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Winecast 13 – Wine Blogging Wednesday #7

Winecast 13 – Wine Blogging Wednesday #7

by Tim Elliott on March 9, 2005

Today’s show is a special edition for Wine Blogging Wednesday #7 whose theme is, “Obscure Red Grape Varieties”. Thanks to Andrew Barrow of Spittoon for inviting me to participate as the first podcaster to join the fun of WBW!

I had to stoop down quite a bit at some wine stores here in Minneapolis as I looked for varietals I had never heard of, let alone tried. I ended up picking 4 wines for tasting, all for $8 USD or less. Unfortunately, one of the wines was disqualified as it was a blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvugnon and Merlot; my full tasting notes of that wine are posted here.

What was great about this theme was it forced me to look for things I normally pass by at the wine store and I would have otherwise never found any of these interesting wines:

– Castellani, Negroamaro, Puglia, Italy 2003 ($6) – Deep garnet, dusty berry nose, simple, peppery berry flavors somewhat like Dolchetto, good rustic finish with moderate tannins, nice pizza or pasta wine, very good value, plastic cork!
Score: 8/10

– Castellani, Nero d’Avola, Sicilia, Italy 2003 ($7) – Garnet, pleasant fresh berry nose, deep, simple black cherry flavors, no tannins to speak of, good “quaffable” drinking now, another plastic cork!
Score: 7/10

– Cortello, Estremadura, Portugal 2001 ($8) – Made from native grape Castelao (a.k.a. Periquita) and Argonez grapes; deepest garnet, lean berry nose, round plum flavors and silky mouth-feel, finishes a little bitter and funky but overall quite good.
Score: 7.5/10

Best of tasting and best value goes to Castellani Negroamaro 2003. I will be looking for this variety from other producers in the future to share on Winecast.

Thanks once again to Andrew from Spittoon for the invitation; I am looking forward to WBW #8!

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  • I see the aragonez caught you out, same as me (aragonez is tempranillo). I’m pleased that your tasting note for the Cortello is very similar to mine for the Cortes de Cima, which has a similar blend. I must be doing something right! (my WBW#7 is here)

  • Tim

    Guilty as charged, Rodbod! I thought I might be able to sneak this one through, but you are most rare AND perceptive 😉

    The fine folks at Hormel define the grape thusly:


    A grape varietal, used in the production of red wine, originating in the Iberian Peninsula of Spain. Also grown in the Rioja region of Spain, Argentina, and the United States. It is the most significant red grape varietal in Spain and is blended with Mazuelo and Grenache.

    Also known as: Tempranillo, Tinta Roriz, Cencibel, Ojo de Lieb’re, Tinto del Pais, and Ull’de Llebre.

    Characteristic: Produces wines low in acidity and alcohol. Hints of strawberry, plum, chocolate, smoke, coffee, tobacco and spice. Becomes earthy with age. Aragonez varietal wines can vary from complex to light everyday wine.

    Ageing: Ages elegantly.

    Serving temperature: Serve at a temperature of 61º-65º F.

    Food pairing: Grilled meats, beef, lamb, pasta dishes with red sauce, and spicey foods.

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