This article was published in The 30 Second Wine Advisor on Friday, Jun. 3, 2011 and can be found at http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/tswa20110603.php.
Wine Focus: Wine Century month
Just for fun, for this month's Wine Focus in our WineLovers Discussion Groups, we're trying something completely different.
The theme, "Wine Century Club," is based on the great idea of our pals Steve and Deborah De Long, who encourage wine enthusiasts to taste wines made from at least 100 grape varieties (for which, on the honor system, you can gain free membership in this fun and very informal club).
We doubt anyone will get to 100 varieties in WineLovers forum tasting reports this month - much less the 400-plus claimed by some of the Wine Century Club's most obsessive members - but we do encourage you to spread your varietal wings by digging up and reporting on wines made from the most obscure wine grapes you can find.
Listed below, along with links for more information about the Wine Century Club, is a link to its casual list of 185 varieties, including the well-known grapes as well as some much less familiar. And yes, we know that some important "minor" grapes are omitted - the list is extensive but not unabridged. "Other" is an open category, so by no means feel limited to this list in our June pursuit of the unexpected, the offbeat and the downright strange.
You be the judge as to what's unusual, but we assume that Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc will be off the table for purposes of this exercise; and always, the stranger the better, and best of all if you can accompany your post with a little story about the grape.
Below you'll find my tasting notes on an Argentine white blend that includes a good ration of Saint Jeannet, a grape that originated in France but whose entire world plantings may now be limited to a vineyard of a few acres in producer El Reposo's Mendoza property.
I'm looking forward to seeing what grape varieties you'll all bring to the party. Gentlefolks, start your corkscrews!
Wine Grape Varietal Table (sales through this link benefit WineLoversPage.com and WLDG):
We're featuring the diverse wine varieties of the Wine Century Club in Wine Focus for June in our WineLovers Discussion Group. Join us as our friendly international crowd of wine lovers share our thoughts, questions and tasting notes on the most off-the-beaten-path varietal wines we can find. To participate, simply click to the topic "June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club "
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Today's Tasting Report
Finca El Reposo 2010 Saint Jeannet Whitewine ($12.99)
This blend of 90-year-old Saint Jeannet grapes with Sauvignon Blanc and old vines Chardonnay is a clear light gold color. Shy citric aromas offer gentle hints of white grapefruit and honeydew melon. Dry and crisp, palate-cleansing flavor carries a distinct touch of Meyer lemon. Its lemony character makes it a great partner with rich, oily fish - we paired it with fresh wild salmon. U.S. importer: Vanguard Wines LLC, Columbus, Ohio. (June 1, 2011)
FOOD MATCH: As noted, the wine's snappy, citrus-focused acidity and lemony zing make it a natural with rich fish. It was in excellent seasonal company with fresh Copper River sockeye salmon served straight from the charcoal grill. Wild salmon in general, fresh tuna, bluefish or mackerel would all serve it well, and so would rich shellfish or even poultry, pork or veal
VALUE: No complaints at all about quality for value in the lower teens.
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