TWITs Holiday Party - Christmas Cabernet - Ms. Abbie & Mr. Matt - December 11th, 2012
Photo from Exotic Excess
The Theme is "Christmas Cabernet"! Also to make it more challenging, try to find a Cabernet that is NOT from California. It can be a blend, but must be mostly Cabernet as the main varietal.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a red wine. Despite its prominence in the industry, the grape is a relatively new variety, the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc during the 17th century in southwestern France. Many places (other than California) which have Cabernet Sauvignon wines are: Italy, France, Chile, Australia, Spain, South Africa, and several Eastern European Countries: Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, etc.
TWITs Tasting Notes:
Welcome Wine:2009 Viña
Peñalolén Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley, Chile $18.99(had to order via retailer from distributor, currently this is not carried in stores in GA). I
tasted the 2007 vintage, during a TWITs event in 2010. Amazingly, I
remembered the name of this wine, reading it off the menu at Barcelona Wine Bar, even though I
hadn't seen the bottle in years. It's superb BTW. - Low yields and hand harvesting
indicate the care given to this superior fruit from Alto Maipo, high
upon the gravelly slopes of the Maipo Valley. These standards
extend to the wine-making process, with meticulous grape selection and
aging in French oak barrels for 12 months. Made from a blend of 90%
Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, this is a bright
and juicy wine full of red fruits and spring accents with well polished
and integrated tannins. Always excellent! Alcohol: 14% pH: 3.74 "Founded
by Ricardo Peña and his wife Isabel, Peñalolén is a family-owned,
boutique winery committed producing unique Chilean wines full of
personality and verve. The wines are made by winemaker Jean-Pascal
Lacaze, who is well respected for his deft hand and memorable wines.
All grapes are grown and hand harvested with meticulous care to
guarantee the integrity of the fruit" The
sculpture on the bottle, I believe was done by Benjamin Lira, a Chilean
artist. (while I CANNOT find anything that specifically says that it is
him, all research does show he must be the guy). http://www.blira.com/eng/entrevista.php?carpeta=entrevista
1) 2010 Guardian Peak Frontier Red, Western Cape, South Africa, $15 @ PH Wine Merchant
40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Shiraz, 25% Merlot, 13.5% alcohol
aromas: cassis, caramel, coffee, pepper spice, minerality, petroleum, "it smells like a cab", smoky pepper, "guessing this is older", Deb suggests March 2002 vintage, bell pepper, "almost a cab franc"
palate: smooth, gripping tannins, tight, not enough use yet,
2) 2007 Chateau Cordet Margaux $39 @ Vino Venue, 13% alcohol,
Aromas: perfumey, oak, old lady perfume, "like hugging grandma", powdery, puff of talcum powder,
Palate: "it's not bad, but it's not good", flabby on the mouth, impotent, geriatric, "it's like Ryan Seacrest, Fake", Kathy says "it's French" (and she was right this time)
3 people initially dumped this one into the dump bucket, but later when we re-tasted it, this wine had opened up some and was much better.
3) 2010 Tierra Brisa Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentina $12 @ Whole Foods, 13.5% alcohol
Aromas: musty, basement, earthy, mothballs, perhaps French, it opens up to a more perfumey nose, "road hard and put up wet", wet dog, compost, rotten veggies. Might be corked.
Palate: Fruity mouth feel, cherry, cranberry, red apples, dustbowl in the end (finish)
4) 2010 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon - Columbia Valley, Washington $15 @ Smoke Rise
Aromas: "this one is calling my name", wedding cake, vanilla, coconut, champagne, ocean, sea breeze, mushroom, "I would drink all of this", Rheinallt says it smells like Val's hand lotion (a compliment I believe), super oaky
Palate: clove, nutmeg, creamy, complex, caramel butter popcorn
5) 2007 Odfjell Armador Cabernet Sauvignon - Maipo Valley, Chile $13.99 @ Marietta Wine Merchant, 13% alcohol
Aromas: cough syrup, "might be corked", natural gas, cat pee, nettles, sulfur, compost heap, baby diaper, "it's blowing off now though", French! cat antibiotics, festering urine, chemical, "Smells poisonous", STINKY, waste bucket in a lab,
Palate: Tart, dry, Deb says "some of us like this", Les says "best so far", Ardella says "Classic Cab"
6) 2009 Casa Silva Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva - Colchagua Valley Chile $ ?Kathy's?
Aromas: "I love it", nose like #4, not as soft as #4, not as powerful as #4, not as oaked, smells like amazing perfume, sweet cucumbers, crisp smells like pineapple, tropical, papaya
Palate: more fruit forward, many did not like the mouth feel, funky finish, ugh, metallic, "like breathing through a muffler," "like a wedding where the hotel picked the wine"
7) 2007 Hestan Meyer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (unfiltered), Napa Valley, CA$39.99 @ Sherlock's Wine Merchant
they said *we wanted the TWITs to be able to compare the others to a California Cab.*
Aromas: christmas tree, strawberry jelly, jammy, jam-jam-jam-jam, "first one without an off smell", fruit, smells like Shiraz, sugar and spice and everything nice, sugar plum, chutney,
Palate: velvety, new world, nice finish, "too much Merlot in the blend", zin-dryness @ the end, dried apricots and apricot kernels, perhaps it's a california zin as a joke? guessing Molly Dooker Maitre'D? -Whitley on Wine, Robert Whitley, 91pts: (This) is a classic Napa Valley Cab with rich dark fruit aromas, density on the palate, and persistence of flavor through the finish. It is Hestan's "volume" wine in that more than 2,000 cases are produced, which is about half of the entire Hestan production. -Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, 90pts: Deep ruby. Powerful scents of cherry-vanilla, cassis and cocoa powder, with a hint of espresso in the background. Fleshy and smooth in texture, offering gently sweet dark fruit and mocha flavors that show a seamless quality. Gentle tannins build with air and add shape to the long, supple finish. This wine is drinking very well right now. Wine Spectator, James Laube, 90pts Wine Enthusiast, Steve Heimoff 88pts
8) 2010 Arizona Stronghold Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Dala - $25.00 @ Total Wine (or may have been purchased at our Arizona Wine Tasting earlier in the year) 13.9%
Aromas: plums, prune, soft moist prunes, fresh prunes, a little earthy mushroon,
Palate: a nice smooth prune, cherry, raisin finish, a little licorice at finish, boiled compote, fruit cake mixture, a good aspic, Josh says "like a tortilla"
9) 2007 Golan Heights Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Yarden Kosher Wine - $35.99 @ Toco Giant
from Galilee Israel, 15% alcohol
Aromas: chocolate, cherry, tootsie roll, it's like a port, I'm guessing Portuguese,
Palate: acidic, like bile at the finish, licoricey, cough syrupy, medicinal, like you are drinking good wine, then there's this 1 crappy bottle at the end.
but on revisit it was much loved.
10) 2009 Hogue Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley, Washington $20 - purchased at the winery on a trip with his daughter.
Aromas: very dark, high alcohol, spice,
Palate: chewy, dark chocolate, sediment-y?, caramel, most balanced, perhaps MollyDooker?
"Good, but it's the Buble" (previous side conversation about how you want to love Michael Buble, but sometimes he's too over the top, and you really want Sinatra).
TWITs need to each bring a bottle of Gamay, for our typical Blind Tasting format. You may bring a Beaujolais Nouveau if you wish, as this is also made from the Gamay varietal, but any Gamay wine is fine. We would ultimately like to have a variety in the ages of the Gamay to be tasting for comparison. Gamay, is a purple-colored grape variety used to make red wines, most notably grown in Beaujolais and in the Loire Valley around Tours. Its full name is Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc. Beaujolais Nouveau (BOE-zjo-lay New-VOE) is a red wine made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France. It is the most popular vin de primeur, fermented for just a few weeks before being released for sale on the third Thursday of November. This "Beaujolais Nouveau Day" sees heavy marketing, with races to get the first bottles to different markets around the globe. In the United States, it is promoted as a drink for Thanksgiving, which falls a week after the wine is released.
Gamay is a very vigorous vine which tends not to root very deep on alkaline soils resulting in pronounced hydrological stress on the vines over the growing season with a correspondingly high level of acidity in the grapes. The acidity is softened through carbonic maceration, a process that also allows the vibrant youthful fruit expressions reminiscent of bright crushed strawberries and raspberries, as well as deep floral notes of lilac and violets. Gamay-based wines are typically light bodied and fruity. Wines meant to be drunk after some modest aging tend to have more body and are produced by whole-berry maceration. The latter are produced mostly in the designated 'Cru Beaujolais' areas where the wines typically have the flavor of sour cherries, black pepper, and dried berry, as well as fresh-cut stone and chalk.
1) 2010 Louis Latour Beaujolais Villages - $11.87 @ Tower Package
Color: beautiful light garnet
Nose: Cough Syrup, balsalmic, cherries, peppery, smoky wood, earthy,
Palate: Blackberry, boysenberry, tartness, tart cherry, subtle tannins, gentle, blueberry finish,
"The legs are just gorgeous", "me likey", "custard pie with cherry reduction, "
"I'm not getting any grip", "seductive, but almost too soft on the finish", "she's a little tight right now" (that's what he said), delicate, soft, strawberry preserve
2) 2010 Damien Coquelet Chiroubles - $21.98 @ Le Caveau
Color: Light purple/red
Nickname: Effervescent, Cat Piss Wine
Nose: funky honey, sulfur compounds, hints of kitty litter, horse farm, styrofoam, coastal water supply, "Baton Rouge air pollution", "That smells like something dirty", Melissa says it smells like her "Aunt Miriam's Bathroom", brushy plant (juniper), licorice, complex nose, keeps changing.
Palate: Tartness, cranberries on the mouth,
Overall Observations: Off-putting at first, but then you sit with it ...
Medium bodied, "might be a Cru?"
3) 2010 Georges Duboeuf Domaine Des Rosiers Moulin-A-Vent (Cru) - $16.95 @ Minx
Nose: "I could smell this all day", "smells divine", honey, floral, spice, sugar cookie, shortbread cookies, buttery, "One of the most Fall red wines", "God it smells good", "Linzer Hearts" cookies,
Palate: there's a creaminess to it, weak on the palate, thin, "super subtle all the way around", orange peel, citrus oil on the palate.
4) 2009 Chateau de la Chaize - Brouilla (Cru) - $17.99 @ Total Wine
Nose: first whiff stinky, then it deepens. some cholorine, toasted mango cotton-candy, toasted poptarts, nose is very light, "the more air it gets, the more the nose and palate disappear."
Palate: strawberry tart, cranberry, very tart, sweet tarts
5) 2010 Pierre Marie Chermette Moulin-A-Vent (Cru) - $28.00 @ Sherlocks
Nose: "We are back to funky town", dark, "but then spicy town too", toasted sugar, toasted granola or rye or malt, Anise, a little cinnamon, pineapple, "reminds me of a hair salon", "burnt floral note", "dried candied lemon sprinkled with anise",
Visual/Color: "the legs are thicker",
Palate: Peppery, clove-like mouth feel, viscous, more acidity, casserole, carmelized onions, savory, "you taste dinner"
6) 2012 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau - $10.99 @ Minx
Nose: "smells like Total Wine (not good)", sweet on nose, like grape jello, bubblegum, jammy, Bazooka Bubblegum, smells like rose' or cheap white zin, acetone, fake cherry smell, doughy
Palate: tart finish, koolaid, gooseberry pie, "I don't like it", flimsy in the mouth, subtler
Overall: "I don't want to ever look at it again!"
7) 2010 Daniel Bouland Morgon Delys - $24.99 @ PH Wine Merchant (Peachtree Hills)
Color: standard red, lighter
Nose: no nose at first, toasted coconut candy, some sulphur, "American oak", bell pepper, meaty,
Palate: Marilyn guesses "Pinot Noir?", really acidic, tart
Overall: Matt guesses it's a "blend"
8) 2009 Pierre Marie Chermette Brouilly (Cru) - $21.99 @ Toco Giant
Nose: Moldy dirt, off-smell, asparagus pee, perm solution smell, ammonia, fresh baked chocolate brownies, horse manure, chocolate marshmallow
Palate: Sweet taste, smooth,
Overall: "too much air and it goes away", "Hershey's Wine", "very anti-climatic", "Pop and Drop" wine.
QUOTE OF THE EVENING - courtesy of Rheinallt - "There was NO cassis in this TWITs!"
So, the funny thing is, we went to this wine tasting. And there's a lovely painting of The Dude on the wall. So I take a photo, and text it to my friend. He sends me back a photo of the shirt he is wearing (at that very moment!). And then later that weekend, I see this truck with a bumper sticker of the same quote. At the end of the weekend, when I ended up at The Porter for a drink... I had The Dude. It was a sign.
ISAW Foundation Wines - Ms Ardela - October 2nd, 2012
ABOUT: ISAW Foundation: The International Society of Africans in Wine (ISAW) is a US-based 501(c)(3) whose mission is building sustainable communities through viticulture.ISAW's vision is to reduce poverty and create economic opportunity in Africa through the business of wine. Viticulture (wine farming) is the largest contributor to the Western Cape’s economy in the agricultural sector. In 1994,for the first time, blacks had an opportunity to become landowners. 16-18 years later, there are only two black-owned family vineyards in South Africa’s $3 Billion wine industry. The ISAW Foundation was created to offer training for blacks (historically marginalized to grape pickers and maintenance positions), broadening their participation in the wine industry, and creating new found economic opportunities in the rural communities of South Africa’s Western Cape Winelands. In short, the unfortunate legacy of centuries of discrimination is an uneducated and untrained workforce, jeopardizing the sustainability of an industry that employs over 275,000 workers.
The Winemakers (text used is from ISAW's website) "M’Hudi: In 2003, Malmsey and Diale “Oupa” Rangaka left their respective careers in medicine and academia and moved to the Western Cape to purchase a vineyard. After several months of searching, the Ranganka’s made history procuring a 103-acre wine and fruit farm outside of Stellenbosch, South
Africa, and in the process becoming the first black family in the countries history to do so. The move to Stellenbosch was courageous and inspired. From the beginning, it was this amazing story that became the catalyst for forming the ISAW Foundation. ISAW has established a close relationship with the family, and are working to establish a viticultural training center on this historic property.
Seven Sisters: The Brutus sisters (and youngest and sole brother, John) were raised in Paternoster, a small fishing village on the western coast of South Africa. In 1983, their father lost his job as a fisherman after 20 years. The sisters were forced to leave the village, split among family members after their parents were no longer able to care for them. Over twenty years later, the sisters, led by middle sister, Vivian, reunited to establish their own wine company. A thoughtful market strategy, the sisters selected a wine to match either of their respective styles and personalities. The company has seen tremendous growth in the first 4 years. In 2009, they became the second black-owned family vineyard in South Africa. A year earlier they became the first wine-ever- from South Africa to be served in an international flight. We are encouraged by their opportunity, and proud of the role our Foundation has played in raising awareness on behalf of this family, and their incredible journey to groundbreaking entrepreneurism. My favorite way to toast the sisters is with Odelia’s rare and delicious bukketraube. A peach flavored honey-suckle delight that is suitable on its own in the summer and with a blue cheese in the winter. " LINKS: "All From a Sip of Rose" ISAW website ISAW Stephen on CBS Atlanta
Support ISAW at these Atlanta Retailers: Wine Shoe in Castleberry Hill
Tower Wine & Spirits
Ansley Wine Merchants
Whole Foods (may have to ask for it).
Wines We Tasted:
Welcome Wines: 2008 & 2006 Kanonkop Estate Wine Paul Sauer - 13.5% alcohol, we tried both vintages. These were wines from Ardela's private cellar, and may not be easy to obtain. She said this is the #2 wine in South Africa. Varietals: 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc, 9% Merlot
2) Seven Sisters -Pinotage
Rosé – Twena
Production / Vinification Methods: A lighter
style of Pinotage. This wine is selected from all the available Pinotage grapes
in the cellar with the final product’s colour, flavour, taste and complexity in
mind. The grapes are fermented on the skins for 2 – 4 hours to extract the
Soil / Viticulture practices: The cultivar
is grown on a variety of soil types in the Malmesbury region, but mainly shale
Climate: The Swartland falls within the
coastal winter rainfall area. Warm summers, moderated by cool Atlantic breezes.
Tasting: Light strawberry colour. Berry
flavours on the nose with easy drinking structure on palate.
/ Vinification Methods:Grapes come from unirrigated bushvines with yields of between 7 and 8
ton/ha. Hand harvested at optimum ripeness at 24°B. All grapes are crushed and
skin contact of ±4 hours are allowed to extract the flavours. Light bag press follows and the cleaned juice
is fermented to retain maximum aroma. At required sugar level the fermentation
process is stopped to produce a well balanced, natural sweet wine.
Viticulture practices: Grown on selected, deep, red soils with
optimum possibilities to ripen the grapes.
Swartland falls within the coastal winter rainfall area, moderated by cool
Atlantic breezes. Annual rainfall: 400mm average.
Typical full rich Bukettraube flavours with
strong supporting of Muscat flavours. Rich honey grape natural sweet flavours
that mingle with the bouquet.
Tasting Notes:This medium-bodied wine is a rich purple colour with a youthful
edge, subtle oak spice, plums and vanilla on the nose with silky tannins on the
Ageing Potential: Although
this wine is ready to drink now, it should keep well for a further five years
Food Suggestions: The wine is light
and easy drinking to enjoy on its own, or try it with barbeques, steaks and pot
roasts. You can also match it with oxtail.
Alcohol : 14.0 %vol
pH : 3.66
RS : 1.63 g/l
Total Acid : 5.51 g/l
Appellation : Stellenbosch
5) 2005 Meerlust Rubicon
This was a wine from Ardela's private cellar, and may not be easy to obtain. She said this is/was the #1 wine in South Africa.
winemaker's notes:The wine has an intense, opaque deep ruby color, very slight gradation to the rim. Bright and vivacious in the glass, very youthful. The nose is brooding and restrained at this stage, yet beginning to emerge with deep, dark fruit, cassis, plum and black cherry. There is a pronounced minerality on the nose with graphite, cedar smoke and cigar box bouquet. The palate is beautifully structured, fuller bodied than some earlier vintages of Rubicon due to the intensity of the fruit and intricate tannin structure. The wine exhibits rich juiciness and savour already, but the compactness and sinewy taughtness of this young wine suggest a long maturation potential. The perfectly formed, ripe tannins are densely packed and tightly woven but remain lithe and almost powdery, giving the wine a generous opulence even at this early phase of its development.