Monday, June 10, 2013

July 18, 2013 - Le Caveau Blind Tasting of Natural Wines - hosted by MrLes & Ms Melissa

July 18, 2013 - Le Caveau - Blind Tasting of Natural Wines - hosted by Mr Les & Ms Melissa

Theme:  Natural wines - We tasted these wines blind.
Clues we were given:  They could be from anywhere.  They will not be weird wines, but unadulterated.   This tasting will be really interesting, especially, blind because it will challenge what many think about certain varietal characteristics based on wines that have been 'doctored'. 

Eric, of Le Caveau, has been reading a lot about the subject as of late, and gave us a presentation about natural wines during the tasting.  We discussed how additives are allowed in the wines (98 known additives allowed in US wines, 77 in EU, 89 in Australia, and 69 in New Zealand).  We also saw photos side-by-side of vineyards maintained with organic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and fungides, versus regular vineyard maintenance.  We learned about Biodynamic viticulture, and one of the more interesting methods they use involving a cow horn filled with fermented manure. Yeast is also something to consider.  Some vintners use native yeasts and/or natural yeasts versus commercial yeasts.  Read more about Natural Wines here.

1) 2011 Agnes et Rene Mosse "Magic of JuJu" $24.99
100% Chenin Blanc, 13.5% alcohol
TWITs tasting notes:  light nose, golden color (honey all over), almost invisible legs, faint pickles smell, very light and herbacious palate, melon flavors, more floral nose as it opens up, palate of almond butter and/or Butterfinger Candy

2) 2010 Eric Texier L'indigene Sulfureux "Eluney" $ 21.99
100% Grenache, 12.5% alcohol
TWITs tasting notes: pepper, cherries, woody, tar, some smoke, dark candy sweet, fresh manure, peat, burnt ash, petroleum, light wet grass, smokier nose as it breathes, 
palate is a softer wine, peppery, nice finish, creamy, herb, berries, nuts, 
Val guessed a Syrah, Abbie thought it reminded her of a Sant'Elena Tato (Cab/Merlot blend).

3) 2011 Louis Claude Desvignes Morgon Cote du Py
100% Gamay, 13% alcohol
TWITs tasting notes:  grape jello, jammy, cumquat, small yeast, thin legs, cotton candy, butterscotch
softer palate, cantaloupe, viscous, lighter with a lingering finish, licorice, smells like halloween

4) 2009 Domaine Derain St. Aubin "Le Ban" - $23.99
100% Pinot Noir, 14% alcohol
TWITs tasting notes: perm solution, ammonia, 
palate is berry, soft, like a light pinot noir

5) 2009 Campi Nuovi Montecucco - $39.99
100% Sangiovese
TWITs tasting notes:  fruity nose, oaky, clove, funky, lovely nose of pine,
softer berry finish, like Christmas, cinnamon, nutmeg, very warm, dry
Guesses:  Marilyn says Bordeaux, Abbie says Cab Franc, Val says New World.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June 20th, 2013 - I Don't Always Drink White Wines, But When I Do, I Drink This One - hosted by Ms. Abbie & Mr. Matt

June 20th, 2013 - "I Don't Always Drink White Wines, But When I Do, I Drink This One" - hosted by Ms. Abbie & Mr. Matt

Theme: As we know, many of the TWITs members are red wine fans.  However, some folks like to drink white wine in the summertime.  We want to know what your favorites are.  Bring your favorite white wine, and come prepared to tell us WHY it's your favorite white wine.  (singles price point for a bottle $20 or less, couples price point $20-40/bottle)

Check out this fantastic white wine info graphic by Sean Seidell:

TWITs Tasting Notes:
Welcome Wine:  2012 Laurent Miquel Chardonnay Pere et Fils -  $9.99 @ Le Caveau
From southern France.
This is Matt's fave white wine because it's an unoaked Chardonnay.  He did not like Chardonnay's much before tasting this one.  It's got crisp acidity, and a simple "Stelvin Enclosure" (fancy way to say screw cap), so if you are at the pool or beach, you don't need to worry about bringing a corkscrew.
Abbie likes this wine because it tastes refreshing, it's cheap, it's good, and the label speaks to her.  If you look at the label, it has a tree on it with roots, and under the roots are the names of the winemaker's ancestors.  Enjoy!

1) 2011 Acrobat Pinot Gris ~ $12-13 @ Vino Venue
From Eugene Oregon.
Marilyn likes this wine.  She first tasted it when she attended the Downton Abbey cooking class at Vino Venue, and it was paired with lump crab and roasted red pepper crostini.  It's good with food, softer than a Chardonnay, and smooth.  She can drink it on its own or with food.

2) 2011 Domaine de Gerbeaux Macon-Solutre Chardonnay - $20 @ Le Caveau
13% alcohol, French Burgundy
Les and Melissa like this wine because it is well-balanced, smooth and can pair with almost anything.  They are not Chardonnay fans, but this is a good one.  We paired it with goat cheese.  They like to enjoy drinking this wine out on the deck.

3) 2009 Domaine Alain Normand Macon La Roche Vineuse - $30 at PH Wine Merchant (but it can also be found at Sherlocks Wine Merchant in Brookhaven.
Valerie likes this white burgundy wine because it's a rare Chardonnay that has minerality and a teeny tiny kiss  of oak.  This particular region is known for its Chardonnay, and has limestone soil.  This wine had long fermentation on the lees.

4) 2012 Tenuta la Marchese Gavi Marchesa - $15.99 @ Hintons
12% alcohol, Italian wine, varietal is Cortese
Susan likes this wine when she first tasted it 2 weeks ago at a networking conference event.  It's easy to drink, good out on the porch, and can be consumed with or without food.

5) 2012 Coteaux du Languedoc-Roussillon Pic-Poul de Pinet - $10 @ Sherlocks, but Le Caveau will be carrying this one in a few weeks.
12.5% alcohol.  Pic -Poul is the varietal, and Pic-Poul de Pinet is the region.
Rheinallt wanted to bring something edgy to the club that he discovered last year.  Pic-Poul is Catalan for stinging lip or "lip stinger".  It is a combination of full body and acidity and has good salinity (saltines).  It would pair very well with oysters or seafood.  Because it is a lesser known region and varietal, it is a cheaper wine.  Rheinallt likes to drink this one on weeknights.  It has great viscosity.

6) 1996 Michel Schlumberger Chardonnay - Dry Creek Valley Sonoma - $40.00 for a Magnum, but only available to the Vintner's wine club members (which Brian happens to be).  This is one of their Library Wines (aka older vintages)
13% alcohol - Benchland (the name of the estate)
"it's a Magnum, big hit with the ladies."  Brian likes this wine because it is an aged-Chardonnay (aged in French Oak barrels), it tastes good, has a golden honey hue, and notes of butterscotch.

7) 2011 Fritz Zimmer Bernkasteler-Kurfstenlay Riesling Spatlese, Mosel - $18.00 at Sherlocks, but once in a while Kroger has it for $9 if you have a Kroger Plus Card.
8% alcohol
Kim says she grew up with Italian parents who did not know good wine.  However, when she went to college, her German roommate introduced her to "German wines" and Rieslings, "the horse-piss of wines".  She says this wine is good with everything, and sometimes she likes to put a little piece of watermelon in her glass when drinking it.  It has faint petrol/gasoline on the nose, but refreshing palate.

*at this point we got side-tracked with a discussion of Riesling and Reefers (I think because the nose of this wine had a faint Marijuana smell?), anyhoo - the joke was that after Pot is legal in Georgia, we should start up a club called PHITS = "potheads in training"

8) 2011 Riesling St. Urbans-Hof - $16 @ Kroger
Janssen is normally a full-bodied red wine drinker (he wants flavor, character, oomph!) and doesn't like white wines.  However, last year he was on a Bachelor party cruise (Carnival cruise lines), and he joked he was only sober when he woke up each morning. BUT he remembered this wine (in the haze), and that is why he likes this particular white wine.

9) 2002 Chateau St Michelle Riesling - he paid about $15 for it in 2002, not sure what it would cost today.
Ken says this is his 2nd favorite white wine.  His first favorite is the Swan Valley Sandalford Sandalera fortified wine, but he can't seem to find anyone in the USA who can get it for him.
Anyhoo, back to Chateau St Michelle.
He has had this Riesling for several years.  He says the 2003 vintage is also very hard to get.  He loves this wine.
It has nose of hot asphalt, diesel (spilled on the road), and the palate reminds Valerie of teriyaki glaze and peaches.