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What's new in iJamming!...
Mon, May 31, 2004
iJamming! Wino/Muso:
JOHN ACQUAVIVA
"New world wines are just too techno for me."
Featured wine region 3:
SOUTHERN RHÔNE WHITES
Featured wine region 4:
SOUTHERN RHÔNE ROSÉS
This week's FEATURED WINE
Previously...
FEATURED WINES 4
FEATURED Wines 3
FEATURED Wines 2
FEATURED Wines 1
Featured wine region 2:
CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES
The Geography
The Villages
Featured vine:
VIOGNIER:
Finally, a worthy rival to Chardonnay.

Now with updated reviews
Featured wine region 1:
CÔTES DU RHÔNE
Featured wine web site:
HONIG
WINE AND MUSIC:
What wine fans and music devotees have in common.
Featured wino: TIMO MAAS
Featured party wine:
CLINE's Cotes d'Oakley
And how Cline does it
Featured wine web site: VIGNOBLES BRUNIER
The full iJamming! Contents
FEATURED WINES

(with suggested music)
Here's how it works. . .I've been involved in music all my life; as I've matured, I've gotten more into wine, finding that it pushes exactly the same 'obsessive' buttons. Given that I have my own web site, why not write about wine as well as music? Even better, why not link the two - recommend an appropriate bottle of wine to go with an interesting new album, and vice versa? While the cross-referencing is presented in good humour, the reviews stand seriously on their own; these wine recommendations are skewed towards varietal-variety and value-for-money, which means learning as we drink, without breaking the bank. Most bottles were purchased in the USA but should be available worldwide.

To see if I've written about a particular wine or grape, use the search engine at left.
Previous wine reviews and music recommendations can be found at:
-
FEATURED WINES 1FEATURED WINES 2FEATURED WINES 3
FEATURED WINES 4
If these occasional reviews don't fulfil your thirst for wine knowledge, consider signing up for the Wine Lovers' 30 Second Wine Advisor. You'll be e-mailed an easy-to-follow tasting note or news item every day, or every week, according to taste. (And choice!)
THE LAST OF THE SUMMER ROSÊS
GOATS DO ROAM 2001 ROSÊ
CHARLES BACK, FAIRVIEW WINERY,
SOUTH AFRICA, $9

VIN GRIS DE CIGARE
BONNY DOON WINERY, CALIFORNIA, USA, $11

Any red grape can be used to make a rosê wine. Over the course of summer 02's extensive sipping, I've enjoyed rosês made from merlot, nebbiolo, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, syrah, Grenache – and they've just about all been pretty good, in the easy-going manner that rosês should be. More often that not, though, I come back to the Rhône blends of which I wrote about last summer, and the international imitations thereof.

As Rhône wines increase in popularity, so does the trend for non-French producers to name their wines accordingly. The most obvious example is Goats Do Roam, a South African blend from Charles Back of that country's Fairview Winery. Named, in case you didn't guess, after the Côtes du Rhône, the Goats Do Roam operates on the kitchen sink formula somewhat similar to Cline's Cotes d'Oakley blanc, and the Rosê of Virginia reviewed below. It takes the leading indigenous grapes (in South Africa, this is the Rhône-like Pinotage), adds the proper Rhône varietals (Grenache, cinsault, carignan and shiraz/syrah), throws in a couple others from Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Gamay Noir), confuses matters slightly with some Muscat de frontignan, picks all these grapes ripe, draws the (pink rather than red) juices off them after they're lightly crushed, and bottles the blend while its intense acidity and berry flavors are still vibrant.

The GOATS DO ROAM 2001 ROSÊ is a strawberry red in the glass, with a slightly sweet nose that leads into a medium-bodied, intensely fruity wine that will go well with anything so long as the sun's in the sky or not far below the horizon. It's less dry than some of the Rhône blends, and at $9, it's cheap enough to try for the fun of it. And though the name smacks of low-level marketing, there's a good reason for it. Fairview makes goat cheese as well as wine; the Back's young son one day unwisely let the family goats out of their compound at which they made straight for – and ate - the choicest grapes. Goats Do Roam is named for their good taste.



In California, Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon has been punning on his labels for many years already. Among his wine's many intriguing names is the Vin Gris de Cigare. "Grey wine" ('Vin Gris') is the name the French inexplicably give to their rosê wines; the "Cigare" references the ruling issued by Chateauneuf du Pape's council back in 1954 banning flying saucers ("cigares") from landing in the town's vineyards. For his impressive imitation of a Rhône rosê, Grahm takes the usual suspects – Grenache, syrah, mourvedre, and cinsault – and adds the white Rhône grape marsanne to the blend for, as his web site puts it, "a new dimension of creamy richness and depth not heretofore observed." Grahm often lets his cleverness get the better of his wines (the reds "Le Cigare Volant" and "Old Telegram" are ludicrously overpriced) but the 2001 Vin Gris de Cigare is a triumph. It glows like pink salmon, offers some spice and summer flowers on the nose; in the mouth its all strawberries and Provencal flavors. Fermented to full dryness, this is a full-bodied, fruity and fragrant wine, as good a rival to a Tavel as California has to offer. And at $11, it's in the same price range too. (As with just about all roses, keep these well-chilled and drink the youngest vintage available.)


MUSIC? Wines this idiosyncratic, iconoclastic, eclectic, somewhat silly but ofindisputedly excellent quality deserve music to match. Try the brilliant 2 Many DJs mix CD As Heard On Radio Soulwax PT 2.
CHARLES MELTON
ROSÉ OF VIRGINIA 2001
BAROSSA VALLEY, AUSTRALIA, $13

The beauty of New World wine-makers is that they know no rules, but even by genre-busting Australian standards, this rosé defies logic. A palate-challenging concoction of Shiraz (34%), Grenache (28%), Pinot Noir (18%), and Cabernet Sauvignon (15%), with a 5% portion of white Riesling to round it off, it's a blend idiosyncratic enough to set Matt Cline of Côtes d'Oakley fame's heart a-racing. And just like that Cline kitchen sink party wine, this Barossa Valley original turns out to be a veritable treat in the glass. An almost translucent crimson in colour, it screams of ripe strawberries and cherries both on the nose and in the mouth, where it then reveals itself as a low acid, intensely dry, pleasingly refreshing and juicy wine, with fuller body than its surprisingly low 11.5% alcohol content might suggest. It's not necessarily going to win awards, but it's a true original, a nice match for light meditteranean dishes, a pleasantly impressive summer delight, and relatively good value too. Charles Melton, for what it's worth, has a similar sense of mischief as Californian Rhône Ranger Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon fame: Melton's Nine Popes blend deliberately apes Châteauneuf du Pape both in name and style, and in a recent tasting I attended that pitched the real thing from the Rhône against new world contenders, held its own in no uncertain terms (and demolished Bonny Doon's disappointing La Cigare Volant in the process).

MUSIC? This genre-busting wine defies all logic, but delivers where it matters. The soundtrack to Me Without You does just the same.

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