Counting Grapes: Some new, some old
As you know, I’m still counting the new grapes as I come across them. Recently, I was able to add a few to the collection, which I’m happy to report on. I also want to note, that it is quite a rare case when all the new grapes are red (I think there are simply more white varietals used in the wine making), but it happened to be so. Without any particular order, first is the red grape called Hondarribi Beltza, which was one of the grapes used in 2010 Ameztoi Rubentis Rosé Getariako Txakolina wine form Basque region in Spain. The wine is difficult to find, but it worth seeking – very easy to drink, lightly fizzed (should be rather called effervescent), refreshing – perfect wine for the hot day.
Next wine comes from Switzerland (as usual, courtesy of my friend Patrick), and it is made out of the red grape called Plant Robert. 2007 Plant Robert J-F. et J. Potterat Villette AOC, Cully is very nice, somewhat similar to wines made out of Gamay grape, however, this wine is more spicy and structured than a typical simple Gamay wine. It is very balanced and pleasant to drink (definitely an 8 in Drinkability terms). It is a pity that the wine is not available in US – it is great sipping wine which will also work quite well with wide variety of foods.
Next new grape is called Trepat and it again comes from Spain (as our first grape). I don’t know what is so special about many of these “unknown grapes”, but this 2009 Trepat Josep Foraster, same as many other rare grapes, is very elegant and spicy (of course always possible that my palate is off), with lots of dark fruit and structure on the palate.
So these are the 3 new grapes – so we need to talk about the “old ones”. The old ones are clones – but they are prominent clones. One of such clones makes the wine called Brunello di Montalalcino, and this clone is called Sangiovese Grosso. It is related to the main grape of the Chianti wines, Sangiovese, however, it has a lot more structure and power than regular Chianti wine. I had Brunellos many times, and it has very distinct taste, so this is simply logical to use Sangiovese Grosso as the grape in it’s own right.
Last but not least, another “old grape” is called Tinta de Toro, and it is used in the Toro region in Spain. Technically, Tinta de Toro is a clone of mainstream Spanish grape variety called Tempranillo, which is the main grape in Rioja and Ribero del Duero regions. Toro produces very dense and powerful wines, which require time to mellow out. I had Toro wines before, but my recent experience with the wine called 2007 Teso La Monia Alabaster (there will be a separate post about it) from Toro DO (which is considered best wine produced in Toro region) convinced me that this grape also deserves its own place in the grape quest, as it has lots of differences with the regular Tempranillo.
With the addition of these 5 grapes, I’m inching forward to the next level with 317 grapes accounted for. It’s a long journey to the 400 spot, but it is real fun – let the grape quest continue.