Sunday, October 10, 2010


Tajinaste Tinto Tradicional 2008: This is from the Valle de la Orotava appellation on the north coast of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. The wine is made from the Listán Negro (I've also seen it spelled "Negra") which is the black version of the Palomino grape, which produces great sherry under that name, and boring wine everywhere else under the name Listán. It's dark brother is another matter entirely; you may not like it, but it sure isn't boring.

Some of the grapes were grown in the traditional braided manner, and some on the Cordon de Royat-style espalier. Frementation was via carbonic maceration. Twenty percent of the wine was aged oak.

This opens with notes of toasted cinammon stick, fresh plum, cherry, black pepper, juniper, and an exotic woodsy/earthy character that is beyond my descriptive capabilities. On the palate, there is an almost-jammy plum and strawberry character; some of this fruitiness recedes after about 20 minutes in the glass. The finish is fruity and earthy, with a hint of gamey, animal quality. Whatever reservations I may have had about it were blown away after having a glass while eating some ground lamb that had been charred on the grill and garnished with the last of the fresh tomatoes and a big dollop of home-made hummus, served on a home-made hot dog bun. It was perfect.

This was purchased at 3 Cups in Chapel Hill, from the stalwart Jay Murrie. Long may he wave.

(Blurry photo taken with my brand new ITouch. I have resisted allowing 21st Century technology into my life, mainly because I have found the 21st Century to be spectacularly ugly on the content side, if you know what I mean.)

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