Wednesday’s Meritage – Wine Quiz Answer, #MWWC8 Time to Vote, Bordeaux 2013, Wine-y States, When Wine Critic Attacks
Let’s start with the answer to the wine quiz #95, Grape Trivia – Tannat. In the quiz, you were supposed to answer 5 questions about the red grape called Tannat.
Here are the questions, now with the answers:
Q1: Tannat was the reason for one specific winemaking technique to be invented relatively recently. Do you know what technique is that?
a. Malolactic fermentation, b. Micro-oxygenation, c. Carbonic maceration, d. Reverse osmosis
A1: Micro-oxygenation was developed in the 1990s specifically as a method to soften otherwise harsh Tannat wines to make them more approachable while young.
Q2: True or False: Tannat is primarily harvested by hand and not by the machine. Provide an explanation for your answer.
A2: True. Tannat is primarily harvested by hand, but not because of the hilly terrain. The machine is generally harvests the grapes by shaking the vine – Tannat grapes are growing in such a tight bunches and attached to the vine so well that shaking simply doesn’t help, and the grapes have to be harvested by hand.
Q3: Name 3 grapes, often used as blending partners when Tannat wines are produced in France
A3: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Fer are often blended with Tannat in Madiran.
Q4: Wine Spectator calls wines with 90-94 ratings “Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style”. True or False: There are no Tannat-based wines rated as Outstanding by Wine Spectator.
A4: False. There are quite a few Tannat based wines with the 90+ ratings from the Wine Spectator, with the 2001 Montus Bouscassé Madiran La Tyre having the highest rating of 94.
Q5: Tannat ripens at about the same time as Cabernet Sauvignon. Assuming you have Tannat and Cabernet Sauvignon which are both slightly underripe, which grape would you make the better wine from, Tannat or Cabernet Sauvignon? Why?
A5: Slightly underripe Tannat doesn’t show those aggressively green notes as Cabernet Sauvignon does, so all other things been equal, Tannat has a better chance of producing more palatable wine.
Talking about the results, two people played in this round – Bill of Duff’s Wines and Julian from Vino in Love – they both correctly answered four questions out of five, so they definitely get the favorable mention. Well done!
Now, to the interesting stuff around the vine and the web!
First of all, the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #8, with the theme “Luck“, has concluded. Now it is time to vote for your favorite entry! While Kara The Sweet Sommelier was the host of #MWWC8, she is using Blogspot as her platform, which apparently doesn’t allow the inclusion of the polls in the blog post, thus Jeff a.k.a. The Drunken Cyclist hosts the poll on his blog. Click here to read all the entries and cast your vote in the poll. Don’t delay – the voting will close by the end of the week.
It was a very difficult growing season in Bordeaux – Mother Nature threw a tantrum (or a few) – cold spring and hailstorms definitely took its effect. Now winemakers facing a tough dilemma. The 2013 vintage is expected to be of a medium quality (despite all the tantrum’s), so it would be necessary to reduce the selling prices across the region to be able to sell the wines. At the same time, the crop was small, so reducing the prices will definitely affect the small and even medium producers. Well, En Primeur tastings will take place soon, and this is where the prices will be set – for more information please read this article on the Wine-Searcher.
Dr. Vino published a very interesting map in his blog. This map outlines the wine consumption in the United States on the state by state basis. Dr. Vino also took all the wine numbers a bit further – he also included the map of state’s electoral votes from the 2012 elections (democrats versus republicans), as well as the map of income per capita in all 50 states. There are some interesting correlations between all three maps, but I will leave it for you to make any type of conclusions as you will see fit.
And last but not least is latest feud in the wine critics world – which is mind boggling in my opinion. The wine world is huge – there is enough space for all the people who wants to professionally review the wines, and its okay to have a difference of the opinion. But Robert Parker and his company, Wine Advocate, apparently don’t think so. In the fight for the dominance of the opinion, it seems that Robert Parker lashes out at anyone who promotes the wines less bombastic than his palate requires. Last week, Robert Parker attacked Eric Asimov ( New York Times wine critic) and Jon Bonne ( San Francisco Chronicle) for conducting the tasting of the wines which were not to his liking. You can read a general overview of the issue here, but then you need to turn to the blog post by Dr. Vino. After the legal attack from the Wine Advocate lawyers, Dr. Vino had to drastically modify the content of his blog post, which you will be able to see here. And lastly, here is an excellent summary by the W. Blake Gray, explaining the reason for the “vicious attack” . Even if you largely ignore all the wine critics populace, I think this story still worth a few minutes of your time.
And we are done here. The glass is empty – but the refill is on its way! Cheers!