Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Vintage Guides

The other day I received a gift from my bank in the form of a 2007 pocket diary. As usual the introductory pages are packed with all sorts of information including International holidays, dialling codes, maps and travel tips. This year however, they have added a wine vintage chart (albeit only for French wine regions).

Of course every wine drinker will understand the importance of a vintage and how it can influence quality, but in some cases I think that too little information can be a very dangerous thing. However well intentioned, the level of detail is always going to be very limited, and therefore prone to some misleading generalisations. For example, it is simply impossible to claim that every wine from Bordeaux, Alsace or whatever region, in a given vintage is outstanding, average or even poor. There will always be exceptions........

I understand of course, that such a chart is only intended as a guide, but it is a shame to think that some perfectly good wines might be overlooked just because a tiny chart only gives the vintage two stars. (In a similar way journalists have been known to unwittingly write off an entire vintage at the stroke of a pen).

In addition to this comes what I call "the honesty factor". I recently remarked upon a similar vintage chart compiled for Spanish wines - nearly every wine from every region was classified as good, very good or exceptional (not one poor wine in sight!) I will leave you to draw your own conclusions from this.........

Another installment from the McCarthy's soapbox series

Monday, December 18, 2006

Happy Christmas!

Angela and I wish all our friends and customers a Happy Christmas and a Healthy and Peaceful New Year.

Thank you for your support!

(And don't forget that AlbariƱo is excellent with Turkey)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Restauradores Magazine - December 2006

The best Spanish wines of 2006

Bodega Castro Martin AlbariƱo 2005 - Primary aromas of ripe white fruits, with tropical notes and hints of freshly cut grass. It's attractive and fresh with excellent balance between fruit and citrus acidity.

Courier Mail, Queensland Australia

Reign of Spain
by Ken Gargett
November 13, 2006

"The good news is that in coming years, we will see many more sensational wines from Spain and also many exciting efforts made here from these emerging varieties.

Albarino was so poorly considered that in Jancis Robinson's seminal Vines, Grapes & Wines (1986), it is dismissed in half a line. Now, a rising star, good ones offer much of the character of riesling but, in accordance with the winemaking techniques used, are richer with a more seductive texture and often delightful peachy overtones. Castro Martin 2005 (AU$25) has limey and sea-breeze notes and is in the zippy, leaner mould. Delicious."

(English readers please note that I edited out any mention of cricket!)