Today, we’re going to talk about more wines that you (probably) can’t get your wine-lovin’ hands on. And I know that you want to hear about them, because you told me so.
I’m going to start by saying that I wasn’t totally blown away by these wines (received as samples), but I love, love the concept behind them. I also love that their website includes streaming reggae music, and liberal use of the word “surfeit .” But, as will come as no surprise to frequent 1WineDude.com readers, I digress…
The first, and the more impressive, of the wines hails from the sandy loam Margarita vineyard site in Paso Robles’ southwest – Martellotto’s 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s pleasant, with decent balance, clocks in at a relatively restrained 13.5% abv, is farmed sustainably, and is spot-on priced at $18. Interestingly, it’s the 5% Syrah component that really stands out for me on this wine (there’s 10% Merlot as well), which rounds out the finish with red fruit and peppery, dried herbs.
So why can’t you have any? Well, you can, but only if you buy through Big Hammer Wines. Oh, yeah, and there were only 34 barrels made of the stuff.
Although not quite as interesting as the Martellotto Cab, the next wine (also selling for about $18) definitely has a more interesting story…
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CNBC.com has updated their annual expert recommendations on wines for the holidays – and this year, there are a few interesting parties among the panel of wine smarties contributing their wine picks for your 2009 fourth quarter celebratory dining table.
Like me, for instance.
I know what you’re thinking. How the hell did YOU get on the same list as Jancis Robinson?!??
I had the same reaction, my friends!
I’m in great, great company on this one, with quite a few fellow bloggers gracing the CNBC.com lineup, most of whom I’m happy and proud to call friends of the Dude:
There are some great wine picks offered up in the list, so head on over to CNBC.com and check it out before you do your holiday dinner shopping this year.
This week just might mark a seminal event in my personal wine journey. Either that, or a huge, disappointing wine bust served up on a bed of bell pepper and pine needles.
On November 4th, I’ll be taking part with a small group of bloggers in an on-line tasting event with Wines of Chile, the theme of which is “Discover Carmenere: The Lost Grape.” Why is this a boom-or-bust wine moment for me? Because I have what I would call a troubled relationship with Carmenere.
Of course, I love the idea of this grape, the story of Carmenere – it’s the stuff of which wine legends are made.
Carmenere was born in Bordeaux, and thought to be extinct after outbreaks of oidium and then the Phylloxera epidemic in the 1800s, which wiped out a good portion of the wine grape vineyards of Europe. Though widely thought to be able to help produce high quality wines, Carmenere was pretty much abandoned in France in favor of varieties that were less susceptible to disease, ripened more consistently and produced better yields. But, Carmenere was not dead – plantings were transported, from France to South America, along with vineyard workers looking for more gainful employment at the time (just prior to the Phylloxera outbreak). For almost one hundred years, the vine thrived in Chile and was thought to be Merlot; it was discovered to in the mid 1990s to actually be the ‘lost grape’ – Carmenere.
So now we have a legendary Bordeaux grape long considered extinct, thriving in the New Wine World and growing on its own, ungrafted rootstock. The modern wine Coelacanth. The Grape from The Land of The Lost (Sleestaks sold separately).
So what’s the trouble? Well, in my experience, the tale spun about the lost grape Carmenere is a lot more compelling than the wine that Carmenere is actually producing…
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