So, studying. Yes, I’m doing it, and I’ll have notes for Bordeaux any minute now (meaning, tomorrow at the earliest), but it’s been slow going. And it’s annoying trying to tease out essentially the same type of data across a given set of topics.
For instance, everyone knows the famous Bordeaux red blend of grapes that go into some of the most famous and expensive wines in the world. If you read through the course materials for Cabernet Sauvignon, you can get clear facts as to the size and colour of the berries (small and black), that it ripens late, what type of wine it makes on its own (deeply coloured, worthy of long maceration and capable of extended ageing) and what it brings to the blend (structure, among other things). Also, it’s susceptible to powdery mildew, eutypa dieback, and excoriose.
The same details are readily available for Merlot, but as you go down through Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carmenère there’s less and less information. So it’s on to secondary sources, searching online, what have you. I just find it a bit annoying that there’s no standard format in our course materials that just lays out the basic facts in a consistent format. It’s just as bad for soils and climates in terms of a lack of standardization of terms. I think it’s that entries are written by so many different people, without an agreed upon set of facts that must be covered. While I think the OCW is a fantastic work, I with the WSET would come up with some more consistent literature to go with their Diploma course.
Anyway, I will post my about my progress with France, but for now it’s a quick step back to Argentina. My wife couldn’t make the Wines of Argentina tasting, and so I managed to find a bottle of Torrontés to bring home to go with dinner so she wouldn’t feel left out. It’s the Camino Del Inca 2010, from Vino Del Sol. The winery is in Cafayate, Salta, which is in the north and has vineyards up to 2000 meters.
I handed her a glass blind and she said that it smelled like Viognier. I couldn’t help but agree – yes, that’s just what it smelled like. At the tasting earlier in the day, I scribbled down quick notes next to the Torrontés samples – Riesling, Albariño, Gewürztraminer. I hope not to encounter a Torrontés served blind in an exam – it can smell like so many other varieties. And what’s worse, the next time I’m facing a glass of Albariño, in the back of my mind I’ll be worried that it’s actually a Torrontés.
This is a good wine, though I’m not sure we’re having it at its best. Torrontés is generally meant to be drunk young, and while this is only a 2010, it’s a southern hemisphere 2010 meaning it was made on the order of 18 months ago, and probably wasn’t as fresh when we tasted it as it once had been. The white peach and floral aroma is what led us to Viognier, along with a weighty body, but there was no oiliness. It wasn’t quite up to the standard of the wines I had tasted earlier in the day, but still nice to bring a little of the spirit of the tasting home for dinner.
Bright and clear, medium lemon green with thick slow legs.
Clean, medium-plus intensity, and developing. Aromas of peach, orange blossom, white flower, but with a slightly sour candy note as well.
Dry, with medium acidity, medium-plus alcohol, medium-plus body, and medium-plus flavour intensity. Peach, mango, white flower, mandarin, and apricot, but with a sour finish. Medium-minus length.
This is a good wine, though probably not showing at its best. It does not lack intensity, with balanced alcohol and body, though the acidity was a bit milder that it might have been. While I would have liked more length, what keeps it in the “good” category for me is the sourness on the finish that is not especially pleasant. It does have strong typicity as far as classic floral, peach and apricot flavours.
At an RRP of $15 this wine is a fairly good value, though I would like my next bottle to be fresher. This is not a wine for ageing, so on the readiness to drink front, I would absolutely say drink it now if you have any, and if you don’t, wait for the 2011.