Blaye is not as known for its wine but it is a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its centuries old fortress. Like much of old Europe, it’s built upon layers of history. The 17th century fortress was built upon a 14th century fortress that was partially destroyed during the 100 years war with England. It in turn, was built upon a fortress and basilica dating from before Charlemagne, sometime in the late 7th to early 8th century. Before that, it was a Roman town.
Happy Easter everybody. Granted, it’s probably not Easter when you’re reading this because I published it a couple of days late so unless you get lucky and read it next year on Easter, just ignore this bit. I mentioned it because as we walked out in the morning, the cruise company, AMA Waterways had put small Easter baskets outside of each guest room. Nice touch. I’m not a big chocolate fan but Karen was already predatorily eyeing my chocolate bunny with such fervor, I actually felt sorry for the little rodent…pretty pathetic when you think about it.
Is it ironic that the region that’s become one of our favorites is best known for making Varietals that aren’t our favorites? OK…that was a touch awkward. Let’s try it this way. Our favorites tend to be really well made Bordeaux style wines…Big Cabs, well balanced Merlots, earthy Cab Francs and of course, the blends that can be sublime. The area in question however is known for complex but delicate Pinot Noirs, balanced Chardonnays and deeply flavored cold weather Syrahs.
December 15th, 2013
Wine Tasting in Livermore – Wineries Visited:
Cuda Ridge – production 1,600 cases
Thomas Coyne – production 3,000 cases
Some wine regions have lyrical names – Santa Lucia Highlands, Moon Mountain or the Santa Ynez Valley for instance, echo with the promise of adventure and romance. Then there are the ones that are playful. The Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara evokes a whimsical feel. And then – there’s Livermore. Liver – more. It doesn’t really sound any better backwards – more liver. Nope…no romance, no poetic overtones…just organ meat…lots of organ meat. However, as the saying goes, you should never judge a book by its cover and the quality of a wine region shouldn’t be judged by the romance of its name.