Sunday, April 13, 2008

Wine and Taxes

It's tax time! Personal and business, fed and state-"the horror, the horror".......
Like wine it is vintage dated and brings it own challenges. And like wine you remember the good years and the not so good. So far this year has been good on both fronts. I just finished last night and now am recuperating from crunching numbers and no sunshine. Amazing how quickly the body deteriorates within a short amount of time.

So, today I am making up for lost time- checking out the vineyard and the garden and cooking. Tomorrow I will be taking time with the wines-make sure that no barrel has missed my presence. There has not been a lot to do in the cellar this past month. The rest of this month will be tasting all the barrels to start making decisions on blends that will be bottled in late May. Along with getting ready to bottle is gathering all the supples, making any label changes, getting approvals. No rest for the weary is definitely taking hold.

It is crazy to see how fast the vineyard has grown in my absence! It seems like yesterday that I was reporting that the vineyard had just burst its buds. Now the Tempranillo has 12+ inch shoots. We had some very cold days last week, but it looks like all was spared- it's good to be on a hillside, all cold rolls downhill! So far so good. But we could still use a little more rain-keeping my fingers crossed....

Today is absolutely beautiful and warm out. I have the laptop outside typing this, a chicken on the barbeque rotisserie, an iced coffee made from home roast beans, and a bottle of Tempranillo Rose' in the frig- ahhh, another tax vintage over!

Cheers, the Mustang Winemaker

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

It's Wine Blogging Wednesday!

Cheers to the first addition of Wine Blogging Wednesday on the Tempranillo Tango Blog. Once a month those of us crazy enough to try, describe a wine to fellow wine lovers of the world. For more info and to join :
What I really love about being a part of this is that I have a good excuse to taste wines I might not otherwise try. Then when everyone has posted about the wines they have tried, there is a great wealth of information about the wine(s) of choice. And not only from people that make wine, but people that love wine, want to love wine, a broad range of palettes.

This months choice was Cabernet Franc from France. I purchased this wine as a WBW three pack from Domaine 547, an online wine retailer that was kind and brave enough to put these together. has wines that I would have to travel a long way for and with gas prices- well- this was the way to go for me.

Now, on to the review!
The wine is from Chateau Du Hureau of the Saumur-Champigny region-their non-designated 2005 bottling (
I really like to taste wines with food, so the first night of tasting (yes, more than one, explanation to come) I put together a cheese fondue made with gruyere. My thinking was that it would help to bring out certain components, like fruit, of the wine. I opened the bottle and the aromas of the wine immediately started flowing out- good sign. A great precursor when you are about to taste-get the senses moving. Poured the glass- aromas of blackberry, vanilla, some warm spice, and dried herb came first. then a little more of the barrel wood-smoke, burnt rubber. There were no 'technical flaws', meaning volatile acidity or Brett or any other nasties. A very clean, young nose.
Tasting the wine brought a lot of hard tannins-not harsh, but young, need more time and less wood tannins. A little of the blackberry fruit came through, but was mostly overcome by the oak for me. Perfect acidity, making this potentially a good food wine. It also had a lower alcohol-very refreshing for me since I am immersed in high alcohol reds here in California......
With the cheese fondue this aspect of the wine was intensified, with the fruit totally fading away.

With this I decided I had not made the right food pairing decision and decided to cork up the wine and try it the next day with a beef and mushroom dish with egg noodles and steamed broccoli. The stay overnight I though might help to 'loosen up' the wine a little, allowing the beautiful fruit I could find to perhaps emerge. I am always the 'eternal optimist', but this was not the perfect pairing I was hoping for either. The overnight partial bottle did soften up just a tad, but the fruit still struggled to be free-the oak definitely kept it's hold!

I would love to try this bottle in a couple of more years- allow the fruit and oak to merge and become more as one.

I have said enough about my wine adventure- the Mustang Winemaker, Penny

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