Showing posts with label mayhaw. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mayhaw. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chateau de Fountgraves Pic Saint Loup Coteaux du Languedoc Rosé 2007

Here is one of those wines that sat in the rack a long time for no good reason.  I seem to remember my wife picked it out, no doubt based on the way it looked or the romantic nature of the French name. 

I must admit I've been swayed by marketing aspects before.  I bought a wine called "Pinot Evil" once.  "Purple Haze," "Red Zeppelin" and "7 Deadly Zins" appealed to me for non-wine related reasons.  I try not to fall prey to the marketer's tricks, but I'm only human.  Often, the wine is good enough to stand on its own, anyway.

At a very fancy wine bar in Half Moon Bay, a sommelier asked Denise what kind of rosés she liked.  "Pretty ones" was her reply.  The sommelier was amused, but he understood the logic.  Who wants to drink an ugly wine?

Anyway, the Chateau de Fountgraves Pic Saint Loup rosé is very pretty.  Its rich, salmon pink color looks wonderful in the glass.  Some very fine bubbles cling to the glass, too.

The label promises that this rosé is made from grapes taken from very old vines grown on shale soil in the south of France.  It's amazing - not that the grapes were taken from old vines - but that a French wine label would bother to tell you such a thing.  The label also tosses around words like rich, full, fruity, dry and aromatic.

The nose is rich with a smell that reminds of mayhaw berries we used to pick when I was a kid, or more precisely the smell of said berries being cooked as my mom made mayhaw jelly from them.  The somewhat offbeat berries begin to show a fruity brightness in mid-sniff.

A blend of Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah, it's the Mourvedre which speaks to me on the palate.  The chalky limestone is typical of Coteaux du Languedoc.  The terrior of this region really hits home with me.  The flinty edge which shrouds the gentle fruit in this wine is a real treat for anyone who wants to not only know where a wine is from, but taste where it's from, too.

The alcohol clocks in at 13.5% abv, and I think it cost about $10, but it has been in the rack a while and my memory is a little hazy.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Oreana Malbec Rose 2007

I've been trying to prepare myself for warmer weather in Los Angeles, even as it has already begun.  I have been flipping through some of my tasting notes on rosé wines I have had in the past which impressed me.

I ran across my thoughts on the Oreana Winery Malbec Rosé I tasted a few years ago at their garage-cum-winery.  I like an institution to pay tribute to its heritage.  From their website:  "The name Oreana comes from the grand ranching days of California's Central Coast.  Oreana is a term used by cattle ranchers for an unbranded calf that strays onto your property and is therefore yours to keep.  Think of it as a found treasure or the renegade spirit of this beautiful region and the wines we produce here."  What a nice tip of the hat!

Here are my thoughts on a wine I do not believe is available anymore, but one I liked quite a bit on my visit.

"13%...Central Coast, Santa Barbara. Pig on label?

"'Take care while pouring not to disturb the flavor buddies' - that advice jumps out from the label with a picture of a pig on it.  Flavor buddies are the tartaric sediment in the bottle which they say is an antioxidant, so bring 'em on.

"A pig?  Maybe that's there because Malbec was once considered the bastard cousin of the more noble Bordeaux varietals.  Maybe they just like a touch of barnyard on their wine.

"The wine is a beautiful color - not pale at all, but see-through cherry red.  The nose reminds me of a childhood memory, perhaps mayhaw berries we would collect roadside for a wonderful jelly.  The flavor is quite full and fruity - you might call it juicy.  There was a bit too much heat on the tongue - I found that to be odd - and it tingled a bit too much for my taste.  It would probably be food friendly, I'd say with a chopped New York salad or antipasti.  Maybe I'd try it with with salmon, chicken or pork.

"Quoting again: 'Limited batch made each year in the traditional French method of "bleeding-off" the early juice and fermenting in stainless steel tanks. The result is a lucious, dry fruit-packed explosion.'"