February 19, 2009

February 2009 Wine Tasting

Wine and Cheese Tasting
Freeport Cheese & Wine
Friday, Feb. 20th

We'll have Mary Bridge from Winebow and Art Gonyea from National Distributors (which sells the Winebow wines in Maine). We have sold Winebow wines since we opened - focusing on their superb Italian portfolio. For this tasting, we are looking at their equally wonderful wines from Spain, Chile and Argentina.

For the cheeses, we'll have Christine Dupuy. Her father owns a cheese and meats company in Maine, Nova Foods. We'll be tasting some handmade cheese spreads from Cafe Miranda in Rockland! Maine-made - need to help keep dollars in Maine in this economy!

The Wines

The Whites

Monjardin Chardonnay 2007 (Spain) $14.99 - Tasty...yummy....a big "Wow!"! This is a fresh, crisp, clean wine. Completely unoaked. No malolactic fermentation...preserving the freshness of the grapes. Wonderful pear and apple fruit aromas & flavors. Interesting floral notes in the nose. The grapes are night-harvested to preserve the delicate fruit and firmness of the grapes. Less than 3,000 cases made. Single vineyard fruit. Food pairing - Great for sipping…excellent with seafood, salads and lighter foods. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 87 Points

Terrenoble Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (Chile) $9.99 - Wonderful tropical fruits - more pineapple and mango than citrus. Crisp. Clean. Really nice wine! 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Stainless steel fermentation. Aged 3 months in stainless steel and 3 months in the bottle. Food pairing - fish, seafood, etc. Great as a cocktail wine - which means it drinks well without food!

Licia Albarino Estate 2007 (Spain) $17.99 - Great value in an Albarino! Flavors and aromas of green apples, minerals and honey. Hints of lemon on the finish. 100% Albarino. Stainless steel fermentation. Food pairings – shellfish, seafood, chicken.

The Reds

Almira Los Dos Grenache/Syrah "Campo de Borja" 2007 (Spain) $8.99 - This is a 3-star...may be a 4-star, WOOOOEEEE!!!! wine...we were guessing $12-14 when we tasted it. This is fun, complex & tasty. Soft in the mouth. Soft tannins. Wonderful red & dark berry fruit. It gets even better tomorrow, so don’t hesitate to open it when you want a glass or two. It's 93% Garnacha & 7% Syrah from old-vine grapes. The Syrah adds ripe strawberries to the nose & flavors. The wine has what the Spanish call, "Soto bosque" = forest floor herbs. Unoaked. This is a great wine for a party, whether you are having food with it or not. Food pairing - Great with grilled poultry, roasted pork or poultry.

Nieto Senetiner Malbec 2006 (Argentina) $12.99 - The winemaking consultant for this wine is Italy's legendary winemaker, Alberton Antonini. This is a big rich Malbec - lots of plums, figs and dried fruit. Full-bodied. Definite notes of vanilla. Aged one year in French oak barrels and 6 months in the bottle. Food pairing - lamb, steak, beef or lamb stews.

Rioja Vega - this winery dates to 1882. It's old enough that it pre-dates the formation of the D.O., Rioja. So, it is able to use Rioja in the name of the winery. We are trying two Riojas - a Joven (or younger Rioja) and a Crianza (refers to being aged in oak for a certain regulated minimum time and then in the bottle). This is a great opportunity to compare and contrast 2 styles of a similar wine!

Rioja Vega Joven 2007 (Spain) $9.99 - Fresh, young ripe fruit! Jovens are meant to drink young & easy - and this does! Nice structure and balance! Aromas and flavors of cherries, strawberries and a little earthy mushroomishness on the finish! Blend of mostly Tempranillo (90%) with a little Garnacha. Fermented in stainless steel tanks. Minimally aged before the winery releases this wine - this is meant to drink young! Food pairing - grilled chicken, pasta dishes, great for a party!

Rioja Vega Crianza 2005 (Spain) $14.99 – Wonderful, classic Rioja! Aromas of baking spices, currants, red berries & black raspberries. Medium-bodied and soft - this is how I think Rioja should be - more about elegance and less about power. Blend of 50% Tempranillo, 25% Mazuelo and 25% Garnacha. Aged 12 months in 4th use oak barrels and then 6 months in the bottle. This will drink well for 5-6 years. Food pairing - poultry, pork, mushrooms, etc.

Terranoble Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (Chile) $13.99 - Wonderful rich texture and fullness to this wine! Red berries, smoke, chocolate and ripe fruit dominate the aromas and flavors. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged 8 months in 50% new and 50% used oak barrels and for 9 months and then 8 months in the bottle. 5,500 cases made. Food pairing - red meat, duck, pork or venison.

Anima Negra AN2 2005 (Mallorca, Spain) $24.99 – This is a great story! Three young men from Mallorca revolutionized the winemaking on Mallorca focusing on the indigenous grapes found on the island. They contracted with 135 tiny vineyards to acquire the rights to vines that are 50-to-85 years old! Then, they started making outstanding wines! This is their "entry-level" wine.

Beautiful, big rich Spanish red! Aromas of toast, baking spices, raspberries and black cherries! Silky, elegant texture. Long, long finish. Blend of 65% Callet, 20% Mantonegre-Fogoneu and 15% Syrah. Aged 12 months in 70% new French and American oak. This will drink well for 4-6 years. Food pairing - beef, steak, lamb, etc. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 91 Points

The Cheeses:

  1. Roasted Sweet Red Pepper Davesin Cheese - It's a dip! It's spreadable! It's makes a great grilled cheese sandwich! Or, on a steak!
  2. Fire Roasted Garlic Davesin Cheese - It's a dip! It's spreadable! It's makes a great grilled cheese sandwich! Or, on a steak!
  3. The Original Davesin Cheese - Think handmade Borusin - herbs & garlic! It's a dip! It's spreadable! It's makes a great grilled cheese sandwich! Or, on a steak!
  4. Et Tu Brutus "Kills A Caesar" Creamy Romano Cheese, Garlic & Basil Dressing & Dip - great on a salad, bread or a spoon!