces, and a bottle is supposed to hold four glasses of wine plus a little more. (There are 1.36 ounces more, which, I have been told, have absolutely no calories!) So that is why there is a 6 oz column, because that’s a glass of wine. If you pour smaller or larger amounts in your glass, then you can multiply the 1 oz column by how many ounces you poured.

Two: Calories will also vary by vineyard. So the Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 may have a more or fewer calories than the Columbia Crest Cabernet Grand Estates Sauvignon 2007.

Three: Yes, I made that image above. Pretty good, hunh?! (Click it to see it large. Then click it again. I’m quite impressed with this image. I made the glass see through.)

Here’s the chart. It doesn’t include Tempranillo, but I assume they will be like a Granacha. If you want a printable version, click How Many Calories Are in a Glass of Wine?

Calories in Wine

//

05
May
11

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day ninety-two (Perrin & Fils Gigondas La Gille 2007) Fils

GEE-gohn-dahs. GEE-gohn-dahs. GEE-gohn-dahs.

Poof.

Perrin & Fils Gigondas La Gille 2007

That’s exactly what just happened to me. I said Gigondas three times in a row and this bottle of Perrin & Fils Gigondas La Gille 2007 appeared right in front of me. You should give it a try.

Gigondas. Gigondas. Gigondas.

Did it work for you? I hope so. If not, I’ll describe this wine for you.

First off, The Wine Spectator gave it 92 points and rated it number 78 on its Top 100 Wines of 2010. Ya know, if that means anything to you.

Plus, 70% of the wine matured in casks and 30% in one-year old barrels.

This Rhône blend, or cuvee, is 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. All that adds up to Yum.

I saw the season’s first rose today. It was two feet tall. It’s color of bright red is nothing like the color of this wine. No, this is a dark maroon.

Dark Maroon

It’s very similar to that color, but it’s a hair darker (depending on your monitor and the angle of the monitor), but it’s brighter on its tall meniscus. Actually, as I look at this meniscus, I sense disappointment. This wine seems sad. If it could cry, it would. Dark maroon, 14.5% alcohol tears.

I wish I had stop to smell that rose I saw. I bet it smelled lovely, but not as lovely as this Perrin & Fils Gigondas La Gille 2007. More yum. I’m picking up all the flavors I like, such as cherries, strawberries, spice, plums, and flowers, but not roses. It smells jammy. Yes!

A weird thing just happened. I walked over to my girlfriend, who is cooking meatloaf, and then I walked back. In that time, the wine picked up a musky-skunky-earthiness on the nose. It’s kinda like something you’d smell in a Cab Franc.

Hmmm.

What a fine finish. Up front, though, there are dark berries and figs. I can even picture that fig.

Figs

I want one, now. I want that juicy inside. Mmm. Mmm.

The finish is spicy with dark berries. It will go well with the meatloaf, I think, and probably better with the vegetables – shallots and green beans.

I’ll give this wine an A. A low A. I think it will better in a few more years. I say get a bottle and try it out.//

17
Apr
11

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day ninety (Chateau de Lascaux Coteaux du Languedoc 2008)

Finally, I found Chateau de Lascaux Coteaux du Languedoc 2008. (Many thanks go out to Holly!) It’s number 85 on The Wine Spectator Top 100 list for 2010. That’s a good reason to get a wine. Plus it’s a 91-point wine for only $14 or $16. But I wanted it because it’s from Lascaux, where there are some great cave paintings.

The Man, The Bison, and the Bird of the Shaft (The Shaft of the Dead Man)

The Man, The Bison, and the Bird of the Shaft (aka The Shaft of the Dead Man)

That’s one of the more famous paintings. It’s probably most famous because it seems like there is a narrative, a story, going on here, but no one knows what the story is. It’s mysterious. More so because most Paleolithic paintings don’t have stories. Most are images. There are very, very few cave paintings that appear to tell a story. I’m not sure if a story is going on here. It may be a palimpsest of images.

But what of Coteaux du Languedoc? Is there a story here? Well, it is the oldest vineyard in France. Some say the Greeks put vineyards here around 5 BCE and some say 500 BCE. Either way, it’s old, but not as old as those cave paintings. Coteaux du Languedoc is then divided into many appellations. Chateua de Lascaux is located in the Pic Saint-Loup appellation.

Coteaux du Languedoc

Pic Saint-Loup appellation is up top in the dark red.

Of the Pic Saint-Loup appellation:

It’s probable that those living here 2800 – 2400 years BCE already drank Pic Saint-Loup . . . After all, wild vines – lambrusques – were growing way back then.

Wines from this appellation are required to be  have at least 90% Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre combined. The other 10% can be Carignan and Cinsault. This wine from Chateau de Lascaux is 60% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 10% Mourvedre, which meets the requirements of the Pic Saint-Loup appellation.

Other appellations have different requirements. For a break down of each appellation’s requirements and a brief history of Coteaux du Languedoc, visit the Languedoc Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée website.

For more information about Pic Saint-Loup, read the Pic Saint-Loup press pack. Interestingly, the press pack says:

Vine cultivation started largely with the Roman occupation around 120 BCE. Since then it has constantly expanded.

(I don’t know why they say Romans when other sources say the Greeks were the first to plant in Coteaux du Languedoc. Maybe they were both there? [shoulders shrug])

Chateau de Lascaux Coteaux du Languedoc 2008There is obviously more to learn and say about Pic Saint-Loup and Coteaux du Languedoc, but it’s time to get to the Chateau de Lascaux Coteaux du Languedoc 2008.

Held up to the wet sunset sky where snow (big, fat snow flakes of snow) had been falling much of the afternoon and early evening, the color of this wine is bright purple. It looks vibrant and happy.

The nose is delicious. Vanilla and and and, ah, it’s like vanilla cream. After a couple of swirls, new smells arise: cranberry and pepper. There might be cherry, too. And I pick up some truffle oil. Truffle oil. That’s what is making me happy inside. Truffle oil. Truffle oil is always happiness to the body. I smell it and all sorrows go away.

To the taste.

This is pleasant up front with cranberries and plum. The body is cool and deep. The Mourvedre is making for a tart finish, or a high acidic finish. The tartness while mild endures on the finish.

This is an enjoyable wine, but it needs some food to cut the tart finish.

This would go good with eggs. Eggs, toast, hash browns, and ketchup. This would be a good breakfast wine. Though, who has wine for breakfast? Hmm. Maybe I should go to the Brockport Diner.

I say this is a B+ wine. It could probably benefit from a few more years so the acidity can mellow a bit.//

ADDENDUM (4-18-11 a.m.): This becomes a solid A- with some food. It went perfectly well with some spicy chow mein noodles and veggies that I made.//

ADDENDUM (4-18-11 p.m.): About 24 hours later I had some more. It was so much better. It was a new wine. The tartness was all gone. It even tasted a bit like garlic bread. This wine either needs lots of time to open up or a decanter. I’m now giving this an A.//

17
Feb
11

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day eighty-six (Domaine de Fontsainte Corbieres 2007)

Domaine de Fontsainte Corbières 2007Tonight’s wine is a Kermit Lynch wine – Domaine de Fontsainte Corbières 2007. I went looking to see what made up this red, and it’s like a backward Cotes du Rhone from the other night’s Domain Les Grands Bois Côtes Du Rhone Cuvee Les Trois Sœurs 2009. This red is made from three old-vine grapes: 60% Carignane (pronounced karen yawn), 30% Grenache, and 10% Syrah. I got that break down from The Cab Franco Files. This site also has more useful information.

First this description:

This is unapologetically a lighter-bodied wine showing fresh red fruit character and minerality. Perhaps this has to do with the wine undergoing carbonic maceration, where the fermentation actually takes place inside the grape. Regardless, there’s lively acidity and a seam of tannin, but essentially just enough structure to lend a bit of gravitas. The bouquet is a bit funky, and eventually shows more barnyardy aromas than fruit aromas. But that’s just fine. This is a straightforward wine that’s easy to drink or pair with food.

And then this funky graphic representation of the wine.

Domaine de Fontsainte Corbières 2007 Graphic Representation

Oh, and cool. He just tried it the other day, too. I feel a connection with this blog already. I might have to add it to the list on the right-hand side over here ====>.

That’s done. Now to the wine.

It smells sweet. It smells like a Fingers Lake wine. I’m not getting the funkiness that Cab Franco File, well not much anyway. I’m picking up a sweet red berry.

Well, good. (Adverb, adjective.) It tastes better than expected, and the body is bigger than expected. It doesn’t taste like a Fingers Lake wine, either. Though Cab Franco File is right. It’s is “straightforward.” It might be a hair to sweet me, but not really. It will good with some spicy food.

I keep thinking of strawberries and a bright red color after I put down the glass.

This wine has just flipped on me. After giving it to my girlfriend, who gets earthiness and mushrooms, I’m now getting a more funky nose and sweeter and more sour finish.

It’s like it magically opened up one hour and fifty-five minutes after popping the cork.

Are we all drinking the same wine?

I don’t think I care for this wine much anymore. It’s ok, but I can immediately think of 24 better wines for the same $12 price or less. Also, I don’t think I’m a fan of “carbonic maceration.” I wanted to be, but I’m not.

Oh, Kermit Lynch, it must not be easy being a wine merchant.

I say 87 points. No more, and maybe less.

You know?! If you don’t smell and suck in more air than wine, then it’s not that bad.//




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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