2009 Wine in Review
Last year marked the beginning of my "wine of the month" project where I only drank wine from one country or region or a particular style or grape or vessel (bottle, shoe, cupped hands). Here's what I liked.
Old Ass Riesling Yes, I love me some old Riesling, but last year marked many disappointing examples with a number of bottles that I had bought being corked. That is the risk when you are buying wines that are 15-20-25 years old.
Still love them.
Poor Beaujolais. No one takes them seriously because of their hyper-fruity Beaujolais Nuevo, but the village level wines may be some of the best values on the market. This summer, let's all drink Beaujolais Cru (slightly chilled) and enjoy the floral nose on that wine.
Tempranillo + Spain Unfortuantly there were some casualties in the 'Wine a Month' program - mainly Tempranillo. I don't know what happened. It all started good and there are plenty of wines to choose from. Maybe I got tired of the flavor profile (oh, piece of leather in my cedar drawers) or maybe it was because I went out with a bunch of Spanish-wine nuts and we all drank too much.
Tempranillo. I need a little time. Also, I love you, but I am not in love with you.
Loire Valley Whites
What a fun month that was. The Loire valley offers a lot of variety and will give you instant geeky cred in some circles. Perfect. I need cred.
I drank a lot of nice wines, but the star of the month and the one I still think about were a number of old Savennieres that I found at the local wine shop. Rich but crisp. Honeyed aromas on the nose. Glorious.
White Bordeaux This month made me sad. In Bordeaux there is a move away from the traditional Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc towards all Sauvignon Blanc. IMHO the world doesn't need anymore Sauvignon Blanc. The Loire and New Zealand should be enough but every damn region needs to make one now. Grrrr. The traditional blends with more Semillon I found delicious and well balanced and perfect with tons of food.
That was a crazy month. September. Never forget.
Yet, I did forget about a lot that I drank, but I didn't forget that they are doing fun things down there with all sorts of grapes. We should drink more of their wine.
Perfect area for grape growing and as far as wine drinking it's perfect if you like a richer white wine.
Jura Holy moly. The Jura. Even my friends from France were like, "you are drinking what?"
Nuts. The whites are uber-geeky which means that normal people don't like them but geeky folks like to enjoy the nutty and oxidized qualities. I did enjoy those qualities on an intellectual level and I suspect that it would pair well with some of their local cuisine but it was a bit much for normal Tuesday night wine sipping.
Now, the reds I really liked. Poulsard and Pinot Noir are the two red grapes that are relatively easy to find - assuming you can find wines from the Jura in the first place. We had about four different bottles and they were across the board... delicious.
We drank Austrian reds for a month. Not a huge slice of the market being that Gruner Veltliner and Riesling are the two wines that usually come to mind when you think of Austria. We started the month with Zweigelt which is a cross between two grapes, one of them Blaufränkisch. I mention the crossing because as much as we enjoyed the easy drinking-ness of Zweigelt, we really enjoyed the Blaufränkisch. I have to re-drink the two Blaufränkisch wines we had because they were both stupendous.
We need to drink more Austrian reds.