Now, seven months into the Under the Grape Tree blog , the K2 Selections page has become irrelevant.
So with a sort of integration of the two entities, I will present my wine reviews in the following format:
The first part will be what I have been calling the “grade.” Instead of using the odious 100-point scale, I will use a 3-level system, with the top being AMAZING, the middle being OUTSTANDING, and the bottom being AVERAGE. My criteria for judgment are varietal-correctness, style, value and appeal. I don’t equate a full-bodied wine with being “amazing” nor do I think a light-bodied wine is “average.” If I try a Pinot Noir, it SHOULD be light-bodied, and it SHOULD be soft and fruity. Likewise, an Aussie Shiraz should be spicy, should be medium-to-full-bodied, and should be fruit-forward.
And forget the bad ones. Grandma always said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it.”
The second part is what I have been calling the “mojo,” a term used by importer Terry Thiese to describe the prose portion of a wine review. It will be a to-the-point paragraph concerning the character and profile of the wine, as well as a reason for why I brought it into our store. Wines blessed with the dubiousness of being left off a reviewer’s tasting table, or one that just was never submitted to the press gods (Spectator, Parker, et. al) for unknown reasons, are the primary focus for my diatribes.
So beginning now, I present to you the K2 Selection of the Day.
Mirabile Viognier Sicilia 2006 ($22.98). The Grade: OUTSTANDING. The Mojo: I was intimidated by the price of this Sicilian Viognier, a bit of an oddity in its own right, but I needed to satisfy a bit of curiosity and fill a niche for Sicilian whites. Trying this with pan-seared swordfish and Gruyere and Parmesan scalloped potatoes, the initial aromas of honeyed apricots and white flowers was overtaken by high alcohol (this is 14% for a white wine!). But letting the glass cool its heels while getting dinner situated for my wife and I gave the wine ample time to blow that “heat” off. What was left was a supple-tasting, medium-bodied white, with baked peaches, a dash of vanilla, some honeysuckle and an almost-creamy apricot finish. It was a pretty nice wine though the price may stave off some interest. Still, it’s a wine you should give a chance.