May 17, 2012

Wine Tasting - May 18th

Wine Tasting
Friday, May 18th

Featuring Wines SOPO
(South Portland Wine Company)
That Are Great For This Time of Year!

10% off the price of all tasting wines!

The Wines:

The Whites:

Eola Hills Pinot Gris 2009 (Oregon) $13.99 - An American CLASSIC – perfect for picnics, parties and a host of meals!  This is a wonderful Oregon Pinot Gris!  Crisp.  Dry.  Lovely Granny Smith apple, pear, peach and pineapple fruit aromas and flavors.  A little white pepper and lemon/lime citrus on the finish!  100% estate grown fruit (unusual at this price).  Stainless steel fermentation.  Food pairing – Thanksgiving Dinner!  Great with salmon, Winterpoint Oysters, or grilled or roasted poultry.  Prosciutto.  Scallops.  Both together!

Fuente Elvira Verdejo 2010 (Rueda, Spain) $15.99 - Delicious!  This is a perfectly bright, fresh and crisp wine.  Great value!  Think of this as a Spanish Sauvignon Blanc!  Aromas of nectarines, limes and dried herbs.  Flavors of lemons, limes and green apples.  Subtle smokiness.  Well-balanced & integrated acidity.  Finishes crisp, clean & dry with nice mineral notes.  Rueda is best known for producing dry wines from the Verdejo grape.  This is a great example!  Single vineyard with vines that average 40 years.  Food pairing – AS FOOD FRIENDLY as PINOT BLANC!  Oysters, goat cheeses, poultry dishes, smoked fish, etc.  Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 91

The Rosé:

Domaine Sainte-Eugenie Rosé Corbières 2011 (France) $11.99 – this winery is located just west of the historic wall city of Carcassone in Corbières in the Pyrenées foothills near the Mediterranean coast.  It’s a blend of 80% Cinsault, 10% Grenache and 10% Syrah.  This is classic Southern French rosé – notes of red raspberries, herbs and minerals.  It’s soft, fresh, vibrant and tastes like summer!    Food pairing – lamb, beef, fish.  . 

The Reds:

Poggio Anima Samael Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2009 (Italy) $13.99 - Delicious red from Abruzzo in Italy!  Aromas of dark berries, leather, dark earth, baking spices and Provencal herbs.  Medium-bodied.  Smooth.  Flavors of dark cherries, a little smoke and coriander.  100% Montepulciano.  Hand-harvested and destemmed.  Aged in large, neutral Slavonian oak barrels.  Food pairing – Traditional Italian fare, especially anything with red sauce.  Sustainable Agriculture

Monte Volpe Primo Rosso 2007 (Mendocino County, California) $11.99 – This is a soft, smooth easy-drinking blend from Graziano, a fabulous Zinfandel producer.  Mendocino County winemaking started with Italian immigrants, who brought vines with them from the old country.  This wine pays homage to those immigrants.  It’s a blend of Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Negroamaro, Zinfandel and Carignane.  It’s aged 18 months in American, French and Eastern European oak barrels.  This has great aromas and flavors of ripe blackberries, raspberries and plums.   Very smooth and soft.
Alberti 154 Malbec 2010 (Argentina) $12.99 - This is a rock-solid, tasty Malbec at a great price!  Wonderful aromas and flavors of earth, figs, licorice, dark plums, dark berries and more.  Long, smooth finish and a lush texture.  The tannins are soft and well-integrated.  100% Malbec from a small vineyard.  Aged 6 months in oak.  Gravity-fed winery to more delicately handle the fruit.  Food pairing – steak, grilled meats, lamb.  Wine Spectator, “Top Value”

Prima Toro 2009 (Spain) $19.99 - Delicious, rich, full, smooth wine!  Aromas of black cherries, blackberries, graphite, smoke and baking spices.  Medium to full-bodied.  Lots of depth and length to this wine!  Flavors of dark, dark fruit, dark chocolate, smoke, minerals & more.  Soft tannins.  This is big and lush!  Toro is a wine region comparable to Rioja.  Blend of 90% Tempranillo (called Tinta de Toro in this area) and 10% Garnacha.  Aged 12 months in French and American oak.  You can cellar this through 2016.  Food pairing – steak, lamb, roasts, grilled meats, etc.  Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 90 points

Bodega Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva 2004 (Spain) $28.99 - Delicious wine!  Bright red. Attractive aromas of candied cherry, plum and cedar, with vanilla and clove notes coming up with air. Sweet, open-knit and nicely focused, offering palate-staining red and dark berry flavors and mounting vanilla and cocoa qualities. A musky herbal quality lingers on the long, sweet, sappy finish.  Blend: 88% Tempranillo, 8% Graciano and 4% Mazuelo.  French & American oak barriques.  Food pairing –  There's a decadent quality to this wine that calls for lamb or a piece of dry-aged steak.  Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 90 points

New Beers - Dogfish, Green Flash and Sixpoint

New Beers

Dogfish Head Chicory Stout (Delaware) $7.99/4-pack – Dogfish 1st brewed this in 1995.  It’s their seasonal stout.  It just landed in Maine about a month ago.  Definite aromas and flavors of dark stuff – chocolate, coffee, chicory and subtle licorice.  This is a really good stout!  It’s made from roasted malt, oatmeal, chicory, coffee, St. John’s Wort and licorice root.  5.2% alcohol.  Food pairing – grilled chicken, barbecue, shellfish, sushi, smoked fish and chocolate., 96 points

Dogfish Head Saison du Buff (Delaware) $9.59/4-pack, $3.49/bottle – This is a collaboration beer brewed at Dogfish by Dogfish, Stone and Victory.  The idea has been to brew it 3 times – once at each brewery – following the exact same recipe.  This was first done in 2010 and has been repeated in 2012.  The 3 breweries formed the BUFF alliance (Brewers United for Freedom of Flavor).  It’s an ale brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.  This has very herbal aromas.  In terms of flavors, the herbs are much more subtle, led mostly by the rosemary and parsley.  Some lemon in the aromas and flavors.  This pours with a nice white head atop a golden, clear ale.  6.8% alcohol., 95 points

Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA (Delaware) $8.29/bottle – This comes in a 750ml bottle – same size and heft as a sparkling wine bottle.  This is a blend of Dogfish’s two favorite beers – the 60 and 90 minute IPA’s……plus some maple syrup.  It naturally carbonates in the bottle.  This has a soft, velvety mouth feel.  It’s dry-hopped with whole-leaf Cascade hops – this gives the beer a pronounced hoppy aroma.  This has a nice richness to it.  It’s quite complex and unusual.  The bottle conditioning leaves it with great bubbles and it pours nice leaving a great head in the bottle.  Aromas of herbs, fresh bread, lemony citrus, hops, peppery spice……it’s dry…..with some notes of citrus, fresh bread, honey and good hoppiness without going over the top on the hops.  7.5% alcohol.  Food pairing – burgers, grilled meat, guacamole., 99 points

Hop-heads – you’ll love these next beers!

Green Flash Brewing West Coast IPA (San Diego) $10.99/4-pack – This is a HOPPY beer, but it’s still balanced and delicious.  Simcoe hops for fruitiness and grapefruit zest, Columbus for hoppy aromas, Centennial for pine and citrus character and cascade for floral aromas.  This is a big, full-of-flavor beer!  The maltiness is there, but it is more than balanced out by the big hop aromas and flavors.  As big as it is, it’s smooth.  Aromas of pine needles, lemon and grapefruit citrus, hops, freshly mown grass, 7.3% alcohol.  IBU’s: 95., 99 points

Green Flash Brewing Imperial IPA (San Diego) $6.49/bottle (22 oz bottle)   A quintessential San Diego-style IPA – high in alcohol and high in hops, but still quaffable…..goes down dangerously smooth for a 9.4% alcohol beer!  This has nice hoppy, pine needle, lemongrass and fresh bread aromas.  It has great malty, hoppy, grapefruit/lemon zest flavors throughout.  Blend of Summit and Nugget hops.   9.4% alcohol.  IBU’s: 101., 99 points

Sixpoint Brewery Bengali Tiger IPA (Brooklyn) $8.99/4-pack – This is definitely more of an old school English IPA.  It’s hoppy, but the big malt foundation is right their as well giving it a real full-bodied and rich flavor and feel.

This comes in a can.  Sixpoint only puts their beers in cans and kegs.  Why?

  1. Beer has 2 big enemies.  Air and light.  Cans eliminate both.  The modern can is a better way to package beer than a bottle,
  2. Cans are lighter. 
  3. More beer fits on a truck in cans than does in bottles.
  4. Less cardboard used in packaging.

They use three different hop strains.  They also use a massive amount of East Kent Goldings hops to dry hop the IPA in the conditioning tanks.  The result is you get some BOUNTIFUL hop aromas in the ol’ nose with each sip!  6.4% alcohol.  Aromas of pine needles, lemon citrus, grapefruit zest, fresh bread and earth.   Nice hoppy, malty flavors.  Not sweet malty, but toasted caramel malt.  IBU’s: 62., 94 points