April 29, 2007

Wine Tasting with Kysela Imports

Wine Tasting!
Saturday, April 28th

We are featuring wines from one of America's top importers - Fran Kysela!

Robert Parker says of Fran Kysela, "one of the finest palates and selectors of top wine!"

Many of you have heard me tout the merits of different importers and advise you to look on the back of a bottle of wine to learn who the importer is. If you want to experiment and try something new, find a couple of top-notch importers whose wines you generally like. Then, look for wines imported by those importers. It's a safe way to try something new!

Fran Kysela should be one of those importers you seek!

The Wines

The theme - great wines for warmer weather! It's time to grill and relax!

The Sparkling:

Mont Marcal Cava Reserva Brut 2003 (Spain) $13.99 - This is a delicious sparkling wine! Aromas and flavors of limes, lemons, white cherries, nuts, minerals. Clean & dry finish! Estate-grown and estate-bottled. The "dosage" is added to this wine right before it is shipped - so it is extraordinarily "fresh" in the mouth. Blend of Xarello, Parellada and Macabeo. Aged 24 months on lees, adding richness. Food pairing - This pairs well with seafood and spicy foods. Drinks great on its own! Wine & Spirits, 90 points

The Whites:

Domaine Laurent Miguel Chardonnay Viognier 2005 (France) $11.99 - I love Chardonnay-Viognier blends....the Viognier adds such nice floral and tropical fruit characteristics to the wine! This is delicious! Aromas and flavors of apricots, lemons, minerals and almonds. 65% Chardonnay and 35% Viognier. 7% is aged in oak barrels. Sustainable agriculture. Food pairing - great as a cocktail wine on its own! Enjoy with seafood or poultry dishes.

Hugues Beaulieu Cave de Pomerols Picpoul-de-Pinet 2005 (France) $11.99 - Just a tremendous wine! Picpoul is often called "the Muscadet of the South" in France. Wonderful on warmer days as we hade for summer! Great with shellfish, lobster and seafood! Aromas of fresh bread, yeast, nuts, red berries and minerals. Flavors of tropical fruit, pear, apple and lime. Crisp acidity. Hints of spice on the finish. Food pairing - Drinks well on its own! Perfect with shellfish, lobster and seafood. Wine Spectator, 87 points, "Best Value"

Wolfberger Edelzwicker 2005 (France) $14.99 - This is a good tasting blend from Alsace and given that it is in a one Liter bottle (1/3 more wine), an even better value! Aromas of almonds, walnuts, minerals & citrus fruit. Flavors of fresh lemons, grass, minerals and a hint of spice. Blend of Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat, Sylvancer and Chasselas. Each of the grape varietals is picked individually (early-mid October). Food pairing - fresh salads, smoked fish, freshwater fish, shellfish, seafood, ham and more! Drinks well on its own!

The Reds:

Tres Ojos Calatayud Old Vines Garnacha 2005 (Spain) Reg. $9.99 Sale $8.99 - Tasty! Tasty! Tasty! And a great value to boot! Pretty brick red color. Aromas of red berries, cherries, leather, spice and pepper. Loads of juicy red berry fruit (cherries, raspberries, strawberries) in the flavors. Well-balanced acidity. Soft tannins at the finish that are almost, but not quite grainy (this is a pleasant feel). 100% old-vine (40-50-year-old vines) Grenache. Aged 12 months in stainless steel. Food pairing - Drinks well on its own. Great with grilled meats, sausages, harder cheeses.

Thorn-Clarke Milton Park Shiraz 2006 (Australia) $12.99 - The The 2005 vintage sold-out in Maine as soon as Robert Parker dropped 90 points on it! The 2006 vintage just arrived in Maine. The 2006 is every bit as good as the 2005! Loads of dark berry and black cherry fruit with hints of licorice and oak in the aromas and flavors...these are rich, lush, full-bodied wines that should be drunk now. It's a blend of 86.5% Shiraz, 6% Nebbiolo, 4.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot. Food pairing - great for a day grilling! Drinks well on its own!

Maipe Malbec 2005 (Argentina) Reg. $12.99 Sale $11.99 - This is an excellent wine and a great value! I had the opportunity to taste this on Wednesday and Thursday. The 1st time the wine showed lots of depth and complexity even though it had been open for hours! The 2nd time it had just been opened and was easy AND good drinking right off the bat! Aromas and flavors of flowers, ripe figs, dark berry fruit and more! Soft, integrated tannins. Nice length on the finish! Brand new to Maine! Food pairing - drinks well on its own. Great with roasted and grilled meats, dishes with Provencal herbs, rich pasta dishes, etc.

Thorne-Clarke Shotfire Ridge Shiraz 2005 (Australia) $22.99 - This is a big, beautiful Barossa Shiraz! Full-bodied with huge flavors & aromas & it is elegant! Aromas & flavors of plums, cinnamon, dark chocolate, spicy oak, berry fruit & more! Just a mouthful of wine! Velvety, creamy & rich feel. Long finish. Soft, smooth tannins. If you are looking for a special wine to set aside for a few years, this will age well for 7-10 years....and it drinks great right now! Aged in a combination of new and old oak barrels (40% new, both French and American). Brand new to Maine! Food pairing - steaks, lamb, big meals. Drinks GREAT on its own! Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 92 Points; Wine Spectator, 92 points, "SMART BUY"

The Dessert:

Toro Albala La Noria* Pedro Ximenez 2003 (Spain) $22.99 - Superb dessert wine! Aromas and flavors of figs, caramel and toffee. Viscous, smooth, exotic texture! Nice acidity that keeps this sweet wine from being syrupy or cloying. Single vineyard. Organic winery. From the Montilla-Moriles region. Unfiltered. This will keep after opening for a month. Food pairing - great as a dessert wine...I'd pair it with a cheese course, but it will work well with a sweeter dessert. Serve COLD!
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points