Posts Tagged ‘ 2008

2008 Bramare Vina Cobos Lujan de Cuyo Malbec

Ryan’s been keeping up lately, so I thought I’d step my game up and open a bottle I have been saving for about a month (long time, I know). I thought I’d take a minute while I’m waiting for the wine to open up to get this post started.

Bramare 2008 Bottle

Bramare 2008 Bottle

I’m a huge fan of Malbec, particularly the 2006 vintage. I posted last winter about two amazing 2006 bottles that I was fortunate enough to have before they started to disappear (or sell for $50+ per bottle). The inky texture, the blackberry and heavy, jammy flavor and mouth feel… well it’s like getting kicked in the face with awesome. Currently I’m getting some notes of actual ink off of this puppy, like the Bic pen kind. Sort of gummy. The nose is a little confusing, like sensory overload. Black and blueberry bubble gum. That’s what I’ve decided.

So, I’ve tasted this before and it’s overly hot if it doesn’t open up for a little while, so let’s learn some shit about Bramare together.

Bramare is the Italian word for “to yearn for”. The back of the bottle says that the grapes are “sourced from premier vineyards in the Lujan de Cuyo appellation, located at 945 to 1100 meters elevation in Mendoza. Aged 18 months in small oak barrels.” Wikipedia tells us that this particular area sits “on alluvial soils; sandy or stony surfaces on clay substrata.” I’m very interested to see how this plays out in the wine, as I’m a big fan of the sand and clay terroir. This is their “middle-tier” wine, by the way. Selling at a middle-tier price of around $42.

I have been having some rather long and intensely satisfying conversations with Ryan about what we’re going to be trying this winter, and after spending the last two or three years really delving into the wine world with him, it’s very interesting to see that we’re taking two distinctly different paths. From what I understand, Ryan broke his Cotes du Rhone cherry a few weeks ago–something I’m pretty thrilled about. CdR is one of my favorite regions. Syrah and Grenache are bomb-ass varietals, not to mention the insanely value-driven pricing on most CdRs. You can buy a (rated) bottle for $8.99-$12.99. Sure they can stretch up to $30 for the super high-end stuff, but who is going to drink that when there is so much good to be had in the 99%’s price range? Condescension! Fuck the proletariat! I just like good wine. I’d also like to say that Ryan is talking about getting into Chardonnays, and I’m very excited that he may be able to point me in the direction of some the more awesome, toasted apple, medium-bodied Chards that are out there. It’s beginning to get a little chilly in Michigan to be sucking down all those summer-month refreshing drinks, so something with a little toast and body to it sounds amazing.

This wine is totally bubblegum on the nose. Thick, jammy, succulent bubblegum. I can’t get my nose far enough into the glass. I think I’m going to start drinking it through my nostrils if I don’t start sipping. I’ll give you guys a little peek before I start, though:

triple threat.

Revised Conclusion

I had originally written a completely different conclusion, but upon completion, more tasting, and a little more waiting, this wine is starting to show more promise. I WILL leave the original conclusion after this post so you can see my first thoughts. Let me just tell you I’ve been letting this wine open for over an hour, I’ve been shaking, swirling, sloshing, letting it oxidize. This is not a “open and drink” kind of wine at all. It is hot. It is slightly unforgiving. My twisted taste buds think that the acid–and something… what I feel like is the beginning of sediment?–is sweet to the tongue. But this isn’t so bad. Third pour is revealing a more complex structure, a kinder tongue, and fuller mouth, and that INSANE tongue-biting finish you’d expect from a fucking Barbaresco. I don’t know what this wine is trying to be, but it’s not like any kind of Malbec I’ve ever had before. Tart blueberry is appearing in the mouth and nose, but there is still a lot of bubblegum ink. I’m raising my opinion of this to an 85, and recanting my “there is zero structure” statement. I will say with 100% certainty that this is a $12 bottle of Malbec that stole its older brother’s ID and went out drinking at dive bars until 12am trying to hook up with 5′s.

Original Conclusion

This is extremely disappointing, and I’m not sure what to think about it. Hot on the tongue, narrow mouth, and almost sickeningly sweet on the finish. There is acid, I will give it that much… But so much alcohol. My nose is running profusely after having tasted this. A few more rinses reveal that there is very little to this wine: tons of ink… The flavor IS like bubblegum–in that it loses its flavor far too quickly and it’s all just manufactured anyway. So disappointing. I was going to give the other bottle I have of this to someone as a present, but no way am I going to insult a wine drinker by giving him this wine. This will be another “oh I’ve run out of anything else to drink” bottle. I’m going to go make some pasta and red sauce, as it seems like that would be a good match. Plenty of red sauce.

I actually just looked at the bottle to see that this is 14.9% abv, a little on the high side for Malbec, which ranges from 13.5% to 14.5%.

I’m a pretty heavy drinker, and I like my booze–some would tell you I love it–but if I tasted this blind without knowing how much it cost, I’d spit it out and order a house cab before taking another sip. Suck it Bramare: 80.

Don’t drop the soap…

Because apparently trying to bribe the handlers of greyhounds into testing out your new “vitamins” with a stipulation that they are not allowed to give said vitamins to any of the other dogs on the track that day, (while wearing a polo shirt with the words “TEAM KUJO” written in sharpie on the back) is considered “suspicious behavior”, my review of this 2008 Wanut City Wineworks pinot noir from the Willamette Valley may or may not be taking place in the local jail. How would this be possible, you might ask? Well, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in college, it’s how to train carrier pigeons to take notes to Malaysian children I keep locked in the basement working on my “secret project” of determining just exactly how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop.

They’re crunching numbers.

Get it?

Regardless, this little beauty is everything I could’ve hoped for in an Oregon pinot noir.

Now as many of you may know, part of Burgundy’s success with this particular grape over the centuries is due to the fact that Burgundy rests in a particular climate in France that is balanced on a knife-edge with regard to the grapes coming to their perfect ripeness. Much like any other fruit, when a grape is approaching overly ripe, it can have so much sugar that there is hardly any other distinguishable flavor present. (Imagine an extra-ripe strawberry). Oregon, it seems, has a way of mimicking this Burgundian quality of having a harvest that is almost always dangerously close to the time of year frost sets in over a vineyard, which means the grapes have a long time to sit on the vines and slowly come to maturation, but also that the entire crop could be lost to frost damage if the vineyard manager waits too long before harvesting.

Just as in Burgundy, the wines from truly great years will defy description, and can be counted among the best wines in the world, so is true of Oregon pinot noirs.

This 2008 pinot is a beautiful example of some of the classic burgundy characteristics, with its own little Oregon twist. Though a  bit more fruit-forward than your traditional AOC, the wonderful earthy qualities are by no means lost in this sinfully smooth red. Light in color, medium in body, with a touch of cedar spice and chocolate powder, this pinot is something worth living (or being incarcerated) for.

And as all great wine has a great food behind it, it’s not by any means difficult to imagine this elegant little red being poured with Oregon’s pinot-noir-food-of-choice: wild Alaskan salmon cooked over an open fire.

So ends my wine reviews for the evening.

Oh, and if you get a collect call from me, ACCEPT THE CHARGES.