Happy New Year, dear Readers! WordPress tells me you’ve read my musings over 60K times in 2012, even though I have been rather irregular in writing and posting. Thank you!
The patchy frequency of new entries on this English blog of mine was inversely related to my other activities. Chiefly Winicjatywa, my online wine magazine in Polish which has been soaring in popularity and breaking through the 16K users and 100K page views record in December. It is now steadily Poland’s number one wine website, much at the expense of my writings elsewhere. A better balance is a strong resolution of mine for 2013.
Nonetheless, it has been a good year in blogging, and I’ve enjoyed sharing my Turkish, Hungarian and Italian adventures. It has also been a great year for drinking. Merely in the last two weeks I’ve had a humbling amount of great wines travelling through my glass. The above-pictured Elvio Cogno Barbera Pre-Phylloxera 2010 (from magnum) was just staggering in its never-ending, pure grapey taste. It is made of pre-phylloxera vines, ungrafted, that are over a 100 years old. With the traditional Polish Christmas Eve dinner (heavy on fish and cabbage, so unfriendly toward red wines), I’ve had a surprisingly good rosé from Italy’s Umbria: made by Tabarrini from the Sagrantino grape, it is very powerful and intense and proved to be a great food wine. It was also the best 15.5% alc. wine I’ve had in 2012.
A recent family occasion triggered another happy session of cellar damage during which we emptied the Mas de Daumas Gassac Rouge 2000, now nearly at peak and a happy testimony to the sheer class of this estate (though I’ve had better vintages) as well as the Château Musar Blanc 1999. Amber in colour, animal in aroma, oxidative, broad and wild, this was as crazy as Musar ever gets, but an engaging bottle of wine with its irreplaceable personality.
Now that the year is waning, I am focusing on the traditional fare – Champagne but also my favourite December wine: Riesling that pairs so well with a broad range of festive foods. My best bottle of these days has been the 2011 Kirchspiel Riesling grand cru bottling from Wittmann; a decade too young to fully enjoy but with fantastic intensity and length. Hope life is treating you as well as it is treating me. Happy New Year!
Disclosure (yes, even today!)
Wittmann, Musar, Gassac – own purchases, Tabarrini – tasting sample from the Polish importer, Cogno Barbera – a magnum shared by a friend.