This time of year, Cava has to be a ‘go to’ wine. It’s fresh, high quality bubbly that doesn’t break the budget in these times of Economic Crisis, Recession and the impending doom of 2009. Well, thats what all the papers seem to be saying here. Of course the standard of journalism in most of the papers seems to have fallen to the level where tarot card readers are given more credibility these days…There is some fairly average, cheap cava around, like any other sparkling wine, but choose wisely and you’ll find something to replace that expensive NV champagne…
As I mentioned the other week, this is the little brother to Quinta do Vale Meao. This one is a blend of 40% Touriga National, 30% Tinta Roriz, 20% Tinta Barroca, 10% Tinta Amarela. Now 2006 wasn’t the best vintage in the Douro, but this is a seriously good wine that is a great introduction to what Douro table wine is all about.
This is another wine from Castro Martin. It used to be called Avian, but due to a large water brand getting a bit nervous it is now called A20. You can read the full story over here on their blog. The whole thing is a bit silly really, but I think the new name is very appropriate given the circumstances.
Now I’m not too sure how closely related Verdejo and Verdelho are, depending on who you talk to they are exactly the same with different names, or they are completely different. The theory that I like is that it started out in North Africa and worked it’s way up to Rueda via Madeira, then mainland Portugal. It makes sense. However, it would appear that the two are so distantly related that DNA sampling shows very little commonality at all according to the 2006 version of the Oxford Companionto Wine. It’s either Spanish or Portuguese, so that’s fine for Tinto y Blanco…
Posting has been slow, but I’m working on the backlog now that work is fairly quiet. It’s that great time of year where you can plan for the next 12 months, take it easy and enjoy a few glasses of something nice. The 2005 vintage of Pegaso sit somewhere in between the 2003 and 2005. It has the rich fruit and character of the 03 with the subtlety and herbal aspects of the 2004. Both of these previous vintages were a bit polarising, people either preferredthe 03 or 04 (myself included, I liked the 03). This 2005 hits the mark in my book, but do give it a fair decant before tucking in.
I’ve been waiting for a nice lamb dinner to drink this, it works so well with slow cooked lamb. This thing has just about every marketing/packaging trick known to man (or Riojan man anyway); a marble tinted bottle, gold wire, an iconic label with a huge painting of some dude with a hat. The wine is very good, traditional gran reserva with some very good fruit. Make sure you decant this puppy, Gran Reservas need at least 30 minutes of air time to really show their stuff.
A new manzanilla from new importers Outlandish Imports. It’s always good to see someone importing something new, I’ve got a couple of whites from these guys to look at too. Jose Estevez is a fairly large group In Jerez, they also make Valdespino. Plus this gave me a chance to test out my new toy, a Canon 85mm F1.8 lens.
A couple of Aussie whites turned up in the post the other day, an Albarino and a Verdelho from Rusty Fig in Bermagui. I know Bermaguai in Queensland, this one is on the south coast in NSW. I had a look at these on the weekend, they are both really interesting and show plenty of promise. This is the first wine I remember having from this region, so I have nothing smart to say on the climate etc, however these look good.
I’ve been thinking about my favourite wines of the year over the past couple of weeks, and this features towards the top of the list. Considering that many of these top end portugese wines have only been available in Australia for 12 months or so, they have gained huge popularity and a loyal following with wine drinkers around Australia. This wine is at the top of the heap for me.
Anthony at Boccaccio Cellars has been raving about this, so I thought I’d better give it a run. The comeback vintage of 2001 was a big hit, and the 2004 is on a similar level. So, I line up the 2004 and 2001, along with the 2004 Roda Reserva after Griff’s call that this is a ‘better’ wine.