casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

Day 257 – What Is Your Quadrant?

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quadrantHave you ever been to the Four Corners?  Do you even know what or where the four corners are?  Back in 1990, (BC=Before Children) we made a trip out to the southwestern part of the US–a driving trip where part of the time we spent on the Durango-Silverton Railroad–a narrow gauge train that hugged the mountains between the two cities–and the other part was finding our way to some of the most beautiful parts of the great Southwest.  From Wiki, “The main line of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, now operated by the BNSF Railway, passes along the southern edge of Four Corners. The area is home to remnants of through railroads that are now heritage railways. These include the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. The Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad, which connects a power plant with a coal mine near Kayenta comes near the Four Corners.”  And ultimately, where we stopped (not necessarily a beautiful part) was the Four Corners,

The Four Corners represents the exact intersection of New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Arizona.  If it wasn’t painted in stone and had a monument on it, you’d drive past it like it never existed.  There are so few distinguishing marks in the landscape that if it wasn’t for the homemade staircase where one could ascend to take a picture of the ‘four corners’, then the spot would go nameless, faceless and without fanfare!

Our trip enabled us to not only stop, take pictures and take in the vast emptiness of our surroundings but also the handful of vendors selling jewelry, gum and various artifacts.  A tourist trap you ask?  Yes, to some degree, all that the Four Corners turned out to be was a tourist trap. . .but a fun one at that!  Think about it–you can stand in four states–if stepping foot in all 50 states is on your bucket list, stopping at the four corners, covers almost 10% in one stop!!  For Geography lovers, the fact that the Four Corners represents the only spot in our country where four states’ boundaries simultaneously come together is the stuff that text books are written about!  For those of us with regular jobs, it’s potty stop on the way to somewhere else…just sayin’

Which is why tonight we thought about and found the PERFECT wine!  Yep, we hadn’t really thought much (at all) about the Four Corners until we opened the 2010 Quadrant from Broken Earth Winery in Paso Robles, California.  This is an interesting wine. . .seriously.  The nose was less than spectacular–more like commercial wine than a boutique variety.  Kind of a green pepper meets kerosene nose.  Not the best combination in the world.  BUT, the taste is what caught us off guard–a little sweet, a little smoky, a little sultry–the wine got better and better as it opened up!  This was not what we had expected, but the Quadrant–a blend of Viognier, Syrah, Petite Syrah and Grenache.  An interesting blend made lighter because of the viognier and the grenache–made richer by the syrah and petite syrah.

Grenache, the main grape used in a variety of French blends, brings a delicate fruitiness to this blend. Syrah, who has long been the star of the Rhone Valley, lends its powerhouse combination of color, flavor and tannin structure. Petite Sirah, most often well known for its deep blue-black color, brings a luxurious, velvety texture that will knock your socks off. And finally, Viognier, the highly aromatic white, is the subtle surprise in this blend that, though only a small percentage, uses its charm to pull all the other components together in perfect harmony. The complexity of this wine lends itself well to a multitude of food pairings.  We enjoyed it, but weren’t overwhelmed with it.  A good wine at a decent price, but probably not going to make into the top 20 over 365 days.  Multiple Gold medals from a variety of places in California tells us that people like the blend of grapes.  And, as time goes on, this wine will get better in the bottle. For us, it was worth a try, but we’ll leave it at that!

Just curious how many of you have been to the Four Corners?  Before reading this could you have even named the four states whose borders meet at the corners?  Useless trivia or good geography lessons?  You be the judge as you enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and when you recycle whenever possible.

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