In Vino Veritas - the WINE thread, what you enjoy, current drinking, tastes, recommendations

JuanaCruzJuanaCruz Shipmate Posts: 45
As my intro post in Welcome rapidly became cluttered with discussion on an interest of mine ie WINE (sorry not GIN), I promised to start a thread for folks to share wine tastes, what you may currently be enjoying, vinous epiphanies and so on ... so let me kick it off :smile:

As background, I grew up in an area with about 10 vineyards in driving distance so I was drinking and tasting wine since a late-teenager. My tastes have changed hugely over the years from bruising aussie reds and NZ sauvignon blanc, then a wallet-emptying bordeaux habit and so on ...

Currently my real love is very (very) dry whites like Australian and Austrian rieslings, Hunter Valley semillon. Also Greek assyrtiko. Not for everyone and my partner's single word tasting note for them is normally "sour" with an accompanying facial expression ... if possible I try to find something a bit special in the the £7-£12 range as a daily quaffer. The one below is worth checking out - it's dry-ish rather than my normal ultra-dry.

I'm not normally a fan of pinot grigios as most of them are a bit bland for my tastes, but on vacation I found this jewel as a random buy - Co-op's Irresistible Marlborough (NZ) Pinot Grigio. I can't give too many adjectives (or even remember the year) as thoughtlessly I finished the bottle that evening but I remember it was both delicious and had a lot of class for a £7.50 wine.
Tagged:
«1

Comments

  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host
    Thank you, @JuanaCruz. I'm also a wino, although my tastes lean strongly toward reds.

    When I was 22, I was borderline anemic. My internist at the time said to me, "I hate to put you on iron pills at your age. Do you like red wine?" Yes, I replied, trying to keep the "Duh!" out of my tone. "How would you feel about having a glass of red wine every night with your dinner?" I think I could do that. And so, except when on meds that didn't mix with alcohol, or when I knew I was pregnant, I have. (Just don't make me drink cabs...icky, too much tannin.) And, until I started being assaulted by various chemotherapies in recent years, anemia has not been an issue. Dear Bernard Martin, MD - he knew whereof he spoke!

  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    I am partial to German Rieslings. I like them minerally and sweet -- preferably with an alcohol content below 8%. Dr. Loosen Rieslings are pretty uniformly excellent in my estimation.
  • We're winding our way through the offerings from Okanogan VQA establishments. British Columbia, Canada. Gamay is a grape we'd not heard of nor tasted before. Wonderful. We have to have them shipped. It's >1400 km / 900 miles from here.
  • There's increasingly also good Gamay coming out of Ontario as well - we've tasted a few good examples over the last few weeks including an improbably good field blend of Gamay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Franc (generally regarded as the three most successful red grapes in Ontario, but not usually found together in the same bottle).



  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Back in the days, Mr F would drive the Firenzemobile to mainland Europe, returning a couple of weeks later chinking rather. By these means we discovered the wines of areas which either don't export or what they do is pathetically unrepresentative of the true quality. The Ahrteil, Rheinhessen, Mosel, Franken, Languedoc and Bergerac - ah, the memories.

    Sadly, we are unlikely to go again, and must make do with what we can get in the UK - which is fortunately quite a lot. Current enthusiasm is for Waitrose's collection of lesser-known varietals. Currently drinking the Marselan (on course to be the house red, in succession to Aldi's Citie de Carcassonne), the Petit Manseng, Zweigelt and Pecorino. Would recommend 'em all.
  • On a cold, raining November Saturday evening of 2000 (1999?), I took a former roommate and his fiancé out to celebrate their just announced engagement. (Took my then current roommate along as well.) When I called my local bistro (RIP, sadly) for reservations, they told me that they had coq au vin made using intact roosters(!) as one of the specials. I reserved four servings. We had two bottles of CEV Cabernet Franc (CEV is a Niagara winery). Yes, Pinot Noir would have been traditional, but my God, the perfect for the dish and the very unpleasant weather. Just the right tannins to address the richness of the dish, just the right berry (I don't like fruit bombs), enough alcohol for the weather without being 'hot' in the glass - great balance overall.

    I agree with Marsupial about Ontario Gamays, although I dislike Konzelmann, as I find that it has a consistently sweet strawberry note. The best Ontario Pinot Noir that I've thus far tasted is Le Clos Jordanne, "Le Grand Clos". I've never had a G/PN blend from Ontario, but I've had Dôle from the Vaud in Switzerland, which is really lovely, and great with steak tartar. I imagine that throwing some CF into the mix would add a bit of muscle to the blend. Sounds great fun.

    JuanaCruz - thank you for starting this thread. Cheers!
  • Cheers from downunder also, @JuanaCruz !

    My tastes also run towards Hunter Valley semillon [we live only twenty minutes away!] and Eden Valley or Clare Valley riesling. Marsanne and Roussanne from Victoria are also very drinkable. Cold-climate Chardonnay, as the warmer regions I find overblown. Most Aussie sauvignon blanc I think is a triumph of marketing over taste. There are some luscious late-picked or botrytis rieslings from Riverina and SA in particular.

    In reds Hunter Valley Shiraz or old vine Shiraz from somewhere in Victoria like Tahbilk, then Riverina and Rutherglen durifs. I find most Australian cabernets and especially South Aussie reds too heavy on the alcohol and tannins.

    In fortifieds, Rutherglen gets my vote every time. We have an annual standing order of winter warmers from Campbells.

    The New Zealanders do much better with their sauv blanc and pinot grigio than many of the Australian wineries.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited September 9
    I am a complete Philistine when it comes to WINE, though, like @Rossweisse, I prefer reds.

    My current tipple is a French Claret, about the cheapest thing on Tesco's shelves, but eminently potable *hic*. I also favour the local Co-Op's Cotes du Rhone, again very inexpensive, but it slips down quite nicely with some CHEESE *hic* *hic*.

    My sister lives in southern France, where the local table wine is bought from a sort of petrol-pump thingy, and you take along your own massive drum to fill...but nearby is Tautavel, whose wine is somewhat more upmarket:
    https://wine-searcher.com/regions-cotes+du+roussillon+villages+tautavel
  • There has been a general tendency to either make wines of all varieties taste sweeter or be astringently dry. Or perhaps this is my progressive loss of discernment with an older tongue and foot-filled mouth.
  • Some sweet WINES are definitely to be avoided:
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=oPk0xgHqQ4M
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    But they can be great.

    For Mr F's 60th I was determined to find a wine from each decade. Ten, 20 and 30 year old not a problem: 40 I think was a red, and 50 a port. But 60? We (me + helpful wine merchant) interviewed a burgundy, but there was evidence the cork was not original. And then a friend in the trade had found these two bottles in a cellar...

    It was a 1953 Trockenbeerenauslese, still drinking like honied gold.
  • At the moment we are knocking back a box of Co-op own brand fairtrade red (blend?). The wife likes it better when I decant it on the quiet into an empty bottle with a nice label which was left over from when she last went to the supermarket :smile:

    I sometimes wish I understood wine, but most of the time I'm reasonably OK with the idea that I don't.
  • MarthaMartha Shipmate
    I tend to order a mixed box from one or other of these subscription wine companies, usually when they send me the latest introductory deal. They tell you that they source hidden gems that you would never normally see. I've no idea how true that actually is. We're fairly undiscerning wine drinkers, though, so we drink whatever they send us, and occasionally say, "Oh, this one's rather nice" and promptly forget the name of it. If you're really keen I think you can rate the bottles so that they send you more of what you like.
  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    As one of the Ship's resident French people, I feel I have to weigh in here. That said, I'm a bit of an ignoramus compared to husband en rouge, who is in charge of the cellar. Our cellar actually is a proper underground facility in the old chalk quarries, where the conditions are perfect. The President of the Republic has his bottles nearby, natch, as do several very prestigious restaurants. We hire a space for 100 bottles.

    The most expensive thing in the cellar is a premier cru Claret (one of the four greats, but modesty forbids to say more) from 2015 - the year of our wedding and an excellent vintage. Husband en rouge bought it at auction and claims it was a bargain :astonished:. It won't be drunk until at least our 20th or possibly 25th anniversary.

    Obviously we don't drink things like that all the time, and husband en rouge prides himself on finding excellent bottles in the supermarket for knockdown prices. At this time of year the French supermarkets have a "foire au vin" where they bring in a lot of wine direct from the producers and sell it cheaper than usual. We have been stocking up :smiley:

    Burgundies are our favourites although they tend to be pricey. In foie gras land we also support the local economy by purchasing the local wines, Gaillac mostly. Gaillac can be ropey so you need to know which ones are nice.

    We don't buy a lot of New World wines because once you take the tax into account they usually work out more expensive for equivalent quality.
  • :smiley: @la vie en rouge that is surely one of the most envy-provoking posts I have ever read! "Modesty forbids to say more" indeed!
  • The consensus on the Bridge is that wine is fit for Heaven. And, therefore I'm shifting this thread up towards the sun where the grapes will ripen nicely.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I can't believe we've got this far without anyone mentioning Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, which may be a candidate for Nicest Wine in the World.

    I have fond memories of a Christmas in Northern Ireland, when we heard that a small, independent wine shop in Co. Down had a supply of it. David hot-tailed it down to the shop, and came back with three bottles - they were limiting customers to three each, so he went back the following day and got three more.

    Our best friends were very happy when they opened their Christmas presents.*

    Having said all that, there are other NZ SBs that are also wonderful, especially the lovely, sharp grapefruity ones like Oyster Bay and Villa Maria.

    * We kept one bottle for ourselves ... :wink:
  • Firenze wrote: »
    But they can be great.

    For Mr F's 60th I was determined to find a wine from each decade. Ten, 20 and 30 year old not a problem: 40 I think was a red, and 50 a port. But 60? We (me + helpful wine merchant) interviewed a burgundy, but there was evidence the cork was not original. And then a friend in the trade had found these two bottles in a cellar...

    It was a 1953 Trockenbeerenauslese, still drinking like honied gold.

    We had a similar experience just the other week, but not to the same age. I had been reluctant to open a 1993 late harvest Sylvaner from Queensland's granite belt fearing the cork may have failed, but took the plunge. It poured with the colour of liqueur muscat, but with no off odours or flavours. Honied gold is a good description.
  • Cabernet all the way -- "Oaky," with hints of blackberry and a *finish* reminiscent of weasel spit strained through a dirty sock ...
  • My taste in wine is pretty all over the map (literally) - will try almost anything that looks interesting at a reasonable price.

    In terms of everyday wines, my reliable weekday pizza wine is a Montepulciano d'Abruzzo called Illuminati Riparasso which is imported in quantity by the Ontario government liquor monopoly. Curiously, the Ontario packaging makes it look cheap and cheerful (complete with unglamorous but cork-taint-proof screwcap closure) whereas the packaging displayed on the Italian producer's website makes it look like a much more respectable (if cork-taint-susceptible) wine. Avondale Jonty's Ducks red and white (South Africa) is less reliably available in Canada but when available is reliably delicious for not much more $$.

    My favourite local Ontario wines are the Pinot Noir wines that are now available from an increasingly wide range of good producers. Good Pinot is comparatively pricey, but I think what we're producing in Ontario is worth the money. Around the same price range we also produce a number of traditional method sparkling wines that offer about 80% of the pleasure of good AOC Champagne at about 50% of the price. Good Ontario Riesling and (as mentioned above) Gamay can be had for very reasonable prices; Chardonnay is all over the map price-wise but unfortunately I don't think we've ever really managed to pull off something comparable to Chablis which is my ideal Chardonnay. Bordeaux varieties are very hit-and-miss in Ontario - as mentioned above Cabernet Franc is our most reliable Bordeaux red grape though I think @Pangolin Guerre has more experience in this part of the Ontario wine world than I do.

    Most unusual wine experience in the last few years was a Pinot Gris by the Czech producer Milan Nestaric that we tried in a Prague wine bar ("our wines are a little funky", they warned us). It was vinified red and did a very credible imitation of a good (if light) Pinot Noir. We brought a bottle home with us and shared it with a friend and we were still really impressed by it.
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    I’m fond of Malbec and quite a few of the Italian reds.
    Just before lockdown we went to a wine tasting evening in a local pub. The theme was German and Austrian wines and was led by the owner of a local wine shop. A great evening, she’s an excellent speaker, the German themed food was yummy and the wines interesting. It was very reasonable priced, due in part to being subsidised by a German government department as part of an initiative to get their wines better known. On the strength of that evening the white wine for hot summer evenings this year has been Austrian Grüner- Veltliner. We put our names down for the Italian evening the following month, but lockdown started. I was looking forward to finding out more and discovering some wines I hadn’t come across.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Cheers from downunder also, @JuanaCruz !

    My tastes also run towards Hunter Valley semillon [we live only twenty minutes away!] and Eden Valley or Clare Valley riesling. Marsanne and Roussanne from Victoria are also very drinkable. Cold-climate Chardonnay, as the warmer regions I find overblown. Most Aussie sauvignon blanc I think is a triumph of marketing over taste. There are some luscious late-picked or botrytis rieslings from Riverina and SA in particular.

    In reds Hunter Valley Shiraz or old vine Shiraz from somewhere in Victoria like Tahbilk, then Riverina and Rutherglen durifs. I find most Australian cabernets and especially South Aussie reds too heavy on the alcohol and tannins.

    In fortifieds, Rutherglen gets my vote every time. We have an annual standing order of winter warmers from Campbells.

    The New Zealanders do much better with their sauv blanc and pinot grigio than many of the Australian wineries.

    Largely agree. Pinot grigio is a bit of a fad, but may last because it sounds good (ie not in English).
  • Cheers from downunder also, @JuanaCruz !
    The New Zealanders do much better with their sauv blanc and pinot grigio than many of the Australian wineries.
    Wholly agree. When not in a restaurant which offers European wines by the glass*, I drink exclusively NZ whites and exclusively Aussie reds - to be fair, that's extremely easy to do here in the antipodes...
    Piglet wrote: »
    I can't believe we've got this far without anyone mentioning Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, which may be a candidate for Nicest Wine in the World.
    Nom nom nom...it featured at my 40th birthday dinner...
    Piglet wrote: »
    Having said all that, there are other NZ SBs that are also wonderful, especially the lovely, sharp grapefruity ones like Oyster Bay and Villa Maria.
    Now here is a pig after my own heart! You used to be able to buy a sav here in NZ labelled 'Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush'. It is referenced in the article below, which for some reason absolutely refuses to behave inside a standard hyperlink.

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/a-glass-of-cats-pee-on-a-gooseberry-bush-anyone/article748900/

    *ie: not for a long time now...
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    I drink white wine, pretty much anything. Like @Martha I order a selection box from a provider, and enjoy them all. I could find ones I like and just order cases of them, but I really enjoy new tastes and flavours. I try to remember the ones I enjoy, but by the end of the bottle, it is SO DIFFICULT.

    I live sauvignon. I know a lot of people don't but I choose it where I can (not always, as Mrs Cat doesn't like it at all, and sometimes I have to share). My provider does have an "Anything but Sauvignon" case, which I find most peculiar.
  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    edited September 10
    Gee D wrote: »
    Cheers from downunder also, @JuanaCruz !

    My tastes also run towards Hunter Valley semillon [we live only twenty minutes away!] and Eden Valley or Clare Valley riesling. Marsanne and Roussanne from Victoria are also very drinkable. Cold-climate Chardonnay, as the warmer regions I find overblown. Most Aussie sauvignon blanc I think is a triumph of marketing over taste. There are some luscious late-picked or botrytis rieslings from Riverina and SA in particular.

    In reds Hunter Valley Shiraz or old vine Shiraz from somewhere in Victoria like Tahbilk, then Riverina and Rutherglen durifs. I find most Australian cabernets and especially South Aussie reds too heavy on the alcohol and tannins.

    In fortifieds, Rutherglen gets my vote every time. We have an annual standing order of winter warmers from Campbells.

    The New Zealanders do much better with their sauv blanc and pinot grigio than many of the Australian wineries.

    Largely agree. Pinot grigio is a bit of a fad, but may last because it sounds good (ie not in English).

    There's a New Yorker cartoon where a couple is looking at a wine list at a restaurant and the husband says to the wife: "I want Chardonnay, but I like to say Pinot Grigio".

    NZ Sauvignon Blanc is my father's favourite white wine and we are always happy to drink it with him. We also had a really nice PG from NZ not too long ago (now that I look it up, actually back in February 2019 - Matahiri Estate from Wairarapa). We seem to be getting a much better selection of PG in Ontario than we used to - what the LCBO (our liquor monopoly) brought in used to be pretty dull stuff. They brought in two delicious PGs by Nels Margreid (Italy Alto Aldige) last year. Also recently tasted some good PG from an Oregon producer imported by a local importer and sold (mostly to restaurants) under their own name (Pearce Predhomme).

    Generally speaking the Ontario selection from Australia and NZ is much better than it used to be. They used to bring in only the big obvious wines and there is now a great deal more variety. (We had a very nice Tahbilk Shiraz not too long ago @Barnabas_Aus .)
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    If it's under $10 and a cabernet merlot I'll make it my staple. Splashing out on a good(er) wine tends to be for a South Australian Cab Sauv ... I'm an utter philistine though ....

    White is drinkable (dry only) in the middle of the day but since I only allow myself that privilege about twice a year I'm hardly an expert.

    Incidentally, my go to <$10 is as nice as $20-30 wines - but occasionally you get a bad batch. Which is great for cooking spag boll.
  • We're winding our way through the offerings from Okanogan VQA establishments. British Columbia, Canada. Gamay is a grape we'd not heard of nor tasted before. Wonderful. We have to have them shipped. It's >1400 km / 900 miles from here.

    There are a lot of good wineries in the Okanagan. Perhaps not so well-known is that Vancouver Island has a growing number of good wineries, as well. Different climate so different grapes. I don't think that they leave the Island much, so it is unlikely you will ever come across them unless you come to visit.

    These days, I very rarely drink wine that was made outside of BC. I used to love New Zealand and Argentinian wines especially but I can't remember when I last had anything like that.

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Red and full bodied. But overall I prefer beer anyway. And the price differential between the rubbish and good stuff isn't so great.
  • NP - You may not have heard of Gamay before your trip, but if you've had a Beaujolais, you've had Gamay. It's never declared on the label, because if it's appelation controlée, Gamay is the only red permitted.

    Sarasa - you mention Malbec. I love Malbec, but it also makes me sad. Once upon a time, before Argentine wines had the popularity that they have today, Malbecs were not so big and fruity. They used to be muscular, and have much darker profile - forest floor, humidor, leather, dried fruit. When the Argentines got serious about carving out some of the global market for themselves they "Parkerised"* their style to make it marketable**, and their share has undoubtedly grown greatly, but that old style of which I was so fond is just gone, extinct.

    *Robert Parker, the American wine critic (not by training - he's a lawyer - not that there's anything wrong on either count), has become so influential that many producers, across the spectrum of quality, have come to style their wines to get a 92 from Parker even if it might require betraying their tradition. The results, in broad strokes, are higher alcohol, more forward fruit, high sugar content (from later harvest, perhaps over extraction), and softer tannins (from that and from micooxygenation). Thirty years ago a red at 13% was exceptional, and now it's almost de rigueur, and 12% seems on the light side. A 14% from Australia gets a shrug.

    **In turn, this has had a disproportionate influence on what the consumer demands. "Well, if Parker gives it a 92, it must be excellent," and so buy wines that are in that style. As a result, the wine makers produce what the consumer demands, and the more traditional, individual, or eccentric wines are pushed out. More traditional wines are viewed as being astringent, or austere, or, worst of all "bad". It becomes an unvirtuous circle that has invaded almost every corner of the wine producing world.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    Red and full bodied. But overall I prefer beer anyway. And the price differential between the rubbish and good stuff isn't so great.

    (Banks's at 89p a bottle in Aldi is amazing value, IMO. 3.8, proper beer, no fuss).
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    edited September 11
    Marsupial wrote: »
    Generally speaking the Ontario selection from Australia and NZ is much better than it used to be. They used to bring in only the big obvious wines and there is now a great deal more variety. (We had a very nice Tahbilk Shiraz not too long ago @Barnabas_Aus .)

    Tahbilk Marsanne is also excellent; if you're giving dinner to a group, you can plan a meal around the Marsanne when people arrive and continue it through the first course, then move to the Shiraz for the main (it goes very well with a leg of lamb roasted over coals) and the cheese. The vineyards and winery are well worth a visit. Very attractive buildings in great country. The Purbricks have done well to keep their standards for so many years.
  • We were members of the Tahbilk Wine Club for a number of years, as we have relatives in Victoria. As we have not been visiting as frequently even pre-COVID, our purchases have dropped off, so I think it may have lapsed.

    I agree about Marsanne and it's versatility. I've introduced several friends to the variety. It is now being grown and produced in the Wrattonbully region of SA and the granite belt near Stanthorpe and Ballandean in Qld. Not quite to the Tahbilk standard but still eminently drinkable.
  • The first straight on Marsanne I ever had was Tahbilk. I was an instant convert. I agree on its versatility.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited September 11
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Red and full bodied. But overall I prefer beer anyway. And the price differential between the rubbish and good stuff isn't so great.

    (Banks's at 89p a bottle in Aldi is amazing value, IMO. 3.8, proper beer, no fuss).

    Filtered, pasteurised and artificially carbonated unfortunately but it survives the process very well, and as you say, at less than a squid for 500ml...
  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Circus Host, 8th Day Host
    French Malbec also exists and very nice it is too. You need to look for Cahors. We found a delicious one in the foie gras land supermarket this summer for the princely sum of €5. It was as good as many much more expensive Bordeaux.

    Alcohol contents in French wines are also on the rise. Climate change is the main reason. These days they're starting to grow vineyards in Normandy for goodness' sake :astonished:.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited September 11
    My niece’s partner opened a high end wine shop in Lancaster just before lockdown. It’s been his dream for many years.

    They’ve done OK by offering doorstep deliveries and now the shop is open again.

    They have been doing Zoom wine tasting sessions where the growers and owners of the wineries have joined in - it’s going really well.

    From their website - “ After 24 years as a chef, he has hung up his apron to go full time with wine. Starting his own restaurant in 2008 was the catalyst for him to get serious about wine, when, being responsible for a wine list, he didn't simply want to be led by the local drinks supplier, but wanted to learn and understand what he was selling and make the best wine list he could. WSET courses at intermediate and advanced level followed, and joining the online UK Wine forum. Attending trade tastings wherever possible also helped him learn quickly. By 2011, he had begun holding his own monthly wine tasting evenings in the restaurant and, after selling the restaurant, subsequently continued them at Pizza Margherita, the 100th tasting neatly coinciding with opening the shop in February 2020.

    He has a particular love and knowledge of Italian wines (reflected in the shop's well stocked Italian shelves.) and is currently particularly excited about the new wave of Sicilian wines.”

    🙂 🍷
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    This is such an informative thread. Thanks for the tip about Cahors @la vie en rouge .
    @Boogie , our local high end wine shop has done really well lately. I pop in every now and again and there are is often a queue. The owner is lovely. I ended up with two great loaves of artisan bread when I turned up at the end of the day for some wine and she was trying to get rid of it.
  • Gee D wrote: »
    Marsupial wrote: »
    Generally speaking the Ontario selection from Australia and NZ is much better than it used to be. They used to bring in only the big obvious wines and there is now a great deal more variety. (We had a very nice Tahbilk Shiraz not too long ago @Barnabas_Aus .)

    Tahbilk Marsanne is also excellent; if you're giving dinner to a group, you can plan a meal around the Marsanne when people arrive and continue it through the first course, then move to the Shiraz for the main (it goes very well with a leg of lamb roasted over coals) and the cheese. The vineyards and winery are well worth a visit. Very attractive buildings in great country. The Purbricks have done well to keep their standards for so many years.

    Thanks - I’ll keep my eye out for it. If @Pangolin Guerre has managed to get his hands on a bottle that gives me hope for availability in Ontario.

    Incidentally, I discovered last night that I have a bottle of Barossa Marsanne sitting in my basement that I had misremembered as a Hunter Semillon. I don’t know the Hunter Valley very well though we enjoyed the Semillons a friend of ours tried out on us last year when she was doing an Australia wine course.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Can't help you with the Barossa you have, sorry.
  • French Malbec also exists and very nice it is too. You need to look for Cahors. We found a delicious one in the foie gras land supermarket this summer for the princely sum of €5. It was as good as many much more expensive Bordeaux.

    Alcohol contents in French wines are also on the rise. Climate change is the main reason. These days they're starting to grow vineyards in Normandy for goodness' sake :astonished:.

    And vines in the south of England, too! It's been some years since I had some English wines, and I found them unremarkable for the price (certainly a bit of a novelty), but I'm told that it has improved.

    I'm very fond of Cahors and Madiran. I realise that Madiran is principally or entirely Tannat. Strangely, Argentina has become associated with Malbec, and Uruguay with Tannat (and the Uruguayan ones that I've had are really quite good).

    Regarding the alcohol content and climate change, climate change is definitely a factor but I question whether it's the main reason. Before climate change was a noticeable phenomenon there was the movement toward harvesting later, under the influence of Émile Peynaud, resulting in higher concentration of sugars, hence higher alcohol and greater fruitiness. Of course, later harvests are a much safer gamble because of global warming.
  • Oh - question for the real nerds here: Is microoxygenation permissible for wines that are natural or biodynamic?
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    It depends on what side of the hill it occurs.
  • When the Argentines got serious about carving out some of the global market for themselves they "Parkerised"* their style to make it marketable**, and their share has undoubtedly grown greatly, but that old style of which I was so fond is just gone, extinct.

    If you like documentaries; "Mondovino" is a good look at this phenomana and its effects on wine production.

    In terms of stuff I'm enjoying drinking; at the moment that's mainly Austrian Blaufrankisch and Zweigelts.
  • Oh - question for the real nerds here: Is microoxygenation permissible for wines that are natural or biodynamic?

    I'm not sure offhand - there may be problems of definition since I don't think either term is legally defined in most jurisdictions. "Natural" to my mind means minimal intervention which seems to rule out micro-oxygenation AFAICS.

    I believe Demeter is the largest certification organization for biodynamic agriculture and also biodynamic wines. There's a helpful FAQ here - as you'll see it distinguishes between "biodynamic wine" and "wine made with biodynamic grapes" - only the former is subject to rules about how the wine is made. It doesn't say anything about micro-oxygenation, pro or contra, but once again the concept is about minimal intervention. (That said, MO doesn't actually add anything to wine except oxygen.)

    Interestingly apparently micro-oxygenation was initially developed in Madiran to soften Tannat for earlier consumption. I assume it's not something anyone is going to want to do to a $400 Bordeaux designed to be cellared for 20 years. On the other hand, I can't afford $400 Bordeaux... I think there may be a certain amount of politics going on with these issues and some of it is only tangentially about wine - Mondovino isn't a bad movie, but I found the "France good America bad" motif a little heavy-handed after a while.

    On the climate change issue, I've been generally seeing riper styles of wine all around, and not just in traditional Parker-land - I've noticed it for instance in white wines from the Loire, Chablis, and the Wachau. I doubt very much that Parker is to blame for this.

  • I live in an area very near some very well know wineries, and I do indulge. Side note many in our church are in the wine business so we have very good communion wine. That said for my day to day wine with dinner we go for a local red by Crane Lake. $3.00 a bottle at our grocery. Not a great wine but really a surprisely good wine for daily drinking with meals.
  • Incidentally @Pangolin Guerre have you tried Malbec from Versado - it's made by a team of winemakers (including Canadians Ann Sperling and Peter Gamble) in the cooler parts of Mendoza. I'm not remotely a Malbec expert, but I'm guessing it may be more like the earlier style you admire.
  • Marsupial - I have not tried the Versado Malbec! Sadly, according to the LCBO website, there is only the Versado Reserve available, and only in Ottawa, in amounts dangerously close to being 'ghost inventory'. But thank you. I'll keep it in mind.

    And thank you for the link to Demeter.

    You note the riper style in whites. I think that it was David Lawrason (this is around a decade ago, so it may have been someone else) wrote a piece on Loire whites. He interviewed a few producers, and a couple admitted that they were tweaking the style to meet the global thirst for a more NZ style - a style which I find rather clunky (à la Cat Pee on a Gooseberry Bush) and not pleasant when it's in the wrong hands. The first time that I tried Cat Pee my first thought was, What the Hell am I supposed to eat with this? It's the same blunt object more-is-better mentality that produced oceans of overly oaked Chardonnay that is still sloshing around. So, it's not all climate change at work. It's also the prevailing fashion(s) in the marketplace, and I blame that - not solely - on Parker.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Tonight's dinner wine was a Chilean Pais - one of the Waitrose rare varietals I mentioned.

    Nose is strawberry with a touch of black currant, palate fresh tannins.
  • The rare varietals series is an interesting idea - I am curious about the Cannonau and the Mencia...

Sign In or Register to comment.