The 2005 Kutman Ipsala

This week we’re diverting from Suvla. Largely because I saw a bottle of wine at Carrefour last week that I don’t recall having seen before. The Kutman Ipsala Gamay – Cabernet from 2005.

Gamay is about the only wine for which I will forgive the French. In fact I was fairly well set on making France a parking lot for Europe or giving it to Germany after I take over the world; but my friend L pleaded for it. She gets France and Ireland and my interference in her rule will be minimal. Ish. But I digress.

At 38TL the Kutman Ipsala is right around the price point I have come to grudgingly accept as the minimal amount for quality wine here. *Sob* I miss Trader Joe’s.

From the gorgeous purply red color to the smooth finish, this Kutman Ipsala was a winner. The nose was what I would expect from a Cabernet; pepper/spice and red fruits. The spice was also the first thing I got on the palate; almost overwhelmingly so. Then, after I sat for a bit mulling through the tannins the fruit flavors make themselves known: raspberry, grape*, maybe a little plum.

The label did not specify what the blend percentages are; but the very dry, acidic, and medium tannins make me want to say that, whatever the percentages, the Cabernet is the dominant grape.

This paired nicely with both Parmesan and cheddar. Despite the French origin of the grapes I felt tempted to treat the Kutman Ipsala more like an Italian wine. It had all the bigness I associate with a lot of Italian reds and I I don’t think you’d go wrong pairing it with the same foods as you would an Italian.

I love cheese. Almost all of them really but cheddar remains my favorite. Specifically proper white, sharp cheddar. Which I could buy here if I wanted to sell my kidney or something to pay for it. So when L and I found a cheese booth at a Christmas craft fair in Inverness I was, needless to say, excited. Possibly a little too excited. L said you could see the vendor’s demeanor change from ‘friendly salesman’ to ‘oh dear this person could be dangerous; no sudden moves now’.

I must admit my excitement over hand crafted cheddar likely seems disproportionate when you don’t know that I live in a cheddarless desert. My Montgomery Burns plotting glee combined with my back injury and consequently odd posture and semi permanent grimace of pain did probably send the wrong message. After sampling several marvelous cheddars L and I both bought three (at 3 of 10 GBP). I got: sharp, caramelized onion, and garlic chive. I now regret not getting the chili as well.

I heartily recommend Damn Fine Cheese if you’re in an area where it’s sold or can be shipped to you.

*I know it seems odd to cite grape here. Wine is (usually) made out of grapes. But how often do you hear or read a wine description that actually mentions the flavor? Not often at all. Gamay is known to be a little grapey though.

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