Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Bit of Olympic Cheating

I wouldn't rank it up there with news of a positive drug test at the Olympics, but I am cheating a bit with today's entry on the Olympic Wine quest. Yesterday's gold medallists came from Korea, Russia, Switzerland, Austria and Canada. I'm not going to find any wine from the Russians or Swiss in any local wine shops and we've done the other three already. So, I figured I'd cheat a bit and go with a French wine. I never drank French earlier in the Games when they did win a couple gold medals, and they did win a silver medal in Women's Biathlon and a bronze in Women's Ski Cross yesterday. So, they're fairly golden and deserve the opening of a bottle.

375. 2007 Chateau Marjosse Entre Deux Mers Grand Vin de Bourdeaux (AOC Entre Deux-Mers - France)

In a bit of a coincidence, this wine has a bit of a gold medal heritage to it - not this particular wine but the driving force behind it. It turns out that Chateau Marjosse is owned by Pierre Lurton who is the estate manager of two of the superstars of the French wine industry - Chateau Cheval Blanc and Chateau d'Yquem. The Lurton family itself has been in the business of Bordeaux wine since 1650 and Pierre is one of 17 family members from this generation that are currently in the wine trade.

Wines from the Entre Deux-Mers appellation aren't meant to challenge the big Bordeaux boys, but the appellation is seeing more improvement in quality as the rest of the world continues to catch up with (or out-perform) France. The region is part of Bordeaux but isn't the classical Right and Left Bank regions. Rather the "two seas" that it finds itself "between," in the regional name, are the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers. Hence, the Left Bank is on the left side of the Garonne and Entre Deux-Mers and the Right Bank is to the North, above the Dordogne.

All wines falling under the actual Entre Deux-Mers appellation name are white, dry and will be limited to four varietals - Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscadelle and Ugni Blanc. The fruit profile can vary greatly depending on the blend of the grapes but, like this wine, they tend to be fresh with high acidity. I didn't see anything "official" about the breakdown of this blend, but I did see one online site say that the mix was 85% Semillon and 15% Sauv Blanc.

One of the good things about Entre Deux-Mers wine though is that the price tends to be user-friendly when compared to many French wines in our market. This one comes in at $21.

I guess, if I had to "cheat" on our Olympian task, it might as well be for a wine that's worth the effort.

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