Monday, March 30, 2009

Shall I Review Some Wines?

The fun part of sommelier class is the tastings, of course! So here are a few that I have tried throughout the weeks and my picks of the litter:

Week One: 
1996 Etude Pinot Noir- aged, and absolutely smooth. This wine was thought to have been over the hill, but it certainly was not! It probably could have held out for another year in the bottle, but personally, I'm glad we got to drink it! Brick red in color, typical of older pinots, light, and easy to drink.

Week Two:
2004 Sbragia Cabernet Sauvignon- I'm not a big cab drinker, but this was a very nice wine. I would bring this to a nice dinner party, provided they are serving a red meat or hearty meal. It's big, but not overpowering. California grapes, so I would have expected it to be high alcohol content and really big bodied, but I would say it was closer to a medium bodied wine. 
2007 Rosemont Treminer Riesling- Australian. A very dry wine, what most people do not expect out of a riesling. This is not your typical dessert wine! I could see myself drinking this on a hot day, maybe with a light lunch. 

Week Four: We sampled eight wines and then took a test this week! I just about sloshed out of there. 
2007 Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz- Holy cow! This wine has a 16.5% alcohol content! We weren't sure how they got the ALC so high naturally. And to top it off, there is a hint of residual sugar, which is very uncommon in wines that hot. I think this is the highest ALC I've ever had. Aside from that, there are heavy notes of pepper, some of which may be attributed to how hot the wine is. Actually very good. This would HAVE to go with a very rich meat, venison, or lamb, or other big game. It would go well with a lamb stew. Do not pair with anything spicy. Be careful- two glasses and you'll be on the floor!
2003 Pesquera Tempranillo- ah, my favourite grape! This Spanish wine was delicious! Lots of tobacco on the nose and the palate. Plenty of spiciness, but a smooth finish. I would probably pair this with pork or tapas. You would need a cheese like manchego or a cheddar to off-set this wine. And a modest 13.5%! 
2004 Marques de Murrieta Rioja- Another lovely Spanish wine! Lots of leather in this one, some minerality, and definitely tastes like an old world wine. Medium bodied and very easy to drink. Again, I would pair this with some delicious jamon serrano and other cured meats. The fattier or saltier the meat, the better. The acidity will cut right through.
2001 Cogno Borolo- Wow, this wine was good. Lots of tar and roses on the nose. That may sound bad, but actually very nice. Very smooth and aging nicely. Goes for a reasonable $32 per bottle. But better yet, is the 1999 vintage we tried next! A little more tar on the nose and even smoother! Both of those could have stayed in the bottle for another five years and been just as amazing, if not  better! 

Aside from class, I've picked up a few other bottles along the way:

2007 Ludovicus Red Wine- From the Spanish vineyard Cellar PiƱol. This wine is almost identical to Times Ten's Cathedral Mountain Spanish blend. Except, this one has more granache than tempranillo grapes, and ours is the other way around. Very jammy, lots of raspberry up front, and a spicy finish. I would definitely drink this with pizza and on summer evenings. When you want a red, but don't want to feel heavy and hot after drinking it, Tempranillo and Grenache are the way to go. Best part about it? Only $10.95 at Central Market. What a steal!
Brumale Cabernet Sauvignon- We went to Arcodoro for Chad's 30th birthday dinner and picked this beauty off of their wine list. A very light Sicilian cab, extremely smooth. This would definitely be a crowd pleaser at a dinner or cocktail party. I need to find this at a retail store ASAP! 
Inwood Estates Tempranillo-Cabernet- This wine comes from a Texas vineyard out by the New Mexico border. We sell a few wines from other Texas wineries at Times Ten, and this happens to be one of them. I sampled some the other day, it was delicious! Very fruit forward, almost like the raspberry flavour in Grenache. High acidity, which I like, but others may not. The spiciness of the tempranillo grape with the earthiness of the cab. I loved it, but it goes for $40/bottle retail, so I won't be purchasing it for just some random night on the couch. 

I have only four more weeks of class, and I've already come across some other delicious wines to let you know about. More on that this coming week!

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