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WineSpeed | Turnbull

Weekly insights from veteran wine writer Karen MacNeil.

BY Karen Macneil | Life | Jun 11, 2018

TURNBULL |  Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2015

(Oakville, Napa Valley, CA) $85

There’s a kind of elegance that some powerful cabernets can possess, and it makes them sensational. This Turnbull is one—a majestic wine of structure, purity, extraordinary precision, and sheer deliciousness. To be this good, a cabernet can’t be dull and overripe. Indeed, it must possess a subtle spine of acidity so that the wine feels alive and vivid. I can’t think of a better wine for Father’s Day—unless it’s this wine’s older brother, the Turnbull “Black Label” Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 ($150), which is even more extraordinary. (14.5% abv)

94 points KM

Available at Turnbull

More Wines to Know…

In the wine name Pouilly-Fumé, what does the “Fumé” refer to?

A.  The smoky-colored gray bloom of yeasts on the grapes
B.  The mists that rise up from the Loire River where the river makes a turn and begins to head south
C.  The slightly smoky character of the wine
D.  The morning fog that settles in the pockets of many of the best vineyards

Here’s the answer…

Steals under $20

“National Rosé Day Steals”

DRAXTON Pinot Meunier Rosé 2017 (Napa Valley, CA) $18
A fantastic wine that out-classes most Provençal rosés. Crisp and full of character.

ANNA DE CODORNÍU Brut Rosé NV (Penèdes, Spain) $13
I plan to stock the fridge with this steal; and drink it with abandon all summer. Fresh, lively, easy, delicious.

SCAIA Rosé 2017 (Veneto, Italy) $12
Don’t let the lovely pale color of this Italian rosé fool you. It’s spicy, lively, and bold in flavor. Some good fresh Italian cheeses (burrata?) and you’re set. 

ST. GREGORY Pinot Noir Rosé 2017 (Mendocino, CA) $15
Lightning crisp and very fresh. It’s a perfect hot day rosé.

About a previous WineSpeed True or FalseJoyce Stavert, Executive Director of Oakville Winegrowers shared:

“Love WineSpeed, but regarding your comment that almost all grapes have white juice (I know you said “almost all”), I thought you might want to mention that there are a few red-juiced grapes, most notably, alicante bouschet. I believe they still grow some over in the Monte Rosso vineyard in Sonoma.”

Karen responds: “Thanks, Joyce. You are right. A handful of grape varieties worldwide belong to the category called teinturier grapes which have red juice due to anthocyanin pigments building up within the pulp itself. Alicante bouschet is the best known; others include chambourcin, dunkelfelder, and gamay de bouze.”

“Karen, we have some beautiful lead crystal glasses that we were given as a wedding present years ago. We usually take them out and use them on our anniversary, but is drinking wine out of lead crystal glasses dangerous?”  —Jessica N., Kansas City, MO

Jessica, the way you do it, probably not. Most lead crystal glasses are between 18 percent and 24 percent lead oxide. Lead makes glass more brilliant and durable and adding lead oxide to molten glass makes it softer and easier to cut into elegant designs. In 1991, researchers at Columbia University found that acidic beverages (including wine) left in lead crystal decanters for several months absorbed some of that lead. The key words here are for several months. There is no evidence that lead can be leached from a wine glass within a few hours or even days, and thus drinking wine from lead crystal wine glasses is considered safe.

Ampelography​

The science of identifying and classifying grapevines according to their physical properties, such as the size, shape, and contours of their leaves, petioles, shoots, and grape clusters, as well as the color, size, seed content, and flavor of their grapes. French scientist Pierre Galet introduced modern ampelography in the 1950s and it remained the main system for identifying grapevines until the advent of DNA typing in the 1990s.

More Wine Words…

Anthony Bourdain, you will be missed. Your love of flavor moved us all, and reminded us of food and wine’s most important roles—to bring us together. How did we ever lose you?

“As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”

—Anthony Bourdain, of CNN’s Parts Unknown, who died June 8, 2018​

A petrol (gasoline) aroma and flavor in wine comes from the proximity of vines planted near oil refineries.

Answer: False. A petrol aroma and/or flavor in wine is caused by a chemical compound,1,1,6-trimethyl-1,2-dihydronaphthalene (thankfully known as “TDN”), which exists in grapes. This aroma and flavor appear more prominently in grapes that are exposed to sunlight and warmer weather. TDN may also emerge in wine that has been aged in bottle for a long period. Certain grape varieties—notably riesling—are prone to TDN.

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