17 Sep 2007

Laundered Earth

'We used to make a lot of chardonnay to support our hobby of pinot noir.'
[Walter Schug]
TODAY, MY first Argentine Pinot Noir. Stylish and consistent producers, Salentein, whose deluxe winery is filmically sited in the snow-capped shadow of the Andes, have in their '03 Reserve introduced a relaxed, considered example, although I thought it was a little dull at first. Having left the glass alone to, in truth, e-mail photographs of a cat chasing something in the garden to a Polish girl in Nice, something compelled me to return...
On the nose, reproduction antique oak furniture is followed by almost laundered earth (IE. pure) then diluted blackcurrants, black tea, lardons and hummus. On the palate, a broad warmth is segmented by a halva and coconut mortar. Very good to excellent. From fruit grown in one of Mendoza's most expressive valleys.
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I dearly wanted to attend today's Central Otago tasting near Wimbledon although existing commitments stretched me in other directions. A minor salvation occured however in La Cabotte's '05 Côtes du Rhône, a clipped white which evoked veins of crisp lettuce, sampled at Oenotek HQ.
I cannot seem to find what grapes play the blends instruments, although chief suspects include Roussane and Viognier.
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I am excited about resuming sommelier work with The Cellar Society tomorrow afternoon after an eleven week, injury-enforced absence...