Today is Earth Day, which, as I said last week, I find rather stupid. I think it’s dumb since the earth needs our attention every day, not just once a year. I like to think of myself as an environmentalist: I recycle, I try to reuse, and I drive a Prius (for which I catch a lot of grief for some reason).
But I need to do more. Before this pandemic, we used to go to our local grocery store (the H.E.B.) just about every day. This crisis, though, has shown me I either should ride my bike or even better, plan ahead and shop every 4-5 days.
Hopefully, employers and employees will realize that the 1950s model of going into the office every day is antiquated. I was once stuck in a job with a horrible boss who insisted that we were all at our desks from 9-5 no matter what. It didn’t matter that 95% (or more) of the work we did could be accomplished anywhere in the world with an internet connection–for some stupid reason, we all had to be there.
There seems to be little doubt that pollution is way down this past several weeks as people shelter in place to varying degrees, Hopefully, as the country eventually gets back to work, we will have learned ways to be both more efficient and be kinder to the planet.
Here are a few wines that are trying to do their part for a better planet.
2018 Anima Negra Quíbia, Vi de Taule de Balears, Mallorca, Spain: Retail $18. 60% Callet, 30% Premsal, 10% other local grapes. Interesting on several fronts. First, it is from Mallorca, a Spanish island frequented by cyclists from all over the world. But not me. My wife has ridden there, though. And she’s not a “cyclist.” So yeah, sore subject. Second, as far as I know, I have never tasted a wine made from either of the two main grapes (as far as I could discover, the other 10% was from Gìro Blanca). Last, 60% of this white wine comes from a red grape. A lot going on here. Pear and yellow apple, with good acidity, a bit of salinity, and just enough verve to keep the interest above the mean. Very Good to Excellent. 88-90 Points.
2018 Botromagno Gravina, Puglia, Italy: Retail $16. 60% Greco, 40% Malvasia, with smaller amounts allowed of Fiano and Bianco di Alessano. The vineyards have been organic since 2013. The website claims that this is one of Italy’s oldest wines, produced since the 6th Century, B.C. (!), but today, only Botromagno makes the wine. A bit golden in the glass with guava, banana, and other tropical notes. The palate is on the round side with juicy fruit, a slight tang, and a fruity finish. No, this wine will not cause you to contemplate what life was like almost 3000 years ago, but you will likely want another glass or three with your Kung Pao chicken. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2018 Casa Lapostolle Cabernet Sauvignon Cuvée Alexandre Apalta Vineyard, Colchagua Valley, Chile: Retail $25. 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Carménère (I am assuming this is correct since the website’s percentages do not add up). I always look forward to opening a Cuvée Alexandre as they are consistently among the top values regardless of vintage. Dark in the glass, plenty of black fruit (cassis, blackberry), oodles of spice, black pepper, and a hint of vanilla. The palate is fruity as well, but with balancing acidity, and depth. Not quite a Whoa, but this is particularly nice. Excellent. 90-92 Points.
2019 Nautilus Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Malborough, New Zealand: Retail $20. Full disclosure: I am typically not a huge fan of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc as it tends to over-emphasize the grassy/cat pee characteristics. While those are certainly here with this wine, there is also intense fruit (guava, passion fruit), minerality, salinity, and an overall creaminess that is a departure from most SB from the country. Very Good to Excellent. 89-91 Points.
2016 Wine & Soul Douro Pintas Character, Duoro, Portugal: Retail $45. A field blend of 30 different varieties including Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, and Touriga Nacional. B.A.B. Another wine that I received from my friends at Winebow, who assured me that this wine is good for the planet. Well, the really heavy bottle has me questioning that assertion. What I do not question, however, is the contents of the bottle. Holy cow. Inky dark violet in the glass with more earth notes than fruit on the palate, with rich and luscious fruit initially on the palate, followed by a wave of tartness. Right after that wave, the fruit reappears and mingles with a profound earthiness and some fairly potent tannins. This is a big, delicious wine that is fabulous now but will improve with 3-5 years (at least) of cellar time. Whoa. Excellent to Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
2017 Wirra Wirra Shiraz Catapult, McLaren Vale, Australia: Retail $22. 98% Shiraz, 2% Viognier. Under Screw. The kind folks at Winebow, the importer of this wine, assured me that this was a world-friendly wine, but I could not find any confirmation of that assertion on the interwebs. Oh, well, I will take them at their word. The wine is dark and a bit brooding with dark berry fruit, tartness, and plenty of “Shiraz spice.” A delightful wine. Very Good to Excellent. 89-91 Points.