Monday, February 23, 2009

"Corkscrewed" book signing

Tuesday the 17th of February there was a book signing/tasting at the Local Vine in Belltown with Robert Camuto, author of "Corkscrewed". We had a couple of suppliers featured in the book, which I would recommend to winos everywhere even if none of 'my' suppliers were in it. Turnout was strong and I'm happy to say that the wines were very well received. Most of these wines are still in stock if anyone is interested:

2006 Côtes du Roussillon Rouge "Tradition", Ch. Mossé
2005 Côtes du Roussillon Rouge "Temporis", Ch. Mossé
2004 Côte-Rôtie, J-M Stephan
2004 Côte-Rôtie "Vielles Vignes en Côteaux", J-M Stephan


I spent a couple of weeks in France recently, where I attended a number of Trade Shows as well as some grueling tastings set up by the CIVL (Conseil Interprofessionel des Vins du Languedoc). The first week was spent in and around Montpellier and I tasted 120-150 wines per day from AOCs from all over the region: Corbières, Saint-Chinian, Côteaux du Languedoc Grès de Montpellier, Pezenas, Béziers, Picpoul. It would not be an exaggeration to say that it was a 'costly' education in terms of wear and tear on my body - just be happy that there are people who can do this for you! Sadly, a common thread was the familiar over-extracted, overblown, overwooded, ferociously tannic wines that are still considered fashionable in some circles. Here is a tasting table (one of 15) to give you an idea of the scope of some of these tastings:

It got to the point where in order to spare myself the abuse, I would quickly scan the pricelists to tell by the price which "Q-vay" I was going to skip - when there was a doubt, I would ask to taste only the 'non-boisé' wines. They were always much cheaper and almost always way more enjoyable.

After that week it was a pleasure to head up to Angers for the Salon des Vins de Loire, easily one of my favorite shows to attend. As a group, Loire wines are eminently more 'civilized' as was the mostly self-directed pace of tasting. Were there some highlights from the first week Absolutely yes, but the sheer number of brutally tannic overblown wines that one had to fight through to discover them was most daunting.