I don’t know how many of you who read my blog have tried a Sangrantino. I recently shot an episode for my You Tube channel that features this varietal. It is a grape that is grown primarily in Umbria, which is a landlocked region in Italy, north of Rome. Australia is messing with this grape a bit, but it got its start in Umbria especially in the town of Montefalco in the southeast of Umbria. Sangrantino di Montefalco is now a DOCG, a status not given to any region, only those that produce top-notch juice. In this episode which I am putting out there tomorrow evening, I discover a couple Montefalco Sagrantinos that blew my socks off. The cool part is that one of them goes for a mere twenty bucks. The other was substantially more, but worth every penny of sixty-one dollars. If you haven’t tried this varietal yet, I suggest you watch episode 346 on Tuesday and see what I am talking about. I think it will peak your interest in expanding your palate horizons. A side note; the Sagrantino I was very excited about for twenty bucks closed up a bit on the second day opened. This is a good thing, because it means it has great aging potential. I’m guessing 8-10 years. I’ll try it again on the third day to see what happens. I’ll let you know.
Last week, a group my friends and I got together to taste several Mourvedre. Mourvedre is another grape that I feel a lot of you may not be familiar with. It’s used a lot in France, particularly in southern Rhone where they blend it with Grenache, Syrah and other grapes to produce Cotes-du-Rhone and Chateauneuf-du-Pape (where they allow up to thirteen grapes in the blend). Mourvedre is also used extensively in Provence, particularly in Bandol where they make some amazing reds using this grape. We had one from Bandol, Languedoc (France), Spain, California and two from Washington. We took a vote at the end of the flight and all agreed the Bandol was by far the best. Crazy Mary Mourvedre from Mark Ryan Winery garnered second place with the Kerloo Cellars and Tablas Creek close behind. For a couple of the guys there, it was their introduction to this varietal and they were impressed. It never ceases to amaze me how well Washington State does with so many different varietals. Probably one of the most diverse growing regions in the world.
Our trip to South Africa is less than two months away and Susie and I are going from nervous to excited. We are fine tuning the trip and nailing down our itinerary. We now have five wineries that we are visiting and of course Susie will excuse herself from a couple to go off exploring on her own. She is a good sport about my job, and actually very interested. I just don’t expect her to accompany me to all the wineries where I will be shooting You Tube episodes and interviewing the winery staff. Cape Town has been having water issues, but it looks like they got rained on recently which pushed back the critical water restrictions slightly. I hope they get more rain soon as I hate to see locals being put on water restrictions while the tourists like us are not. I know they do not want to discourage the tourist trade, but it still makes me feel funny.
I have been striving to keep up with all my blogging including this piece, as well as Friday’s Thirteen and my pick of the week on The Blue Collar Wine Guy P.I. blog. It isn’t easy, but I am doing a better job of it recently. I am also trying to put out a You Tube episode on Tuesdays and Fridays. Of course, I miss one now and then due to unseen events, but all in all it looks like I should be able to keep up with that schedule. I want to thank all of you who have subscribed to my You Tube channel and those of you who have watched my episodes. It makes me feel good to know that I have so many supporters out there. I hope you are enjoying my content.
Stan The Wine Man