Yes, your mouth should be watering right now, but not for food...
What would you say if I told you that I was about to write a whole post about Pi...Like, math pi. You know, 3.1415926535897932384626433...You get the idea. Sounds exciting right?! I love math! ...Said very few people ever.
Don't worry, I wouldn't subject anyone to that, or not in the way you may be thinking. We are going to talk about Pi, but this is one variation I think everyone can get behind. This is a Spanish wine that you'll definitely want sitting in your wine rack...Or better yet, your glass! So put away your protractors and TI-83 graphing calculators, and put on your drinking pants, things are about to get fun!
So why am I so excited about this wine? Well because it tells a story, and we all know how I feel about stories! Also, it's just delicious, duh.
This wine is made 100% from a little grape called a "Concejón" (Con-See-Oh-N) but is also sometimes referred to as "Moristel" (More-Is-Tell). I think Concejón sounds more exotic though, so we're sticking with that.
The fist time I picked up this wine I did it for the same reason most of us pick up a new wine, it had an awesome label! Don't judge me, you know you do it too, and you know what? That's totally ok! How else are we going to discover the hidden gems if we don't pick up a few pretty rocks first?
So Why The Name Pi?
This wine comes from a region in North Eastern Spain called Aragon. Our exotic grape is a super finicky one that really, when it comes down to it, is just a pain in the butt to grow. Over the years there have been efforts to plant Concejón in various places, but the only one that has had any real success is a tiny little vineyard in Aragon. Essentially all of the Concejón for the world is grown in this one place that is 3.14 Hectares...For those of us (read: pretty much everyone) who don't know what the heck a hectare is, it's a unit of measure about equal to just over two acres.
So there you have it, 3.14...Pi. Not that exciting, but interesting I guess. Where I get excited is where the similarities run deeper. This is a wine that, much like our old friend Pi, is complex, intricate, precise, and yet infinitely tricky to master.
Do you remember those old 'Choose your own adventure' books? Well, if they had a version for adults that was a wine, it would be this.
The first thing to note is the deep, rich, inky color. It's a color that just screams of mystery and intrigue; of strangers in the night, and sultry glances exchanged across hazy clubs in the 1940's as a trumpet trickles out a lonely tune, and dames and fellas are ringed by the unfiltered smoke of their cigarettes in the dimly lit alley outside. All that and you haven't even tasted it yet!
Ok, so we've got the color down, let's move on to the nose, raise that glass and draw it in...Right about now your senses should be easing back into a large, leather wingback chair. You should be getting hints of dark fruits, tobacco, leather, and a little woodiness, reminiscent of the rich mahogany that surrounds your mind's eye.
This wine is the quintessential old study, with a bar in the globe, old books lining the walls, and the glint of the firelight reflecting faintly in the brass features that punctuate the room.
Now, let's drink! This is really where you have to make a choice of what sort of night you're going to have. Do you want to start the evening with more of a Bonnie and Clyde feel? Or perhaps you're in more of a Casablanca mood? Well the great thing about this wine is that you can choose! Eventually, it'll all end up Casablanca, but how you get there is up to you. Confused yet? Good. I've done my job. So what do gangsters and lovers have to do with how this wine tastes?
If you were to just do the ole' Pop N' Pour with this wine you'll be getting yourself into more of a Bonnie and Clyde situation. It's big, bold, intense, and has a will that won't be tamed. Dark fruit flavors such as black current, plum, and spiced black cherry will bombard you like a runaway bank robbery shootout. From there you'll experience a dry, tannic, spicy finish, riddled with white pepper like Bonnie and Clyde's car at the end...Ok, I'm probably trying too hard with this analogy but you get the idea. It's awesome, but not for the faint of heart.
If you're looking for a wine that screams of romance and a long kiss on an airplane runway, then simply let it breath.
That's just a fancy-schmancy way of saying open it up and walk away for a bit. Let it sit open while you cook dinner for two (or one, that's how I roll most nights.) Or, alternatively, if you don't want to wait, you can go out and buy an aerator. This is basically a contraption that simulates the wine sitting open for a while, don't worry, I'll do a post on all that. But basically letting the wine be exposed to air takes out the harshness and leaves the really good flavors. This particular wine will probably need about 20 minutes or so, longer if you can spare it, of just sitting open,, to start opening up the flavors.
The big difference you'll notice is that, while you still get those bold, intense dark fruits, they will have taken on more of a soft quality. Rather than ravenously devouring them, you will feel like they are being fed to you sweetly, as you lounge on pillows, Greek style. The once, 'punch you in the face finish,' will turn to a soft velvet of supple flavors slipping gently across your tongue.
This truly becomes a decadent wine as complex, and intricate as the number for which it's named. You'll want to go back and try it again and again, just to relive the magic and mystery!