Posts Tagged ‘Treble’

What The Heck Is Treble and Where This Journey Is Going?

August 18, 2010 13 comments

I think it is time to explain mysterious “treble journey” posts, before I will be fully declared “boring crazy wine geek”. Starting from the beginning: about 3 years ago I came across something called Wine Century club. At first I couldn’t even figure out what the name means, and then finally I realized that this is a club for people who declare (completely honor-based) that they have try at least 100 different grapes. At that point, I was into wines already for a while, and due to the fact that I do my best to keep the labels from all the different wines I happened to taste, this task appeared to be somewhat simple. By the end of 2008, I was a proud owner of Wine Century Club certificate. Then in May of 2009, when the club was celebrating it’s 4th year, I found out that there is a new challenge level – doppel. In order to become a doppel member one have to try … you guessed it right – 200 different varieties of the grapes! This was substantially bigger challenge – but challenges make our lives fun, don’t they? And there I went, and mysterious “doppel journey” notes where coming out on twitter for a while (2009 for me was an active twitting year 🙂 ). While challenging, the mission was accomplished, and I received my next certificate, which I believe was proclaiming doppel members somewhat crazy… Anyway, I was convinced that I’m done with those “journeys” – until another anniversary celebration… yep, in 2010, I found out that club now has 3 “treble” members ( and even one quattro, but that deserves another post, I believe). So yes, a 300 grapes challenge – I just couldn’t resist the urge…. So now you have to keep up with those “treble journey” updates ( even though I do make an honest effort to do them in the fun way)…

Why “journey”? This is how I see it – I’m moving along in the world of wine, looking for something new all the time, looking for any obscure place in search of the most obscure grape – I think calling this process a journey is well justified. Also, it is a real journey, as I’m not doing it alone. Wine is meant for sharing (my honest opinion) so I always make an effort to take my friends along in such a travel – remember, I did mention the fun part already?!

What else makes it fun? I get a chance to work as a detective, to unravel the mystery. Come again, you say? Well, let me explain. A lot of wine labels don’t contain any information about the grapes the wine is made of. For some of the wines such information is easy to find on the web sites. For some of the wines, it is a real challenge – you need to find a web site which is not necessarily in English, find the right wine, and then there is a decent chance that you will find the names of the grapes. You think mission accomplished? Not so fast… Problem is that a lot o grapes have different names in different regions, but it really is the same grape! Of course it is easy to figure out when french grape Grenache is called Garnacha in Spain. But what do you think of Aragonez, Cencibel, Tinta Roriz and Toro? Yep, all are synonyms for Tempranillo, the most planted red grape in the world – therefore, as you can see, there is some fun work to do in order to get to the final destination.

Obviously one can spend a lot of time and  effort on this  (and don’t forget money!), but I think that end result is ultimately rewarding, as with any true passion. I hope my explanation make sense, and now you will be able to ignore the geek portion, and see the fun side instead – and again I promise to make an effort to bring out the fun.

And until the next treble grape comes along – cheers!

Treble Journey: New and Unusual Grapes, #242 – #244

August 16, 2010 Leave a comment

And once again this will be rather a progress report on the road to the Treble status at Wine Century Club. Three new grapes, three unusual names (well, yeah, it would be surprising to see grape #242 being called Merlot).

#242, Seyval Noir

Domaine Du Ridge Champs de Florence 2008, Quebec, Canada

As I routinely check the grapes for the wines I drink, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this Rose wine was made out of the grape called Seyval Noir. I know Seyval Blanc, which is a popular grape choice for the white wines in the eastern part of US, but Seyval Noir is a new one. The wine, Champs de Florence from Domaine du Ridge is a nice rose wine, with aromas of fresh strawberries ( quite typical for rose), medium body and good refreshing acidity.

Drinkability: 7-

#243, Heida

Bibacchus Heida 2009, Valais AOC, Switzerland

Every time I’m lucky enough to come across the wine from Switzerland, I regret that it is almost impossible to find them in US – both traditional ( Pinot Noir, Gamay, Chardonnay) and indigenous grapes (Gamaret, Diolinoir, Humagne…) produce very good results there – but the wines are literally unknown outside of Switzerland. This particular white wine is made out of the grape called Heida. I would like to note that every “unknown” grape forces me to do quite a bit of research (and it deserves a separate post) – and based on information available on internet,  Heida is a close relative of another grape coming from Jura in France and called Savagnin – however, the information is not strong enough to declare Heida and Savagnin to be identical, so please let me consider Heida a grape on its own for now.

Going back to wine, it has very pleasant nose with aromas of white peaches and hints of white flowers, medium body and nice rounding  acidity, all in all making it great wine for summer day. Interesting to note that wine didn’t have enough aromatics to stand up against Asian food, but should work better with mild cheeses ( well, I wish I had another bottle to try it with 🙂 ).

Drinkability: 7

#244, Raboso Piave

Vigna Dogarina Ros de Plana 2004, Veneto IGT, Italy

This wine comes from Vigna Dogarina winery in Veneto region in northern Italy. Veneto is well known for its traditional Valpolicella, Amarone and Bardolino wines, though grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot also produce very good results. Ros de Plana is a very good example of that – this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Raboso Piave is unmistakably Italian wine – dense and earthy on the palate, somewhat of a middle ground between Barolo and Brunello, two of very famous and powerful Italian wines, it opens into a very nice and balanced wine, with spicy oak, walnuts and sour cherries and great midpalate density. This balanced wine will also continue to age very nicely. Just to comment on what seems to be a wine-geek talk, “midpalate density” (essentially the feeling of the liquid weight in your mouth) is a term I recently learned in the article by one of my favorite wine writers, Matt Kramer, regular contributor to the  Wine Spectator magazine. Matt Kramer uses midpalate density as a main factor in determining age-worthiness of the wine. One more comment on a comment – to open an article from the link above you might need a subscription to the Wine Spectator online (if you like wine – this is one of the best investments you can make). Anyway, talking about Ros de Plana – here is the rating:

Drinkability: 8-

I just hope that I didn’t overwhelm my readers with the wine speak and geek – and if I did – please feel free to slap me…