Thursday, November 15, 2012

South of the border.

Wines of the World, week 13,  just happened to coincide with the occurrence of the third Thursday in November - which happens to be Beaujolais Nouveau release day.  Never one to miss a wine tasting opportunity, Dr. Krebs marked the occasion by adding two bottles of Georges Duboeuf to tonight's roster of wines. As one would expect from 10-12 week old, carbonically-macerated Gamay grapes, the wine was all fruity-bubblegum-ness.  I thought it perfectly pleasant, but the rest of the class did not share my view of this frivolous wine of limited breeding.
The real business of the night was the tasting of the wines of South America.  And as with the wines of the Antipodes last week I was on the whole underwhelmed.  For example, there were three Pinot noirs in the mix; one each from Uruguay, Chile and Argentina - all, in my humble opinion, barely recognisable as Pinot Noir.  If I had to pick a favourite white and a favourite red of the night...In the white flight I would have to choose a Chilean wine, an Amaral, 2008 Sauvignon Blanc (DO Leyda Valley).  For the red, I'm going with an Argentinian selection, a Ksana, 2006, Bonarda (IG Mendoza).  They were both drinkable, but I was left longing for something Spanish or Italian.
There were 27 wines in all, the most expensive wine that was poured, at $99.99, was a TeHo, 2010, Malbec/Petit Verdot/Cabernet Franc (IG Mendoza).  This last wine seemed to be the favourite of most of my classmates.  Replete with lots of vanilla-oakiness on the nose, it came across as the most Napa-like.
The wine in the photograph?  A Montes, 2006, Cherub Rosé of Syrah (DO Colchagua Valley).  The wine was alright, but it was the label that I really liked.  It is by one of my my favourite illustrators, Ralph Steadman, who, like Vinogirl, is a product of Merseyside.
As it's Thanksgiving next week there is no class, but stay tuned for the November 29th installment.


About Last Weekend said...

The Chileans do do the sauvies really nicely I think, funny that some of the pinots were not even recognisable. I always wonder about wineries or even regions which don't do wines well- after all the effort what's the point?

Vinogirl said...

ALW: Good question Jody, one that isn't being answered by me taking this class!!!

New Hampshire Wineman said...

V-girl, it's always interesting when the label is better than the wine!
I was talking with a French-wine expert who refers to South American wine as garbage, but I've had some very good So.Am. wines for reasonable prices, but it can be a mine-field.

Thomas said...

"For example, there were three Pinot Noirs in the mix; one each from Uruguay, Chile and Argentina - all, in my humble opinion, barely recognisable as Pinot Noir."

Grown in mountain or valley?

This is really a cool-climate grape.

Vinogirl said...

NHW: That's a bit harsh calling all So. Am. wines garbage. I've had some very respectable Malbecs and SBs in the past.

Tomasso: OK, so the Uruguayan Pinot was a Pisano (family left Italy in 1870), grown just north of Montevideo in a sunny and cool Atlantic climate. The Chilean Pinot was from the Curico Valley, shielded from the Atlantic's maritime influence. And the Argentinian Pinot was from the Neuquén province where they have a wide range of climates. They just weren't very good.

Thomas said...


Many (fill in the country/region) wine experts think all other wines are garbage. It is the myopic vision of being an "expert."

Thud said...

most Argie torrontes is pretty good.

Vinogirl said...

Thud: Yes, they do that white well.