Monday, November 30, 2015

Gaia Agiorgitiko

Gaia Agiorgitiko 2013
PDO Nemea, In Koutsi vineyard; 14% abv; 17€

I don't mean it disrespect when I say that this is kind of a Greek Merlot - it's actually much more interesting and tasty than most Merlot I've tried. But in a way its plummy, generically dark toned fruit and the palate's lowish acidity and sweet, smooth fruitiness does remind me a bit of Merlot.

Add to that a slight oaky touch and some surprisingly firm tannins on the finish and the likeness strengthens.

I don't have a huge amount of experience with Greek varieties but I think I find Xinomavro a bit more interesting - at least of these "major" red grapes. It seems to have more interesting aromas and tougher structure, whereas Agiorgitiko seems to go more towards a safe, easy, Merlot-kind of profile. Though still much more interesting than Merlot. Though now all you Greek geeks can tell me I'm completely wrong and that I've misunderstood these grapes because of the tiny sample size I have of them! :D

Friday, November 20, 2015

Antonelli Sagrantino

Antonelli San Marco Montefalco Sagrantino 2008
Aged 6 months in 500 l. barrels and then 18 months in 25 hl barrels; 100% Sagrantino; c.30€
I have to say I was quite impressed - even though I didn't have rare meat on the plate. The scent was a bit shy but what it showed was very attractive: all sorts of savoury berry aromas and a refreshing stemmy character.

Tannic and quite extracted but instead of being heavy it was wonderfully refreshing and racy.

I can smell a touch of residual oak but if I wasn't terribly put off by it, it shouldn't be a problem for the majority of humanity. Good stuff. Though why I opened a young Sagrantino without rare meat is a mystery. Don't do that. It's foolish. Have a chunk of bloody meat with this.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Thrixopelma ockerti

Thrixopelma ockerti

T. ockerti
This is an interesting Peruvian species. It is generally considered semi-arboreal so I gave it a set-up where it can both climb and burrow. This particular tarantula has, however, only burrowed. LS grew from c.2,5cm to c.3cm during the moult 12.11.2015.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Perrin Vacqueyras 2013

Famille Perrin Vacqueyras 2013
14,5% abv; c.16€

I can't say I have a huge amount of experience with this appellation but if my smallish sample is representative Vacqueyras produces slightly more structured, savoury examples of the S. Rhône blend.

This Perrin was no exception. Strawberry scents as expected from a Grenache based wine but instead of sweet and sugary it is tannic, dry in its fruit instead of voluptuous and sweet.

Now that the price dropped from about 20€ to about 16€ it's worth trying a bottle. Perfectly decent. No great thrills but at least it seems like the idea of the appellation I have stored in my head and is a pleasant drink.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Les Sinards Blanc 2014

Famille Perrin Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc "Les Sinards" 2014
14% abv; Clairette, Grenache blanc, Roussanne; c.30€

White Rhônes have always been a bit difficult for me because of their weight and low acidity. This isn't that bad. Sure, it is weighty, but it does have rather refreshing acidity for a white Rhône. Aromatically it is a bit neutral at the moment, though with air a bit exotic floral perfume does begin to show. Slight heat on the finish.

It's ok, but I think a bit more age would do it good - perhaps then the aromatics might flesh out, too, as it is a bit on the neutral side right now.

Pterinopelma sazimai growing up

The tiniest exuvia I've seen, the old moult of a Pterinopelma sazimai.

Here's the Pterinopelma sazimai after it ventured out for a walk. It grew from about 0,5cm to 0,7cm!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Pachnoda marginata peregrina

There's been too much wine stuff here recently so back to invertebrates. Here's a cute Pachnoda marginata peregrina.