And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before The Tavern shouted—“Open, then, the Door! You know how little while we have to stay. And, once departed, may return no more.”
As the current pandemic unfolds, there is no doubt that there are many of us who share the sentiments expressed in these lines from Edward FitzGerald’s translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Shops are shuttered, access denied, and the ephemeral nature of existence, always present but rarely discussed, has come to dominate conversations among people masked and distant. It has also brought to the fore what really matters, also aptly expressed in the poem.
A Book of Verses underneath the Bough, A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou….
And to a great extent that is what this blog is about. Now for the wine.
Rubaiyat Manriki Rouge is produced by Marufuji Winery, Yamanashi Prefecture. The winery was established in 1890. The vintage we tasted was 2017. It is a blend of the following: Tannat (44%), Merlot (44%), Petit Verdot (8%), and Syrah (4%). Some readers may not be familiar with the first variety, so we will provide a little information on it. Tannat is a black grape. Its color is deep, and its tannins and acidity high. Putting Merlot on the seesaw with Tannat was a smart move, indeed. The less aggressive, softer qualities of the grape serve to temper the more aggressive Tannat. Tannat is closely associated with Uruguay today but is becoming better known outside of that country. The fruit used in this wine was 100% sourced from Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan’s preeminent wine region. Only 927 bottles were produced.
Vanilla is clearly evident on the nose, which is a sign of oak aging. The label mentions that it is barrel aged but does not specify the wood. The color is garnet, and legs are obvious and relatively slow moving. The wine is carefully crafted, dry on the palate, with unmistakable black fruit notes, specifically blackcurrants (cassis). We drank it slightly chilled, and none of the flavor components predominated—the acidity, sweetness, and tannins were in harmony. However, towards the end of the tasting, when the temperature of the wine approximated that of the room and with greater exposure to oxygen, the tannins were apparent. The finish was medium.
Recommendation level (out of five stars):
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