Looking through the cellar, many bottles have their stories, memories associated with them: “Ahh, I remember I brought this bottle from Italy. And it was raining like crazy when we stopped by that small wine shop in Paris, where this bottle is from. And this one – it was our vacation in Florida (coconut wine, anyone?). Aha, this one I got as a present for my birthday… And those five? I hope they will be as good as the first one was three years ago…”.
Then you stumble upon a bottle on which you go totally blank: “No, I don’t recognize the producer or the winery. Did I bring it from somewhere? Probably not. Where could I buy it? I think I got it as a present?”. Good thing in such a case is the fact that most likely you will have no expectations, so you will take this wine for what it is.
This was exactly my experience with 2004 Albert Bichot Vieilles Vignes Bourgogne – I had the bottle for a while, but how did it end up in my wine fridge, I had (and still have) no idea. Considering the wine was 7 years old, and from unknown ( for me) producer, it could’ve been already gone in terms of quality and pleasure, so the decision was made – the time has come to open the bottle.
This 2004 white Burgundy (100% Chardonnay, of course) happened to be in a perfect shape! Vanilla and touch of spices on the nose, hint of vanilla and lichee fruit on the palate, good acidity – very round and perfectly balanced (Drinkability: 8). Turns out it was a good choice – and having no expectations made it even better experience.
As I mentioned “other grape encounters”, let’s move from France to Italy. I recently had a chance to experience some of my most favorite wines – Amarone. You can read about it in details here – this is my post at The Art of Life Magazine. While the Amarone from Vaona was excellent, I’m still trying to find Amarone which will deliver the same mind-blowing experience I had with 1997 Le Ragose Amarone at the Windows on the World Wine School (read The Art of Life post for the full story) – of course full report is guaranteed if I will be able to find that wine.
And another “grape encounter”, this time moving across the globe east and south, we are getting from Italy to Georgia (and I’m not talking about one of the 50 US States). Few days ago, I was lucky enough to attend Georgian Wine tasting, which I can summarize in one short word: “WOW!”. Extensive report is coming in one of the near future posts, but for now I would like to mention great progress with unique grape count – it increased by 7! In case you are curios, here is the list of grapes and wines:
Chinuri – 2009 Pheasant’s Tears Chinuri Qvevry
Tetra – Alazanis Valley White
Goruli – 2009 Chateau Mukhrani Goruli Mtsvane
Pink Rkatsiteli – 2010 Alaverdi Monasteri Rkatsiteli Qvevry Rose
Kavkveri – 2010 Pheasant’s Tears Kavkveri Qvevry
Tavkvery – 2010 Pheasant’s Tears Tavkvery Qvevry
Shavkapito – 2009 Chateau Mukhrani Shavkapito
Total grape count now reached 324, and counting. Happy grape discoveries to everyone! Cheers!