Wednesday, December 27, 2006

"E" is for Eclectic Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source
ec·lec·tic [i-klek-tik]
selecting or choosing from various sources.
made up of what is selected from different sources.
not following any one system, as of philosophy, medicine, etc., but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems.
noting or pertaining to works of architecture, decoration, landscaping, etc., produced by a certain person or during a certain period, that derive from a wide range of historic styles, the style in each instance often being chosen for its fancied appropriateness to local tradition, local geography, the purpose to be served, or the cultural background of the client.

I’ve not been keeping up with my alphabetic romp through the world of wine. Of course, if I only focused on this endeavor it would be mind-numbing for me and a bit painful for my readers as well. So, I throw an entry in this category whenever the mood strikes.

I have been concentrating on grape varieties, but sometimes that’s just not practical. “E” is a good example—finding a good example of ehrenfelser, emerald riesling, elbing or edelweiss just isn’t that easy.

So, I thought it would be interesting to give you a peek into my wine cart. I consider myself to have eclectic taste in wine (after reading this you can tell me if I'm correct). What follows is a very honest representation of an average case of wine for me, along with a few words about why I picked each wine.

d’Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier-Marsanne McLaren Vale 2005
70% viognier 30% marsanne. I love the wines of d’Arenberg, and this is one I have not tried. Plus, I love Rhone-style whites, especially viognier. ($11)

Torbreck Cuvee Juveniles Barossa Valley 2005
60% grenache 30% mataro 10% shiraz, from ancient vines. This is something that was recommended by my favorite wine merchant. Embarrassingly, I had no idea what mataro was. Duh, it’s mourvedre. Torbreck also has a great reputation. ($16)

Château Belingard Bergerac 2005
I don’t buy much Bordeaux, but I don’t want to forsake it altogether. For the price, this blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot looked worth a try. ($8)

Bodega Lurton Malbec Reserve Mendoza 2004
The Lurton brothers have provided me with many good bottles. They may be an international mega-corporation, but they make some great wines. The minimal fining and filtration mentioned on the label also helped me decide. I'm also a huge fan of Argentine malbec. ($11)

Horton Norton Orange County, Virginia 2004
I love Horton. I love norton. It’s a sentimental pick also, because I’ve been to the winery. ($11)

Salvador Poveda Monastrell Toscar Alicante 2005
Unfiltered, natural decanting, dry farmed, stony soil, dry climate, traditional fermentation—need I say more? When done right, Spanish mourvedre is spectacular. ($12)

Hayman Hill Meritage Reserve Selection Monterey County 2004
44% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 14% petite verdot, 8% cabernet franc, 4% malbec. I’m a sucker for California clarets, especially when they use all five of the Bordeaux grapes. Another recommendation from a trusted source. ($12)

Domaine Coste Chaude Cotes du Rhone 2004
70% grenache, 30% syrah, elevated vineyards, bottled unfiltered, Robert Kacher Selection. I’ve been a fan of Robert Kacher wines for many years. Knowing a little about importers can make wine buying much easier. ($8)

Lucien Albrecht Cremant D’Alsace Reserve Rose NV
100% Pinot Noir. The Albrecht family has been growing grapes in Alsace since1425, and is one of the most respected names in the region. Also, I must have bubbly on hand at all times. ($16)
(Note: this has been already been consumed. It's exquisite. It goes to show that you should always have sparkling wine in the house, just in case someone gets a great job offer at an unexpected time. Not me, of course. Congrats, E!)

Saladini Pilastri Rosso Piceno Vigna Piediprato 2003
50% montepulciano, 50% sangiovese, WA 90. Okay, so I still pay attention to Robert Parker’s ratings. I liked the description and I need to buy more Italian. ($10)

Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling Finger Lakes 2005
American wine growers all owe a great deal of gratitude to Dr. Frank. He believed in the potential of this country and New York State for making outstanding wines. I love his wines and this one in particular. ($11)

Celler Pinol Ludovicus Terra Alta 2005
35% garnacha, 30% tempranillo, 25% syrah, 10% cabernet sauvignon. This is handled by Olé Imports, which is an importer to watch. 60 year-old garnacha vines plus unfined and unfiltered equals yum. ($10)

I picked up this case right before Christmas, so the wines are a little pricier than a regular case, but not by much. My general rule is to stay under $15 with an average bottle cost of $10. And since it is winter in the South, the red/white ratio is much heavier on reds than if it were August.


Sonadora said...

Sounds just about as mixed up as the half case + one I left the wine shop with today. I like the variety, it makes for much more interesting wine drinking!

Dr. Debs said...

I was wondering what you were going to do for E. Just FYI, Navarro makes a great wine called Edelzwicker--a blend of gewurz and other whites. Unbelievably inexpensive, and the 2007 Wine Report named it one of the most exciting wines of the year. Meanwhile, I'm going to track down some of those Spanish wines...