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Old 09-11-2005, 06:49 PM posted to
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Default TN: Costieres white, Argentina Tempranillo, and an appelation called Maurice?

Monday Betsy called and needed a white wine for cooking, I talked her
around the cheap end of the cellar. The $4-on-closeout 2001 Campuget
Blanc (Costieres de Nimes) was the choice. When I arrived home, I
sampled. Some early bottles had been good, but last couple showed a
little oxidation. This one , however, was crisp and clean, but no
oxidized notes. Light floral white with ample acidity and pleasant
finish. Another sip the following night showed it holding on well.

Dinner that evening was chicken with prunes, a NYT recipe that was
suggested as an accompaniment for Priorat. The only Priorat I own is a
lone bottle of Val Llach Embruix
that needs time, but I realized I did have a 2003 Mapema Tempranillo
(Argentina) that I had been given as a gift. OK, so wrong country and
wrong grape, but my guess is that it was a big oaky Spanish-wannabee,
so it could fill in for an oaky Spanish wine. Hmm, well, it is oaky.
Really oaky. Mouthful of lumber oaky. Very ripe dark berry fruit,
unidentifiable as Tempranillo to me (of course, I don't drink as much
Tempranillo as some). Low-acid, a bit overripe, under-satisfying. C+

Tuesday I thought I was soloing, but Betsy's rehearsal ended early and
she came home to make dinner before heading back to city. She broiled
lamb chops and made mushroom risotto, it smelled too good to subject to
the rest of the Mapema. So the Mapema went into the vinegar crock, and
I opened a 2000 Domaine Viret "Cosmic " Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages
Saint-Maurice. Ahhhh, this is more like it. Ripe, but with enough
acidity to keep from seeming flabby. This could easily pass for a
decent low-end CdP. There's a lot of earth/clay as well as herbs
(savory, lavender) and saddle leather. Very nice wine, good value. B+

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't
drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no
promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of