Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Blog Resurrecting Bottle...& Mini-Lesson

So, it's been a while.  Since I last wrote, a lot has happened (nothing bad, really, just a lot).  Doug & I went back to Paso Robles in January & tagged on a couple of days in Santa Barbara - fantastic trip.  Alas, I have yet to upload our photos.  Eh, older computers take a while.  That's my excuse & I'm sticking to it, by George (whoever he is).

I've been meaning to get back to the ol' keyboard but it just hasn't happened.  This is not a bad thing, but as I've explained before, I not only need inspiration, but I also need the time & the energy to do it, & maybe being sober enough helps, too.  Heh. 

Go ahead & judge.

Yesterday at work, not one, but TWO people mispronounced a word in a way that always grates on my nerves.  Meritage.  Now, I want you to remember this, lest you look like an idiot at your next tasting, winery trip, dinner out...really, any occasion that involves wine:  The word "meritage" rhymes with "heritage".  It is NOT pronounced "meritazh", like you would say the "Taj" in Taj Mahal.  (Thanks to my friend Tim for giving me that reference.  I was having a hard time coming up with one myself, since words with a "zh" sound at the end aren't all that common.)  I have no idea why people have gotten it into their head otherwise, perhaps they want to sound French.  I get it -  we all know that when you pronounce a word in a Frenchified way, you immediately sound so much classier.  Uh huh. Anyway, please think "heritage with an m" the next time you are buying, tasting or just talking about these wines, because if you don't, you're doing it wrong.  You probably won't be corrected - I didn't correct my pals - but you're still doing it wrong, & it will/should be noticed.

There.  I've said my piece, do with it what you will. 

On to the blog resurrecting wine....

Spring has sprung earlier than usual, which means my allergies have been plaguing me a bit.  We haven't had much wine lately.  Tonight, however, both of us really wanted wine, & a good bottle at that.  I graciously allowed Doug to choose a bottle - under my careful supervision, of course - & he chose the 2006 Four Vines Monarchy (now produced under the Cypher label, but still a Freakshow wine, for those of you familiar with the Four Vines story) that we picked up on our first trip to Paso a couple of years ago.  Since this was our only bottle of that wine & since it is one of our more unique wines due to the 59% Petit Verdot (I get happy just thinking about that) along with 41% Malbec, I was thinking that we would share this with friends. After all, it's a wine made from the 2 least utilized varietals in Bordeaux, & one of them is PV.  Man, I'm a junky for that stuff.  Ever wise, Doug said that we don't have to share every cool bottle with friends - he's right - & I relented.  Boy, am I happy we opened that wine!

On the nose, we both got an intense smack of blueberries with a bit of vanilla.  Yum, I'm in.  As the wine opened up a bit, I picked up some dried herbs & an earthy character of some sort.  Sorry, I don't know what sort it was, but it was interesting.   The palate is ripe with blackberries, both spicy & juicy. SO good.  This isn't a huge wine, but it is mouthfilling & downright delightful.  Really nice velvety mouthfeel & the tannins are fairly gentle with a very satisfying long finish.  (Please excuse my disjointed comments - I am drinking as I write.)  This wine is freakin' sexy.  Seriously. And graceful.  No rough edges here, even straight out of the bottle.  Oh, & I just got a whiff of pipe tobacco.  I'm both blissfully happy & somewhat sad - this wine rocks, but I will very likely never have this exact wine again.  Sigh.

Ok, enough writing.  I want to thoroughly enjoy this bottle & not get wrapped up in the details.  After all, we bought the wine to really experience it, & I can't do that while attached to a notebook or keyboard.  Whatever you're drinking tonight - even water - I hope you're loving it!


UGA Wino said...

Oh, man, that Monarch sounds delicious! I, too, have a soft spot for anything with a lot of Petit Verdot in the blend.

I'm vacationing in Atlanta at the moment and a local retailer has some 4 Vines Anarchy and Heretic on sale for about $30 a pop. That's right at the limit of my comfort zone, but I think I might pick up a couple of each to take home as those aren't distributed in Kansas.

Glad to see you up and blogging again. Can't wait to read about your most recent trip to Paso.

NHwineman said...

Claire, your writing is as smooth as the PV you so beautifully described; it was worth visiting your blog everyday for months just to read this;-), but now I must find this wine!
Dennis the menace

Claire Uncorked said...

Do it!! I love both of those wines. If you see the Four Vines Petite Sirah, get that as well. It's so good that I call it "Baby Heretic", & it's so much cheaper. By all means, get the Heretic, too.

I'm still sad that we didn't buy more Monarchy, but I'm going to see about getting the new vintage. It has Tempranillo in it, so that should be cool...if I can get it!

Claire Uncorked said...

Dennis, you're too kind...

I truly loved this wine, I think I made that point pretty clear. However, part of me loves to drink wine on its own (more or less), but then the other part of me wishes we'd play around with more pairings. I'm ok with them, overall - but I'm not the cook in our house. Eh, it really doesn't matter with this wine because I will never forget it! It definitely overdelivered, even at $40-%50.

John M. Fodera said...

Hmmm...I love me some MeriTAHHHJJJ


And what do you mean you can't type and sip?!? I thought women knew how to multi-task!


Claire Uncorked said...'re doing it wrong. =P

I multi-task all day long at work. When I get home, that ends unless I have work to do. But hey, who am I kidding? Any housework I have doesn't take me all night. It could be said that I'm lazy....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clearing up the whole Meritage pronounciation thing. Does this mean we no longer drink South African Pinotazh?

On a related note, my Aussie friends tell me Shiraz is pronounced Shi-RAZZ, and is not meant to rhyme with Syrah. I hope they're not messin' with me... ;-)

Let's not even talk about how we Americans butcher all the French pronounciations.

NHwineman said...

Without going on Twitter here's my tweet for you!

Just my way of saying hello,