Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday TWITs - Sparkling Wines - Friday December 5th, 2014 - Hosted byMs. Marilyn

The Holiday TWITs - Sparkling Wines - Friday December 5th, 2014 - 7pm ET - Hosted by Ms. Marilyn

Bring: TWITs should bring a bottle of sparkling wine
  • made in the champagne method or methode champenoise, 
  • from any country, any region, in the world, 
  • within the specified price range (Up to $20/bottle for Singles, between $20 - $40/bottle for Couples)

Blanc Elephant Gift Exchange:  Bring a homemade or small wrapped gift $5-10 (not expensive), for the gift exchange.

Tasting Notes:
Welcome Wine:  NV Gruet Blanc de Blanc, New Mexico - $15.99 @ Minx

1) NV Tattinger Brut Reserve Champagne, Reimes - $39 @ CostCo
12% alcohol,
(Reimes is pronounced Rhahmce, like it rhymes with France)
tastes French, very nice, crisp, dry, very dry, green, grapefruit, tart, slight sweetness, greenish tinge to the color

2) NV Gruet Blanc de Noir, New Mexico - $15.99 @ Minx
12% alcohol, Pinot Noir
white grape juice, sweeter, pleasant sweetness, palatable, golden color, more effervescent, tart, leaves me thirsty, chalky, minerality, bitterness at the end.

3) NV Laherte Freres Grand Brut 'Ultradition' Champagne - $49.99 @ Le Caveau
60% Pinot Meunier (rare to have so much), 30% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir
more clear gold color, acidity, sharper, peaches & apricot, tart, floral, elegant, yeasty, savory, Val guesses cremant, champagne, Gwen guesses Prosecco,
"92 points The new release of Ultradition is absolutely lovely, offering up a complex nose of lemon, apple, bread dough, stony minerality, citrus zest, and a top note of white flowers (from the Pino Meunier?), On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, crisp and complex, with lovely mid-palate depth, elegant mousse and superb length and grip on the crisp and focused finish.  This is one high class bottle of non-vintage Brut!  2013-2025.  - John Gilman, A View From the Cellar #46, Jul/Aug 2013."

4) 2012 Peter Jakob Kuhn, Spatburgunder Rose Sekt Brut - $35-39 @ Le Caveau
13% alcohol, German Rose from Rheingau
pinky/orange hue, funky nose, Kathy guesses Blanc de Noir, apple juice, Matt says "awful", peachy, Rh says cider-ish, obscure, "better as a spritzer", we also tried this wine mixed with Anasazi Vineyards Choke Cherry wine.

5) 2010 Ironhorse Wedding Cuvee - $38 @ Toco Giant
13.5% alcohol, 75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, aged 3 years
Rose-ish, softer, effervescent, berry, yeasty nose, not so elegant, dry, tart, honey, tight on the palate, not as satisfying, very forward, flabby/flat, might be a cava, sparkling wine begs for food

6) NV Mumm Napa Brut Rose - $15.99 @ Candler Park Market
12.5% alcohol
sparkly, rose, dry, very mainstream, very drinkable, "what you think of when you think of champagne but fruitier", this is a burpy wine!, french wine making technique, bing cherry, dark plums

7) NV Roederer Estate Brut, Anderson Valley California - $22.99 @ World Market
12% alcohol
yeasty honey nose, CA wine, asparagus pee, bready, tastes like Californian, toasted nuts, smells good, this is awesome, tastes like asparagus pee, I could drink all day, Rh guessed French

8) NV Sommariva Prosecco di Conegliano -Valdobbiadene, Superiore, DOCG, Brut - $20-29 @ Dunwoody Kroger
11.5% alcohol
clear color, perfumey, pear, swedish au pair (joke), totally different nose, light green, Marilyn guesses 2013 ?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rhone Wines - Friday November 21st, 2014 - Hosted by Ms. Val and Mr.Rheinallt

Rhone Wines - Friday November 21st, 2014 - Hosted by Ms. Val and Mr. Rheinallt

Theme: Rhone Wines
Bring:  TWITs should bring $20 / person to cover the cost of the wines.  Our host and hostess will be hand-selecting the wines for us.
Information: The Rhône wine region in Southern France is situated in the Rhône river valley and produces numerous wines under various Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) designations. The region's major appellation in production volume is Côtes du Rhône AOC.  All things being equal, Rhone Valley offers far better value, but equal quality to Burgundy and Bordeaux wines.

The Rhone Valley terroir and varietals can be split by Northern Rhone vs. Southern Rhone.

The Northern Rhone Valley terroir is described as a Continental climate, gorge, steep limestone and shale terraced vineyards, all grapes harvested by hand.  Red varietal is Syrah (90-95%), White varietals are Rousanne, Viognier, Marsanne, (5-10%).  A lot of the winemakers use 95% Syrah and perhaps 5% Viognier in their wines.  The winemakers in the appellation Condrieu use Viognier.

The winemakers from the appellation Cornas have to use 100% Syrah.  We think this is because Cornas wasn't making very good wine until about 10 yrs ago, so they are sort of on "Syrah probation".  Cornas is a hanging valley.

Hermitage is considered the "spiritual home" of the Syrah grape, which is why wines from that appellation may cost more than wines from Crozes Hermitage (nearby appellation).  Cote-Rotie, Rotie means Roasted.  The welcome wine and the first 3 wines we tasted, were from Northern Rhone.

The Southern Rhone Valley terroir is more of a Mediterranean climate, similar to Languedoc and Provence.  Red varietals (13 allowed) Grenache (main grape 50-70%), and then the supplementary red grapes, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Carignan, and 8 others (30-50%).  White varietals are Rousanne, Viognier, Marsanne, Viognier, Clairette Blanche, Grenache Blanche, etc.  The appellation of Lirac is known for it's briny tasting wines (like sucking on an olive).  Tavel is known for it's Rose' wines.  Wines 4 through 8 were from Southern Rhone.  Cotes = slope, Coteaux = slopes (plural).

(CDP) Chateauneuf-du-Pape = The Pope's New Castle.  Not many people may know but in 1308 Pope Clement V moved the papacy to Avignon.  A total of 7 popes reigned at Avignon, all French.  They increasingly fell under the influence of the French Crown.  In 1377 Gregory XI moved his court to Rome.  This conflict gave rise to the Western Schism in catholic church, and France had a few "anti popes".  The popes in Rome wore white, and the anti-popes in France wore black. There are two different types of terroir in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.  One is flat soil, the other is rocky, stony, galetes, which warms and cools quicker, and provides better irrigation also.

Cotes du Rhone AOC has 3 designations.
1) Cotes du Rhone - generic level, 100 miles, highly variable quality
2) Cotes du Rhone Villages (no name) 95 communes, better quality, rules about % of Grenache and Syrah planted.
3) Cotes du Rhone Villages (with a named village), 18 of the appellations are authorized to include their village name on the label, one of which is Sablet  (we tried one), and they have even more strict rules about % of Grenache and Syrah planted.

Garrigue - low, soft-leaved scrubland on limestone, kermes oak, lavender, thyme, white cistus, blows on the grapes.

Tasting Notes:
Welcome Wine:  2011 Crozes Hermitage les Champs Libres Blanc (13% alcohol) - $31
Marsanne varietal

1) 2012 Collines Rhodaniennes, GAEC Jamet (12.5% alcohol) - $22
butter, I can't believe it's not butter, rich, shortbread, nice nose, ground white pepper, lighter red fruits, dried fruit, silky, lighter, easy-drinking wine, subtle milk chocolate, creamy, clove spiced, pepper bomb.
good to pair with a meat that has no pepper.

2) 2009 Cote-Rotie Cuvee Classique 'Ampodium', Domaine Rene Rostaing (13% alcohol) $80
(he had this opened to breathe from 4:30p-8:30p)
fennel, tar, asphalt nose, cassis, well balanced, lingering finish, floral, chewy, delicate edges, but big! more rounded, you can roll off it.  big full flavor with delicate edges like frosting, is it worth the extra $?  TWITs say yes!

3) 2008 Franck Balthazar Cornas Chaillot, Rhone (13% alcohol) $50
herbs, pickles, dill, briny, peppery, tickles the nose, it's more bold of a wine, dry wine, like you can taste the skin of the grapes, this one you can kind of escond yourself into the cracks, it stays with you longer, torrid.

4) 2010 Domaine Saint Gayan Cotes du Rhone (14% alcohol) $15
GSM blend, traditional classic Cotes du Rhone style blend,
apples, caramel, easy drinking wine, medium fruit, bit of stinkiness

5) 2012 Domaine Les Genestas Cotes du Rhone (14.5% alcohol) $19.99
fresh soap nose, cloudy colon turbidity, viscous, thicker, toasty, olive oil, tart, bitter, marshmallow toasted, most interesting palate, heterogeneity (lots of variation), citrusy, lemony bouquet, garni, crazy different, black licorice

6) 2010 Chateau Du Trignon, Sablet, Cotes du Rhone Villages (14% alcohol) $19.99
*Rh thought this one was corked, but we tried it anyway.  you can see the photo of the cork compared to a non-breached cork below.
cake nose, nursing home hallway, wet, medicinal funk, tart, oxidized
Replacement: # 6) 2010 Domaine de L'Espigouette Bernard Latour, Plan de Dieu (14.5% alcohol) $18
Plan de Dieu means God's Plan.
garrigue, herbal, changing gear oil, black licorice, gasoline, tar, petrol, savoriness, earthy, raking dried leaves, crunchy, bitter after-palate, berry, herbaceous nose, good acidity

7) 2012 Domaine Bertrand Stehelin Gigondas (14% alcohol) $36.99
dry, musty, cloisters, leather bouquet, saddle sway, barnyard, chickens, she was a good cow, jammy mouth,

8) 2011 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Mas de Boislauzon (13% alcohol) $49.99
(castle of new pope)
rich nose, thicker, this you can latch on to, chewy, elegant, bold leathery

Friday, November 7, 2014

Adam Fox of Domaine Select Wines @ Le Caveau 11/6/2014

Adam Fox of Domaine Select Wines @ Le Caveau 11/6/2014
Quotes of the night: "I'll be right back, I'm going on a sensory odyssey."
"Wine is a moment in time."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Spanish Red Wines - Wednesday October 22nd, 2014 - hosted by Ms.Abbie & Mr. Matt

Spanish Red Wines - Wednesday October 22nd, 2014 - hosted by Ms. Abbie & Mr. Matt

Theme: Spanish Red Wines
Bring:  A bottle of red wine from Spain. This can be a blend, or a single varietal.  We will do our usual blind tasting format for this evening.
Price range: Up to $20/bottle for Singles, between $20 - $40/bottle for Couples
Information: Spanish Varietals.  Spain oaks their wine more than any other country, and Spain is one of the oldest wine producers in the world.
  • Joven (Ho-ven) - no age
  • Crianza (Cree-an-tha) - barrel aged 12 months, then bottle aged 12 months
  • Reserva - barrel aged 12 months, bottle aged 24 months
  • Gran Reserva - barrel aged 36 months, bottle aged 36 months

Tasting Notes:  
Welcome Wine:  2013 Morgadio Rias Baixas Albarino ~ $19.99 @ Le Caveau Fine Wines
12.5% alcohol
light, delightful, tart, slightly viscous finish, dry, great structure, from Western Spain

1) 2008 Dinestia Vivanco, Rioja, Crianza ~ $20-22 @ Le Caveau Fine Wines
13.5% alcohol
deep red fruits, has some heat on it, big oak, vanilla, slight hint of dill, creamy, slightly bitter, dry, that's some big one, almost sweet, sour cherry sweet, cassis, thick, syrupy, luscious, pairs with short ribs well

2) 2004 Casado Morales Gran Reserva Rioja Alvesa $35 @ Total Wine
90% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, 12.5% alcohol
chill on the oak, more peppery, tart, hits back of the mouth, tar, relaxed, fresher, lighter, burnt caramel, slight acidity, dark cocoa powder, not sweet, palate is more fruity, toasted almonds, RH guesses French oak, says the oak is more subtle.

3) 2009 Vina Sastre, Ribera del Duero, Crianza ~ $30-35 @ Le Caveau Fine Wines
14.5% Alcohol
dark color, port-like, dark, deep and mysterious, Matt says closely related to the first wine but not as long lasting of a finish, French Oak perhaps?  Harsher nose, easy drinking, dry, olive/bitter end notes, brinier, maybe coastal wine? more rustic, not as complex, has some spice

4) 2009 Clos Pissarra, Monsant & Priorat, $29.99 @ Le Caveau Fine Wines
14% alcohol
a bit of perm solution, ammonia, similar to #2, dry, higher alcohol, hits back of the mouth, cherry mouth water on the tongue, the colors are all so deep, this one lets you down a little, the beginning of the palate is nice, soft on tongue, may need food with it? Rh & Deb says it's not ready, not as as well as the others, Matt says it's a good Football game wine, Abbie loves the nose, not going to dump it, Jaffet says it's a great date wine,
Side note: the winemaker is the first American somm to pass the master sommelier on the first try (he did this 15 yrs ago).

5) 2010 Faustino VII Rioja - $8.98 (on sale) @ Kroger
13% alcohol
smells French, a big stinking pile of barnyard, takes my breath away, I could smell it across the room as he was pouring it, maybe Pyrenees terroir?  stinky fart, what the dickens is this? softer, watery in a good way, could drink too easily, vanishes too fast, geosimin? very tart, puckers, I could drink it (more than #4).

Attendees voted that #1 and #2 were our favorites, but Jaffet liked #4 the best.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

TWITs Takeover Southbound - Thursday Sept. 4th, 2014

TWITs Takeover Southbound - hosted by Southbound restaurant in Chamblee

Date:  Thursday, September 4th, 2014 7:30 pm ET

Bring:  TWITs attendees should bring $20/person to cover the cost of the wines.  The Southbound Menu will also be available if you would like to purchase any food.

Theme:  Transition into Autumn

Tasting Notes:

1) 2012 Domaine Mosse 'Magic of Ju Ju' Chenin Blanc
13.5% alcohol
Acidic, hint of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, fruity notes of pear and apple. Hints of live yoghurt. Resembles a Jura wine.  natural wine

2) 2010 Bodegas Gerardo Mendez Albariño Do Ferreiro Rias Biaxis, Galicia Spain
13% alcohol 
Citrus nose, honeydew melon, parm chz, sour cherry, Goes Great w spicy chicken, pickle, Good viscosity,  Matt says Chardonnay from burgundy Sancerre?
Melissa guessed Albariño 

3) 2012 Negretta La Roc Fronton "La Falle Noire d'Ambat" , France near Cahors
13% alcohol 
Funky nose, Maybe a tannat or cab Sauv, stinky oregon pinot? Better on palate than nose, Thick on the mouth, some acidity, spice, Opens up, heat on the nose, Grenache? Syrah? Mourvèdre, Dark syrupy, dirty, earthy, Priorat? From the boot? Cab franc blend, tannat, Hermitage, Sangiovese, Barbera ?

4) 2001 Tempranillo, R Lopez De Heredia, Vina Tondonia Reserva, Rioja Spain 
Thanksgiving, cinnamon, nutmeg, a sweet potato, nice balance, skins of sweet potato, old cabinet, cigar box,
Roasted just out of the oven, a lot of butter, Italian Nebbiolo, dryer than it smells, fruity, dark, love the nose,
Cherries, leather, fruit forward, heat on the nose, it's got grip on the tongue, dill, black olives,  Sangiovese, Italian, Tempranillo, cab?