C'est pas moi qui l'ai dit, c'est Lisa, notre hôte du mois, qui l'a voulu ainsi. 'Gros points bonis pour les hybrides de l'Amérique du Nord' qu'elle a dit, et comme je viens du Canada, tout comme Lisa, je vous fais la revue d'un vin dessert canadien tout à fait sympa, un 'vendange tardive' élaboré à partir de Vidal, cépage canadien par excellence. Issu d'un croisement entre l'Ugni blanc et le Seyval blanc, ce cépage sait résister aux froids intenses qui sont monnaie courante au pays de l'érable . Il pousse bien sur des sols inadéquats pour la culture de cépages de la famille vitis vinifera (tous les cépages connus, les classiques) et assure ainsi aux producteurs un profit non-négligeable. Il mûrit tout doucement et régulièrement et il a la couenne dure (la peau épaisse) comme on dit chez nous, ce qui en fait un candidat idéal à l'élaboration de vendanges tardives et de vins de glace. Sans plus tarder, le voici, le voilà, mon vin des grands froids:
vendredi 30 novembre 2007
jeudi 22 novembre 2007
At a tasting of the Cellarmistress of the Professors' dining club at UCL last Tuesday, we tasted some Californian wines. 'Cellarmistress' is quite the title but our
hostess and manager of the club's cellar is called Kathy in real life, and she is far from being as scary as her title may suggest. Kathy had selected 11 wines from local merchants, of which Majestic and Imbibros played a big role.
My favourites were the two Cabernets Sauvignons. the Newton Red Wine 1997, Sonoma, still had plenty of youthfull fruit, it was fresh and was drinking rather nicely. The Laurel Glen Counterpoint Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 was even more fresh, although not devoid of Cabernet Sauvignon's typical structural attributes, but balanced by lovely floral and mineral notes. A finer example than the Newton, and one of the least alcoholic wines of the evening at 13.5%, it was also sensibly priced for a Cabernet from California at £14.70.
We finished the tasting with 4 Zinfandels, a struggling variety for me. I have to admit that they were good, well-made wines. Even if the Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2005 was all sweetness and alcohol on the attack, the finish was not too big and bruising, and for lovers of beefy, fruity wines, it is excellent value at £6.79. We can not say the same of the more expensive bottles of Zin tasted that evening. The Seghesia Sonoma County Zinfandel 2005 (£16.95) was certainly more together than the Ravenswood but at almost three times the price, it was a little warm and jammy and fell flat rapidly. Cult Ridge Lytton Springs 2000 (£26.85), was super rich and sweet, but did not display much finesse, which you would expect if paying over £20.00. If Ridge can not do it, than Zinfandel is simply not a variety to use for making fine wines. It seems Zinfandel's attributes of great sweetness and high alcohol are better used in blends and in bottles with less aspiration. This is precisely what my favourite Zin of the evening had to propose. The Walker's Pass Private Reserve Zinfandel 2002 (£8.95), is a blend of 77% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Syrah and 5% Carignane (takes an 'e' in the US). It had the most exciting nose of the Zins and had plenty of juicy dark berries with Zin's over-the-top sweetness being the most intergrated. This wine is bound to be a crowd pleaser: bold enough for lovers of big wines but balanced and not too alcoholic (13.5%) for the more delicate palates. Well done!
dimanche 18 novembre 2007
It was a good tasting night. As usual, my two buddies helped me: Jack, my little pda, and TastingBuddy, a wine tasting note software designed to bring the wine trade and wine enthusiast into the 21st century. I have been using the software for a year now and it was one of the best nights of tasting notes ever as all was in harmony: tasting was relatively easy as the wines were more talkative than usual, my newly repaired pda was responding quickly with the stylus now being very precise. It was a real pleasure, wine, machine, technology and man working well and easily together.
I finish tasting all of the wines and fill up my plate of cheese and salad. Others do the same and we chat a little before reviewing the wines. When the time comes, I grab Jack, see the dark screen indicating more than 5 minutes of inactivity, and press the power button. It comes back on but rather than seeing the TastingBuddy Software, I am asked to enter my pin code, to unlock the device. Then, no sight of TastingBuddy, and no response when I try to open the software again. Only by rebooting was I able to open the software again, but my tasting notes were nowhere to be seen...
The point of this post is this:
Security code + device set up to turn off after a few minutes = loss of tasting notes
So beware and do not set up any security systems on your device if you can avoid it. In my book, security set ups, on a device, on a file or a programme, only bring complications (and I could extend this to include security in the work place, on the roads and on the streets). Both heightened technology and security are phenomenons of the 21st century, but the former is a boon while the latter is a curse. Stay well clear of it as much as you can and you will be much happier.