January 20, 2011

January Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting

Friday, Jan. 21st

3:30 – 7:30pm

10% off on all wine tasting wines!

We’ll have Phil McCormack from Mariner Beverages here for the tasting! These are a bunch of great wines for this winter season!

The Whites:

Chateau de Villeneuve Saumur Chenin Blanc 2009 (Loire Valley, France) Reg. $19.99, Sale $15.99 – This is a fabulous Chenin Blanc from an excellent winery. I tasted this with Didier Boutet, the importer, last Fall. We got a great price on this because we pre-bought the wines before the shipment left France. This is dry and clean with nice minerality in the aromas and flavors. This is a nice wine in terms of having good weight and substance. White stone fruits in the flavors. Chateau de Villeneuve is one of the best producers in this wine-making area in the Loire Valley. This property certainly isn’t as well-known as Clos Rougeard, which is run by the esteemed Frères Foucault, but the wines aren’t as expensive, either! Food pairing – shellfish, poultry.

The Guardian Central Coast Chardonnay 2009 (California) $13.99 – This is “sort of” a naked style Chardonnay…..only a small amount of this is sees oak barrels (about 10%)….the winemaker, Kenny Likitprakpong, stops the malolactic fermentation early to reduce how “buttery/creamy” the wine is. This is crisp and clean. The wine is aged on its lees to add weight and texture. The grapes are from 4 vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands and northern Monterey County.

JUNO Arthouse White 2008 (South Africa) $13.99 - Loads of tropical fruit flavors and aromas in this unusual blend from South Africa. Nice length and crisp acidity on the finish. Aromas and flavors of limes (Sauvignon Blanc), tropical fruit (Chenin) and stone fruits (Viognier). Blend of 40% Viognier, 30% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Chenin Blanc. Grapes are destemmed. 40% of the Viognier is aged “sur lie” for 5 months. The rest of the wine is fermented and aged “sur lie” in stainless steel for 4 months. The aging on lees adds a lot of weight and depth to the wine. The oakiness is subtle.

The Reds:

Senda 66 Tempranillo 2008 (Spain) $9.99 - This wine just blew us away when we tasted it! Rich and smooth. Gobs of dark cherry and chocolate flavors and aromas. Notes of vanilla, blackberries, blueberries and baking spices. A “killer wine” at this price! 100% Tempranillo. 50 year-old vines. Bottled unfiltered. Drink now through 2016. Food pairing – a night grilling meats, veggies &/or mushrooms! Lasagna. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 Points

Fattoria Capannacce Rosso della Maremma Toscana Super Tuscan 2006 (Italy) Reg. $21.99, Sale $14.99 – New vintage of an old favorite! Fabulous, big & bold Super Tuscan! Aromas and flavors of cherries, blackberries, cedar, toasted baking spices, mocha and licorice. This is rich and lush. Long finish. This area of Tuscany is considered its "Wild West." It is rugged, arid, lightly populated and its people have an independent spirit. 80% Sangiovese, 10% Syrah, 5% Canaiolo & 5% Grenache. The entire estate only makes 4,000 cases. Food pairing - grilled meats of any kind, roasted lamb or beef, rich mushroom dishes. I like this by itself, but I like really big wines without food!

Domaine Jaume Vinsobres “Altitude 420” 2007 (France) $21.99 –I love Rhône blends and this one is excellent! Aromas of raspberries, cherries, cloves, cinnamon, smoky earthiness, black olives and game. Flavors of dark plums. graphite, leather, black pepper, baking spices and Provencal herbs. Full-bodied. Smooth texture. Ripe, full tannins. Blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah. 4,165 cases made. Food pairing – roasted meats, grilled meats, hearty stews and casseroles. Wine Spectator, 90 Points; Wine Enthusiast, 91 points, “Top 100” in 2010

Guardia Vieja Campo Malbec 2008 (Argentina) $14.99 - This is a fabulous Malbec from one of our favorite importers, Didier Boutet. Well-balanced wine with real nice tannins (they've smoothed out) and dark fruit with notes of mocha and chocolate. This is smooth and rich with bold flavors while still be smooth! 100% Malbec. Aged 12 months in French and American oak barrels. One characteristic of this winery is that they hold wine at the winery until it is ready to drink - so you can pull the cork on this and be confident is has sufficient barrel/tank and bottle aging! Food pairing - steak, beef, lamb, pasta dishes, lasagna, etc. Brand new to Maine!

Torbreck Woodcutter’s Shiraz 2008 (Barossa Valley, Australia) $21.99 - An incredibly AWESOME wine! This is a beautiful blend of old and medium-aged vines from Australia! Drink this relatively young – now through 2017. Spicy, rich aromas of dark berry fruits and cherries, plums, coffee, black pepper & hint of licorice. Flavors of black cherries, anise, roses & peppery spice. Medium-to-full-bodied. Long, smooth, velvety finish. Not tannic. Aged 12 months in old-wood oak “foudres”. Unfined & unfiltered. Food pairing – steak, lamb, pork, etc. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 91 points

The Dessert

Torbreck “The Bothie” Muscat (Barossa Valley, Australia) $21.99 - Unlike a lot of Australian “stickies,” this wine is not a tawny color. It’s a white wine. This has wonderful spicy aromas of honey, melons, limes and white flowers. 100% Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains. Single vineyard. A small amount of distilled spirits are added to the wine to stop fermentation – resulting in a sweeter wine that is perfect at the start of a meal or with dessert. Food pairing – fresh fruit, sorbets, ice cream. Brand new to Maine!

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