Saturday, April 16, 2011

Trapiche (Oak Cask) Malbec 2009

Wine Facts for Trapiche Malbec
Grape Varietal: Malbec
Vintage: 2009
Country: Argentina
Region: Mendoza
Producer: Bodegas Trapiche
Price: $11.99
Place of Purchase: Martin's Food Store, Harrisonburg, VA

Additional facts: Malbecs are one of our favorite varietals, so I was happy when Adam picked this wine up as a surprise. The grape varietal was originally known as one of the six grapes used to blend French Bordeaux wines (the others are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Carménère), but it has recently become heavily (and well!) produced in Argentina. As a result, Malbec wines are becoming valued for their grape varietal rather than just for their ability to mix and blend well. Malbecs can also be fairly cost efficient, so pick one up!

Characteristics of
Trapiche Malbec
Appearance: deep plum with a reddish rim when the glass becomes more shallow
Bouquet: outstanding; blackberry/plum-type of deep ripeness with a hint of darker, more deliciously hidden intrigue

Adam's Overall Thoughts:
A very, very smooth offering from Argentina. We had this with pizza, but I think any tomato-based meal would pair excellently with it. Beyond that, it's an incredibly great wine to sip on. There's a touch of sweetness in the tannins of the wine, but they're not overpowering. The bouquet is a perfect introduction to the wine and the taste is even better. This makes me want to book a trip to Mendoza as soon as possible.

Cathy's Overall Thoughts:
I loved the bouquet of this wine. Although I couldn't describe it exactly (see above), it does draw the sniffer in with a dark, exotic mystery. You can smell the fruit but you want the wine. Does that make sense? As for the taste, some dark reds (and even Malbecs), can have a slight bitterness to it. I'm not sure that it was the oak cask, but this Malbec didn't have any bitter flavor, even at the end.  :)  Instead, I tasted sharp fruits (cherry) and deep fruits (plum, blackberry) immediately; the wine then melded into a softer version of these fruits before leaving a very slight dryness in the mouth. So, fruity loveliness evolving into a ravishing desire for more even wine. Sounds hard to beat, right? Enjoy!
On my scale, it's a 9.89.

We paired with: pizza, wings, and just sipping
We recommend this with: just about anything; sipping during a rainstorm while watching tv/reading would be pretty grand!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dolcetto d'Alba 2007

Wine Facts for Dolcetto d'Alba
Grape Varietal: Dolcetto
Vintage: 2007
Country: Italy
Region: Piedmonte
Producer: Bricco Dei Tati
Price: $12.99 (reduced from $17.99)
Place of Purchase: Vintage Wines, Harrisonburg, VA

Additional facts: This wine is made from 80-year-old vines and only 3400 bottles made. It was bottled unfiltered and unrefined, so sediment was to be expected, but we actually didn't see much sediment at all. For most European wine-producing countries, sediment is a prized quality. In America, wine-producers stay away from sediment and actively avoid it.

Characteristics of
Dolcetto d'Alba
Appearance: deep purple
Bouquet: pleasant fruitiness, but a slight yeastyness, slightly sharp

Adam's Overall Thoughts:
The pleasant bouquet proved a truthful indication of its loveliness. The wine had a fruit-forward taste and the type of dryness on the finish that I really like: leaving you wanting more because of its delightfulness, not because you're trying to mask an alcohol-fume residue that's lingering. In my book, it's good for pairing with food or being sipped on its own.

Cathy's Overall Thoughts:
It has a hint of sourness toward the middle of the taste; rather than off-putting, though, it provided a nice depth of flavor, saving it from just being a juicy wine. It nicely melded sweet and sharp flavors, but it didn't have as thick or dark of a flavor as I would have liked. After I swallowed the wine, the flavor disappears quickly rather than thickly settling on the senses/tongue. Overall, though, quite tasty!
On my scale, it's a 9.54.

We paired with: homemade pizza and tomato soup
We recommend this with: Italian foods


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hercules (ΗΡΑΚΛΗΣ) 2008

Wine Facts for Hercules (ΗΡΑΚΛΗΣ)
Grape Varietal:  Agiorgitiko (ΑΓΙΩΡΓΗΤΙΚΟ)
Vintage: 2008
Country: Greece
Region: Peloponnese
Producer: Cooperative Winery of Nemea
Price: $8.99
Place of Purchase: Vintage Wines, Harrisonburg, VA

Additional facts:
Yep, I'm using Greek letters! Fancy, fancy! :)  In case something became distorted on the techno side of things, this is called an Anglicized version of the original Greek (letter eta-rho-alpha-kappa-lambda-eta-sigma).
The grape is also known as Mavro Nemeas or St. George. The grape is native to Greece (so I'm not sure why it's called St. George, the patron saint of England and Edmund Spenser, but oh well!), and the wines can range from rose to oak aged red; it's commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon.
This wine, though, is not a blend--and we have had it a couple of times. Adam and I wanted to bring a few bottles of wine to Nashville for Thanksgiving. My aunt Carol, my parents, my three cousins (Kevin, Martin, and Matt), and Adam and I celebrated Thanksgiving together at my aunt's house,  and we had a wonderful time. However, before we left Harrisonburg, Adam and I went to Vintage Wines to get some bottles of wine. The owner was incredibly helpful, and suggested some delicious whites--but we also wanted to throw in a red (our favorite type of wine), and the owner suggested this bottle. It was juicy, delicious, paired nicely with turkey/stuffing/potatoes/typical Thanksgiving fare, and was a surprising hit. Plus my cousin Matt, who studies Greek, tried his hand at translating the Greek label.  :)
We got another bottle a few months later because we wanted to include it in our wine blog. The things we do for wine.... 

Characteristics of
Hercules (ΗΡΑΚΛΗΣ)
Appearance:very thin, very red...almost a watered down look to it
Bouquet: very sharp sweetness, almost ethanol-like; sort of seemed like a sweet, wild cherry scent to it

Adam's Overall Thoughts: Definitely has a better taste than aroma. There's a surprising smoothness to the wine, with a touch of spice (coffee-like maybe?) left at the top of my mouth on the finish. It's not a very full taste, though it doesn't quickly exit.

Cathy's Overall Thoughts: This is a case of it tastes better than it looks and smells for me. When it enters the mouth, there's a tangy richness. The wine almost seems to jump to the roof of the mouth (are there tastebuds up there?) and it draws attention to itself. This isn't a delicate flower of a wine, but I think I loved how it surprised and shocked me with its boldness despite it's watery, rather basic appearance. It was seductively sassy.
On my scale, it's a 9.19.

We paired with: pasta dishes and just sipping wine
We recommend this: with Thanksgiving dinners,with pasta dishes, and just to enjoy sipping after a long day of work