October 7, 2011

October's Fancy Tasting

Wine Tasting

Thursday, October 13th

6:00 – 8:00pm

We are asking that you RSVP if you want to attend this tasting. We will be limiting the number of attendees to make this a more intimate tasting – one in which you can truly enjoy the wines and learn about them. We will be closing the store during the tasting so that we are not interrupted.

We are also going to ask you to pick a time to come. The times are 6:00, 6:30, 7:00 and 7:30. We will have a finite number of people at each time slot. We will also have 2 tables for the wines. That way, if you are starting at 6:30, the people that started at 6:00 will either be done or they will be at the 2nd table and you will be at the 1st table.

10% discount on any of the tasting wines you purchase.

If we run out of any wines (we have a lot of wine for the tasting – don’t worry about that), we will have them in the store on Friday, Oct. 14th. If we’ve run out of wines, and you want a case (mixed or full), I’ll deliver it to your home or office.

Without further ado – the tasting wines in the order WE THINK we will be tasting them. We might make adjustments during the tasting as the wines open and develop.

The Wines

The Whites:

Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2007 (France) $78.99 – This offers floral aromas that are similar to Viognier – which is a bit odd because it doesn’t have any Viognier in it. Aromas of flowers, honey, limes and white fruit. Nice minerality. It’s medium- to full-bodied. This just feels beautiful and refined. Vibrant acidity. The Vieux Telégraphe Blanc represents 7% of this estate’s CNP production. It’s a relatively unusual blend of 40% Clairette, 30% Grenache Blanc and the rest is evenly divided between Roussanne and Bourboulenc. 40% sees oak barrels, but the wine isn’t “oaky.” Aged 9 months before bottling. 35 year-old vines. Hand-harvested grapes. Sustainable agriculture. 2000 cases made. Wine Spectator, 93 points; Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points

Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet 2009 (France) $56.99 – This is a golden color that is typical for this appellation. Aromas of pears, vanilla and almonds. It’s long and complex with flavors of yellow stone fruits. Rich and voluptuous. Hand-picked grapes. Naturall yeast fermentation – no yeast is added to the barrels. Fermented in oak barrels and aged sur-lie for 9-10 months in small oak barriques (no more than 40% are new). Sustainable farming. Food pairing – poultry dishes, particularly white meat, veal, fish with delicate sauces.

Kistler Chardonnay Vine Hill 2007 (California) $89.99 – This vineyard Is immediately in front of the winery. This is a big, powerful, masculine Chardonnay. It’s dense. Aromas of peaches and spice, tropical fruit. The texture is also smooth and silky. Excellent minerality. 2007 was a relatively cool growing season – this helped produce crisp acidity. Yields were low in 2007, but the grapes were excellent. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 93-95 points; Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 92 points

The Reds:

Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir 2008 (Oregon) $44.99 – After a couple of Oregon Pinot Noirs showed well in wine competitions, the Drouhin family went to Oregon to see what was happening. They liked the area so much; they bought land and created Domaine Drouhin in the Dundee Hills. In 1988, they produced their first wine from its vineyards. This is a beautiful Pinot with aromas of baking spices, black cherry, cedar, dark berries and more. It’s ripe, spicy, well-balanced. Elegant with a long finish. 2008 was a great vintage in Oregon. Aged in 20% new French oak. Sustainable agriculture. Hand-harvested. This will age well. Drink from 2012 through 2020. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 91 points; Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 91 points

Prunotto Barbaresco 2006 (Italy) $49.99 – The 2006 Barbaresco is a pretty wine. It’s medium-bodied. It has a floral aroma that I love in Nebbiolo. The aromas move on to include smoke, mocha, red fruits and garrigue. It has strong acidity. The tannins are still lively. This has plenty of fruit in its youthful innocence. The fruit will come more to the fore as it ages. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points; Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 90+ points

Marina Cvetic Merlot 2007 (Abruzzo, Italy) Reg. $42.99, Sale $32.99 – The 2006 was THE HIT at our high-end Italian tasting in April! The new vintage is rich & elegant, with both power and finesse! This smells like Abruzzo (according to the winemaker who was here a several months back). Fine tannins and a velvety feel (which, Merlot should have. It has aromas & flavors of dark chocolate, dark berries & a peppery spiciness midway. It’s a deep dark color. 100% Merlot. Aged one year in French oak. Drink 2013-2019. Food pairing – lamb, grilled meat, aged cheeses, game. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points

Licinia Vina de Madrid 2008 (Spain) $57.99 – Brand new to Maine! I first tasted in September at a tasting with the owners of Olé Importers, a fabulous importer of Spanish wines. This is a beautiful wine that impressed everyone at the tasting. Located in the Vinos de Madrid. The winery is in the town of Morata, called “Licinia” during Roman times. In a blind tasting of 200 wines held in early 2009 by a panel of 50 distinguished winemakers, Licinia was named the best red wine in Spain. The 3 proprietors focus on one wine. This is no grand winery with fancy gardens, buildings or tasting rooms. They farm biodynamically. 1,000 cases made. 150 cases imported. I have 2 of them.

This has a wonderful red fruit, black cherry and herbal combination with notes of graphite, smoke, exotic spices and flowers. It’s juicy, almost chewy, and is easy to drink. It’s well-balanced. Some nice spiciness in the flavors to go with savory fruit. This should drink well through 2020 after maturing for another 2-3 years.

Blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Tempranillo. Biodynamic farming. The grapes are hand-harvested and transported in small boxes by refrigerated vans to avoid oxidation. The grapes are kept refrigerated for 48 hours to increase their fresh aromas. Then the best clusters and berries are selected. Fermentation is done at cool temperatures in stainless steel. Then the wine goes into 225-liter barrels where it undergoes malolactic fermentation. Aged for 12 months in 50% new and 50% one-use oak barrels (95% French and 5% American). Batonnage, or stirring of the lees, occurs every during aging. The wine is racked every 3 months. Food pairing – grilled beef, steak, burgers, Indian curry, Tex-Mex. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points; Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 92 points; “Best Red Wine of Spain,” Twice, by Enoforum.

Altesino Brunello 2006 (Italy) $76.99 – One of the first winemakers I met after opening the store was Guido from Altesino. Wonderful guy and great wines. I have standing invite to visit – gotta take him up on that! This is an impressive wine – fresh, balanced and nuanced. Aromas of red cherries, raspberries, flowers, graphite, mocha and dark chocolate. Medium-weight. Flavors of red raspberry, leather, minerals and black cherries. Long finish. This is aged for 36-42 months in large Slovenian oak barrels before bottling. Aged another 6 months in the bottle before release. 100% Sangiovese Grosso. This will drink well through 2020. It might need another year or so of aging. Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 94 points; Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points; Wine Spectator, 91 points

Treana Red Blend 2008 (Paso Robles, California) Reg. $49.99, Sale $42.99 – This is a full-throated red with finesse. The Hope Family has been growing grapes in the Paso area since 1978. This Cabernet-based red is their flagship. The 2008 is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Syrah. It’s aged 10-14 months in French oak (50% new). This has aromas of red cherries, pomegranates and plums. The flavors cover the gamut from figs, chocolate, baking spices, pepper, licorice and black fruit. It’s smooth and long.

Galardi Terra di Lavoro 2008 (Campania, Italy) $89.99 – This is beautiful, big, dark wine. It’s rich and ripe. Aromas and flavors of dark fruit, luxurious leather, minerals, spice, licorice and more. This wine is still quite young. If you age this, you will be rewarded. Terra di Lavoro, first made in 1994, quickly established itself as one of Italy’s cult wines. The Celantano family owns and runs this winery. Famed oenologist Riccardo Cotarella planted the vines for their vineyards ion 1991. The grapes are strictly harvested by ripeness rather than by varietal. This means that sometimes the Aglianico and the Piedirosso are picked and vinified together. This is 80% Aglianico and 20% Piedirosso. Anticipated maturity: The wine is aged on lees for several months in French oak. Cotarella says that Aglianico is a hard grape to take through malolactic fermentation, so the final blend is made before malo. Then the wine goes through a very slow malo, with 80-90% of the wine in stainless steel. After malo, the wine returns to French oak. Without a doubt, the malolactic fermentation in stainless steel contributes to this wines significant freshness and aging potential. 2018-2038. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 97+ points

No comments: