Theme: We did it for white wines previously. Now we want to know what your favorite RED wine is and why you LOVE it Bring your favorite red wine (within the price range), and come prepared to tell us WHY it's your favorite. (suggested pricing: singles $20 or less/bottle, couples $20-40/bottle). Anecdotes and funny stories encouraged.
Originally this TWITs was scheduled on February 27th, but we postponed due to another amazing event occurring the same night. Since the theme was rather "Valentine's Day" related, yet we were having the tasting in March (the month which has the St Patrick's Day Holiday), our Hosts opted to serve Corned Beef and Cabbage with the other appetizers.
To make it more fun, we blind tasted the wine first, took some notes and made some guesses, then unveiled it so we could hear the story of the wine from the person who brought it.
TWITs Tasting Notes:
Welcome Wine) 2009 Domaine Olivier Pithon Cuvee Lais, Cotes du Roussillon $28.99 @ Le Caveau Fine Wines
13.6% alcohol, blend of Carignan, Grenache, Syrah varietals
The Story: Abbie and Matt first tasted this wine at Le Caveau (it was in the $60/Terroir Club Wine selections for July 2013). We fell in love with this wine.
"This wine is dense and very clean with a delicate nose of dark berries, minerals, and bright herbs. The palate shows rich, concentrated black fruits and licorice with an impression of iron and stone. the fresh acidity keeps everything in balance with a cinnamon note on the finish."
We went back to buy more. We shared it with our friends, and they bought more too. We bought so much that eventually Le Caveau ran out of it. We tried to find ways to buy more of it, but the one internet deal we found- ended up not panning out. Eric Brown of Le Caveau gave an amazing presentation on Natural Wines for the TWITs in July 2013, and we learned that this wine was a Natural Wine also. Since our supply was limited, we saved the wine for special occasions and birthdays, etc. Many night, as we were deep into our cups, someone would say "Let's open up a Cuvee Lais" and someone saner would say "no no not now, we need to appreciate it more, wait a bit". When we were prepping for the Languedoc TWITs tasting, we learned Eric could get 2 other wines from the same winemaker (The Le Pilou and the Mon P'tit Pithon), so we obtained those for ourselves and the TWITs. Finally, Eric's distributor found a few more bottles of our beloved Cuvee Lais. He emailed us immediately and we reserved a few bottles, thus we were able to share some with the TWITs tonight.
1) 2011 Lynmar Estate Pinot Noir Russian River Valley $40-45 from the winery
13.9% alcohol, Pinot Noir
TWITs tasting notes: notes of strawberry, "smells like California", fern, green fern, bitter, Rheinallt guessed Pinot Noir, another person guesses Santa Barbara?
The Story: Kathy & Jamie brought this wine. They visited the winery and Kathy says this is one of her very favorite wineries. It tastes like outside, and smells just like being there.
2) 2012 Domaine du Vieux Chene - Beatrice et Jean Claude - Cuvee de la Haie aux Grives - $12 @ Le Caveau - Cotes du Rhone 14.5% alcohol, 80% Grenache 20% Syrah
TWITs tasting notes: fresh cut grass, tobacco, cherries and chocolate, peppery, very peppery, green bell pepper, mild tannins, southern France, the garrigue, Rh and Janssen both guessed Cotes du Rhone,
The Story: Rheinallt brought this wine, because it's his "budget friendly mid-week wine". He loves the nose, it's richer than a $12 wine, and the palate is rustic, he can imagine a farmer sweating over this wine.
3) 2010 Rombauer Vineyards Zinfandel Napa - $26-27 from a shop in Connecticut
15.9% alcohol 100% Zinfandel
TWITs tasting notes: funky nose, rich, dark chocolate, cacao, after-dinner-mint, that's a funky mint, "I just got punched in the tongue" - Jackie, "Cassis on the tongue" - Rheinallt, creme de menthe, Andes mint, mouthwash, it tastes denser than it looks. would pair well with chocolate
The Story: Alexandra brought this wine. She worked at a wine shop about 10 years ago in Connecticut, and she remembers having this wine and loving it, it was the best wine in the shop at that time, but it was a bit pricey for her then. she did buy a bottle recently to share, she doesn't drink alone, so she brought it tonight.
4) 2007 Scherrer Syrah Russian River Valley - $31.99 @ Le Caveau
14.1% alcohol 10% Syrah
TWITs tasting notes: guessing Shiraz or Syrah, Rh guesses California, bell pepper, good bitterness, oak and tobacco, delicious!
The Story: Jackie brought this wine because she LOVES Scherrer, he's a cool wine maker, very passionate about his wines and his Syrah. It's a luscious wine, reminds her of biting into a ruby. It's earthy, fulfilling, pairs with food and can stand on its own. Jackie recently hosted a Syrah TWITs, and served the 2008 vintage that evening, and she says she likes the 2008 better than this vintage.
5) 2001 Valduero Gran Reserva Ribera del Duero Spain - $40-45 @ Wines Till Sold Out (WTSO)
14% alcohol, 100% Tempranillo
TWITs tasting notes: malolactic, ritz crackers, buttery, Jackie is in love with this wine, dry, a "rub and tug" wine, "one and done", "2 pump chump", subtle spice, soft, somewhere between a Syrah and the adopted stepchild of a Syrah, same round juiciness, not edgy, like a Cab Sauvignon, Kathy said maybe a Cab Franc?, jamminess on the end with it.
The Story: Abbie and Matt first drank this wine with Janssen. We cannot remember where we had it first, it may have been a restaurant? anyhoo, we loved it SO much, and shortly AFTER we had tasted it, we found it at Le Caveau for a bit, so we bought it and it was sort of our "fancy wine" for a while. this wine has been served at many a party or dinner with friends. Then Le Caveau ran out of this wine, and we saw the 2001 Gran Reserva on Wines Till Sold Out, so we jumped and bought some to cellar for a bit. We brought it out tonight, as this was a smaller TWITs and we still have 1 more bottle left.
6) 2009 Signaterra Cabernet Sauvignon Three Blocks Sonoma Valley - $40-45 from Benziger Estates
14.5% alcohol, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
TWITs tasting notes: oak, perfumey nose, earthy, mushroom, milk chocolate,
The Story: Val brought this wine, because this was one of the first wineries where she and Rheinallt did the cellar tour and they had such a nice experience, plus the wine is amazing. They had this wonderful wine-geek-nerd tour guide, who took them into the cave, etc. They tried all the high end wines, and heard 15 minutes stories on each of the wines. Then out of the blue Rheinallt said he wanted to join the wine club. He "never" wanted to join a club before. This is the only club they joined.