Tasting Note: 2005 Catena Alta Cabernet Sauvignon, Bodega Catena Zapata

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Wine Blogging Wednesday 55: North vs South – a bipolar roundup

It’s always fascinating to see the many ways people can interpret a proposition. So what did the participants in the 55th Wine Blogging Wednesday make of this idea of confronting North vs South?

From Michigan Riesling to Tasmania Pinot Noir, from Spanish Garnacha to Tennessee Chambourcin, there sure were a lot of possible pairings (and threesomes, and foursomes) put together by the 33 participants who took up the challenge. Three of those, I’m happy to say, were first timers in the world of Wine Blogging Wednesday (this one, this one and this one), showing how the concept is still going strong and breaking new ground. (more…)

California Wine all tastes the same? Says who?

Well, finally back to blogging. After an intense weekend at the Wine Bloggers Conference, followed by four full days of running around Sonoma and Napa – and Fairfield, and Berkeley and San Francisco – and then returning to a new position at the newspaper in Quebec City, and mulling over about twenty different potential post subjects, I finally managed to focus long enough on one subject. And here it is.

One of the things that truly struck me, throughout the tastings I attended at the Wine Bloggers Conference and in the days that followed, was the great diversity of wines I tasted. Yes, there were a good lot of big, fruity, oaky cabernet sauvignons and chardonnays, but there was also a great deal more, in terms of grape varieties, climate variations and winemaking styles. More than I had expected, certainly.

Over my week, I had everything from grassy sauvignon blanc to jammy zinfandels, rustic carignan to (more…)

Mas Collet 2004, Montsant, Celler Capçanes

Among the lesser-known wine-growing regions of Spain, Montsant seems like a potential treasure trove of solid, yet not too expensive wines, often coming from undervalued old vines. Its soil has similarities with next door Priorat (unproductive soils on slate, also common in Bierzo), and so does the varietal selection, but there is certainly nothing in common with the stratospheric prices of Priorat wines.

Which is what makes Mas Collet 2004, a well-integrated combination of (more…)