I have a total enjoyment of wines, and I have had people ask me why I would drink a blended wine over a single wine. Sometimes they give me a big stare when I tell them, that just because a wine says that it is Cabernet Sauvignon on the label, there might be fifteen percent of one or more different grapes to round out a wine. I was thinking about that as I was looking at the wines, I am going to write about next from Fine Wine Source from my last wine tasting.
The first wine is Ixsir Altitudes Red 2011, and I am glad that I am slowly trying their wines, as I missed the weekend when the winemaker was at the Fine Wine Source to discuss his works. Ixsir Winery is in Lebanon and they are only the second winery that I have tried from there. It makes sense to think of wine from there, because after The Great War, the French found themselves located in several of the Middle Eastern countries after the dismantling of the old Ottoman Empire, and Lebanon was found to have a climate and grounds suitable for the growth of wine, and I am sure that grapes were grown there even before that. Ixsir Winery was founded in 2009 in the northern part of Lebanon in Batroun which is a coastal area. They are a mountain winery, and one of the highest in elevation for the Northern Hemisphere. The name Ixsir derives from the Arabic word “Iksir” the original Arabic word for “elixir.” History has recorded that man has searched for the perfect elixir for eternal youth and for love. The winery is very progressive and has been named one of the greenest buildings in the world. The winery owns one-hundred-twenty hectares in the Batroun with several different vineyards capitalizing on the terroir. The winery grows Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Tempranillo, Caladoc, Cinsault, Merlot, Obeidy, Viognier, Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Semillon. Quite impressive for a young company, as far as I am concerned. The Altitudes Red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Caladoc and Tempranillo and was aged for six months in French Oak. If you are like me, you probably asked what is Caladoc, and it was developed in 1958 and is a cross between Malbec and Grenache and is seen a bit in France, but only in areas where the grapes are not specified for a region. I found the wine to be very easy to drink and easy for everyone to enjoy.
The other wine that followed was from the area in Italy that you always see written up on the wine carte as a Super Tuscan. The Enrico Santini “Montepergoli” Bolgheri Rosso 2012 was very interesting. Enrico Santini grew up in the Bolgheri region and he produced his first wines in 1999. He had actually transformed his basement and garage into a winery. He now has a seventeen-acre vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Sangiovese and Petit Verdot, and well as another five acres that he grows Vermentino and Sauvignon Blanc. His “Montepergoli” is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese. My notes for this wine mentioned a full nose, dry and very heavy traces of terroir, a really charming wine, but not one that would be a crowd pleaser with a group of casual wine drinkers. I found this wine a winner, but I would have to pick my guests ahead of time, so that I had a group that could really appreciate this bold wine, and some years in the cellar would make it awesome.
I busted out laughing when you said, “If you are like me, you probably asked what is Caladoc” because I honestly didn’t know what half the others you mentioned were 🙂 As I have said before this is why I enjoy your blog because I learn something new every time I visit you 🙂
Margaret, even an old guy like me keeps learning. – John