Monday, December 17, 2012

Wine, from Uruguay?!

Even in a Wino's world, there are some things that are new, even to us. That's the great thing about wine, there is always a new vintage, vineyard, region, winemaker, and blend to try. Today I had my most recent "new" moment... Pisano's "Rio de los Pajaros" Reserve 2011 Torrontes, from of all places, Uruguay!

I used to live in Argentina, right across the river from Uruguay, and I can't say I would ever imagine them growing wine grapes there, but a lot of things surprise me. According to the label between the vineyard is between 30' and 35' parallel, it has a tempered by an Atlantic climate, which would be well suited to the Torrontes grape, which has found a home in the cool, yet arid harsh upper altitudes of the Andes Mountains near Salta, Argentina.

On first impression I thought they mislabeled the grape varietal. All the reasons I love Torrontes (and others hate it) is because of the over the top perfumed, herbaceous, floral in-your-face characteristics. This wine has NONE of that. It is more like a cool climate Albarino or California Pinot Grigio. Upon tasting it, I was confronted with all acid, green apple, and citrus... again an Albarino or Pinot Grigio in Torrontes' clothing.

Upon further research, I find out the Pisanos (like many families in the Southern Cone) are Italian and follow old school Italian wine making (a-ha! Pinot Grigio makes sense).

Still, this is a very drinkable wine, if you know what you're getting. I was expecting a Graffigna or Balboa Torrontes, and was thus very disappointed. But as I drink I am pleased with its clean finish (yes, I am drinking it as I type), this may be a good "starter" Torrontes for the less perfume-y lovers.

Just know what you're getting. So far, I'm not going to search out "wines from Uruguay" for my next dinner party.

Monday, December 10, 2012

I love Gruet!

I don't usually talk "wine clubs" on here, but I am a member of a few, and a big fan. Every time the UPS man comes to my house it is Wino Christmas morning. 

Imagine my glee this frosty December day when my Santa in brown brought me a giant box from the Gruet Winery... How much bubbles is inside?! 

Tearing into said giant box of wine, I was greeted by 2 smiling faces (it is my story and my wine smiles!)...

A Magnum, of Blanc de Noirs?! For me?!

Now, this delivery is especially notable because I was at Gruet a little over 2 weeks ago and the awesome tasting room ladies filled me in on how involved the Gruet's are in their wine club. For each of the 6 yearly shipments (not during the hot months) the Gruet's handpick 2-6 bottles to be shipped, staying right around $80. The November shipment (which I took home with me from the winery) was their newly disengorged Gilbert Gruet prestige cuvee and their Brut Rose (both were delicious, but that is for another post).

This brings me to my point about the greatness of this club, just before Christmas and the New Year I am thoughtfully shipped a Magnum and a vintage Blanc de Blanc, this screams holiday celebration: Magnums are SO fun and SO festive.

The Gruet's know what they're doing.

(I recommend stopping in to visit their urban winery in Albuquerque if you're ever in the area)