Saturday, March 07, 2015

Naked Vine One-Hitter O' The Green (Part 1) -- Domaine di Tariquet

This winter's thrown my internal clock for a loop. I can always sense the start of Spring in my bones. I get that tickle in my hindbrain that's been around since we, as a species, decided that the whole "walking around on two legs" thing was pretty beneficial. That wonderful tickle that gets all the juices flowing as we head into the season where the world starts waking up again.

I've missed that tickle this year. February was so miserable that it flew by as we huddled in our winter wine cave. I suddenly realized, "Deer's MARCH already." It just doesn't feel like March yet.  Daylight savings time usually doesn't roll around while there's still six inches of snow. 

Thankfully, relief seems to be on the horizon -- and we can start thinking about some of our upcoming springtime revelry. One of those revelries is, of course, St. Patrick's Day -- a time when the rivers and the beer often run green. 

My good man Ferdinand at Colangelo sent along a suggestion. Why not slide a few other "green" beverages into the rotation? Sounds like a sensible enough suggestion. I mean, just how much Bud Light spiked with Green No.3 does one country need? He was good enough to send along a few emerald-hued offerings for review. I'll get to the first one in a moment, but I've an explanation to give first

Some long-time readers may have noticed the recent slowdown in posting here on The Vine. Yes, I've not been writing as much as in months past. Some of you can probably guess why, but for those of you who don't -- in my other life, for the last three-plus years, I've been working on my doctorate in Educational Policy, and I'm at a critical point in the writing of my dissertation. Predictably, I haven't had a lot of spare mental energy to crank out wine columns. Fear not. Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I should be through the process in a month or two, and I should be back with a properly thirsty (and hopefully celebratory) vengeance.

For now, I'll be handling these potential Oenos Go Bragh one at a time. First up is the Domaine du Tariquet 2013 "Classic" Cotes du Gascogne

I've powered down a lot of white wines from Gascony over the last several summers. Those whites are traditionally light, crisp, and high in acidity. They're wines built to be drunk young -- usually as an aperitif or with a light meal. The Tariquet is no exception.

Made largely from a combination of Ugni Blanc and Colombard, with a little Sauvignon Blanc and Gros Manseng thrown in for good measure, the Tariquet starts with a pleasant enough nose of grapefruit and green apples. I was expecting an acidic wine, I should have guessed when I read "serve thoroughly chilled" on the tech notes, but this one knocked me back a pace.

Some white wine fans refer to themselves as "acid freaks" when they enjoy wines like this. Maybe my palate's still in winter wine mode, but this is a tart wine. The smell doesn't lie. The flavor is "green," to be sure -- lots of grapefruit and apples at high-pucker volume. I thought it was a little too much for my tastes. The finish, predictably, is clean, crisp, and quick. 

If grapefruit is a flavor you enjoy and you can get past the initial acid blast, it's a pretty drinkable wine. I'd probably wait a couple of months, at least until my lawn starts growing again and I start doing outside work, before I chased this down. Just the same -- if you're throwing a party and some of your leprechaunic friends are big white wine fans, you could stand to have a couple of bottles around. The Tariquet retails for around ten bucks.

P.S. GTHC. Always.

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