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13 October 2005

Argentine Pinot Gris

Alder provides a well-written back story of the Lurton wine dynasty.

I provide a quicktake on the Lurton's Pinot Gris from Argentina:

LurtonpgBodega J&F Lurton Pinot Gris, '04 ($7)

  • From Mendoza
  • Pale, light gold in color with a thin watery rim
  • Simple, fruity scents of citrus, white pear, and pineapple
  • A fairly full-bodied Pinot Gris.  It offers a viscous mouthfeel along with fruity flavors.  There is a bit of acidity along with something of a nutty flavor.  The wine finishes a bit flabby (i.e. low acidity, high-ish alcohol)
  • I enjoyed this PG's weight in my mouth.  However, the finish was not terribly endearing.  Yet for seven bucks, it aint half bad

**.5 (2.5 stars out of 5)

21 August 2005

Colonia LL Bonarda

2003 Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda ($8)

ColoniabonardaClear, opaque ruby fading to a pale, purple-ruby rim. Clean, youthful, pronounced nose of ripe plum, cassis, roasted meat and chocolate. Dry, with balanced acidity and medium-high tannins. Medium-full bodied, with an intense palate similar to the nose, with a marked absence of oak. Medium alcohol and medium length. A good value bonarda from Mendoza, this wine can be drunk now, but the will soften over the next 3 years.

23 June 2005

Alamos Cab

Alamos_cabernet2002 Alamos Cabernet Sauvignon ($10)   
Clear, opaque ruby fading to a pale ruby rim. Clean, youthful, pronounced nose of cassis, smoky oak, dark chocolate and a hint of leather spice. Dry, with balanced acidity and medium-high, slightly coarse tannins. Full-bodied, with an intense palate of ripe black fruits and toasty oak. Medium alcohol and a long length. Good quality Cabernet from Mendoza. Drink now and over the next 3 years.   

For more WG tasting notes, click here.

17 June 2005

Will the Real Bonarda Please Stand Up?

I did not know this.
'Bonarda' is the most widely planted red grape variety in Argentina.

Some experts believe Argentine Bonarda is actually the red variety called, "Charbono," in California (source:  Oxford Companion to Wine).

But it didn't come from California
Bonarda was brought to Argentina in the 19th centrury by Italian immigrants (source: Bodega Catena Zapata, Argentina).

So does Bonarda still exist in Italy?
Three distinct Italian grape varieties are known as Bonarda:

  1. Bonarda of Oltrepò Pavese and Colli Piacentini - it is actually the Croatina grape
  2. Bonarda Novarese, which is blended with the red grape Spanna (which is what the highlanders of the northern Piedmont call Nebbiolo) in DOC wines of the Novara and Vercelli hills.  This is actually the Uva Rara grape
  3. Bonarda Piemontese, which is rarely grown and remains primarily along the Tanaro river near the town of Govone (source:  Oxford Companion to Wine)

And which of these is the Bonarda brought to Argentina?
I don't know.  Let me investigate...
According to Wines of Argentina,  Argentine Bonarda is identical to a variety called Corbeau (AKA Douce Noir)

I'm confused; How about a glass of Bonarda/Corbeau/Douce Noir/Bonarda Piemontese/Uva Rara/Croatina/Charbono?
Your wish is my command:

Continue reading "Will the Real Bonarda Please Stand Up?" »

31 January 2005

Gascon Malbec: Think Chewy Merlot

Malbec is a lesser known, supporting member of the Bordeaux cast (which prominently features Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc).  The humble little Malbec grape has finally found a starring role in Argentina.  There are dozens of Malbec producers. Don Miguel Gascon, in the Mendoza Valley (see map), produces an entry-level Malbec for about ten bucks. 


Gascmalbec03_1The Skinny
Don Miguel Gascon Malbec, '03 ($10)

  • From Mendoza, Argentina
  • Dense, deep purple with a red rim
  • Scents of blackberry, dates, and a sweet spiciness
  • Full-bodied, with noticeable Alcohol concentration.  Baked, berry pie flavors.  Rounded tannins and a simple, quick finish

*** (3 stars out of 5)

Overall, this wine reminds me of a simple Merlot with added heft in the mouth (i.e. it's a chewy kind of wine)

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