Irregular reflections of a wine lover – #62

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Let’s stop right here. Weekly reflections of a wine lover? Last post was in January. Who am I trying to convince? From now on it’s irregular reflections of a wine lover and I have no clue when #63 will be posted. Since my last reflections, my two blogs have moved from the blogspot world to their very own domains. More work for me but boy is it worth it. When I decided going English I received quite a lot of criticism for that. I also lost a substantial part of my readers. At least in the start. Now, 18 months later, I have readers from 64 different countries. And that is only in June! I don’t know how to thank you and express my gratitude, so a big, big thank you to all of you! The wine world is global which you are proving. So please, start sharing your thoughts even more by commenting or sending me a mail. Your opinion is most welcome! And oh; thanks for reading my irregular reflections of a wine lover #62

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Italy started my wine passion. Therefore it’s only natural I’m now back on the Italian l’autostrada picking up some of the great gems along the way. Especially Sicily is getting a lot of attention and well-deserved it is. By the way; are you following my Sicilian wine adventures? I do admit spotlight is particularly on one region; Etna. Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio; what a team! Graceful, ethereal and a high-altitude appearance. What more can one ask for? Sure, everything is not great, I’ve had some disappointments as well, but on a whole, Etna is without doubt a region that’s here to stay. Due to the fact that the land is limited Etna will keep the feeling of a gem; or a boutique wine. Prices will most likely also continue up north so if you want to be a part of it before it’s Barolo or Barbaresco price-tags on the wines, it’s now or never! Start picking up Etna. It’s hot!

I love to compare. There’s no better way to really understand differences in wine. Recently I had one of Austria’s better Chardonnays next to a Corton-Charlemagne.  Blind. Both were extremely well-made wines but the difference in style became so evident and showed the versatility of Chardonnay. I do admit I preferred the Burgundy on that specific occasion but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t pick up the Austrian wine. Or perhaps the  Ridge Monte Bello Chardonnay to a Corton-Charlemagne on a specific occasion. Mustn’t forget mentioning the fabulous Block 2 from Felton Road. And finally; a Chardonnay doesn’t have to cost a fortune to show it’s class. A recent Südtirol version showed just how darn good the grape performs all over the world. Chardonnay and its versatility rocks!

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Continuing comparing. Two volcano wines. A semi-dry 1980 Marsala from Pellegrino versus a 15 years old semi-dry Verdelho from Henriques and Henriques. Sicily vs Madeira. Although the Marsala is a fine glass it never stands a chance when had next to the Madeira. The Verdelho has it all; presence, precision, freshness, acidity and intensity. As the self-appointed Madeira ambassador I am biased, but why is it so tough for consumers to pick up a bottle of a 15 YO Verdelho? It’s a great match with several meals, on its own it is delicious and the price is modest. Furthermore, it lasts. A bottle can be kept for months without loosing the grip. How many wines can compete with that? Next time at the wine store; pick up a Sercial or a Verdelho and try with food. Ask me for great matches!

 

Finally I’m on Facebook. Both Wine Virtuosity and Mad about Madeira. A follow – or two – would be greatly appreciated. Especially Madeira needs support and will thank you!

I met Kathryn last week. Kathryn Ryan. She’s one of the owners of Mountford Estate in Waipara. Fine producer of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Last time we met it was winter, -15 C and I suggested a snowball fight. Now it’s almost 30 C and Stockholm is showing its very best side. We’re re-tasting many of the wines from the last visit, but also the 2009 vintage which is an outstanding one it seems. The Estate Chardonnay is very elegant and cool in its appearance. Very Burgundy like. Or rather Chablis Grand Cru. Better not make any Burgundy people mad for putting Chablis there. But the most impressive wines are the Pinot’s. The Estate wine has an intensity that is remarkable. Yet it shows pinosity. Will it become better than the great 2007? I think so. Definitely. Also, the single vineyard Pinot, The Gradient, was a fantastic wine. The 2009 might be one of the five best kiwi pinot wines I’ve ever tasted! Keep an eye after this one. 2009. Post coming soon.

Do remember that the 2007 Mountford Estate Pinot Noir is a wonderful glass. At around 30 euros it’s hard to beat.

Let’s do some terroir hunting. I confess; Chilean wines rarely finds their way to my glass. Shame on me. Especially when they’re so delicious as Viña Undurraga’s TH Serie. TH standing for Terroir Hunter. In Leyda they have found the vineyard for their cool and fragrant 2009 Syrah (89-90 p); a fine glass with lots of grape typicity. It’s not northern Rhone but why should it be? Smoky, floral and raspberries. Gentle oak. Only 4,000 bottles so keep your eyes open. The 2008 Pinot Noir (87-88 p) from Las Dichas in the Casablanca Valley shows seductive pinosity. Ripe cherries and compost. Fine acidity, red berries and some oak. Really nice and easy to fall for. 8,000 bottles of this one. If you want to give Chile a fair chance the TH Serie wines are a great start.

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A wine internet retailer first shows their true worth and professional skills when something goes wrong. If you care about your customers or not. I guess some just don’t have it. The understanding. Why else would a retailer think in such short terms and put their personal profit first? Greed is ugly and nothing you build on if you want returning customers. How hard should it be?

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I think we all at heart knew. The practice of understating the alcohol content on the label. High alcohol content is so out and the producers know that. Check out the article in The Guardian for an interesting read.

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