'It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings...'

I guess all those high 'C's' must be ringing in my feverish imagination. After all of our casual off-and-on conversation over the last four months, an idea that I blurted to Alberto Cecchin at the Slow Food Mendoza event just over a week ago led to an appointment for a formal meeting with him yesterday.
The upshot of it is, I'm buying 900 liters of his 2006 Bonarda, to bottle under my own label--yet to be devised-- as a way to jump-start my 'social capital' co-branding project.
My mind & heart are racing, I'm stunned...1200 bottles, one hundred cases of wine.
Yikes! Import permits, duties, fees, marketing strategies...the real work is only just getting started, & this would be a strange dry run, with no real inventory to follow through on interest-- unless, unless...
Unless I get a bit of positive feedback-- before Thursday, when the deal is scheduled to be finalized-- from my wine 2.0 friends regarding permits, storage, logistics for the long term so that I feel comfortable taking a chance on two hundred cases...


Tech Matters, Tech Spirits-- or, Six Degrees of Spoofulation..

Take three-hundred & sixty-four:
all of a sudden, the signal coming through my borrowed wireless modem drops out-- & yet, the connection seems to be open & holding...
Hans has finally invested in the device to be able to connect to the Internet through his celphone company, CTi, which is being absorbed (--merging?) with Claro, (--principal?) brand name for América Móvil, burgeoning Mexican telecom (--which sometime ago struck a deal with Vodaphone, & incorporated their accounts & assets in Puerto Rico...)

I realize that except for a posting nod to the last, big roller-coaster turn my hopes of making wine this year got--a month ago, here-- I haven't written anything wine-related in nearly three months... although I suppose some of the meandering, melancholy, existential verse I've inflicted might be excused as 'wine-related writing'.
Well, it certainly seems like I've drunk enough mediocre, pretentious & gratingly rustic wine in Argentina to last me a lifetime, & I feel quite ready to chuck my aching, perfectionistic compulsion to craft overarching narratives & let loose a minimally coherent collection of impressions that may only very charitably be termed 'tasting notes', thank you.

My most recent negative experience was with a bottle of the '04 Malbec Roberto Boschi has made for Hans & his Cavieres label. I'll venture that wines made traditionally here, fermented & matured in large-capacity, epoxy-lined concrete tanks have a tendency to reduction & run the risk of sulphur compounds getting the upper hand. However, I've learned Sr. Boschi has no 'piletas', only small steel tanks-- go figure... It was a 2004, bottled under a plastic stopper, so that may have been a factor...other samples have been in infinitely better shape, & the same producer's '06 Bonarda has been consistently good, with olive-leaf & black olive aromas, integrated with discreet black fruit in the mouth, & a lingering cola note...

The second nastiest case of burnt match & brimstone was a pink blend made by a character by the name of Juricich, chiefly a beekeeper & honey producer whose other risky bottling had, to this palate, happier results: a Lambrusco-like Malbec where residual sugar fueled in-bottle malolactic fermentation for a rich, rustic, 'frizzante' quaffer.
I forget the source grapes for the rosé-- but its salmon to burnt orange peel look, smell & taste make me wonder if the line between reduction & oxidation is an especially thin, confused blur in these Antipodean latitudes...

At the other extreme, my 90 pt. gold medal for 'Most Seductive Spoofulate' must go to a Tempranillo (Reserva '03, if I remember right-- with the caveat that in Argentina, the 'Reserva' label gets slapped on anything with more than five months barrel aging.) --bottled by Tittarelli under its upscale label, 'Finca El Retiro': it was with nostalgic shock & awe, guilt & further tangled feelings that I downed this bottle of what could have passed for one of Ridge's Zinfandels-- maybe their Paso Robles version, with its tendency to overheat nicely mascara'ed by El Draper's deft brush strokes, applying the full complement of International Oak Toast pigments in his palette.
Unfortunately, a second bottle found in the dark recesses of Mendoza's 'Carrefour' megasupermarket was all cigar ashes & gummy eyelashes where the first bottle had that cedar spice-box nose, dusty nutmeg on a dark cherry mouth, & trace of coconutty oiliness in the mouthfeel I believe are what good/Norweigian-- er, American Wood can bring to the glass...
I also had a bottle of '02 under the main 'Tittarelli' label which reminded me of the funky, cheap Riojas of my youth. Sr. Alberto, of Bodega Cecchin, when told of these experiences, sniggered, 'Tittarelli? I wouldn't be sure it's Tempranillo, anyway.'
Here's the scoop: the man should know. He sold some of his press wine, would not tell me which varietals, to a Wine Club in Buenos Aires that sent their Sommelier-in-Chief, tasted & devised a blend, & labeled & bottled it-- hold onto your hat, I was there for the bottling-- as Nebbiolo !!


Taking the Fall

damn punch-drunk clock
keeps tock-ticking me off
--tick-talking away 'til gone

softening my underbelly
--all asides apparent
in outlined inner seams

sitting me down, do be
setting me up for a ride
to pass by, horseman

cloak back in the dust
the far shore glows black
in wide-ahead miracle wakes


Sottobosco a Verso (--o, Larga con Vale, Esencia)

'...Ich bin allein, ich stell die Aschenblume
ins Glas voll reifer Schwärze...'

--Paul Celan

Por la ladera de cumbres que a una
vez acercan y ocultan el horizonte
se deslizan las cargadas nubes.

El agua que van chorreando
raja un sediento mundo reseco
para regar otro que se ahoga.

El aguacero descarga un bosque
de memoria que brilla y baña
en eucalipto el paseo de gravilla
y satura con pino los muros de adobe.

Sobrevive en el hongo esta marea
de alta cordillera que en la seta
y en la alfombra de agujas y musgo
muere por difundir su lustre, su aroma.