Puydeval 2009, Vin de Pays D’oc

Discovering a new wine in the Rhŏne section of our wine store is always a delight, especially when it A) has a price tag listing under fifteen dollars and B) has a solid score of “91” listed by some wine reviewer with some opinion. It’s amazing when those wines live up to their scores, such as this Puydeval has. Otherwise you shouldn’t take that as a testament to these scores on the web, in your stores, from your neighbor, from any man named Amory; the loquacious type who talks highly about his supposed wine cellar.


62% Cabernet Franc, 28% Syrah and 10% Merlot are the grapes, a trio of taut and dark, sweet but firm. Hailing from the Vin Des Pays regulation, which is less restrictive than the French’s AOC, the winemaker is able to have more freedom with which grapes are integrated together. Not that a franc, syrah and merlot mixture is outlandish, it’s just that it wouldn’t fly with AOC regulations due to the combination and the fact that the Puydeval uses grapes from a wider region than, say, a single chateaux with a high pedigree to its name.

When drinking we noticed the wine was very dark. True and taut as it was, it struck us as odd seeing as how Cabernet Franc is most known as a light, herby and mellow grape. Seeing as how it was the predominate grape, we were sure that we would be experiencing a straight forward, even boring, but warming wine. But it is unwise to underestimate the power of syrah; and my appreciation for it grows still. The syrah finds a way of predominating the palette in the only way a true syrah can, by providing a filling, punchy and aromatically interesting suaveness throughout the bottle’s drinking life. Merlot is present, instead of being a cloaked name-stay that it usually is diluted into being; and it is still, quite delicate in the front and back. You almost yearn for more of it.


Puydeval 2009, Vin de Pays – $14

– Grandly dark in the glass with a pink-hued, fruit juice rim.

– You’ll cough at first if you get right up in there, very alcohol forward. Once you become accustomed you will be introduced to its lively and aromatic berry garden flourish. It’s sweet and will remind you of a lightly sugared berry pie.

– Chunky and bold, front and center. Mellow in the back, true enough in the middle of your cheek. There’s a distinct lack of elegance, because this is a young wine that has little future ahead of it, I fear. But the Puydeval remains toasty, warm and pleasing.

Overall: Worthy. A great sipper that will hold up to most foods, save for clams, which I have been told recently clash with all wines. Another note is that this is one of the rare wines that actually brightened my sense of the cheese we ate, a six month aged manchego.

Quote of The Evening:

[with a violent shake of the fist, a la Captain Kirk in Star Trek IV]



Writings, Readings, Sippings and Provo.

Wine, With Some Screenwriting: Week Two

The minute hand was inching closer to completing its circle, midnight. The suburban, illinois-circa-1870’s look of the neighborhood was still clamoring with the voices of pent up youth, cling-clanging bells of quaint bicycles, and drunk BYU students (yes, it happens) flaying illegal firecrackers into the street. It was July the third; everyone and their seven children and their dog and their skateboards were migrating east, to Center Street, to camp for the next morning’s Fourth of July parade. We spoke much of our amazement as to the popularity of such a parade, taking careful note as to the volume of pimple-laced puerile holding one and others hands tightly as they shuffled the expanse of the road ways. Surely most of them weren’t actually camping for a parade,  surrounded by raucous joviality, in Provo Utah(!), for the sight of makeshift, small town parade floats, papier-mâché and all that. Could they? No. It must’ve been, we decided, the imminent danger from a [then] nearby forrest fire that sparked a seize-the-moment vitality among the towns folk.

Although we could barely hear over their shouting at such a late hour, we read on with the scripts we were to present. Wine flowed; all six bottles brought were opened ravenously as the night dulled on, as words and superfluously used parenthetical descriptions were read aloud until all meaning had been weathered away like a once jagged rock in a stream, the original outer composition no longer discernible. I suspect that the wine helped evoke some color into the words that were able to stand out from the monotone flow of the narrator’s voice. So, to the sampling table I journeyed, back and forth, many times during the last soggy hour of word slinging – my interruptions were vast, but it was the only way to stay awake. Needless to say, my tasting notes were more vast than the notes for the scripts.

The two, top wines, of the evening: Two Vines, 2009, Oregon Red and the Yellow Tail Cabernet/Shiraz (sans vintage).
The Two Vines was simply called a “Red.” Why I couldn’t take notes on what blend this “red” consisted of, I can’t apologize enough; my best guess would be a conglomerate of merlot, cabernet and pinot noir, from what I could gather from the taste. Two Vine’s website has an updated list of their 2010 vintages, outlining their cabernet, cab/shiraz, merlot, and merlot/cabernet selections. No more “red” selection to be found. Yet, there it was staring me in the face on the sample table at the reading. The writer who brought the bottle derisively clued me into an approximate price: “Eight or nineteen. Something like that.”
As for the Yellow Tail, what else can be said? Its corporate, inexpensive and widely mocked because of it. A third of their wine is made from their own vineyard in Riverina, Griffith; the rest is collected en masse to be blended according to industrial specialization and shipped out to the world. You could guff about it all you want, as I even tend to do, but it comes down to taste and enjoyment in the end, no? This wine ended up pleasing me just fine.

Two Vines, 2009, Oregon Red – “$8-19”
– Some plum and wet terrain is what I gathered from the nose.
– An off kilter fruit that exhibited plum and cherry. Some acid helped alleviate the flat range and mild linger.
Overall: Worthy, if indeed $8. This wine may have not made eccentric statement, but we all seemed to harbor a smirk of pleasantness after sipping it down. This would easily cull your senses with whatever it is you plan on cooking. Very embraceable.

Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon – Shiraz – $8
– Crisp, like lettuce with an aroma of fallen, dead maple oak.
– Acid will first bite you, then ease as the flow reaches the back of your throat. Not much of a linger, and perhaps a touch too sweet with the faintest, horrid hint of syrup and petrol. Luckily there is redemption as you slosh it around your tongue, grasping the just-so enjoyment of this, hardly awful, yet unbalanced, sipper.
Overall: Worthy. That one word should be reason enough to go ahead and pick up a bottle. Every other bottle of Yellow Tail I’ve tasted has been… Awful.
Quote of The Evening:

“You write a wine blog? What for?”

“Just to write about wine. Reviews and the what not. Want me to send you a link?”

“No. Not at all.”

[awkward pause]