Sunday, April 25, 2010

WHY WINE: Wine Facts part 4

I usually like to spend one morning a week visiting blogs in my blog-roll or those I follow on Facebook.   For me, I rather hear what bloggers say about the wines they review, rather than the opinion of the so-called experts.   I also come upon many facts that I would have never known, unless I enroll in an expensive wine appreciation class.
Today, I came across the following on Eve Bushman's blog Eve's Wine 101.
It's been a while since I posted a Wine Facts article, so to catch up a little while I am taking a little hiatus from wine tasting, here is my latest:

  • A mathematical equation, derived from the number of days under 50 or over 90 degrees, gives a winemaker a zone number.  That zone number then tells them which grape is best suited for their land.  Example being 2500 days of these temperatures might be a nice spot in Napa, where 5000 days would be something like planting in Death Valley.
  • Winemaking is being done in all 50 states.
  • Aging is up to the discretion of the purchaser.  Wineries need cash flow so they release early.  
  • A good French Bordeaux can age 30 years or more while American wine is made for the California culture that wants their wine now.
  • European palate wants a well-balanced flavor and not one component over another.  Europeans boost tannins.
  • American palates taste a range of acid, sugar, fruit, alcohol and tannins.   California winemakers boost fruit for the drink-now culture.
  • Both New World and Old World wines started about the same time, 1855, but we lost 14 years to prohibition and had to start all over.
Nothing really outrageous about the above, but most points were either unknown to me or I just never gave them any thought.  It is a bit clearer to me now as to why my difficulty over the years with New World wines existed.  Thanks Eve.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Old Title, New Blog.

After a year of Why Wine Blog, I was contemplating leaving the Blogger platform and moving elsewhere.   But, I like and have become accustom to what I had and I am not one for making major changes or starting over.
Recently, Blogger as added a few new gadgets and a new template designer.  In my opinion the template designer is the best feature and what I was looking for to pursue my blogging hobby and for additions of more available templates.
The problem arises in that I don't have or don't want to start experimenting with my blog.
Fortunately, I do own another domain (MYWINEBASKET. com) name that was used for a now defunct web-site.  Using my other domain, I can now train myself to make all the changes before testing them out on my Why Wine Blog.
I have always admitted that I know little about wine, very little about journalism and very, very little about using a computer, so this may take a long time, but I am sure to have fun doing so.
I can also use any or all FREE advice from my blogging brothers and sisters.  So, please feel free to visit the new blog and leave a note.  I am very good at handling constructive  criticism.  I will be not publishing all comments on the new blog, but have given an email address for any advice.
I am now working on adding pages and just finished a LINKS tab.  I have added some of my favorite blogs for now. Other pages will follow.

New blog title:  MY WINE BASKET


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Conconnan Conservancy Peite Sirah 2007

Recently, the wife and I have been discussing a possible trip to California next year. A few of the issues are for how long and where.  Of course my choice would be Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley or Russian River Valley, the home of some of the best wines in the world.  Oh, I'm sorry, did I leave out Paso Robles, Lodi, Central Coast or Livermore Valley.  Maybe we should wait until we can spend a couple of months and visit them all.
The past few months I have been tasting, or should I say consuming, some really fantastic California wines from many different AVA's.  Most notably, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah.
Tonight I am enjoying a Petite Sirah from the Livermore Valley, a Concannon Conservancy 2007.

*disclaimer:  I received this wine as a sample from Patricia Schneider Associates for review.

A founding family of California wine, Concannon is the oldest continuously operating winery under the same family name, with four generations of family leadership at the helm. Concannon introduced America's first varietally labeled Petite Sirah in 1961, sparking a love affair with this varietal, and led with the introduction of Cabernet Sauvignon clones 7, 8 and 11 in replanting much of Napa Valley in the 1970s. As Concannon enters its 127th harvest, the pioneering winery continues to provide industry leadership in preserving an agricultural way of life by protecting vineyards from urban development. As part of The Wine Group, Concannon has completed a $30 million revitalization program, preserving the best of its winemaking heritage and practices while incorporating state-of-the-art technology to preserve wine quality.
A new Conservancy tier of wines from Concannon Vineyard - sourcing grapes only from Livermore vineyards that are protected forever from urban encroachment.  "These wines are a tribute to my great-grandfather, James Concannon, who founded our winery in 1883." John Concannon 4th Generation Vintner

Winemaker Notes:
The 2007 Petite Sirah, Conservancy has fantastic depth and character.  It exhibits a rich nose of fresh berry fruit and the flavorful palate shows blackberries, chocolate, mocha and plums.  Subtle notes of molasses, cedarwood, and ripe mulberries are complemented by soft, creamy oak tones and a smooth, silky finish.

My Notes:
Aroma's are full of blackberries and black cherry with hints of blueberry.  On the palate, it was all dark plum with some white chocolate leading to a very smooth finish.

Served with a simple "Shake and Bake" chicken with "Stove Top Stuffing."  Saved a little for late night TV and enjoyed both.

The 2007 is the first vintage from the new Conservancy program and is available nationally.   Suggested retail is $15.  Very nice wine, very nice price.  A must buy!