In between this winter weather, I still get a chance to get to my local wine shop the Fine Wine Source, even when it isn’t even time for a club selection. I am getting antsy, just like the rest of the country for the ruling regimes to deign that the populace can start doing things again. I guess that I am not the normal shopper, but that could be, because of years of being in retail, but I do miss having conversations, and a wine shop fills that void much better than a young kid trying to tell me how to buy clothes. The other nice thing is, that I may have a chance to taste some wines, which means that I can remove the shackles of the past year, and if I play this right, I will only have two photos from the year with a mask on. I understand the role that they play, but when I see the people that tell me that I must wear one, and they don’t, somehow, I don’t feel as obliged to listen to them. They also tell us not to travel and be with people and then they do exactly the opposite. So, I will be Peck’s Bad Boy and hopefully survive and I got off in a tangent again, because my wine shop also sends out notices periodically of new wines and I had to check out a couple of new wines.
I had to try a bottle of Gazela Vinho Verde DOC Minho 2019 from Portugal and owned by Sogrape Vinhos. Sogrape Vinhos began in the wartime environment of World War Two and was started in 1942 by a group of friends and the vision of one man to promote Portugal into an international wine making country. Fernando van Zeller Guedes led the group and the first global brand that they developed was Mateus Rosé which is now sold in over one-hundred-twenty countries and was a total success. They began as a negocient buying barrels of wine from small producers in the Douro and bottling in a rented facility. Through wise investments and careful development, they now own over eight-hundred-thirty hectares of vineyards in all the key Portuguese wine regions. In 1982, they acquired Solar and Quinta de Azevedo in the Vinho Verde region and created their brand of Gazela in 1984. Vinho Verde DOC in the Minho region is famous for their straw-colored light, tangy youthful wine, in fact the wine is so youthful, that is how it got the Vinho Verde name, which means “green wine” and it is also used for the small amount of red (tinto) wine from the district as well. The wine is so “green” that there is a natural petulance or effervescent finish, not enough to be considered a sparkling wine, but distinct from a still wine. This wine is pure Loureiro for a varietal, which is a light skinned grape famed in Minho, it tends to be blended with Albarino, which is thought to be a relative, but the jury is still out. There are references to Loureiro going back the late 18th Century in Minho of this grape. I tell you, that this wine was wonderful and like I say I hope it is a harbinger of an early Spring, it was delightful. I know that my Bride has had Vinho Verde before, but she doesn’t remember it, but she was excited by this wine and she wants me to pick up a case, as soon as possible, and who am I to argue with her.
Chateau Ducasse Graves Blanc 2019 was another winner touted at the Fine Wine Source. This wine and others are made by the fifth-generation winemaker of a family that started in 1890, starting with Roumeu-Lacoste in Haute Barsac, and they have since added more estates to their holdings. Chateau Ducasse for the Graves Blanc has allocated thirteen hectares of clay and limestone fissured rock, which is basically how the Graves commune got its name, for the gravely soil. The vines are forty-five years of age or more and this particular wine is a blend of sixty percent Semillon and forty percent Sauvignon Blanc; in past vintages a dash of Muscadelle was blended in the mix as well. The juice is vinified and aged in Stainless Steel for six months and then is bottled unfiltered. The total production is eight-thousand-five-hundred cases and sales end of the winery is handled by Kermit Lynch. This was a beautiful example of a Graves Blanc at a reasonable price point and we had the wine over a couple of nights with different entrées and it was delightful each evening. It has been strongly suggested that I get this wine as well, all the while that I am being told that we really don’t need any wines; yes, it was that good.