Posts Tagged ‘loire’

Wow! Time does Fly…2010, Olympics, Writing, White Wine

February 22, 2010

My dear few -select-  readers, I should say something about my inexcusable absence. Over a month without entering a single line on this blog. I hope those who visited it  found something interesting in older entries. What has kept me away from winecouver? Well, to begin with, as a typical southamerican man, I like to celebrate great occasions and when I celebrate, celebrations last days, or week, as in this case.

As some of you may know, besides being a bit of a wine addict and know a bit about it, and besides my culinary interests and my marine biology background, I am a fiction writer too. It is from this line of action that my celebration was born. Last December I was selected finalist in the Juan Rulfo Radio Francia International literary contest. This is probably the most prestigious prize of its kind (cuentos, short fiction) in the hispanic world.

15 works were chosen from a universe that I can estimate at -easily- one thousand entries. So, I am still trying to digest such honor. And this rewarding experience led me to try -unsuccessfully- to finish a novel in 26 days in order to enter another contest, this time for historical fiction.

The job was definitely too big for me and I decided to give this novel a real chance, so I am not rushing to finish it any more and instead I am starting to plan it so that it will be a good, solid one when it is done. The subject is the Incas, more precisely, the last days of the Incas, after the Spanish invasion of the …what century? 14th? (of course I know this, just adding some spice to this otherwise boresome account).

As for wine, hot weather has come upon us vancouverites well in advance. I keep my kitchen windows wide open at night time sometimes. Crazy. And because of this premature spring, I have been drinking white wine.

Here a few wines that are worth visiting. Some for sheer deliciousness, others for being serious value.

Rudera, Chenin Blanc (I think I had the 2006). Must give a chance to well made Chenin Blanc. Fully flavored and almost resinous, this Rudera was a revelation. Honey and wax and intense malus (the technical name for the apple family) flavors plus an acidity that stays on the palate to a long, satisfying end. $30-36

Other Chenin Blanc to check out, the Cuvee La  Negrette from the Loire Valley ($ 30-35) and for value try the Obikwa. Yes, the humble -often maligned- inexpensive South African brand makes a really good job at 9.99.

Feudo Arancio‘s Grillo is (at $15-18) definitely worth trying for those who love Pinot Grigio but find that the lovey Italian white is still too lean, too acidic, too refreshing for the weather. Try this offering from Sicily. Wine needs to be tuned to its environs, yes? Who would gulp a glass of heavy, dense Shiraz in the middle of a scorching hot day? You get the point.

As for the Vancouver Olympics…. could someone ask the rCmP (or whoever is in charge) to stop running those low flying choppers over Burnaby Heights? My house is very old and every night the poor little structure shakes to its foundations…. sure security matters, but c’mon this is not Bombthehelloutofitstan.

Cheers

Ivan

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Cabernet Franc with Little Oak

April 21, 2009

Not nearly as popular as its better known relative -Cabernet Sauvignon- Cabernet Franc is slowly gaining more adepts. The grape yields wines of medium body and marked herbal character when made in its home, the banks of thealluvia Loire (Chinon) or in cool areas, including Vancouver’s own wine backyard, the Okanagan. Just like Chardonnay or other grapes that offer different flavors and aromas depending on the weather where they are cultivated, Cabernet Franc does the same and this example from Uco Valley, in Argentina,  is a delicious one.

Doña Paula, a winery well known by Vancouverites for its Malbecs, brings its Alluvia Cabernet Franc, a scrumptious drink of tremendous inky crimson that saturates the nose with spice and floral aromas.  It is bigger than its cool weather counterparts and its fruit stands out a lot more, due to the minimum oak treatment. The vibrant red fruit and  a touch of vanilla do not mask the quintessential herbaceaous streak so typical of the variety.

Product: Alluvia

Variety: Cabernet Franc

Vintage: 2006

Winery: Doña Paula

Origin: Valle de Uco, Mendoza

Alcohol: 14.5%

Price: 19.99 (was 25.99 when introduced)

Recommended? Absolutely!