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Weekly Wine Quiz #54 – Grapes Trivia: Merlot

April 13, 2013 19 comments

Merlot GrapesHere comes our next quiz in the Grape Trivia series. Today’s subject – Merlot.

Merlot is one of the most popular grapes in the world, used both for blending and single-varietal wines. Merlot has thin dark blue colored skin, and its taste profile typically includes plums, blackberries, chocolate and tobacco notes. As it is often compared with Cabernet Sauvignon, one of its most popular blending companions, Merlot ripens earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon, has higher sugar content and lesser level of tannins. While France has the biggest plantings of Merlot in the world, Merlot is universally grown in literally every wine producing country – great Merlot wines are produced in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, California, Washington, Long Island, Spain, Chile, Argentina and many other places.

Done with basic facts – let’s proceed with our quiz now, shall we?

Q1: Merlot was named after a:

A. town

B. person

C. bird

D. song

Q2: Name the movie where Merlot was dissed on uncountable number of occasions

Q3: One of the grapes from the list below was assumed to be a Merlot – but it was not. Do you know which grape was mistaken for the Merlot? Bonus question – name the country where confusion took place.

A. Mourvèdre

B. Carignan

C. Carménère

D. Cinsault

Q4: Some place, some time ago, Merlot successfully crossed (by accident) with Cabernet grape, and formed a new grape which produces pretty unique wines. Can you name that grape?

Q5: Chateau Petrus in Pomerol, France makes some of the very best (and most expensive) wines in the world, and those wines are 100% Merlot. Then there is another 100% Merlot wine, made in another country, which is considered a successful competition to Petrus and done very well against it in a number of blind tastings. Can you name that wine?

Have fun, good luck and enjoy your weekend! Cheers!

Weekly Wine Quiz #20: How Much Does It Worth To You?

July 14, 2012 2 comments

As you might remember, last week’s quiz was about numbers – quite large numbers, err – prices, I have to say. But if you think about it, those $168K are paid mostly for the bottle and not for the wine – you can acquire exact same wine for a tiniest fraction of that price.

Today, continuing the subject of wine and numbers, I want to talk about auctions, where for the most cases you actually pay for the wine. And while auctions take place all the time all over the world, this particular auction took place in France (mind you, not in Hong Kong or China), a little more than a year ago, and the buyer of the wine was French. He paid €57,000 for a bottle of wine, beating another (also a Frenchman) bidder in a tight battle (nobody expected that particular wine to fetch such price).

Assuming money is not an issue, which wine do you think was worth acquiring for that amount?

Have a great weekend! Cheers!

Following Wine Till Sold Out

May 4, 2011 2 comments

As you could’ve noticed, I’m a big fun of Wine Till Sold Out (WTSO). For the majority of the cases, WTSO is offering good wines at very good prices, which for me is one of the most important things when buying the wine – I like value, a good QPR. As a quick reminder, WTSO offers one wine for sale at a deep discount at any given moment – and if you want to know more about how this service works, you can read about it here.

What prompted me to write yet another blog post was the WTSO 24-hours marathon, which took place on Tuesday, April 26th. During such Marathon (it happens periodically), , which lasts for 24 hours the new wine is offered for sale every 15 minutes, or even sooner. It is somewhat challenging to collect all the information about wines offered during the marathon, as the new wines are announced only through the SMS or on Twitter and not via e-mail. Those messages are short, and typically only provide wine name, ratings (if any) and the discount percentage. As you will see below, I was able to capture some additional information, but this was a very tasking manual process (time to write a special app Smile). Also it was very difficult to capture the exact timing of the new wines coming in, so again I did what I can.

In the table below you will easily see some amazing deals, like Chateau Petrus 2004 at $479 (it is not even the price at 54% off, it is just sheer availability – and it lasted online for only 4 minutes), or Chateau Lascombes 2005 at $49.99. One last note before you can devour the information – here is explanation for wine rating abbreviation: WS – Wine Spectator, WA – Wine Advocate, RP – Robert Parker (equivalent to Wine Advocate for most cases), WE – Wine Enthusiast, W&S – Wine & Spirits magazine, WRO – Wine Review Online, ST – Steven Tanzer, IWC – International Wine Cellars (associated with Steven Tanzer),  JN – Jonathan H. Newman (wine importer), BH – Bourghound (great source for Burgundy wine ratings).

Now, here it is – enjoy!

Time Wine Name Rating(s) Original Price WTSO Price Min # of Btls % off
12:00a Burgess 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon 68
6:00a Antiyal Antiyal Maipo Valley 2006 92 57
Sturino Trotta Cellars Special Select Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 $120 $39.99 2 67
Tenimenti Angelini Val Di Suga Brunello di Montalcino 2003 91WS $67.99 $33.99 3 50
Chateau Langoa Barton St. Julien Bordeaux 2005 92 50
Piper Heidsieck Champagne Brut Vintage 2000 93 C.G, 92WA $75 $43.99 2 41
Tom Eddy Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 94 56
7:00a Schubert Estate Goose Yard Block Barossa Valley Shiraz 2006 JN96, 95 50
Terra Valentine Spring Mountain District Napa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2006. 90 45
Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Winery Rio Vista Vineyard Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2006
Pine Ridge Vineyards Carneros Napa ValleyDijon Clones Chardonnay 2007 90 41
Quinta do Crasto Vintage Port 1999 92 W&S, 92 49
8:00a Chateau Petrus Pomerol 2006, Free 2nd Day Air 93 49
Brookdale Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 92WE $49.99 $24.99 2 50
Podere La Vigna Brunello di Montalcino 2004 95WS $69.99 $48.99 2 30
Solaria Brunello di Montalcino 123 Sangiovese Grosso 2004 93 WE, 90 $99.99 $59.99 1 40
Chateau Lascombes Grand Cru Classe Margaux, Bordeaux 2005 95WA $129.99 $49.99 2 62
Amethyst Wines Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 91 56
9:00a Chateau Leoville Barton Saint Julien Bordeaux Blend 2006 #64 Top 100 WS 94
Giovanni Rosso Barolo Storico Nebbiolo 2004 89 $65.99 $28.99 2 56
Rudd Estate Crossroads Estate Grown Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 $74.99 $35.99 2 52
Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino 2003 90 $110.00 $45.99 2 58
Roquette E Cazes Xisto Douro 2004 90 67
Vignamaggio Wine Obsession Toscana IGT 2004 91WS, 90WA $70.00 $39.99 1 43
Pillar Rock Vineyard Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 $125.00 $39.99 2 68
10:00a Feudi di San Gregorio Serpico Irpinia Rosso IGT 2003 92WA, 92WRO $85.00 $37.99 2 55
St. Francis Winery Behler Vineyard Sonoma County Estate Merlot Blend 2005 92 $45.00 $21.99 4 51
Chateau Angelus Premier Grand Cru Classe St. Emilion Bordeaux 2006 95WA, 95WE $250.00 $144.99 1
Cerbaia Brunello di Montalcino 2004 91WS $69.99 $39.99 1 43
Domaine Louis Latour Chambertin Grand Cru Cuvee Heritiers Latour 2007 93WS, 91BH $250.00 $110.99 1 52
11.00a Bodegas Los Astrales Astrales Ribera Del Duero 2007 94WE, 92 47
Broadbent Vintage Port 2003 90 59
Illumination Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2008 95WE, 95 44
Round Pond Estate Rutherford, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 92JN $70.00 $24.99 4 64
Domaine Du Vieux Lazaret Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Exceptionnelle Red 2005 94WA $54.99 $38.79 2 29
Juslyn Vineyards Vineyard Select Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 91WA $84.99 $44.99 2 47
Quixote Winery Panza Stag’s Leap Ranch, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 93JN $49.99 $24.99 3 50
12:00p Mitolo Wines Savitar McLaren Vale Shiraz 2007 93WA $75.00 $37.49 3 50
Domaine du Galet des Papes Chateaneuf-du-Papes Vieilles Vignes 2007 91WS $49.99 $29.99 3 40
Silver Oak Cellars Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 95WRO, 92WE $84.99 $54.99 2 35
Domaine Louis Latour Romanee Saint Vivant Grand Cru Les Quatre Journaux 2003 91 48
Tenuta San Giorgio Ugolforte Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2003 91RP $71.99 $34.99 2 51
Enkidu Wines Kick Ranch Sonoma County Syrah 2006 94 35
1:00p Round Pond Estate Rutherford, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 92WE $64.99 $25.99 4 60
Champagne Charles Ellner Cuvee De Reserve Brut NV 92WS, 90WA $49.99 $24.99 4 50
Two Hands Wines Charlie’s Patch Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 92ST, 90+WA $124.99 39.99 2 69
Barone Ricasoli Casalferro Toscana IGT 2004 92 48
Xtant Wines Xtant Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 92 60
Champagne Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut 1998 92 45
Azienda Agricola Cavalier Bartolomeo Barolo Solanotto Altenasso DOCG 2005 89 60
Benessere Vineyards Napa Valley Phenomenon 2004 92 43
Rodney Strong Vineyards Symmetry Alexander Valley Meritage Red Wine 2007 94WE
2:19p Solena Estate Domaine Danielle Laurent Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2007 91ST, 90WE $47.99 $27.99 3 42
Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 92 29
2:33P Champagne de Venoge Brut Champagne Rose NV 90WS 79.99 39.99 2 50
Celler Laurona Laurona Falset 2005 91WA, 90 53
Page Wine Cellars Revolver Wine Company The Fury Cabernet Franc 2006 39
Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Chardonnay Reserve 2005 89 33
2:51p Chateau Petrus Pomerol 2004 95W&S, 93WS/WA $1299.99 $479.99 1 54
2.55p D’Arenberg The Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon 200 93WA $69.99 $49.69 2 35
Villa Girardi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC 2004 46
Cloud View Vineyards Prichard Hill Napa Valley Red Wine 2006 94 53
3:11p Cabreo Il Borgo Toscana IGT 2007 94WS $60.00 $41.99 2 30
Hewitt Vineyard Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 92 45
Two Hands Wines Lily’s Garden McLaren Vale Shiraz 2006 92 45
Saintsbury Vineyard Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir 2007 92WS, 90 40
Chateau Guillot Pomerol 2001 Library Release 93JN $50.00 $25,99 3 48
3:38p I Giusti e Zanza Dulcamara Toscana Rosso 2005 93WE $54.99 $22.99 4 58
3:42p Enzo Wines Magic Hill Oakville, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 98 $85.00 $26.99 3 68
Domaine Louis Latour Meursault Blagny 1er Cru Chateau De Blagny 2007 88 40
4:08p The Colonial Estate Emigre Barossa Valley Proprietary Red 2006 93ST, 92WA $85.00 $42.99 2 49
4:10p Chateau Le Prieure Grand Cru Classe St. Emilion 1999 Library Release 92JN $50.00 $24.99 3 50
4:15p Eredi Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino 2005 93WA, WS $79.99 $39.99 2 50
4:25p Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Pvt. Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 95WE $119.99 $64.99 2
Michele Chiarlo Tortoniano Barolo 2005 90 52
4:43p Azienda Agricola Montevetrano Montevetrano Colli di Salerno IGT 2006 94RP $112.00 $47.99 1 57
Vilafonte Series C Paarl 2004 91 57
Encantado (by The Famous Unnamed Napa Valley winery) Red Blend 2007 59
4:59p Domaine Louis Latour Corton Clos de la Vigne Au Saint 2003 91BH $89.99 $49.99 2 44
5:00p David Bruce Winery Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2005 88 60
Tenuta di Biserno Bibbona Insoglio del Cinghiale IGT 2006 94 50
5:32p Laetitia Vineyard & Winery Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir Reserve 2007 92WE $49.99 $29.99 1 40
5:41p Watkins Family Winery Monte Rosso Vineyard, Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 92JN $45.00 $24.99 2 44
4:49p Grimaldi Luigino Grimaldi Vigna San Biagio Barolo Nebbiolo 2006 91 53
5:53p Opus One Napa Valley Proprietary Blend 2007 94 18
5:56p Brookdale Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 $45.00 $24.79 3 45
6:00p Bacio Divino Cellars Janzen Estate Cloudys Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 90 60
Burgess Cellars Library Release Vintage Selection Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
Poderi Aldo Conterno Gran Bussia Barolo Riserva 2001 95ST, 95 50
Prince Florent de Merode Corton Les Bressandes Grand Cru 2008 50
Seavey Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 92 35
7:00p Costers del Siurana Miserere Priorat 2003 90 50
E. Pira & Figli (Chiara Boschis) Barolo Cannubi 2005 94WE, 91 41
Burgess Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 Vintage Selection 68
Podere La Vigna Brunello di Montalcino 2005 91 42
8:00p Domaine Louis Latour Batard Montrachet Grand Cru 2006 95WE, 90 52
Encantado (You Know The Winery!) Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 59
Tua Rita Giusto di Notri Toscana 2003 90 51
Chateau Lafon La Tuilerie St. Emilion Grand Cru Classe 2006 60
Feudi di San Gregorio Taurasi Piano di Montevergine Riserva 2001 94WA, 93 40
Tapanappa Whalebone Vineyard Wrattongbully, Australia Cabernet Shiraz 2005 92 57
9:00p Lisini Brunello di Montalcino 2005 91 51
St. Supery Vineyards & Winery Elu Napa Valley Red Wine 2005 6 Liter Imperial
Chateau Le Gay Pomerol 2006 93WA, 93 46
Burgess Cellars Ilona Howell Mountain Red Blend 2004 92 59
Chateau Dauzac MargauxGrand Cru Classe Bordeaux 2007 87 60
Azienda Agricola Piancornello Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2004 #64 Top 100 2010 WE!!
Domaine Henri Darnat Meursault Clos Du Domaine 2008. 17 rating and 50% off 17 50
10:00p Bacio Divino Cellars Janzen Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 89 63
Maple Lane Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 52
Mer Soleil Vineyard (by Caymus) Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay 2007 42
Azienda Agricola Piancornello Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2003 [1.5 Liter] Magnum
Domaine du Grand Tinel Chateauneuf du Pape Alexis Establet 2007 94WA, 92 40
Thumbprint Cellars Four Play Winemakers Reserve Sonoma County 2008 56
11:07p Caterina Zardini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOC 2006 93 44
11:22p Piper Heidsieck Champagne Cuvee Rare Brut 1998 *1.5L Magnum 92 58
11:25p Domus Vitae Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Riserva 2004 90 60
11:38p Tenuta dei Sette Cieli Indaco Super-Tuscan 2006 90 60
11:48p Chateau Le Dome St. Emilion Grand Cru 2004 90 60
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