It's odd, really, that there should be such a gulf between speech, and text, and the various sensations that these media are used to try to communicate, one human to another, when humans are so alike, one to another. Yet the differences seem to outweigh the similarities.

And so we resort to such devices as h!h!h! to convey the delightful sensation that comes from sipping Vignes des Deux Soleils Les Mattes 02001, under cork. Four years old, but darkly purple and still zingily acid, still tannic. It has developed an overtone of chocolate to complement the strong savoury nose, and when you taste it it really does make you go "h!h!h!h!h!".

If the onomatopoeia isn't working, listen to the live version of Machine Gun (on, for example, 'Voodoo Child' disc 2). At 9:04 to 9:14 minutes through the song you'll hear the sound of someone who has just tasted Les Mattes. Or you could go and buy some and utter the h!h!h!h!h! yourself, although I rather suspect you would need to settle for a later vintage and then go and hide it away for a couple of years. Les Mattes, under cork, 16/20.


Ha! Recherché is my middle name.

Or perhaps I mean Ricercare. Hmmmn. Anyway, thanks to my very good friend SF, I have found Wine Blogging Wednesdays just in time for number 7, Obscure Red Grape Varieties.

Salivating briefly at the prospect of tasting the blessed Observatory carignan/syrah again (previous tasting) , skipping lightly past dornfelder, chambourcin, and marzemino, I lingered over lacrima di morro d'alba and blaufränkisch, before settling on a blend of aragonez, trincadeira, and perequita, in the very fine form of Cortes de Cima 1999, under cork. It's a dark purple - five years old and no signs of ageing - with a big, big nose; figs to coffee to something green and woody (which I'll come back to) to ?saute potatoes? to faint hints of pepper. The palate feels silky, but also full bodied, with loads of berries and maybe cherries, and the finish is long. Also metallic, but, somehow, in a good way. A solid 16/20, and... oh blarst, aragonez is tempranillo. Curse these wayward Iberians with their eccentric grape taxonomies! Gosh, now I'll have to go and drink more wine...

In particular, Co-op big Baga 02001, under cork, to be precise. The nose is not atall strong - and there's that green woody note again. The palate is dry and very tannic, a bit thin, but refreshingly sour on the finish. Not much fruit mind you, but it would make a fantastic pizza wine. Still, only 12-13/20, and it is definitely an obscure grape variety.

I've tasted four Portugese reds over the last week, all different blends. They all showed the green/woody/privet hedge note on the nose. I wonder if this is the Portugese signature, in a similar way to the sun-baked clay I find in so many Spanish reds?