The Mouse that got away!!

St-Chinian.jpg[St Chinian valley in the Languedoc] I know I am building traction here at tBoW because fellow wine snawbs are starting to submit their own thoughts on wine. Witness the Mouse, aka the King. He has sent several comments which I am collecting into his first blog entry. Welcome to the Web 2.0, your lordship!
Mouse is a SoCal local who lives back East where he finds stuff we just do not see out here. Even California wines. He has developed his palate to appreciate just about any wine from anywhere WHICH IS A GOOD THING. He subscribes to the U20 principle and, darn it, people think he is capable of telling a good story. Like the Large he is mildly inventive and has, to no surprise, developed his own rodent rating system. Thankfully, this eponymous system gets right to the point without resorting to a 100 point scale. You have read the Large, now read the Mouse. I have begged him to move to Paso Robles so that I will have a place to stay for free (and someone to drink wine with) when I visit. So I guess getting him on the tBoW blog represents progress!
A couple Italian wines and more white Rhone ranting from Mouse!
flliborgogno.gif2000 Barolo Fratelli Serio & Battista Borgogno ~$30: Bought in Piemonte. The Fratelli is a firm in Barolo that specializes in Cannubi. We bought a 2001 for home and a 2000 for immediate consumption. Big slovenian oak. Good stuff, honest stuff, not Parkerized. Tasted and bought on site, nice old lady; she was floored when I didn’t buy the 2001 Cannubi…at first. It was HUGE. So, it’s waiting in my cellar. 21 euros.

capestrano-montepulciano.jpg2005 Capestrano Montepulciano D’Abruzzo $10: Another quality MdA from another good producer. Incredible deals. Think of a merlot-zin-dolcetto blend, if you must [tBoW: must I?] Actually, the Montepulciano grape can be found in Marche and other areas, too. It has replaced Nero D’Avola as the home grown table wine.
Three News Year’s Eve treats, listed here in ascending order of preference.
templar-seal.jpg2005 Moillard Vin de Pays D’Oc Viognier Hugues le Juste $1: Monsieur le Juste was a 13th Century knight fleeing church persecution during 4th Crusade (link to excellent Cathar website below). He is believed to have drunk from a spring that runs thru this vineyard, located near Bezier. Fun. carcasonne1.jpg The wine is a bit hot, but nicely floral and easy (Moillard usually bottles Burg). Doesn’t get a Mouse, though.Cathar [ed.: Knights Templar sided with Cathars simultaneously persecuted by the Regency-Vatican alliance. I have posted the Templar Seal for strictly personal reasons and Carcasonne at night for your pleasure].
jeanluccolumbo.jpg1999 Jean-Luc Colombo Hermitage Le Rouet Blanc $12: Connecticut close-out (silly price). 80%-20% Marsanne-Roussanne blend. Have bought about 25 bottles in past year. Honeysuckle peach blossom pear pie. (Hermitage oldest known French vineyard.)

[ed. I found the wine on various wine sites but nothing under $55! That is giggly silly.].
snapdragon_f-copy.jpg2005 Isenhower Snapdragon Horse Heaven Hills $17: 55%-45% Roussane-Viognier blend. From Washington’s Columbia Valley. This blew us away. Two finicky grapes – one that ages, one that doesn’t – working side by side. Purchased in Falmouth, Cape Cod. Not available in Cal.

minervois.jpg2003 Chateau Villerambert Julien $10: Minervois white. Yes, a white – the first I’ve found from this red drenched land northeast of Carcasonne. This ageworthy beauty – priced at $10! – seamlessly blends an overmaturation of Marsanne and Roussane. Now, go find a vintage of Kris Curran’s Grenache Blanc, which despite the different grape tries to seek the same flavors. At twice the price. Just silly. There is a world of darn good Rhone whites that, as far as I know, no one drinks. For the O20 crowd, one can reach for a crispy U. Grant and walk away with a Condrieu. Great stuff. Or, for $30, one can grab a Chateauneuf du Pape blanc. Good stuff. But SoFrance is teeming with wonderful U20 whites! [ed. Town of Minerve today is much the same as when Simon de Montfort sieged it in 1210 burning alive 140 Cathar inhabitants…who chose to die instead of being tortured until they renounced their faith].

[ed. I traveled to this region in 2001 and did wine touring (and took the posted photos). What a blast. The history of the Cathars is worth investigating, especially if you plan to visit the region. As for the wine? It was almost impossible to spend more than $10 for a bottle of grenache-syrah-carignane-mourvedre in some sort of blended wine. I would make plans in advance to wine tour the region (sooner than later!!!) and carefully examine the wine tour plan already laid out at]

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