Archive for August, 2007

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Rodrigo y Gabriela: acoustic rock stars?I tried to think of something witty to write about Rodrigo y Gabriela, somehow tying them to wine in some tangential way as a flimsy excuse to blog about them in these vinous pages.

But what the hell. I can’t remember the last time a performance made my jaw drop like this one. Buskers from Mexico City by way of Dublin, Rodrigo and Gabriela squeeze every last sound out of two acoustic guitars: lyrical picados, thunderous rasgueados, pulsing, primial cajónista percussion. It’s like flamenco crossed with ranchera crossed with raw rock ‘n roll. Check out their blistering performance on Letterman, or check out the video they’ve got posted on their site. They’re playing the Portland Zoo series August 31st.

See you there, vato!

[UPDATE: quick review of the concert in the comments] 

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Racking, and a plan

We have a blend for the Peugeot: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 30% Cabernet Franc. And we’re going to make as much of it as we can.

We tasted this winning blend from the trials last weekend against a Cab Sauv-dominated blend of 70% CS, 15% M, and 15% CF, but we unanimously agreed that the Cab-centric blend lacked the depth, nose, complexity and pleasure of the 40/30/30 blend. That blend, by contrast, had a fantastic, berry-bramble nose (largely courtesy of the Franc), great sustain of flavor throughout the taste, and a wonderful, fresh and long finish. Good weight, but still young: a few more months in barrel – and maybe one more racking – will probably give this baby the weight it needs to take it to the stratosphere.

So we’ll put all the Cab Sauv into this blend, squirreling away 2 barrels’ worth until the spring, bottling the remainder as an early release with the balance of the Franc and Merlot. For those, James had the excellent idea of blending a little bit of the Merlot into the Franc, and after a few trials, we settled a on 7% Merlot addition – added weight and smoothness while keeping the spotlight firmly on the Franc.

The blends firmly in hand, we racked the Cab Sauv and the Merlot, but left the Franc alone – it tasted pretty drinkable as is, so we opted to keep it fresh.

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2006 Blending Trials

100% delicious[ Mike live-blogging our blending trials, Saturday. – Ziraud ]

Cab Sav Solo: Unimpressive, oakey beast

Merlot Solo: Varietally correct with a flavor slump in the middle

Cab Franc Solo: Intriguing acids and nose, impressive possibilities

[ all blend recipes Cab Sauv / Merlot / Cab Franc – Z ]

50/30/20: aboriginal, not meaty enough, war, oaky, ripe? but somehow… lifeless.

40/30/30: the mix to beat, oak subdued and the structure enhanced

30/40/30: nose like previous but too hot, candy-like, flabby

40/35/25: boring, candy dandy, not much nose, life savers

45/30/25: pretty good, big upfront, no middle, surprisingly long tail, no nose, many (but certainly not all) liked this one

40/25/35: meh

42/30/28: more sack, no more drop-off in the middle, sweet pillowy nose, nice finish, bacon

[ 2 favorites blended and then served back to tasters blind -Z ]

A: Nice but no cigar

B: Stronger acids, tannins, flavor depths

Ta-da! A = 42/30/28, B = 40/30/30, so 40/30/30 is da winner and still champion!

and it’s got lots of sac(k)!

[Pics below the fold -Z]
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