I think everyone knows by now that I am a wine geek. I get excited over weird wines-the weirder, the BETTER. I am constantly picking up bottles from strange places. Remember that Thai wine I mentioned sometime last summer? Or how about the wine from Georgia or Louisiana? Michigan, anyone?
For fun, I thought I would tote a few of the odd-balls over to dinner with Jenni McCloud from Chrysalis Vineyards and see what the wine goddess had to say about my unusual wines.
Here is the report:
2003 Siam Winery Malaga Blanc from Thailand--interesting to say the least. Touch of wet cardboard on the nose, fresh herbal notes, and lemongrass (anyone for Thai food?). Bone dry, crisp acidity with a hint of green apples. We were put off by this wine at first due to its overwhelming cardboard scent, which dissipated after sometime. Would be an interesting match to....Thai food of course, but also light preparations of seafood.
2003 Tabor Hill Chardonel from Michigan--would you like some oak with your wine today, sir? Notes of toasted oak, butter, and apple. Crisp acid. Somewhat dull on the palate. Past its peak or just not well made? Chardonel is a cross between Seyval Blanc (another hybrid grape) and Chardonnay, designed for cold climate wine growing areas. Tabor Hill is a nice spot to visit if you are ever in Southwestern Michigan since they have a dining room that over looks the vines.
2000 J. Carrau Pujol from Uruguay--blend of Tannat, Cab Sauv and Cab Franc. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm. Tasty! Too bad this wine isn't widely available in the states. I picked this one up in the SAQ wine shop up in Montreal at some point. Notes of black cherry, plum and a hint of wet cardboard...Did we get the bottle too close to the Thai wine? Smooth on the palate with light tannin. Short finish.
2001 Pontchartrain Vineyards "Rouge Militaire" Cynthiana from Louisiana--also know as Norton here in Virginia and Missouri. Picked this one up last summer in New Orleans...BEFORE the hurricane. From the news on their site, it seems most of the vineyard survived and harvest had already taken place. Faint red fruit notes on the nose with a hint of oxidation. Also, an issue with volatile acidity (vinegar and nail polish remover scent found in some wines...click the link to read about it). Very light body, almost no tannin. Not very tasty and definitely not of the quality of the Chrysalis Vineyards Norton wines.
2001 "AN" Anima Negra from the island of Mallorca, Spain--here's a weird one that I brought back from my recent trip to Barcelona. This wine is made from a nearly forgotten grape native to Mallorca, Callet. The best wine of the bunch for this tasting experiment. Notes of plum, spice, and mocha on the nose. Rich and silky on the palate with mild tannins and a medium length. Perfect with the grilled venison tenderloin we dined on during the evening.