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Mature Chapoutier and Turley with young Dirty & Rowdy

December 23, 2014 1 comment

A recent evening tasting wine with Lou proved to be rather interesting. I do not recall ever tasting Hermitage blanc so I was completely surprised that the 2000 Chapoutier, Chante-Alouette, Hermitage Blanc continued to develop the entire evening.  While it was always balanced it became more expressive on the nose and in the mouth.  I usually save my leftovers for the next day but Jenn and I just had to finish it up when I returned home.  If you open a bottle then double-decant it at least one hour ahead.  Also interesting was the bottle of 2000 Turley, Zinfandel Juvenile.  I would not think a high-alcohol Zinfandel could develop gracefully past 10 years of age.  This one did.  I would not say it developed any distinctive bottle aged flavors, rather it was youthful in a manner that belied its age.  We finished up with a pair of Mourvedre from Dirty & Rowdy.  The 2011 Dirty & Rowdy, Mourvedre, Shake Ridge Ranch, Amador County was a bit more robust and expressive, though the flavors waxed and waned.  Though familiar on the nose the 2013 Dirty & Rowdy, Mourvedre, California Familiar proved to be a younger, lighter, and acidity driven relative.  Not surprising given the change in fruit source and the inclusion of some Petite Sirah.  My feelings oscillated but the wine did grow on me.  In the end I felt it just needs some time.  What really matters is that the 2000 Chapoutier rocked and the 2000 Turley was an outright tasty wine to drink.

WithLou1

2000 Chapoutier, Chante-Alouette, Hermitage Blanc –
Imported by Ginday Imports.  This wine is 100% Roussanne.  Alcohol 11-14%.  The wine was a gold color.  With air aromas of toast came out.  The wine itself became rounder, riper, and weightier throughout the entire evening.  There was a lovely, exotic mouthfeel with green herbs and eventually an interesting masa with fruit flavor.  It had attractive glycerin and a flavorful aftertaste.  **** Now-2020.

WithLou2

2000 Turley, Zinfandel Juvenile –
This wine is 100% Zinfandel sourced from young vines on estate vineyards.  It was aged in 20% new oak.  Alcohol 15.2%.  The color was a light to medium garnet.  The nose was grapey and meaty with some prune aromas.  In the mouth the wine was very fruity before linear flavors of black fruit and lively young acidity came out.  The wine was balanced, though you could work out some heat, and quickly took on a little ripe texture and tannins in the finish.   With air the wine took on more grapey fruit, rosemary notes, and a powdery ripe aftertaste.  *** Now-2019.

WithLou3

2011 Dirty & Rowdy, Mourvedre, Shake Ridge Ranch, Amador County –
This wine is 100% Mourvedre from two blocks of young vines that was aged for four months in neutral oak.   Alcohol 13.4%.  There was an enjoyable nose of gentle potpourri and red fruit aromas.  In the mouth were forward, grainy fruit flavors that were tart, black, and acidity driven.  After the start the wine fleshed out a bit in the middle but dropped off in the finish before resuming in the aftertaste.  The wine became more floral with air, showing pepper, black fruit, and greenhouse flavors.  It even took on notes of polished wood and vintage perfume.  *** Now-2018.

WithLou4

2013 Dirty & Rowdy, Mourvedre, California Familiar –
This wine is a blend of 93% Mourvedre and 7% Petite Sirah that was whole cluster fermented using indigenous yeast.  Alcohol 13.2%.  Familiar in the nose but certainly different.  There were tart red and black fruit that had a more carressing feel.  The wine was cleaner and lighter on its feet with cranberry acidity and a moderate amount of citric tannin that were still young.  **(*) 2015-2019.

WithLou5

Three wines from New Mexico, Mexico, and Greece

December 22, 2014 1 comment

One really should be curious when it comes to trying wines.  We bought the 2009 Gruet Winery, Pinot Noir, New Mexico several years ago after trying an even older, well-preserved example. It may seem surprising at first to find Pinot Noir in New Mexico but do remember that Gruet is famous for their sparkling wines, of which Pinot Noir plays a part.  Our bottle showed a lot of oak influence on the nose followed by primary cherry fruit in the mouth.  This is a solid drinking wine that would be great fun to serve blind at the beginning of a tasting or dinner.   From Mexico, the latest vintage of 2010 L.A. Cetto, Petite Sirah, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California offered solid, modern flavors of dense black fruit.  This bottle took a few days to show well which is not surprising given the grape variety.  Again, not a mind-blowing wine but another fun wine to serve blind.  I would personally be curious to see how it tastes several years from now.  The 2012 Aivalis Wines, Agiorgitiko, Nemea offers plummy, dry, and powerfully structured flavors.  The wine is a bit disjointed right now so stick it in the cellar for a year or two.  It you must try a bottle now (and most likely in the future) then be sure to accompany it by a big hunk of meat.  The L.A. Cetto and Aivalis wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.  The Gruet was purchased at the winery.

Misc2

2009 Gruet Winery, Pinot Noir, New Mexico –
This wine is 100% Pinot Noir that was aged for 16+ months in oak barrels.  Alcohol ?%.  The color was a medium+ red cherry with some garnet.  There were good wood aromas on the notes, some sweet spices, and leather.  In the mouth were cherry fruits in this balanced wine.  The flavors were simple and shorter though the wine has kept well.  Eventually a fruity blue and red core came out.  No need to hold on but will last for years to come.  ** Now-2017.

Misc1

2010 L.A. Cetto, Petite Sirah, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California – $10
Imported by International Spirits & Wines.  Alcohol 13.5%.  There were low-lying heady aromas of tart fruit.  In the mouth were dense, inky flavors, some ripe, powdery tannins, and fruit that turned blacker. Needs a little time in the cellar.  *(*) 2015-2018.

Misc3

2012 Aivalis Wines, Agiorgitiko, Nemea – $16
Imported by Dionysos Imports.  This wine is 100% Agiorgitiko that was fermented in stainless steel then aged for 12 months in 30% new and 70% used French oak barrels.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose remained plummy.  In the mouth were plummy, black fruit flavors that were dry.  The acidity was salivating at first then dry, dark tannins came out towards the finish.  The structure is rather strong in comparison to the fruit.  The finish bore dark fruit that seemed separate from the structure in the end.  Needs time to integrate.  *(*) 2016-2019.

Misc4

When vineyards were just miles from the U.S. Capitol: The wine houses of Washington, DC, 1880-1910

December 19, 2014 3 comments

A day trip to Virginia wine country is an increasingly popular activity for those who live in the greater Washington, DC, area.  A century ago residents did not need to travel so far to drink the local wine.  As late as 1910, people would ride three to four miles north of downtown to one of several wine houses.  This area was known as Washington County and was less developed with estates and farms.  It is here that many wine houses were located near what is now the Old Soldier’s Home and Catholic University of America.

B.H. Warner & Co.'s Map showing a bird's-eye view of the city of Washington and suburbs. 1886. Library of Congress Geography and Map Division. URL: http://www.loc.gov/item/87693417/

B.H. Warner & Co.’s Map showing a bird’s-eye view of the city of Washington and suburbs. 1886. Library of Congress Geography and Map Division. URL: http://www.loc.gov/item/87693417/

The higher elevation of this area was known for its commanding views of the city and cooler temperatures.   It is perhaps due to these qualities that this area had been home to vineyards since the beginning of the 19th century.  Samuel Harrison Smith had a vineyard on his property at Harewood Road and Bunker Hill Road from at least 1816 into the 1830s.  Thomas Mustin cultivated Pleasant Hill Vineyard near Rock Creek Church into the early 1830s.  John Agg’s estate, adjoining the Military Asylum or Soldier’s Home as it was later named, was known as The Vineyard from the 1850s through the 1880s.[1] Thomas Brown’s property was put up for auction in 1877.[2]  Located along Rock Creek Church Road near the Soldier’s Home it contained “a fine vineyard, in good bearing order, and is in a good state of cultivation”.  There was also the five room building “known as the ‘Wine House’”.

Overview showing relationship of Brightwood, Soldier's Home, and Catholic University. Image from Baist's real estate atlas of surveys of Washington, District of Columbia. 1903. Library of Congress. URL: http://www.loc.gov/item/87675190/

Overview showing relationship of Brightwood, Soldier’s Home, and Catholic University. Image from Baist’s real estate atlas of surveys of Washington, District of Columbia. 1903. Library of Congress. URL: http://www.loc.gov/item/87675190/

Wine houses were places to drink homemade wine on private property.  These properties all contained vineyards from which the fruit was gathered to make the wine.  Wine houses typically operated without a license because it was commonly believed that selling the wine from their own grapes was exempted by the law.  Wine houses that were located within one mile of the Soldier’s Home were eventually outlawed from selling intoxicating wine but could sell “unfermented wine”.  One motivation for this law might be found in the case of the old soldier Alexander Irving.  He spent much of his time drinking at the nearby wine house of Mary Haberman.[3]  One day he kept drinking until he was “suddenly ill and dropped dead.”  The coroner certified that he drunk himself to death.

Soldiers' Home, Washington. c 1898. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. URL: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2008678220/

Soldiers’ Home, Washington. c 1898. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. URL: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2008678220/

There were several wine houses within one mile of the Soldier’s Home, such as that of Agnes Helm[4], Allright’s[5], and Frederick Rose[6].  Technically the wine was to be unfermented but accounts of intoxication and the increasing attention from the police suggest otherwise.  For example, in 1895 three young men had spent the afternoon “wine drinking” at a wine house.[7]  They boarded the electric car at Brightwood near the Soldier’s Home and got into an altercation with the motorman.  The young men were fined and the judge stated that intoxicated people from wine houses and speak easies “made electric car traveling uncomfortable”.  A year later, Frank Ward had been drinking wine at Allright’s wine house on Rock Creek Church road.[8]  He left intoxicated and was last seen leaning against a lamp post as the electric street car was arriving.  He spontaneously fell on the tracks in front of the car and was killed.

Street car, Washington, D.C. c 1890. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. URL: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2001706113/

Street car, Washington, D.C. c 1890. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. URL: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2001706113/

Rosie’s Wine House appears to have been the most notorious of them all.  Rosie Arnold or “Miss Rosie” was the “fair waitress” who served those who visited “the wine-house” on Shepherd Road near Brightwood.[9]  Though the wine house was owned by Theresa Arnold it was the daughter Rosie who was known to all.  The Arnolds were a German family.  Their house was located on a hill whose side was covered with a vineyard.  It is from this vineyard that the grapes were sourced for the wine served at the house.  They produced 15 to 20 barrels of red wine annually once described as “sparkling fluid”.[10]  It is this wine that landed Rosie Arnold in court during November 1889 for the house had never held a license.  The Arnold’s believed they did not need a license since the wine was manufactured on site.  Despite two police officers testifying that a pitcher of the wine had no intoxicating effects, Rosie Arnold was fined and ordered to apply for a license.[11]

This was the first of several court appearances.  During the summer of 1892 the charge of running a “disorderly house” was dropped[12] but was followed in the fall with a fine for selling wine on the Sabbath.[13]  Rosie Arnold must have been so well known that the court mistakenly assumed she owned the “Wine House” and had to file a second charged against the true owner, her mother Theresa Arnold.[14]

Theresa and Rosie Arnold were not the only wine-house keepers that appeared in court.  Henri Schreider advertised for a young German woman to do work at the Wine House, Rock Creek Church Road near the Soldier’s Home on April 10, 1888.[15]  Later that summer Henry Schreider, proprietor of the wine house, was charged with being an unlicensed liquor dealer for selling wine made from grapes on his property.[16]  The charges were dismissed by the claim that the grape juice was simply allowed to clear for two or three days before being cured with sugar and barreled.

It was generally believed as late as 1893, that a wine house could sell wine manufactured from the vineyard on the property without license but it could not sell other intoxicating drinks.  The court was aware that wine houses were sourcing fruit from other vineyards.  One judge reported he “had seen wagon loads of basket of grapes going out the road”.  Indeed the Virginia grape grower J.H. Gray of Falls Church, Fairfax County reported in 1880 that he and other growers sold fruit to a “wine establishment” in Washington.[17]  The rate was $3 per 100 pounds delivered to the “wine house”.

There were rising complaints against the wine houses by the citizens and the superintendent of the Brightwood schools.  The Temperance Union applied pressure as well.[18]  By 1894 the view had changed and the Court found a wine house could not dispense the wine it manufactured for consumption on the premises without a license.[19]  With this in mind along with the successful prosecution of Theresa Arnold, “’Wine House’ Keeper” Frederick Rose of Glenwood Road was fined as well.

Location of Frederick Rose's property. Image from Baist's real estate atlas of surveys of Washington, District of Columbia. 1903. Library of Congress. URL: http://www.loc.gov/item/87675190/

Location of Frederick Rose’s property. Image from Baist’s real estate atlas of surveys of Washington, District of Columbia. 1903. Library of Congress. URL: http://www.loc.gov/item/87675190/

Frederick Rose was a native of Germany who enlisted in the Union Army and served throughout the Civil War.[20]  He returned to Washington in 1865 after which he established a restaurant and wine house near the entrance of the Soldier’s Home.  With passage of the one-mile law, Frederick Rose moved his wine house to his property right near the entrance of Catholic University on Lincoln Avenue between Eckington and Brookland.[21]  He used part of his land as a vineyard which supplied his business for nearly twenty years.  He did a “flourishing” business until the electric street car line on 4th Street was abandoned.  His volume of business fell, he became despondent and ended his life during the fall of 1903.

During the fall of 1894 the elderly Theresa Arnold was back in court.[22]  Though a policeman had testified her wine was not intoxicating, chemical analysis proved it contained 9% alcohol.[23]The charges and fines continued for the Arnold family over the next decade.  Eventually a change in the law allowed the police to arrest Theresa Arnold.  She was charged and arrested at the age of 72 for selling wine in quantities of less than five gallons to be drunk on the premises.[24]  It was testified that her wine was the strength of “ordinary claret” for which she had to move and quit the business.[25]

Despite the arrest of Theresa Arnold, Rosie Arnold maintained the business.  Its popularity continued for in one advertisement a young man listed his address as “near Rose’s Wine House”.[26]  The wine house must have operated under a license because there are no more accounts of court proceedings.  Instead there are reports of an 80 year old veteran of the Civil War found dead in his room at the Wine House in 1909.[27] The last mention comes during 1910 when a group of 500 Russians held a picnic at the “Arnold’s wine house”.[28]  One year later Theresa Arnold passed away and accounts of Rose’s Wine House disappear from the papers.[29]  I suspect one of the last vineyards of Washington, DC, disappeared as well.


[1] Date: Wednesday, May 7, 1856     Paper: Daily National Intelligencer (Washington (DC), DC)   Volume: XLIV   Issue: 13656   Page: 1
[2] Date: Saturday, August 4, 1877      Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 3
[3] Date: Friday, July 16, 1880              Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 4
[4] Date: Monday, July 18, 1881           Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 4
[5] Date: Friday, April 7, 1893               Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 9
[6] Date: Friday, July 27, 1894              Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 3
[7] Date: Friday, May 31, 1895             Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 12
[8] Date: Friday, April 7, 1893               Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 9
[9] Date: Wednesday, November 20, 1889        Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 5
[10] Date: Saturday, October 22, 1892                Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 15
[11] Date: Monday, November 25, 1889             Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 8
[12] Date: Monday, July 25, 1892         Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 5
[13] Date: Tuesday, October 4, 1892  Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 10
[14] Date: Saturday, October 22, 1892                Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 15
[15] Date: Tuesday, April 10, 1888       Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 2
[16] Date: Tuesday, June 26, 1888        Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 3
[17] McMurtrie, William. Report Upon Statistics of Grape Culture and Wine Production in the United States for 1880. 1881. URL: https://ia601602.us.archive.org/26/items/reportuponstatis36mcmu/reportuponstatis36mcmu.
[18] Date: Monday, May 15, 1893        Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 9
[19] Date: Friday, July 27, 1894             Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 3
[20] WINE DEALER ENDS HIS LIFE: Frederick Rose Fires Fatal Pistol Shot in … The Washington Post (1877-1922); Sep 2, 1903; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1997) pg. 4
[21] Date: Tuesday, September 1, 1903              Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 3
[22] Date: Wednesday, December 12, 1894      Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 11
[23] NINE PERCENT ALCOHOL.: Mrs. Teresa Arnold’s Wine Was Adjudged of Intoxicating Strength. The Washington Post (1877-1922); Dec 12, 1894; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1997) pg. 2
[24] Date: Thursday, October 27, 1904               Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 15
[25] LIQUOR CASES DISPOSED OF.: Fine Imposed in One and Charges Dismissed in Two Others.
The Washington Post (1877-1922); Dec 9, 1904; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1997) pg. 12
[26] Date: Saturday, February 11, 1905               Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 12
[27] FINDS AGED LODGER, DEAD.: Attendant at First Thinks Octogenarian Is Asleep. The Washington Post (1877-1922); May 8, 1909; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1997) pg. 14
[28] ENJOY BREAKING UP PICNICS.: Police Accuse Set of Negroes With Har- rassing Foreigners. The Washington Post (1877-1922); Aug 4, 1910; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1997) pg. 14
[29] Date: Sunday, March 5, 1911        Paper: Evening Star (Washington (DC), DC)   Page: 5

The 2nd Battalion of the Regiment of Cuba posing with some wine, c. 1895-1898.

December 17, 2014 Leave a comment

This photograph shows 16 soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of the Regiment of Cuba standing in a semicircle.  With rifles stacked up against each other in two groups, the men are at ease with musical instruments, two dogs, and at least one bottle of what appears to be red wine.

Escribientes y ordenanzas del 2º Batallón del Regimiento de Cuba. Biblioteca Digital Hispanica. [1]

Escribientes y ordenanzas del 2º Batallón del Regimiento de Cuba. Biblioteca Digital Hispanica. [1]


[1] Escribientes y ordenanzas del 2º Batallón del Regimiento de Cuba. Circa 1895-1898? ID # bdh0000052950. Biblioteca Digital Hispanica. URL: http://bdh.bne.es/bnesearch/detalle/bdh0000052950

Flavor Town

December 17, 2014 Leave a comment

The wines of California can certainly deliver on flavor with the 2012 Relic Wine Cellars, The Archive, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast being an excellent example.  I would not particularly think that this is a Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast but perhaps that does not matter.  If you are looking for aroma, flavor, mouthfeel, and acidity this offers all of that in balance so just enjoy drinking glass after glass.  The 2012 Gorman Winery, The Devil You Know, Columbia Valley is young and tight so there is not much to write about at this time.  Leave it in the cellar for a few years.   I do not know what to make of the 2010 Robert Sinskey Vineyards, POV Los Carneros, Napa Valley.  I was completely overwhelmed by the forward fruit and oak influences that I promptly recorked the bottle.  Strange enough, upon revisiting the wine, it had completely changed course.  It showed more restrained green house infused fruit, minerals, and structure for aging.  It could actually develop quite well.  Who knows!? Personally, I would avoid the gamble and just buy The Relic.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

FlavorTown1

2012 Relic Wine Cellars, The Archive, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast – $27
This wine is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from the Kashaya Vineyard that was destemmed then fermented with indigenous yeast and aged for 11 months in 50% on the lees in new French Burgundy barrels. Alcohol 14.3%.  The wine bore riper fruit than expected but it quickly fleshed out to be balanced.  There were sweet spices and a vanilla hint that mixed with the good fruit.  The wine had noticeable acidity on the tongue tip, a subtle glycerin mouthfeel, and barely any tannins.  There was a bit of a zip and a pepper note in the finish.  Not necessarily evocative of Pinot Noir but very tasty.  *** Now-2016.

FlavorTown2

2012 Gorman Winery, The Devil You Know, Columbia Valley – $26
This wine is a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 13% Petit Sirah, and 8% Petite Verdot that was aged for 16 months in French oak.  Alcohol 14.7%.  The nose was subtle with low-lying aromas of  dense young fruit.  In the mouth were slightly tart flavors of red over black fruit and some powdery bitter chocolate.  The acidity was more noticeable than the structure.  **(*) 2016-2019.

FlavorTown3

2010 Robert Sinskey Vineyards, POV Los Carneros, Napa Valley – $33
This wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon that was aged for 19 months in new and used French oak barrels.  Alcohol 14%.  Very forward and overwhelming aromas of cocoa and spices followed by mouth filling flavors.  The wine completely changed on the second night to show fresh, ripe, green house flavors mixed with tart black fruit in the finish, black minerals, and more structure.  *(*)/**(*) 2015-2022.

FlavorTown4

An haunting Art Nouveau image for Vinos Sard

December 16, 2014 Leave a comment
Vinos Sard. Nualart, Carles Barral. 1902. [1]

Vinos Sard. Nualart, Carles Barral. 1902. [1]


[1] Vinos Sard. Nualart, Carles Barral. 1902. Museu Nacional D’Art de Catalunya. URL: http://www.museunacional.cat/en/colleccio/vinos-sard/carles-barral-nualart/000357-c

Chardonnay from Patrick Piuze and Porter Creek

December 16, 2014 Leave a comment

You might at first believe this post is a comparison of Chardonnay from Chablis and the Russian River Valley.  It is not, rather this post features wine from two producers whose wine I have never tasted before.  Patrick Piuze produces a wide variety of cuvees from Chablis using fruit that he purchases.  His Terroir series of wines are produced from village level fruit.  The 2012 Patrick  Piuze, Terroir de Fyé, Chablis proved very young over several days leaving the impression of tight precision.  It is a bit hard to enjoy right now so it might be one to enjoy next winter. Porter Creek focuses in on wines made from Burgundy and Rhone grape varieties.  The vines are all located on hillsides.  The wines are meant to express their origins through the use of natural fermentation and restrained oak.  Having no previous experience I certainly cannot identify the origins of the 2013 Porter Creek, Chardonnay Old Vine, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County but I can tell you that the balance of flavor, mouthfeel (both creamy and textured), and lively acidity is very attractive.  I might even suggest this wine needs several more months of age.  If you are a fan of the 2012 Neyers, Chardonnay 304, Sonoma County than be sure to grab a few bottles of the Porter Creek.  For me it hits the mark of enlivening acidity, green apple flavors, and mouthfeel.  Thanks to Andy for recommending this wine.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

Chardonnay1

2012 Patrick  Piuze, Terroir de Fyé, Chablis – $25
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  This wine is 100% Chardonnay sourced from the village of Fyé that was fermented with indigenous yeasts partially in barrel.  Alcohol 12%.  On the nose, smoke gently mixed with stones and some ripe fruit.  There were precise flavors in the mouth that remained young and tight.  The flavors bore apple hints, almost tart acidity, and apple-like texture.  It showed good mouth weight.  ** 2015-2019.

Chardonnay2

2013 Porter Creek, Chardonnay Old Vine, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County – $34
This wine is 100% Chardonnay sourced from old vines.  Alcohol 13.9%.  The nose bore articulated aromas of ripe, green apple.  In the mouth was a lively start with flavors of green apple and white fruit.  A creamy mouth feel came out quickly before the wine became even livelier in the middle.  There was a stone like finish with a textured aftertaste that had some tannins.  Overall a light flavor style.  *** Now-2019.

Chardonnay3

Goatskins of wine in a cart and on the back of a slave from Christoph Weiditz’s Das Trachtenbuch (1529)

December 15, 2014 Leave a comment

 

Así se transportan en pellejos de cabra el vino de Toledo. Image from Das Trachtenbuch (1529). [1]

Así se transportan en pellejos de cabra el vino de Toledo. Image from Das Trachtenbuch (1529). [1]

These two images show the transport of wine in Spain during the early 16th century.  The images are from Christoph Weiditz’s Das Trachtenbuch (1529) published in Strasbourg.  This book focuses on scenes from Spain and represents the oldest publication of of European costumes.  This subject might sound familiar for this summer I published a costume image from Hans Heinrich Glaser’s Basler Kleidung (1634).  The first image in this post shows a man, leading two horses and a cart loaded with goatskins full of wine (red and yellow cart, red boots, blue dress, gray hood).  The wine is being transported in Toledo.  The second image shows a Moorish slave who was sold in Castile.  He is barefoot and shackled which surely must have complicated the job of carrying a full goatskin of wine (white pants and coat enhanced with silver).

Esclavo Negro con Bota de Vino es Castilla. Image from Das Trachtenbuch. (1529) [2]

Esclavo Negro con Bota de Vino es Castilla. Image from Das Trachtenbuch. (1529) [2]


[1] `Así se transportan en pellejos de cabra el vino de Toledo´ Weiditz, Christoph. Das Trachtenbuch. 1529. Colecciones en Red. Ministerio de Educacion, Cultura, y Deporte. URL: http://ceres.mcu.es/pages/Main?idt=156493&inventary=FD036857&table=FDOC&museum=MT
[2] “ESCLAVO NEGRO CON BOTA DE VINO ES CASTILLA”. Weiditz, Christoph. Das Trachtenbuch. 1529. Colecciones en Red. Ministerio de Educacion, Cultura, y Deporte. URL: http://ceres.mcu.es/pages/Main?idt=156509&inventary=FD036873&table=FDOC&museum=MT

The mineral flavored 2012 vintage from Domaine de Mourchon

December 15, 2014 Leave a comment

This latest pair of 2012 releases from Domaine de Mourchon offer mineral flavored fun.  The entry-level 2012 Domaine de Mourchon, Cotes du Rhone is a serious, lightly structured wine that should develop over the winter.   I would drink this after the daffodils and tulips bloom.  The 2012 Domaine de Mourchon, Grande Reserve, Cotes du Rhone Villages Seguret steps things up with oodles of controlled fruit.  The wine is attractive right now but the supporting structure is strong, suggesting this wine will benefit from a few years of aging.   These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

Mourchon1

2012 Domaine de Mourchon, Cotes du Rhone – $13
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah sourced from 40 year old vines that was aged in concrete vats.  Alcohol 13.5%.  There were younger, linear flavors of tight ripe black fruit and minerals.  With air a balance of red and black fruit came out.  The flavors became dry by the finish where the drying, powdery structure was evident.  ** Now-2016.

Mourchon2

2012 Domaine de Mourchon, Grande Reserve, Cotes du Rhone Villages Seguret – $25
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  This wine is a blend of 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah Syrah from vines averaging 60 years of age that was aged in 60% concrete vats and 40% oak barrels.  Alcohol 14.5%.  There were attractive, compact blue fruit flavors to start then controlled, oodles of fruit and ripe spiced tannins.  The structure was not obtrusive but was strong and more evident on the second night.  The good fruit flavors eventually took on black mineral notes  *** Now-2022.

Mourchon3

A picture of Spanish friends drinking wine (1900).

December 12, 2014 Leave a comment
Grupo de amigos en una bodega bebiendo vino. 1900. [1]

Grupo de amigos en una bodega bebiendo vino. 1900. [1]


[1]  Grupo de amigos en una bodega bebiendo vino. 01/01/1900. Referencia: FP9300020000. Archivo de la Ciudad de Arganda del Rey. URL: http://archivo.ayto-arganda.es/digital/document.aspx?id=FP9300020000