Some nuggets culled from hanging around, and being, a grape nut:
• I got a set of verdejos from Rueda, and since my experiences with this varietal have been almost unfailingly positive, I decided to drink them like normal people do rather that the sip, spit and toss routine that is the standard for samples. And while I enjoyed all three, I was struck by how different they were from one another. It occurred to me somewhere along the way this they were like various iterations of chardonnay.
The 2011 Belondrade y Lurton Verdejo was laden with tropical, spicy flavors and a creamy texture, like a very good California chardonnay. The 2012 De Alberto Verderol Verdejo, light and lively with a soft finish, reminded me of a Petit Chablis. And the super-delicious 2012 Pie Franco Blanco Nieva Verdejo had its layer of fruit flavors laced with spot-on minerality and acidity, like a stellar Meursault.
Have I mentioned that I love my job?
• Reason No. 4,732 why Bordeaux tends to rub me the wrong way. The scions at Bourdeax’s Mouton Rothschild are hammering a Burgundy winery called Chateau Mouton to change its name. It’s very reminiscent of all those stories about Disney going after small towns or mom-and-pop operations for using a character’s name or image. The Burgundy winery’s owner, Laurent Mouton, has the “money quote”: “I do not see why I should justify myself or my name. Their family name is Rothschild, not Mouton.’
• I get a daily emailed quote from a website called Living Compassion, and today’s was particularly interesting: “One must let the play happen to one; one must let the mind loose to respond as it will, to receive impressions, to sense rather than know, to gather rather than immediately understand.” — Edward Albee (left). OK, substitute “wine” for “play,” and see if that does not ring just as true.
• I am a doofus when it comes to graphics and to computers, so it’s no surprise that I can’t do justice to a great wine matrix shared by Giuseppe Vajra of C.D Vajra. It takes four key elements and leaves infinite spots to place a particular wine. It’s got “Elegance” on the top, “Density” on the bottom, “Fruit” on the left and “Mineral” on the right. Draw it up for yourself while I try to find someone who can illustrate it here. It’s pretty damn inspired, I say.