Let’s talk about France, baby, let’s talk about you and me… let’s talk about all the gooood grapes that. come. from. France. Let’s talk abooouut FRANCE! Let’s talk about France. (that was for you, Blythe)…
Anyway, here’s the news from me this week- two things- 1.) I think Colombard is officially my favorite white grape of Spring 2013! and 2.) Bordeaux is BACK!
Let us waste no breath in diving into this post- WINE NUMERO UN: Uby Colombard/Ugni Blanc, 2012 Cotes de Gascogne. This is the second Colombard I’ve written about this Spring. It will also serve as the second installment in what I will call my Summer Crack Juice Series (read first one here for definition). We need those! This is the time of year in Columbia where we are all bracing ourselves for Summer to really start. Spring is bittersweet, as it doesn’t last long and in the back of our minds we’re trying to prepare for the upcoming heat. So once it starts, we need to ease our pain with lots of refreshing Summer Whites to get us through until September. Okay, October, really.
So, what’s this wine all about? It is a blend of 80% Colombard and 20% Ugni Blanc. Never heard of Ugni Blanc? Not that shocking. It is known as Trebbiano in Italy, where it is in plentiful supply. Actually, Trebbiano is one of the most widely planted grapes in the world. It makes simple yet refreshing whites, and I think in this case, serves to lighten up this wine overall- the Colombard is very zesty and citrusy, and so the 20% addition of Ugni just mellows it out a tiny bit.
As the label so aptly describes, this wine is fantastically crisp and light; nice tangy notes of tangerine and pink grapefruit are met with exciting flavors of passionfruit, guava, and prickly pineapple. Maybe a touch of fresh flowers, too. Clean, alive and vibrant. Absolutely perfect for Spring, and packs the right amount of acidity to really refresh you once the 90+ degree weather sets in. Definitely make a spot in your fridge for a permanent bottle of this to be open at all times. Even better? It retails for a fantastic $12!
Next? Wine NUMERO DEUX: St. Glinglin “Carte Verte”, 2010 Bordeaux.
So, because I am a spoiled, lucky little General Manager and wine nerd, a few weeks ago I was invited to have dinner with the fellow who makes this wine, Richard Betts, who is a way cool Master Somm. Actually the first MS I’ve properly met, aside from the ones who proctored the Intro Class to the Court of Master Sommeliers back in 07 (I think?). I only remember them as being white haired, wearing suits and not overly memorable. But Mr. Betts was lots of fun and definitely got my attention with his philosophy and energy. And the wine is awesome!
So St. Glinglin roughly translates to “when pigs fly”– hence the cute little piggy on the label. The idea behind this name is that Bordeaux will be accessible and affordable “when pigs fly.” So here we are, with a flying pig! Cuz this wine is both of those things! So accessible, affordable- two attention-grabbing facts about this wine (it retails for $21). And let’s not forget drinkable. Because that is crucial. This wine really grabbed me because it is standing on a very delicate precipice- an old world wine that, while it is attractive to a typical American palate, is also true to it’s roots; it is definitely still a Bordeaux.
This wine is deeply colored and has nice concentration. Initially, it has a solid amount of that French stank that I love so much. Yes, I love a good stanky red wine. A tiny bit funky, a tiny bit musty, a tiny bit dirty. Those bits give way to some nice powerful notes of black cherries, sweet tobacco, very mellow vanilla bean, plums, some bitter chocolate and no shortage of minerality on the finish. This wine spends 18 months in cement, which makes the fruit notes pop, and at the same time really enhances the mineral content. So what is the blend? Wellll, I am debating not telling you. This is a great wine to taste without knowing what’s in it! But, I am not feeling especially cruel today, so I will tell you: it is almost all Merlot with a smidge of Cabernet. (“Smidge” being a technical term). But listen here: ain’t nobody got time for anyone out there sipping on a giant glass of haterade and being all “I hate Merlot!” That time has passed. There’s no more Merlot hatred. You need to get over it.
But in all seriousness, I do believe this wine is something of a trend-setter among a younger generation of wine-drinkers. If you want to really geek out, here’s a few articles that tie into this theme- here and here and here. And here is a piece written by Mr. Betts that will be a fun read for you, too. Also, it should be noted that this wine is currently being poured by the glass at Cellar, and so if you really need to taste to believe, come by at your convenience and do just that.
That’s all for today, cheers and happy French wine drinkin’!