Just the reds left, now. three weeks ago, we stomped the seyval. the following week we stomped the marsanne. this past weekend we harvested and crushed the vidal and viognier. for gerald's birthday, i purchased Oz Clark's Grapes and Wines. its a great book, full of grapey traits, terrain and history. love the intro paintings, truly. so i thought i'd quote and comment upon oz regarding the white grapes we are growing.
Marsanne. oz calls marsanne and roussance the saimese twins of white rhone grapes, of which the marsanne is long reputed to be the clumsier of the sisters, but oz sees her inner beauty. the wine the marsanne makes is best drunk young (minerally, citrus peachy flavour, unless they are ripened fully on the vine. the wine produced from fully ripened grapes, when aged a good while, become "darker in colour and more complex in flavour. (aromatic, honeysuckle, oily nutty and heavyweight)" mmmm. we had fully ripened marsanne. i wonder if i could wait? but you have to be careful. in too hot a climate(!) you get a flabby wine. in too cool a climate (heh, not here) its bland and simple.
Vidal. wow. oz gives a small paragraph for our french hybrid. vidal was my favorite, a while back, before seyval vied for my attentions. he states vidal's big claim to fame is its use in canadian icewine, nice but without the elegance of riesling icewines. i dunno. give me its "four square appeal." my brother just gave my best friend forever, walsh, a bottle of canadian vidal icewine. i was impressed. i'm angling for a taste of the sweet stuff, but at the same time my brother gifted me a lovely bottle of spanish red, so i have no complaints. but i will be on the lookout at wegman's for my own bottle....
Viognier. oz reveres our norma jean and calls her a "silver screen sex symbol that many wanted, but few could have," and describes her thus:
If you wanted serious swooning wine, with teture as soft and thick as apricot juice, perfume as optimistic and uplifting as mayblossom, and savoury sour creamy richness like a dollop of creme fraiche straight from the ladle of a smiling farmer's wife—in other words, a wine which just oozed sex and sensuality—Condrieu, from Viognier grape, was it.if that wasn't enough, in the historical background, oz writes its rumored that viognier takes its name from via gehannae, the road to hell. gehenna is the name given to the main public rubbish tip in jerusalem. a silver screen goddess from hell....yeh. that's inspiration in a bottle.