March Gladness: A Bit of Vintrospection 04/02/11
This will probably come as a shock to some of you, but due to time and motivation-related constraints, I don’t get a chance to write about every wine that I drink here on Convicted for Grape. Fear not, though! If you’re following me on Twitter (@GrapeConviction – you are following me on Twitter, aren’t you?), you’re privy to a fascinating glimpse at contemporary alcoholism, with minute-by-minute, glass-by-glass updates on my drinking habits. Even so, I’ve lately come to realize that there are some things that just can’t be said in 140 characters.
In light of this epiphany, I’ve decided to post, for your reading pleasure, a semi-statistical analysis of all my wine consumption for the month of March, complete with ratings, prices and other scrumptious morsels of information to help you decide what to buy (or not to buy). It’ll also help me determine where I need to focus my attention in the months to come; and really, aren’t I the most important person of all?
Anyway, without further ado: onto the stats!
Through the month of March, I drank 25 wines total. Of these, 23 were red, 1 was white, and 1 rosé (by a stroke of coincidence, this is universally recognized as the proper ratio of red to nonred wine).
My wines of March came from all over the world: I had 5 bottles apiece from Spain, Italy and the U. S. of A.; 3 from France; and 2 from Argentina. I had 1 wine each from Australia, Chile, Germany, Portugal, and South Africa.
The price points, while perhaps the most painful statistic for me to tabulate, also ranged considerably: from $5 Spiral 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, a Trader Joe’s offering marginally nicer than Two Buck Chuck; to a $40 (before tax) Marchesi di Barolo 2005 Barolo, a Nebbiolo so good I can excuse it for the redundancy of having Barolo in its name twice. On average, I spent $15-20 per bottle – yes, well beyond what I can afford, given how much wine I drink.
Of course, I had plenty of varietal variety this March, mostly thanks to the inimitable #Bteam Mafia on Twitter (which you can follow, and imitate, here). Thanks to the Pinot Soiree, Pinot Noir was my most-drunk grape, with 4 examples having crossed my sexy lips. Syrah came in second, with 3 bottles. Tied for third, with 2 each, were Cabernet Franc, Mencia and Zinfandel. And the rest? In alphabetical order: Aglianico, Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon, Dolcetto, Espadeiro, Grignolino, Malbec, Monastrell, Nebbiolo, Pinotage, Riesling and Tempranillo.
But now, what you really want to see: my favorites of the month – all scoring in the range of thumbs up.
John Tyler Zinfandel 2003 Bacigalupi Vineyard, Russian River Valley, CA. Selling for up to $40, this was (strangely) under $25 at the PA state store, where it caught my eye because of its age – Zin is typically drunk within a few years of bottling. Toasted cocoa beans, jammy blackberry, blueberry and rye bread on the nose, with blackberry, pomegranate and carraway seed on the palate. Long finish, great balance, intriguing complexity.
Marchesi di Barolo 2005 Barolo, Piedmont, Italy. As mentioned before, this cost me over $40, but enough was enough: I’d had it with not having had a motherf***in’ Barolo.
With aromas of ripe red apple, orange peel and vanilla, this wine tasted of more orange peel, cherries and cream. The finish was one of the longest I can remember – I’m still kind of tasting it, weeks later – and while the tannins were quite strong, I like them that way.
Macarico 2004 Aglianico del Vulture , Basilicata, Italy. Yeah, you can read about this one here.
Dominio de Tares 2005 Exaltos Cepas Viejas And you can read about this one here.
Casas del Bosque 2007 Syrah Gran Reserva, Casablanca Valley, Chile. I’m a huge fan of Chilean Carmenere, but down there they make Syrah perhaps equally well. This cost $15 at the state store, maybe a bit cheaper than usual (but maybe not). Had a powerful nose of cassis, tobacco and eventually chocolate. Currants and pepper on the palate, with a pungent, gamey attack; soft tannins on the evolution and a spicy finish. Excellent balance and a great value.
Graffigna 2007 Malbec Grand Reserve, Pedernal Valley, Argentina. This wine, usually $17-20, was $10 at Trader Joe’s – an absolute steal. A nose of smoked meat, raspberry, and eventually something earthy that kept making me think “clay,” with a palate of raspberry, blackberry, mint, and on day two, pomegranate. I kept hoping to find some sediment at the bottom of this one, because then I finally would’ve found a wine to pair with everyone’s favorite breakfast superhero, Mint Berry Crrrr-unch!
You know, thinking back, I suppose my March was really just like all the Marches before it: In like a lion, out like a passed-out lion.
Happy April, everyone.