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Japan, India and Bosnia-Herzegovina—not really your France, Italy and Spain block, however, they are wine producing nations and must be recognized as such. Skimming over the other countries that make up the rest of the world’s wine production can be daunting for a class to cover because there are so many other nations that dabble in wine. Harder still, is the idea of manifesting the bottles because they do not make up a lot of the genome of your local wine shop. Last Tuesday, I tasted nine more from around the globe reducing my to-do-list to 299.

Beginning with a blind tasting of 2009 Ramon Cordova Tempranillo (a red kosher wine) to kick off our class that happened to be held on Passover. It was hard to place the wine but it had a fair showing—tasting okay—but more importantly, it was refreshing to break stereotypes and find a kosher wine hailing from another part of the world than where we happened to guess.

We made a routine (by comparison) stop to Israel, then on to the more exotic places on the globe to look into their winemaking know-how.

09 Ramon Cordova Tempranillo

10 Golan Muscat

08 Yarden Mount Hermon

09 Yarden Mount Hermon

08 Vinakoper Pleminito Belo

07 Citluk Herceg White

07 Citluk Herceg Red

NV Borgo Nevo rebuje Ribolla Gialla

08 Simcic Ribolla Gialla

I have to be honest, this was not my favorite class, the wines did not hold my interest and though I did find it fascinating to see how the wine was evolving in Eastern Europe (really everything East of Europe), the wines were not quite as intriguing. The whites, though wrought with acidity, could not hold my attention. The intensely golden hued white wines of Slovenia, in particular, translated into less than awesome flavors when the wine hit my taste buds—rough.

It felt like we had wines that were borderline corked, some of the wines—reds and whites, though noticeably the whites—were chock full of unsavory aromas of celery and cat pee and were only a faintly better on the palate. The red wines, save for those from Israel, really were not able to distinguish themselves either.

Aside from the sparkling Ribolla Gialla that lived up to its end of the bargain, little else found favor. This class was unable to inspire me; I probably won’t open that strictly Eastern European importing business anytime soon. I am excited about where these wines are headed but feel that there is some definite room for improvement and most likely finer examples of what we tasted. Here’s hoping better wines are exported!

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