Bad wineblogger, bad wine: Vinha do Monte 2004

Vinha vinho do da Monte monty 2004 so grape
For me the dilemma with bad reviews is not whether to publish them or not (it was Wannabe Wino who most recently tackled this issue). I say publish them, though sometimes it can be dicey business if you're not familiar enough with the product.

To me, the main issue with bad reviews is whether they come from notes that are thorough enough. Usually I like to assess a wine as it arcs over the course of dinner. Here's a case where I could barely take more than a sip or two. This is quite an unruly Portuguese regional red blend. I cringed going back to it. Even when left out open to the air. Maybe leaving a bad review out to aerate is an equally worthy idea.

For any other wine, I might hold back on the negativity. But I know this product well. And most importantly, I appreciate it and its unique style. I remember tasting it before on several occasions and especially liked the 2003 vintage. (The Casa de Santar was outstanding in 2003 too -- could the year be one of central Portugal's finest?) As for this 2004 version though?

The Vinha do Monte 2004 from Sogrape is far from fine: full of unrefined tannins and stewy, spicy fruit. It's a big mouthful yet without much structure -- a wine to avoid. What can I say? It's not like the winning 2003 vintage -- which I wrote about in such an odd way in a previous review, which was back during Portuguese Week 2006. (Unfortunately, I think Portuguese Week 2007 happened in my absence over the past seven days.)

I hope I am getting better at this wine tasting thing now a year has elapsed since I penned the notes on the 2003. It seems I wanted to say that the 2003 had barely perceptible tannins and that it instead had an acidic edge which came across like Ruby Red grapefruit. That's well and good but those tannins were perceptible or else I wouldn't have called it astringent. Nevertheless, I think the idea I was trying for was that the tannins were well-integrated with the fruit. Everything didn't end up tasting of pith.

With the 2004 that is the case exactly. A tannic monster run wild, giving Portugal its notorious reputation for harsh, unrefined reds.

I remember I got this wine with a promotional $1 off coupon hung around the bottle neck. Buyer beware! There's still lots of these on store shelves.

Gaia, Portugal. 14%.

Tasty Morsels

I'm not sure when I took these tasting notes as I've been going through a personal-IT crisis. Since I see the same year remains fully stocked in SAQ stores I suspect it wasn't much more than a month ago, but to my memory (and to my computer's nearly totally wiped-out memory), I'm just drawing a blank. No matter though. What's past is past and my what's here is likely here to stay.

Which brings me to the multiple choice quiz from yesterday. (Click that link unless you want to peek at the answers right now.) All the answers correctly explain what I've been up to. I've been dealing with each of these things (except A. winning the lottery -- I made that up). And all these things loom on the horizon and will continue to do just as long or even longer than the discounted Vinha do Monte will hang around the wine shop.

Here's a more detailed rundown:

B. I am starting a much more demanding job in two weeks, and that doesn't even include C. -- the fact that I have just joined Midnight Poutine (were you reading up?) to regularly post my Tasty Morsels as a weekly restaurant reviewer.

I did in fact D. set off fire alarms with each attempt to select "Publish Post" but this as well as E. -- that I pulled the guts out of my iBook; then formatted my hard drive -- are firmly in the past. The repairing, reinstalling, backing-up, and reformatting of my laptop is done. Now only hunting down software remains.

F. I had a massive freakout session when Safari suddenly stopped uploading my files to Blogger. This is true but I downloaded and switched to a free version of Firefox before long.

G. I panicked when "statistics for visitors from the last 16629 minutes" were not yet available on my site meter is totally true. My level of anal-ness with it has prompted me to create an additional site meter with functioning stats, but then it broke too so I created a third now-useless site meter. None of them work properly.

Finally, H. I drank two entire bottles of dep wine that I picked up from a gas station and then decided to take a long LONG look in the mirror is only partly true I suppose. I had some help from the designated driver for the red, and for the white, some of it is still left over for cooking.


Sonadora said...

Glad to see you back. Sorry your first wine to review was not such a winner. Hope the next is better and congrats on the new column!

Marcus said...

Thanks Sonadora!

As you know, these ruts can happen but then there's a upswing.

I can in fact say that the next one will be better. As I mentioned before I tend to keep a running log of tasting notes on file (which is why the computer problems were even more troublesome). The next one coming up is an Ontarian wine from Niagara.

Joe said...

Crikey! A Niagara wine. I have had so many bad experiences, it will take a few blind tastings for me to go back to those...

Marcus said...

OK Joe -- glad I've got your attention for this one! ;)

It's coming up soon -- I forgot I had the notes this biodynamic wine to write up first. It worth the wait to convert to an Ontario wine lover!! I hope you'll stop by here on Monday for the Niagara throwdown.

Anonymous said...

Too bad. I got a 2001 Vinha do Monte cheap in Luxembourg and it was quite tasty! (full bodied with good structure)