Oh what joy in the open air freely to breath again

Well thank you for that Fidelio. And for those of you who are not familiar with Fidelio, first performed around 1805, it happens to be L.V.B’.s only opera and personally a favorite of mine. Fidelio is a life long hobby for me, and I reckon well worth pursuing, a bit like Chateau Musar white.

Now, onto current news and vinous importances as of course that is our main task at hand here. Today, we are nearly in mid-May 2020, and entering more of an autumnal recipe down here in the bottom of the world, albeit C19 being Le Chef de Cuisine who no one really wants in their kitchen. I have spent the last 60+ days, as we have all done so in this city, quarantined up to the hilt. Can I remind you that we were all told back at the beginning of March, or was it at the end of February this year, that there was a flu-bug going around the world and to remember to wash our hands well when we get home (sorry! but don`t we all do that anyway Matron!). Then we were told, in fact I believe since Thursday 19th March, to stay indoors `whatever you do` and if you do need to venture outside for an emergency to always use a surgical mask, and by the way if you don`t use one the city police force will fine you ($8.000pesos) and remove you to a prison somewhere, which is definitely not to be the beach on the banks of the river Plate, where we can all walk on the stones and sand, breath fresh air and be well. I should also point out that 19th March this year was actually ‘International Earth Day’. The irony there is extraordinary eh! So going from one extreme to another, and then last night I just heard that we have here another 14+ days extended quarantine, and no one can leave or enter this unfair-republic until 1st September`20. Well, thank you for nothing mister President Alberto Fernandez, except for invoking a tremendous amount of totally unnecessary fear into the dear hearts and minds of these lovely Argi-peoples, who do have already tendencies of paranoical, hypertense, over-reactive and hysterical reactions, when it comes to even a whiffy of something out of the norm, especially when it invokes a slight whiff of fear.

But, there is good news, oh yippee! yippee yeah!! Yes more days to finish unfinished books, and also to finish, actually, editing my own and god forbid anyone who actually wants to read it (RRP £19.99+P&P). I also discovered that there were bottles of wine in the cupboard here, that I did not even know that I had, but found them in a clear out over the weekend, including six bottles of the now famous 2008 Oro Verde ‘Vin de Garage’, Luxury made by my own hands and which is now back in stock @ £35+VAT per bottle. So as we all count down the next 2 weeks+ to the end of our being told what to do next, I must admit that I am going to miss, a lot, Ronan Sayburn’s MS’s daily wine Zoombusters from 67 PM. A real life-saver down here, and well done to all his team on that one. It was only yesterday that we had Herr Jasper M MW’s rendition on whether in Burgundy the use of Penduncolo Rosso, vine stalks! in red Burgundy production makes a difference or not.  And who follows the vine stalk method and who doesn`t. Totally professional, fascinating and 100% educational, as was today’s Heidi Manikin MW on Austria, and Monday’s Señorita Ortas, winemaker, live from Chile on her Emiliana Biodynamic bodega. Goodness, I used to knock back their Coram red blend, willy-nilly, by the litre when I could get my hands on it. And one afternoon, on the screen, up pops Wink Lorch, bless her, not only on the Jura but then again, a bit later on the Savoie. I am now pretty much clued up on both, thanks a lot Wink! We had Demetri Waters MW throwing so much light on the wines of Madeira and Oporto, two separate classes, that not only am I now hunting down various of his recommendations, but I will eventually plan a long overdue trip to the island soon, when travel funds appear again of course. See you there!

The book: Three Wines in a Bottle (to say nothing of the barrel)  –  WP Hancock (2019) .. reviews follow shortly, I guess.

As for business, well you and I, and all and sundry are in the same boat on that one, and things we know are just not going right at all. I don`t follow the press that much, I still don’t have a TV thank god, and these days as you and I know it`s mainly all harmful, negative nonsense and I am still not really sure that locking up the world from a bug for a few months is at all wise, but they`ve done it, and we have all filed in like good school children waiting for the annual booster jab. I believe we need to live well, that is the purpose of life as a human being, and these last months have not been about living well at all! Mister Boris and Señor Alberto, you should both be ashamed of yourselves. It was only less than 75 years ago that Herr Herman Goering mentioned in passing that “of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked from outside, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.” Personally, I do not see much difference in the recent actions and decision makings of Bojo and other world leaders? politicians? today. Really awful the lot of them.

I began this year with B as my favorite letter in the alphabet. Boris started it, and he is still on the list but not at the top anymore, having dragged us all into this stupid nonsense, I really thought he was better than that. Then there was another B, B for Beethoven (L.V.B.) and his 250th anniversary, then there is B for Bordeaux and also Burgundy, that I still believe could very well still save the day, for all of us that is. Drink up now! Even a little Blaufränkisch from Burgenland, el Biblo and of course a sip or two of Bonarda Tinto all make these days so much more possible and interesting than the dam lies, those dam lies that we are all being fed daily. Bestiality, Bollocks, Broke and Boliticians we definitly do not need, and B for Bloody hell to the lot of them. So the B word has become the norm at home I afraid for now, and I will patiently wait for bloody B-oris to finish his Bojo-lais and I will wait for acidic Alberto to finish his Alb-arino, but please can you both stop peeing down the back of my neck and telling me that it’s raining. Enough said!

Wine news! and a dam good wine at that. Weingut Moric`s 2016 Blaufränkisch from Burgenland (Austria) has been my big, and most welcome surprise red over the last weeks. If you have not tried it yet, you must. I jotted down some notes whilst enjoying a bottle (75cl) with my lunch the other day. It was 2 o`clock on Friday last, and I clicked onto the 67 PM Zoombuster wine tasting of the day, and low and behold the dulcet tones of Heidi Manikin MW came through the airwaves, on the screen and all the way from nowhere less than Helsinki. Yes, Finland! She was introduced by Ronan, the host in London, and Heidi’s virtual wine presentation began. Ronan said, ”today we are going to look at the wines of Austria and over to you Heidi”. I nearly fell off my chair, glass of Blaufränkisch in hand. Here I am having lunch at home in quiet central Buenos Aires, and there is Ronan at his home in London, and then there’s Heidi in her home in Finland. She is giving us all some detailed history of the vineyards of Austria and with maps, then explaining so patiently where the various Weingut are, and of course MW thoughts on the wines that they were tasting on the day. Three Austrian whites and three Austrian reds. And blow me down with a feather, the last red on her list is exactly the same red, and the same vintage as the wine that I am drinking with my lunch ‘live! Moric`s Blaufränkisch 2016. This was a coincidence that goes well beyond the norm. So to recap a bit, Ronan S sitting in London who also has a glass of the same wine & vintage in front of him as me, as does Heidi in Helsinki. Incredible! I have never felt so ‘internationalist’ in my life. So you doom buggers/busters out there, please put all that in your non-capitalist, anti-globalist, nationalist pipes and give ’em a dam good puffin`. The idea of sharing a glass of wine, virtually and spontaneously over how many continents, well at least two hemispheres was enough, but I really don`t know, and yet it really blew me away. One of the benefits of being told to stay at home I guess…I feel so wonderful!

Weingut Moric Blaufränkisch 2016 from Burgenland (Austria) @ £49.00 per magnum + VAT/delivery (Very limited availability)

Roland Velich is a master of Blaufränkisch and his single-vineyard wines come from the Mittelburgenland. Even this basic Moric bottling is exciting. The nose shows opulent black fruits; blueberries steeped in vanilla, though he uses no new oak. Ripe and almost sweet, this is balanced by acidity that gives a slight sharpness to the palate. Red fruits on the finish, which is intense and long.The grapes are sourced from Lutzmannsburg (80%), Zagersdorf (15%) and the Ruster Hügelland (5%). Pure, fresh and floral on a spicy-fruity nose, this is a charmingly elegant, crisp and pure Blaufränkisch with good grip and tension. It’s lightly complex but is full of joy and stimulating freshness.  And if I left out the aromas of violet and cherry blossom that lead to flavors of concentrated red plum and dark cherry, then there it is. Touches of chocolate orange lengthen out nicely on the mouthwatering finish. Three sets of tasting notes in one. Who needs more!!

Mir ist so wunderbar!