April 29, 2007

Wine Tasting with a Master Sommelier and Fran Kysela Wines!

An Evening with a Master Sommelier

The Tasting
Wednesday, April 25th
Azure Cafe
Main Street, Freeport
(if you can't be there right at 5:30, don't worry....show up when you can)

The Wines
We are thrilled about this event.

The tasting not only features wines from one of the best importers of wines in the United States, Fran Kysela Pere et Fils, the tasting features Robert Jones, Master Sommelier.

Robert is one of only 82 Master Sommeliers in the US. He's forgotten more about wine than I know. At the same time, he is down to earth, fun, friendly and informative. When I called Jonas at Azure to see if we could host the tasting at his restaurant, he leapt at the chance (he's spent time tasting wines with Robert before)!

If you really want to learn about wine, this tasting is the place to be!

The wines we will taste are relatively new to Maine. The distributor is one of the new "little" guys in Maine - David Joseph of DaVine Wines.

We will taste 9 wines.
The wines are:

The Sparkling:

Thorn-Clarke NV Sparkling Brut (Australia) $17.99 - This is a superb sparkling wine from Australia! As Stephen Tanzer of of International Wine Cellar puts it, this "smokes many Champagnes...at less than half the price!" Crisp and smooth. Aromas of fresh bread, yeast, nuts, red berries and minerals. Flavors of peaches, pears, minerals, tropical fruits such as kiwi and guava. Crisp acidity. Delicious! Blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. Food pairing - excellent as a cocktail wine or for toasting! Serve with lobster, shellfish, fish, poultry, etc. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 89 points; Stephen Tanzer, IWC, 88 points

The Whites:

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 - With a Master Sommelier on hand, we had to head to Alsace! 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!

Guillemot-Michel* Macon-Villages Burgundy 2004 (France) $29.99 - Excellent Chardonnay from a great vintage! Wondeful aromas of minerals, honey, lemon & freshly mown grass. Flavors of lemon, honey and minerals! Crisp, clean and fresh finish that lasts! This estate is one of the best in Macon and it is one of the leaders in bringing about the emergence of Macon as a top-quality producing area (the cool thing about wines from Macon, though, is they are still from Macon and that area really doesn't have much cache to its name, so you are getting a lot of bang for your hard-earned buck!). Biodynamic and organic producer*. 100% malolactic fermentation so it is creamy and buttery, but it retains its crispness and vibrancy because it is fermented in stainless steel rather than oak. 100% Chardonnay. Food pairing - roasted poultry, lobster, baked trout, salmon, tuna, crab cakes, etc.
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points

The Reds:

Domaine de Regusse Pinot Noir VDP des Alpes de Haute Provence 2005 (France) $12.99 - A wonderful Pinot Noir and a great value! Rich, smooth and supple in the mouth. Dominated by blackberry, cherry and raspberry fruit with the hints of earthiness in good Pinot Noir that I love! This has a soft finish and nice length on the finish. 100% Pinot Noir aged in oak barrels. Food pairing - perfect match for grilled or roasted meats, fresh game, robust mushroom dishes and more.

Solarce Rioja Crianza 2001 (Spain) $15.99* - This is a wonderful Rioja with some nice age on it! Aromas of black cherries, plums, vanilla, oak and pepper. Soft texture. Flavors of dark fruit, a little earth and spice. Nice length on the finish. Medium-bodied. Dusty, soft tannins on the finish. This is one of the few totally organic* wineries in Rioja...it is run by the founder's daughter, Alicia Rojas. Blend of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo. Aged 12 months in American oak barrels. Food pairing - roasted meats, meat-based tapas, mushroom dishes.

Thorn-Clarke Milton Park Shiraz 2006 (Australia) $12.99 - The 2005 vintage sold-out in Maine as soon as Robert Parker dropped 90 points on it! The 2006 vintage just arrived in Maine....it's a blend of 86.5% Shiraz, 6% Nebbiolo, 4.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot. This has loads of dark berry and black cherry fruit with hints of licorice and oak...this is rich, lush & full-bodied. This is a "drink now" wine that will last well for another 2-3 years. Food pairing - great for a day grilling! Drinks well on its own!

Alain Jaume "Clos de Sixte" Lirac Rouge 2004 (France) $23.99 - This is a beautifully elegant wine from Lirac from one of the best winemakers in Chateauneuf-du-Pape! Aromas & flavors of red & dark berry fruit, baking spices, peppery spice and more. Hints of licorice & vanilla on the finish. Well-balanced tannins. Blend of 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah & 15% Mourvèdre. 2004 is an outstanding vintage from Southern France! Food pairing - meats, meat dishes, mushroom dishes, robust vegetarian dishes, etc.
Wine Enthusiast, 89 points; Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 88-90 points

The Dessert:
Kerisac Sparkling Cider NV (France) $11.99 - This is awesome! Northern France (Normandy and Brittany) are renowned producers of sparkling ciders. This cider is light and low in alcohol (only 2.5%). It's a blend of 5 apples - each is chosen for its flavor profile: Kermerien (bitter), Bedan (sweet), Douce-Moen (bittersweet), Petit Jaune and Avrolles (both for their acidity). Food pairing - Refreshing and fruity, this is ideal as a cocktail wine and excellent with fruit desserts, sorbets, etc. Sparkling ciders are great wines for warm days!