Okay, I’ve failed again at getting my article out about the demise of Merlot. I promise with all my heart that it will appear soon on this blog. However, I have once again introduced on my YouTube channel, another varietal that has taken a hit in the popularity department. The varietal is Syrah. I hope you get a chance to watch the blind tasting of Syrah, where I discuss the reason for the decline of interest in this varietal. Interest in certain wines is cyclical for sure, but it amazes me how some varietals stand the test of time, whereas others suffer the test of time. Wine drinkers can certainly be fickle.
My wife Susie and I are starting to get serious about our trip to Portugal in the fall. Susie is fervently reading up on the best places to stay and sharing with me what she is learning. I wish I had her tenacity to study up on where we plan on going. I cherish her for that. My job is to get the dates for our travel and connect with wineries that will accommodate a visit from us. I love the wines from Portugal and the country itself. It will be a great trip.
I will mention this once again, only because it is important to me. I am only 67 subscribers away from one thousand on my YouTube channel. What does that mean? When I hit one thousand, they start paying me for the advertising they are already doing on my most popular episodes. It won’t be much, but it will be something. If you can find it in your heart to subscribe to my channel, I would greatly appreciate it. I have some very interesting subjects planned for my channel. I will soon be reviewing wines made from the Tannat grape varietal. Many folks are not very familiar with this wine, so I’m excited to delve into this subject. I also plan on reviewing wines made from the Sagrantino grape which is found in Umbria, Italy, primarily from the village of Montefalco. Lots of good stuff to look forward to. Check out my channel, I think you will find it entertaining and informative.
March is the original “Washington Wine Month.” For some reason, they (whoever they are) decided to add August as another “Washington Wine Month.” Why do we need two? Anyway, in March they hold a big event at Lumen Field called “The Taste Of Washington,” where a ton of wineries sample their wines. A lot of people attend this event which goes on for about four days. On Saturday and Sunday, they have the Grand Tasting. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to one of these, so this year, I will be there on Saturday to sample wines and meet some new people and old friends. I really should attend this every year, I’m not sure why I’ve missed so many. I will definitely have a report for all of you when I get back from the event.
What a fantastic Superbowl yesterday! It reminded me of some of the games in the seventies when defenses dominated. Of course, we are looking at a dynasty with the Chiefs. It certainly will not be the last time we see them in the big game. I had friends and family over and the only one who wasn’t thrilled with the game was one of my brothers. He wanted more offense. It was a chess match, not NASCAR this year.
I know, I know. I was supposed to finish an article entitled “The much-maligned Merlot.” It’s crazy to me how quickly time flies. It’s an article I want to finish and I fully intend on getting it done. Look for it soon. I also have my eyes on Syrah, another varietal that is struggling in my department. I recently tasted the Luke Winery Syrah and was very impressed. Like Merlot, Syrah expresses itself quite well out of Washington State. Some of the best I’ve tried have come from here, our great wine-producing state. March is Washington Wine Month and the original “Washington Wine Month.” They have since added August now as well. I’ve always said that one month is enough and a lot of people agree with that. You can bet that I will be reviewing a number of Washington State wines during March.
On my YouTube channel, I have recently published two blind tastings, one featuring Petite Sirah and one featuring Old World and New World Merlot. Today, I will put out an episode highlighting my “Pick of the Month” for February. I poured it yesterday for some of my guests at our SB party and they loved it. It’s nice to see that sort of reaction. It bolsters my confidence in my choice. In the episode on my pick, I talk about the process of making the decision for the choice of the wine I will feature for the month. Make sure you check it out. It will go live this morning around seven-thirty.
I will start working on my Merlot article post haste. Look for it to come out this week. I will also be reviewing a wine on my YouTube channel that not a lot of people are familiar with… Tannat. This is a very interesting grape varietal that does very will in the Madiran region of France as well as Uruguay and Argentina. The ones from France can be quite rustic and a bit gnarly. They need some age on them before they should be consumed. However, when from Uruguay and Argentina, they are way more approachable. It will be quite interesting to feature this grape varietal on my YouTube channel.
As we progress into February, my mind has mused over many subjects that I would like to write about on this blog. I’ve been cleaning out some of the dead weight in my wine department, which inspired me to shoot a YouTube episode on Petite Sirah. I can remember the days when Stags Leap Petite Sirah was all the rage. It seems to be a varietal that has stalled in sales over the past few years. Of course, Bogle PS still has brisk sales as well as Michael David Petite Petit (a blend of Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot). However, the rest of the selections I have seem to sit on the shelf longer than they should. It is such a good food wine, especially when you are talking grilled meats and stews. My “Pick Of The Month” for January was a Petite Sirah. In the YouTube episode (check it out), I taste six Petite Sirahs in the blind format. It was very surprising to see which one came out on top (it shouldn’t have been that surprising to me, but it was).
Another varietal that has been suffering in sales for some time is Merlot. I also shot a blind tasting episode featuring Merlot which I am working on getting out there. Again, Merlot is such an awesome varietal. Just ask the Chateaus in Bordeaux. Merlot is second only to Cabernet in this part of France. Because of its rounder, smoother nature, it blends well with Cabernet Sauvignon which has bigger tannins and more acidity. Together, they perform magic. On the right bank of the Gironde River, Merlot is King. Especially in Pomerol, Saint-Emilion and Fronsac. Many producers there put out one hundred percent Merlots. This has moved me to write an article called “The much-maligned Merlot” which I hope to publish on this blog in the next week (deadlines are a wonderful thing).
I’m officially only sixty-seven subscribers away from one thousand on my YouTube channel. As most of you know, one thousand is the magic number for getting paid for all the monetizing they are doing on many of my episodes. Like I’ve said, it would be nice to get something for what I do there, even if it’s a small amount. However, I do thoroughly enjoy this gig, so if it takes a while, that’s okay with me as well.
Susie and I are starting to get serious about taking a trip to Portugal in the Fall. I’m always impressed with her planning ability. Before you know it, she’ll have the hotels booked and our itinerary once I’ve nailed down the wineries we will be visiting. Portugal is such a fantastic wine-producing country and beautiful as well. We are looking forward to traveling there with her best friend whom we hope will accompany us. Watch out Portugal, here we come.
Once again, I fall to Spain for a great quality-to-price ratio wine. This month’s red wine is from Yecla, which is a region in the northernmost wine zone of Murcia in southeastern Spain. Yecla is a small DO, but is known for producing great wines from the Monastrell grape (known as Mourvedre in France). My pick for this month is a good example of what you can get from this wine region for a prayer.
Aromas of strawberries, plums, boysenberries and tobacco. Ripe boysenberry and plum notes on the palate, balanced by fresh acidity and smooth tannins. There is a big kiss of tobacco notes on the mid-palate into the finish, where spice and pepper notes join the boysenberry and plum notes that linger, with hints of minerality. Good balance and integration with more complexity than you would expect at this price. I suggest you decant this little gem for about a half hour to get everything it has to offer. Another bonus is that it is made from organically grown grapes. (B)