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Wine Blogging Wednesday #7 : The Write-up Part 3.  Add/Read Comments

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Sorry that I have had to split this overview into three - there are so many entries and I wanted to give each an adequate write-up. To think that at one point on Wednesday I emailed Lenn to say that I had less than 10 entries and, being the old-woman I am, was worried that this would have been the worst WBW ever. How wrong was I! Right, on with the show -

Who is next on the list? We have Maona who supplies our only Argentine entry in the form of Terrazas de Los Andes Reserva Malbec, 2002, Mendoza, Argentina. I am so glad someone took a plunge into the delights that are Argentine Malbecs - I keep raving about them and luckily, Alan, that enlightened chap behind the site agrees with me. 'If the flavor were as intense as the initial oak smell, it'd be like chewing on a tree branch, but instead the oak taste recedes. The wine feels round and smooth on the tongue, with both the tannins and flavors I associate with nearly ripe plums', he writes.

Crossing the Andes we can pop in to see what Fatemeh thinks about the Apaltague Carmen�re, 2002, Colchagua Valley, Chile. On Gastronomie she writes that the wine, if it were a person, would be 'The loud office manager with smoker's voice who has led such a fascinating life that you end up asking another question when all you really want to do is walk away.' Not a great recommendation but then she continues with a Zweigelt and Blaufrankish blend in the form of Paul Lehrner Claus, 2003, Mittelburgenland, Austria.. This is 'The mousy doormat-type colleague whose work is faultless but you can't stand to be in the same room with.' Which means. This wine has a lot of "integrity" - it's well made, well-balanced and fairly easy to drink. Unfortunately, it's just not that interesting. I wouldn't buy it again, especially at $18.

Chile again - zipping into my inbox came a note from Viv at the Seattle Bon Vivant but currently residing in Paris. Her choice was another Carmen�re - Baron Philippe de Rothschild Carmen�re Reserve, 2001, Rapel Valley, Chile. She writes that 'An intense, vivid red with ruby highlights, the wine has an ample, generous nose which opens on aromas of spice (black pepper) and ripe black fruit (plum, blackcurrant). From a full and crisp attack with pleasantly harmonious oak, it develops a round, rich and silky body leading into a long, rich and lingering finish with a hint of bitter chocolate.' Plenty of details on the wine, the grape and the superb time she is having in Paris in the post.

Roddy Graham is still Smelling the Cork and joins us with a review of the Cortes de Cima, 1999, Portugal This is a 'silky', 'full-bodied'� blend of Aragonez, Tricadeira and Perequita. This gives me the opportunity to get out my Tsk Tsk wagging finger as Aragonez is TEMPRANILLO! But Roddy saves the day by quickly throwing in another Portuguese wine - Co-Op Baga, 2001, Portugal.. This is dry and very tannic, a bit thin, but refreshingly sour on the finish.

Marta's Postcards From the Trail seems to have enjoyed her lower shelf rummage and re-appears triumphantly clutching a bottle of Chateau de Perron Madiran, 2001, South West France. This is a 'deep red wine made from a blend of 65% Tannat, 20% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon'. This she served with 'rib-eye steak, sauteed mushrooms, blue cheese, and green beans with almonds.' Delicious.

John, proprietor of UK based merchant French Regional Wines has a super and amusing posting on the Casa de Saima Baga, Portugal. No mention of the vintage but as this is John's first ever published tasting note we can forgive this minor oversight (and I am fresh out of Tsk Tsks).

A trackback posting on the 11th came from Appellation Australia. This Rockford Alicante Bouchet, 2004, Barossa Valley, Australia is not only obscure but also rare - cellar door sales only unfortunatly. "It's not going to change your life, but it's a perfect chilled summer drink to relax with. Rated at 89 points, with a value rating of Good." A superb write-up includes details of the grape and producer.

An email submisson from Kim in Seattle - "I don't have a blog but wanted to participate in this WBW so I hope it's okay if I email this late submission. I really enjoyed the theme and the research.

The wine I picked was a 2002 Santa Rita Reserve Carmenere from Chile. Carmenere grapes are originally from the Bordeaux region of France. They were transplanted to Chile in the mid 1800's. Eventually they were pretty much wiped out in France due to phylloxera. The vines in Chile survived, but they were interplanted with Merlot grapes and over time people pretty much forgot that they were a different grapes and just started calling them all Merlot. Recently the Carmenere grapes were rediscovered and Chilean wineries have started marketing single variety Carmenere wines.

The bottle I got goes for around $10 and is made of 92% Carmenere and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. It does taste a lot like Merlot, but with a different finish. My husband said the end taste reminded him of Hawaii (where he grew up), and the winery notes mentioned sweet overtones of vanilla, clove and coconut. It has a big full taste, peppery in the middle with a hint of sweetness at the end. I liked this wine quite a bit, especially for the price. It went well with food and tasted good on its own. The winery suggests pairing it with red meats and cheese."

UPDATE: I missed one! Tsk Tsk indeed. Vinography (how could I miss out Alder?) has a superb review covering the Weingut Berger Blauer Zweigelt, 2003, Kremstal, Austria. His first time with a Blauer, apparently. It would appear to have similar characteristics to a PN "I would suggest treating this wine much as one would a Pinot Noir or a young Tempranillo." It was good though.

UPDATE 2: And Another! John Loose looks to Austria and discovers Iby Blaufrankisch, 2002, Hochcker, Bergenland. "It is not for the unadventurous, though, as it really has a different kind of spice to it than say, a nice Zinfandel. I paired this with a nice burger and it had great acidity to cut through the natural fats in the meat."

Next up is... Oh, that is the last one on my list! If I have missed anyone please do a Tsk-Tsk in my general direction and I will rectify matters. Sorry for taking so long to get them all posted and for writing so much I have had to split it into three!

UPDATE 3: I am terribly apologetic; I missed out the delightful cooksisters entry to WBW#7! Then Bernie piped up with a late entry...

Jeanne covered the Luis Felipe Edwards Carmenere 2003, Chile.. Which turns out to be an 'amazing bargain' at £3.99. Jeanne concludes with "I seriously doubt whether you would find any Cabernet Sauvignon of comparable quality at this price. My advice? Buy, buy, buy before word gets out and the price goes up!".

Bernie via his Bargain Wine Reviews site looks at Il Borgo Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, 2003, Italy. "now there is a mouthful, is a smooth rich wine that a little bit too strong of a finish... This wine clocks in at $9. It's worth a second buy. A pretty good wine." Many thanks to all those who contributed towards making this such a fun time for me. It was fascinating seeing the entries arrive in my inbox or via track back � each was a surprise and a delight. There are so many varieties out there I would love to host a similar theme again � but perhaps white grapes should get a look in as a majority of the WBW themes, so far, seem to have been concerned with red wine. If I ask Lenn nicely I wonder if he would let me host again�

Screen shot of the Gastronomie WBW entry UPDATE: The Final tally of different varieties (that fit within the theme) was 31 from 38 wines:
Aglianico (Italy), Alicante Bouchet (Australia), Alvarlhao (California), Aragonez / Tempranillo (Portugal), Baga (Portugal), Bastardo (California), Bonarda (Italy), Carignan (California), Carmenere (Chile), Castelao / Periquita / Mort�gua / Jo�o de Santar�m (Portugal), Chenin Noir / Pineau d'Aunis (Loire), Cynthiana / Norton (Missouri), Durif (Australia), Kotsifoli (Greece), Legrein (Italy), Lemberger / Kekfrankos / Blaufrankish (Washington, Long Island and Austria), Malbec (Argentina), Mandeleria (Greece), Monastrell / Mourv�dre (Spain), Montepulciano (California, Italy), Negroamaro (Italy), Nero d'Avola / Calabrese (Italy), Savignin (WHITE) (Loire), Souzao (California), Tannat (SW France), Teroldego (Italy), Tinta Cao (California), Touriga (California), Xinomavro (Greece), Zinfandel / Primitivo (California & Italy), Zweigelt / Blauer Zweigelt / Zweigeltrebe (Hungary & Austria),
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tsk, tsk

The vintage was where it should be

.....Fortunately I have just had a birthday (43 and a bit plus vat) and have received a bottle of Casa de Saima Garrafeira 1995 from my brother. He knows that I love the Tannat grape.....

Well done, when is the next one?



Looks like I missed getting in on the latest wine blogging wednesdays. I've tracked back my reviews of two Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wines (not even sure if they would qualify as obscure :-)). Great choice for a WBW, and I am looking forward to descending into red grape obscurity ...

As usual, great job! Thanks for the topic which "forced" me to drink new wines! Jens

Andrew -

Just getting back from Lake Tahoe to this amazing write-up. It seems WBW has taken on a life of its own!

Take care, and thank you for such a thorough & spectacular write-up.
- Fatemeh

Well, I may be everyone's favourite sister, but after quoting me in paragraph one, you then forgot to add my wine review!!! Whaaaaaaah!! You don't loooooove me anymore (she says, sobbing into her wineglass)

Let's try that again...


Just got back from a long weekend myself..bravo! Much better turn out than expected...which is awesome!

Let's keep the ball rolling...keep an eye out for the WBW #8 announcement this week! It's another fun one I think!

And I'm definitely open to having you host again my friend...of course we're booked until 2006!

Hey, I finally made it into the round-up! OK, will stop diluting my wine with tears of rejection now ;-)

Thanks for hosting Andrew and thanks for the inspired and inspiring theme. Probably the first WBW theme that would make me change my wine drinking habits. Btw, in the ASDA wine mag that came with the Sunday papers yesterday, Australian winemaker Grant Burge was asked what he predicts for the future of the wine world and he said "wine choices will narrow with globalisation, making it more difficult to get the best regional examples" - so very topical theme too!

Thanks for doing such a grand job with the round-up & see you next month!