Affordable New Mexico rosé sparkler gets high marks

July 24, 2021

Try to read the recent wine news from Mexico’s El Financiero, an economic publication, discussing the country’s efforts to promote wine. I thought Ms. Yellin and several on our Fed were whack, but some of those south of the border economists are off the scale. Here is an example: “The piece aimed to dispel a popular myth that combining watermelon and wine could be mortal.” The rejoinder on the Mexican celebrity news site TBO claimed in part, “In fact, it has very good aphrodisiac-style effects. Watermelon has an amino acid L-arginine – one of the active ingredients in Viagra." This story illustrates the hyperbole used in media today. A follow-up paragraph read, paraphrased: Mixing wine and watermelon, if the wine is 40 degrees C (104 F) or more, will combine with nitrogen oxide in the watermelon producing nitroglycerin which could lead to problems for people with heart damage.” Folks who are consuming wine and watermelon at 104+ degrees likely need thinning-the-herd insurance. You can’t make this stuff up. On another note, TikTok says Lizzo loves watermelon and mustard. Gave it a try and it was fun. Use yellow mustard. I tried several, as the article recommended. This may appeal to some, but generally they are overpowering. Also, start small; one can always add more. And who’s Lizzo?

Moving north, let’s look at a rosé sparkler from New Mexico. Jacqueline Leonne delivers a lovely, affordable, 100% Pinot Noir sparkler, 87 McD, under $15 deserves 2 price points. Sampled by a six-person tasting panel who were surprised by an NV Methode Champenoise sparkler at this price. Pleasing salmon pink-colored, with persistent tiny bead that delivers a lovely bouquet of apricot, orange peel and strawberry. Fruit is balanced by acidity, and it shows berry and hints of lavender in its clean, long finish. 

Broke out a beautifully made Trisaetum Coast Range PN 2012 from Yamhill-Carlton, Oregon. It was in its perfect window, McD 93. Sadly you can’t buy it in Delaware, thanks to Art Carney and Barney Fife. I wanted to compare it to the 2016, which is available around $50, McD 92 on release, and just opening its window. Owner James Frey vinifies six Rieslings, 10 Pinot Noirs and three Chardonnays each vintage, all from the three estate vineyards on an old cattle ranch acquired by him and his wife in 2003. Amazing story of a former adman and artist who was initially a backyard grape farmer and wine hobbyist in Orange County, Calif. Anyhow, the 2016 is medium garnet-colored with ripe berries, roses and barrel spice aromas. It opens on the palate to more bramble berries, cherries, cola and pie spice, subtle but rich. Nicely balanced fruit/acid/tannin. The flavors repeat through its long, clean finish. The 2017 Trisaetum Wichmann Dundee Estate PN is another winner, 93 McD around $51, needs a year or two in your cellar, good through 2030. I think this was underrated by other writers. Possibly they mistook the smooth mid palate and finish as having insufficient acidity and tannin for long cellaring. Time will tell. Dark fruit with black tea and pie spice aromas lead to more ripe fruit, pie spice and some damp earthen flavors riding a smooth, well-balanced frame. 

And another one bites the dust. Francis Ford Coppola sold some properties to box wine (Bota Box) under-$10 wine biggie Delicato a few weeks ago. Delicato sold 16 million cases and most will recognize the names – Noble Vines, Gnarly Head and Z. Alexander Brown – they trade under. I guess Delicato tossed a horse head into Big Frank’s bed. Truth be told, there have been very few details on the deal. Coppola did keep his lovely family home, the former Inglenook property and an Oregon property, Domaine de Broglie. It appears he wished to get rid of his Sonoma properties only. I’m guessing he outsmarted his now partners, he got a board seat in the deal and hung on to the Napa properties also. I’m wondering if the recent refusals to insure several Sonoma wineries had anything to do with the decision. You’ll need to wait a while because the feet-draggers at the Federal Trade Commission must approve the deal. They took nearly two years to approve the Constellation/EJ Gallo deal. Coppola is an astute business guy with many interests other than wine and film. He also runs a great deal of hospitality properties and a pot business.

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