August 19, 2009

August Wine Tasting

August Wine AND Cheese Tasting
Freeport Cheese & Wine
Friday, Aug. 21st
178 Lower Main Street, Rte. 1
Freeport, ME 04032

10% off tasting wines - when you buy less than a dozen bottles; bigger discount on some when you buy a dozen or more!

The Wines:

These 3 wines we tasted with Randy from Wicked Wines on day early in July. They really impressed us....the Chardonnay was a major WOW! We're generally not fans of many Chardonnays (too oaky, too overblown, too flabby). We are fans of this!

The winery is located in Navarra in the northeastern corner of Spain - right up against the Atlantic to the north and France and the Pyrenees to the east. The area is semi-arid.

Mix-and-Match a case of the Enanzo wines and take 15% off!

Enanzo Chardonnay 2008 (Navarra, Spain) Reg. $11.99 Sale $10.99 - lush & silky. This shows lots of tropical fruit. It feels viscous and rich. It's aged on lees in new oak barrels for 3 months, but this isn't "oaky" in that heavy "oaky" way. It picks up subtle toasted notes, but they are nicely balanced with the fruit. The wine is just delicious!

Enanzo Rosado 2008 (Navarra, Spain) Reg. $11.99 Sale $10.99 - Grenache-based rose! A little darker than most French roses b/c the juice is left in longer skin contact. This is bright, fresh and has nice acidity. It's smooth and tasty!

Enanzo Tempranillo 2007 (Navarra, Spain) Reg. $11.99 Sale $10.99 - tastes like cherries plucked from the tree. The flavors and aromas are really concentrated in this little winner from Spain! A little smokiness to the wine. The tannins have nice "grip." This is clean, juicy, refreshing and delicious!

90 Plus Cellars Wine Company Wines

I tasted these wines with Randy from Wicked 2-3 weeks ago. Unfortunately, they had sold out. Now they have more. I knew exactly what one of these wines is the moment I tasted it. We've stocked this wine continuously since we opened.

These are the real deal!

This is what 90 Plus Cellars does:

  1. They contact wineries that make highly rated wines;
  2. They offer to buy the exact wine that was highly rated;
  3. They keep the winery's name secret;
  4. They buy and sell the wine at a much lower price;
  5. They pay cash on the barrelhead upfront.
Why would a winery sell off a 90+ rated wine cheaply?

  1. Even in the best of times, not all wine sells;
  2. In this economy, lots of wineries are seeing slower and lower sales;
  3. The winery isn't going to bottle wine that likely won't sell;
  4. This helps clear inventory and brings in cash - letting the winery focus on newer vintages.

90+ Cellars refers to its wines as lots....when a wine is sold out, the Lot # is retired. These wines are in limited supply!

The Wines:

Mix-and-match a case of the "90 Points Cellars" wines and take 15% off!

Lot #2, Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand) 2008 Reg. $19.99, Sale 12.99 - this is the wine I know! One of the best New Zealand wines! Big, pleasing, aromatic nose - lime, tropical fruit, grass, limestone, hot pepper & mint. Great grapefruit, pear and tropical fruit flavors. Long, full finish with a touch of minerals and fruit. Crisp, bracing acidity. Certified sustainable and organic. Biodynamic farming. Stainless steel fermentation. 4 months on lees. Food pairing - Great with seafood, shellfish, lighter meats, etc!

Lot #6, Chardonnay (Barossa Valley, Australia) 2007 Reg. $24.99, Sale 13.99 - this is one of the best and priciest un-oaked Chardonnays in the market. This winemaker has been making this wine for over 20 years. Consistently, year-after-year, this wine is superb! This vintage is no different! The wine shows tropical and stone fruit aromas. Flavors show peaches, pears, a little orange....The wine has gone through some degree of malolactic fermentation - that's what makes the wine buttery and creamy. The creaminess is subtle and complex. That's what I like about this wine - lots of subtle, complex layers. Nice acidity. Good length on the finish.

Lot #7, Malbec Reserva (Mendoza, Argentina) 2007 Reg. 29.99, Sale $14.99 - Big, rich Malbec blend! Deep red color. Aromas of dark berries and black cherries, white pepper and baking spices. Meaty and velvety in terms of texture. Flavors of dark fruit, vanilla and toast. Organic farming. Hand-picked grapes. Vines are 90-to-150 year old vines from France. Aged 15 months in French oak. Blend of 85% Malbec, 8% Tannat, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Syrah.

Lot# 1, Cabernet Sauvignon (McLaren Vale, Australia) 2007 Reg. $23.99, Sale $14.99 - This winery vineyard and winery were created in 1975 and has been producing excellent wines for years. This Cabernet has tons of aromas - black currants, blackberries, plums, leather, cedar and baking spices. Medium-bodied. Nice savory fruit in the flavors with baking spices, dark cherries, dark chocolate and a little pepper. Finer tannins. Nice long finish. This will probably be peaking around 2012-2018. Aged in French and American oak (a mix of 1, 2, 3 and 4-year old oak). The grapes are grown in 4 vineyards.

This last wine is not part of the 90 Plus Cellars's just really, really good!

Tenuta Sant' Antonio Monta Garbi Valpolicella Superior DOC Ripasso 2006 (Italy) $22.99 - The grapes for this Ripasso are crushed immediately after harvesting and undergo a 2nd fermentation on the Amarone skins in January. This adds Amarone-like notes and richness to the wine. It is then aged in French oak barrels for 12 months. The "Slow Food" Italian publication raves over this wine and rates it a great value! Ruby red color. Aromas of red berries and red cherries. Texture is soft and smooth. Spicy finish. Food pairing - pastas with meat sauces, grilled poultry, roasted meats and aged cheeses.

The vines are pruned early in the growing season - reducing the yield and exposing the grape clusters to greater sunshine. The grapes are hand-picked from early Sept. - latter October. Vineyard is at about 1,000 feet. Vines are 20 years old.

Blend of 70% Corvina/Corvinone, 20% Rondinella and 10% Croatina/Oseleta. The wine is stirred in the barrels for the first 9 months - this adds richness and texture to the wine. 15-16 months in 500-litre tonneaux barrels - 30% new and 70% 1 or 2 years old. 12,500 cases made. This will age for 10 years.

The Castagnedi brothers (4 of them) run this winery. Quality is their priority. In the 1980's, the family bought more vineyards (about doubling in size) and dramatically changed its vineyard practices - opting for much higher quality and lower quantity of grapes. The neighboring height is Monta Garbi, which is also the name of this wine and the cellars. In 2001, they poured out their Amarone - it wasn't the quality they demand.

The Cheeses:

Roquefort Crusted Chevre - blue on the outside, but not on the inside. This is a really great summertime cheese! It's fresh, light and delicious! From a goat farm in the Berkshires.

Southcoast Farms Fresh Farmer's Cheese - aka Queso Fresco - think of this as a Buffalo Mozzarella....from cow's milk.

Kilchurn Estate Cave-Aged Cheddar - straight from England! This has a crunchy texture and is sharp and rich and buttery! Hope to see you on Friday!