Saturday, October 3, 2009

Rushing in the New

Another long-term entry on my Fall calendar is Rush at the Deke House. Having spent my fair share of years on university campus, I found that the most complete way to enjoy all aspects of campus life - be it social, sport, charitable and even housing - was through the fraternity. And mine was, and still is, Delta Kappa Epsilon.

Fall isn't only the busiest time of year for vineyards and wineries, it is at the fraternity house as well. It's when the chapter opens its doors to prospective members and "rushes" all those interested in finding out what the house and Greek system is all about.

For a number of years, Tyrant has offered up his gem of a condo for a meet and greet with some of the prospective members. A mix of alumni, current or active members and the new "rushees," this evening allows the new guys to meet some of the old fraternity brothers and see how the Deke House can have a lasting event on lives and friendships.

I don't recall a whole lot of wine being drunk during my campus days. I'd have to say that beer was the overwhelming beverage of choice. But there was certainly wine to be had this evening. And despite my behaving - since it was a "school" night for me - I still managed to partake in three bottles while another oldie (but goodie), Desmond (as in TuTu), and I tried to regale the rushees with grand memories from years past. We certainly re-lived more than a couple of laughs that night, but those tales will have to wait for another time.

204. 2005 Pedro Pergolas Old Vines Tempranillo Crianza (Spain)

This was one of the active members' wines that were brought for the evening. No doubt the reasonable price tag of about $11 formed a large part in that decision. The wine itself is from the central part of Spain and tempranillo is the traditional varietal in the region. "Crianza" refers to the amount of ageing that the wine has received and Crianza is one of the most common designations. It means that it was seen a minimum of two years ageing, with at least six months of that time spent in oak. As nice as the price is, I don't see it becoming the house special at our place. The Deke House, maybe. But not quite mine.

Tyrant wasn't about to be left completely to the bargain necessities of cash-strapped university students though. Just like I found at the wedding reception of a couple posts ago, if you know the right part of the room, you just might find a wine that's a little more sophisticated.

205. 2007 ZumeK Sol Huarpe Malbec (Argentina)

Tyrant is seemingly all things Spanish nowadays. Argentina may not be quite continental Europe, but the locals at least habla espagnol. I didn't find out a whole lot about this producer or wine but the reference to "Huarpe" in the name is apparently a nod to the indigenous tribe in the area and "Sol" is nothing more than the sun - which is in good supply in the region. This is a 100% Malbec and I briefly read that the winery was started in 1995 as a boutique winery to try and capitalize on the ever-growing popularity of Malbec. This wine might require a bit of a special occasion for a student's budget at $22 - but at least that's hitting mid-range wine for Argentina.

206. 2004 Castell del Remei - Gotim Bru (Coster del Segre DO - Spain)

I found even less about this wine, other than you can find it for sale all over the internet. The closest I could find to a translation of the name "Gotim Bru" was that it could be Norwegian for Gotim Bridge. Go figure. A Norwegian name for a Spanish wine? And what does the bridge have to do with things? Who knows? This would be the toughest wine to hit a student's budget at $24, but it's still pretty reasonable for us graduates (the employed ones, that is).

The Gotim Bru is a blend of 50% Tempranillo, 20% Cab Sauv, 20% Merlot and 10% Garnacha (Grenache). Quite the interesting mix and it was my favourite for the night. Problem was that it was the third wine I tried for the night and not even I was willing to have my arm twisted for a second glass. Maybe on another occasion.

Not sure how long that night carried on for. But me, I had to rush off to bed.

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