Since for the last year, in case you missed it, everybody has been kind of a homebody, unless you are a politician. We have been drinking more wine at home, perhaps in the last year, then we have during the other twenty-four years here. The year also gave me time to discover what had been squirreled away, and there are still a couple of small racks that need to be examined, but the big racks have been organized and inventoried, which is the bane of retailers, speaking for one that knows. Out of around fifteen-hundred bottles of wine, yes, we have been replenishing some of the good stuff and lots of the everyday stuff, and I would sound like a broken record, if I discussed the same wines constantly. We have so far lost nine bottles of wine, that we just saved for too long, forgot about, didn’t want to open, because of several reasons, but we are starting to make sense out of it all.
On the inventory of the white wines in the wine vault, I have gone so far as to use a yellow highlighter to identify the wines that I want to try as soon as possible, so there will still be more casualties, to be discovered, but I hope there will also be some more happy moments to record as well. The wine vault is a rather mish-mash stacking of wines, because depending on the size of the bottle, they may be two deep, and some may only be one deep. I don’t feel like reorganizing it every couple of weeks, it is just easier to make a new chart. I am also keeping the refrigerator in the garage extra full of white wines, as I know that some will probably not make the cut and I want to have a backup.
It was two in a row, one night as we were having some dinner. The first was Herederos del Marques de Riscal Rueda Blanco 2004, sometimes it is just referred to a Marques de Riscal Blanco. Marques de Riscal is one of Rioja’s oldest and most famous wine estates. The company was founded in 1858, by the Marques de Riscal who was a diplomat and he decided to bring French winemaking techniques back to his estate in Rioja. To this day, the current majority shareholder and winemaker maintains that title. In the 1970’s they expanded to Rueda and they are now the largest winemaker in this region and have been credited with reviving the wine industry in Rueda. The classic blend of Verdejo and Viura (Macabeo) was the common mix for the region, until 2020, when other more consumer recognizable wines were also allowed to be in the mix. This wine should have been green and flinty. With it being forgotten about in the cellar, even in a cool atmosphere and away from sunlight, the wine eventually succumbed to old age. The color was a beautiful golden color, if it had been a Sauternes, it would have been wonderful, unfortunately, the wine had oxidized and skunky, not because it was poorly made, but because it was too old and over the hill.
The second bottle was a Sartori di Verona Ferdi Bianco Veronese IGT 2006. Sartori di Verona specializes in the classic red wines of Verona. The family-owned estate was founded in the latter part of the 19th Century in the center of the Valpolicella wine district. In 2002 they joined together with Cantina Sociale di Colognola and expanded in to the grape varieties of Soave and Valpolicella. The wine is made using the Garganega variety that is the mainstay of Soave, but the grape itself is not that recognizable, even though it is one of the most planted grapes in all of Italy and can be both dry or sweet, and is used by itself or blended, a very versatile grape in Italy. Verona IGT was created in 1995 and encompasses all the wines made in Verona, not covered by their own appellations. It covers red, white and rosé, still and semi-sparkling, dry or sweet. As to the white wines, it can be a single variety or blends and the Garganega grape is usually the mainstay. Where this wine should have had aromas of peach, almond, apricot and baked apples, it was totally oxidized and offered a wretched nose. I am not giving up with out a fight, as we have more surprise winners than losers so far.