Posts Tagged ‘Robert Parker’

Wednesday’s Meritage – Texas Wine Country Trip Contest, #MWWC7 Results, Robert Parker Addresses Wine Writers, Amphorae to the Rescue?

February 26, 2014 3 comments

Meritage time!

Same as a last week, today’s Meritage doesn’t have the wine quiz answer portion – as there was no quiz last week. Thus let’s jump right away to the interesting stuff around the vine and the web.

Have you heard the expression “Everything is bigger in Texas”? Do you want to check it out for yourself? You have about 5 days to enter Wine Enthusiast’s contest to win a trip for 2 to the Texas Hill County. The winner of the prize will receive:

  • Round-trip flights and transportation for two to Texas
  • Up to 8-night accommodations at local B&Bs and winery accommodations in the Texas Hill Country
  • Guaranteed visits at up to 12 wineries
  • Select exquisite multi-course wine-and-food dinners

There are less than 21000 entries so far, so I think you have good chances! For all details and to enter the contest, please use this link.

#MWWC7 has concluded and we have the new champion – Kara of The Sweet Sommelier blog. This round was quite difficult, with the theme “devotion” putting many people on the offensive, but it still had a very good showing with 22 entries. You can read very interesting analysis by the SAHMelier, the host of #MWWC7, in her concluding post. And you can read the winning entry here. Now we will be eagerly awaiting the new theme for #MWWC8.

Last week, the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers took place in Napa. As you can judge from the name of the event, a lot of professional wine writers were in attendance. There were a number of interesting keynotes at the symposium, including one by none other but the Robert Parker (I don’t care what do you think of his ratings, but his influence over the wine world is indisputable). Alder Yarrow, who runs blog called Vinography and is a professional wine writer himself, recorded the full keynote and shared it in the blog post which you can find here. It is a bit long (slightly longer than an hour), but may be well worth your time.

Last note for today is all about experimental winemaking. As you know from the ancient history, an amphorae was one and only tool available to the winemakers thousands of years ago. Now, Andrew Beckham, a ceramics artist and high school teacher, started making amphorae and use them to make wines – and the results seems to be very encouraging, with the wines taking on the explicit earthiness and minerality trait. It is very early to tell when and if the amphorae will become a mainstream winemaking vessel – but nevertheless, it makes a very interesting read – here is the link to the article.

And we are done for today. The glass is empty – but the refill is on its way. Cheers!



Daily Glass: Claraval, Another Dangerous Wine

October 9, 2010 2 comments

ClaravalIn one of the previous posts, I came up with the term “dangerous wine” – the wine which is so smooth and so good, once you start drinking it, you pretty much can’t put the glass down until the wine is all gone.  Here comes the second wine from Spain which I also have to declare “dangerous”.

It is called Claraval and it is coming from the Calatayud region. This wine is a blend of four grapes – Garnacha (50%), Tempranillo (20%), Cabernet Sauvignon (20%) and Syrah (10%). The wine has sour cherries on the nose, and it opens up into a beautiful array of spices and fruit, with earthy notes coming through, all complemented by balancing acidity and tannins. If anything, this wine is reminiscent of good Southern Rhone wines (which is not surprising as it shares the same main grape, Grenache, known as Garnacha in Spain), but it definitely has its own character. Judging by the mid-palate weight and tannins, this wine will also do well in the cellar – and I was glad to see that Robert Parker think the same, giving this wine 91 rating and saying that wine will evolve all the way into 2020.

So, how much do you think such wine should cost? Nope, it is not $30, which would not be surprising at such a level of quality, it is only… $11.99, so it definitely has very high QPR. This is definitely the wine to buy by the case.

And now, it is time for the verdict (of course you already guessed it):

Drinkability: 8

What is next? The trip to Long Island wineries, which is almost a annual tradition by now – a trip to Long Island wineries in the Fall, when it is already not hot, and still very beautiful. Off we go (well, the team members have to wake up first). Report to follow…

Daily Glass: Arnoux & Fils Gigondas Vieilles Vignes 2007

August 21, 2010 Leave a comment

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Gigondas is a small appellation in Southern Rhone in France, which produces the wines somewhat similar in style to the famed Chateaneuf du Pape.  Absolute majority of the wines are red, and main grape is Granache (up to 80% in the final wine based on AOC laws), with Syrah and other grapes adding up. Grenache is a very versatile red grape, used in a wide range of wines all over the world.

Considering that Robert Parker gave 2007 vintage in Southern Rhone a 98 rating ( of course this rating is generalized for the whole region and nobody expect all the wines to achieve the same rating), I had good expectations for this wine as well ( as I had already a number of great generic Cote du Rhones from 2007 vintage). Unfortunately, that didn’t play out. The problem with this wine was related to alcohol. Yes, yes, the wine is alcoholic beverage, duh, of course. But it is the balance which I’m looking for in wine. While at 14.5% ABV it doesn’t stand out in today’s wine world as super-loaded, somehow the alcohol in this wine was not integrated at all. Burning sensation of alcohol was overpowering all other smells on the nose, and burning sensation of alcohol was absolutely prevalent on the palate, even on the second day. While it was possible to catch a glimpse of leather and pepper, which is a characteristic of Southern Rhone wines, this wine didn’t achieve great deal of balance. So the rating is:

Drinkability: 7-

Well, I guess I have to keep trying…

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