Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saturday May 24th, 2014 - Mountain Cabernet from Napa or Sonoma -hosted by Ms.Lynn & Mr. Brian

Saturday May 24th, 2014 - Mountain Cabernet from Napa or Sonoma - hosted by Ms.Lynn & Mr. Brian

Theme:Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon - from Napa or Sonoma regions in California
1)  Bring a Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon Wine  - please check to make sure it is a real Mountain Cab, not just any Cab from Napa or Sonoma.   Here is an article on Mountain Cabernets, that may help to clarify what we are looking for: 
2) If you can, stay in the usual TWITs price range (aka: up to $20 for singles, up to $40 for couples).
3) RSVP so we know you are coming.
4) Bring the wine to TWITs, in a paper bag, for blind tasting.
5) Optional: stay after the wine tasting for a pool party!  
6) Not Optional:  If you are staying for the pool party, please bring a swimsuit, (and sunscreen, flippy floppies, etc- as needed).  ;)
7) If you are staying for dinner/pool party, please bring $10 to cover the cost of food.  Lynn and Brian are providing a burger from the Vinoburger cookbook and a veggie side dish.

We will be blind tasting these wines indoors - in proper glass wineglasses first - per our usual TWITs format.   Then after the wine tasting portion of the event is complete, everyone is welcome to stay and enjoy the pool.  However, plastic wine cups are then required (and will be available).    If you have a specific wine you would like to bring, just for pool-time, and perhaps one that is not a Cabernet, please feel free to do so.

Tasting Notes:
Welcome Wines (there were 3 and they are pictured below, but I cannot remember them off the top of my  head and for some reason I didn't write them down)

Mountain Cabernets are hard to pair, they need meaty foods, earthy, perky cheeses like Gruyere, Peccarino/Romano, Goat Cheese, Gouda, Harder, sharper cheese.

1) 2005 Atlas Peak Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon - $45 on Woot Wine
14.5 % alcohol, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
tannic forward, malbec-ish, more modern, not overly oaked, darker flavors, heavier aromas, peppery than a usual Cabernet, almost like a Zin, oak, cassis on the nose, for a Cab it is smooth and easy, very balanced, love it, smells amazing, a 1-scoop ice cream vanilla, and 1 scoop blueberry w crust on top.

2) 2009 Martin Ray Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon - $39.99 Total Wine
14.6% alcohol, 100% cabernet sauvignon
more blue-er, inky color, dusty, leathery, earthy, purple, more alcohol, creaminess, not as big of a nose as the first wine, like oil rolling down the glass, inky, punchy, melts into your mouth, long finish, acidity, a little pepper, yummy, smells like's Val's nail polish remover, pair with food, better for chocolate, rich and creamy

3) 2011 Hedges Red Mountain Washington State - $31 @ Sweetwater
13.5% alcohol, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 16% Syrah, 4% Malbec, 3% Cabernet Franc
smells milk chocolatey, lighter, well integrated, no alcohol line, floaty, long legs, Marvin thinks this is his wine (turns out he was right), more refreshing, cooler, smooth like a pinot noir, with pepper at the end, almost too smooth, vanilla American Oak?, the tannin is masked, Napa?, balanced, fits the tongue, edam cheese, lactic acid, big time cherries, stone fruits, creamy finish with pepper, very smooth, not tannic, glug-glug wine, very drinkable, some tobacco, "Pay your money and take your chances" - Marvin

4) 2011 Don Chappellet Napa Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena (Pritchard Hill, Rocky Mountain Terraces) - $45 @ Costco
14.5% Alcohol, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
sock it to me baby, peppery nose, spicy, high alcohol, vanilla, spicy, peppery almost Syrah Spicy, love it, chewier wine, fruitier, herb, spices, tart cherry, smooth finish, lighter, liked it better after sipping, "a schizo wine"
Pritchard Hill wine

5) 2011 Mount Veeder Napa Valley (High in the Hills) - $29.99 @ Toco Giant
14% alcohol, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
blackberry, tobacco, cherry, earthy, not quite like a pinot, oak, so many smells, dried herb, cedar, bing cherry, DAMN good! Heavier Cab than the others, cabby, would drink on purpose, pepper, Italian Herbs, oregano, parsley blend, salinity, brine, olives, minerality, Val's FAVE, my kind of cab, less viscous, bell pepper, some Cab Franc notes, touch of sour, who doesnt' like this? Pepper! hot weather, summer cab, cuban food, don't drink before bed, Fire, red, acidity

6) 2007 La Jota Vineyard, Howell Mountain, Napa - $49.99 @ Smoke Rise
14.5% alcohol, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
olive, brine, salt, muffaletta, tasty, smoky, earthy, oily mushrooms, olive, truffles, petrol, minerality, umami, pepper, the heat lingers, ashy, tobacco in the throat, cigar wine, tastes like meat, speechless, but I love it, sticking a nose into Grandma's cabinet, old leather, serious wine!

7) 2010 Vinterra Spring Mountain Napa Cabernet - $26.99 @ Hintons
13.5 % alcohol, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
lighter, weak finish, flaccid finish, flat, doesn't do anything, not very impressive wine, burnt nose, overdone finish, not vibrant, stilted, short, cassis bomb, ribena, kool-aid finish, whiskey-dick wine, poor wine who needs viagra, "don't call me, I'll call you", tastes inexpensive, I dumped it

8) 2010 Hill Family Napa Atlas Peak - $55 @ winery
14.5% alcohol, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
milk chocolate, pinot noir-ish, light, smooth, chewy, smidge of spice, stable, bunko and friend-zone wine, cotton candy, root veggies, table wine, needs food, not much nose, pleasant, cloying, Ser Jorah Mormont wine, clingy, strictly plutonic wine, no obvious flaws.

9) 2010 Terra Valentine - St. Helena - $29.99 @ Total Wine
14.9% alcohol, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
spicy, acidic, caramel nose, good temperature, toffee, cocoa, yummy

Recipes from Ms. Lynn
"Here are links to the recipes that I made yesterday.  For the most part I did what they said, but I'm not a measuring type so I eyeballed everything.   

Mini Beef Wellingtons
I used the gourmet mushroom blend from Publix in the wellingtons instead of cremini, as those are so hard to find and cost a fortune. 

I used pork instead of chicken in the lasagna sauce. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Integrity Wine Tasting at Le Caveau - Thursday May 22, 2014

Integrity Wine Tasting at Le Caveau - Thursday May 22, 2014
All of these wines should be decanted - yes even the white ones.

1) 2013 Dominio de Punctum 'Viento Aliseo' Viognier La Mancha  - $12.99
100% Viognier grown biodynamically
At sight, it shows a bright golden color with lime reflections.  There are Tahitian flower-like notes with soft lime and tropical fruit.  Well balanced with fresh acidity, the palate echoes the tropical flowers and citrus notes.  Great with spicy Asian dishes, richer white fish. 
This is the FIRST tasting of this wine in the state of Georgia.  It's THAT new. only 3 cases in the store.

Located in the small town of Las Pedroneras, Dominio de Punctum's estate is located at 750 meters above sea level, which together with its sandy loam soil, rich in limestone, makes it an optimum place to grow the best grapes.

2) 2012 Sepp Moser Grüner Veltliner 'Gebling' Erste Lage Kremstal - $26.99
100% Gruner Veltliner grown biodynamically
Bright yellow green.  It shows fine herbs and spices highlighted yellow apple fruit, elegant hint of tobacco, and touch of honey.  Powerful, juicy, dark spice, creamy texture, well-integrated acidity, sweet extract, and great aging potential.  Great with lobster or fish with fine spicy sauces, as well as asparagus, 
*melon and lime

The Gebling vineyard is mainly planted on terraces: it is on a steep slope located north of Rohrendorf reaching towards Krems.  The soil is one of the highest loess sediments in Europe.  The origin of the name "Gebling" is thought to mean "yellowish" referring to the soil color.

3) 2007 Mathieu Coste 'Biau!' Coteaux du Giennois - $26.99 (tonight only)
80% Gamay, 20% Pinot Noir grown organically
This wine has a complex nose of dark red fruit, forest, and pepper notes.  The palate is medium-bodied and after air turns to macerated fruit notes, spices, and a saline note.  This wine is refined and complex, with firm tannins and fresh acidity.  Pair with simple meat dishes, roasted quail, or other white meats, monkfish, and strong cheeses.
*light, could drink now or cellar up to 10 years

The soil on the property is very similar to that of Sancerre.  It is a mixture of clay, limestone, siliceaous soil from the tertiary and kimmeridgian eras.  The grapes are hand-harvested and then placed into open cement vats for whole cluster fermentation.  They only use native yeasts during the fermentation process.  After three weeks in the cement vats, they are transferred to stainless steel vats for malolactic fermentation.  Biau! (beautiful or handsome in old French)  is aged for 5 years in tank and neutral demi-muids (400 liter barrels) before release.

4) 2010 Mathieu Coste 'Têtes des Chats' (head of cats) Coteaux du Giennois - $29.99
80% Pinot Noir, 20% Gamay grown organically
The nose is intense on red berries with iodine and mineral notes.  On the palate, this wine is fine, fruity with soft tannins and a long finish with notes of strawberries and black currants.

*stainless/concrete/no oak, The cat reference refers to the Cathead stones in the soil.  Loire region, funky notes, darker than the pinot.  The Gamay in this region is DARK.

5) 2011 Château Sainte-Anne Cotes de Provence Rouge - $32.99
25% Mourvedre, 25% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, 25% Carignan grown organically
This has a nose of red fruits with herbs, spice, and a little tar that comes out with air.  The palate is savory with a little meatiness, along with concentrated red and black fruits balanced by fresh acidity and fine, but sturdy tannins.  Open or decant this wine about 30 minutes before enjoying it.

Their vineyards have been worked without chemicals since the 1960s (organically certified by Ecocert since 1976).  They are in a northeastern part of the appellation that is made up of hillsides with clay, limestone, and silica, which allows for excellent drainage.  The mourvedre slowly matures, after the early autumn rains which are quickly dried by the mistral. 
*natural yeast, no sulphites/sulfur

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Spring Wine Tasting at Le Caveau - Thursday May 8th 2014

Spring Wine Tasting at Le Caveau - Thursday May 8th 2014

1) 2012 Domaine Guillot-Broux Mâcon-Villages - $19.99
100% Chardonnay farmed biodynamically (certified organic) - Natural wine

Pale straw in the glass with pretty tropical fruit and brioche scents.  The palate is elegant and rich with white citrus fruit and notes of minerality framed by a round texture and vibrant acidity.

From 10-80 year old vines, all the grapes are harvested and sorted by hand in the vineyard before going to the winery.  The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in oak.  Only native yeasts are used.  The wine rests in oak for 6 months and spends 5 months in enamal lined vats before it is bottled.  It was the first vineyard converted to organic farming in Burgundy in 1954.

*we were the first people in GA to taste this wine, they only had 4 cases of this wine.

2) 2012 Dönnhoff Estate Riesling Trocken Nahe - $22.99
100% Riesling farmed sustainably

This wine has a floral nose with ripe citrus and fresh herbs.  The palate is precise, with tart lime and a strong mineral core of structure to complement its elegant dry finish.

This wine comes from the steeply sloping vineyards of the middle Nahe region.  The vines grow in stony, weathered volcanic soils of porphyry and melaphyr with small amounts of slate and quartzite, producing some of the more notably smoky and stony Rieslings.  Sourced mostly from the Grand Cru sites of Felsenberg (90%) Hermannshohle, and Leistenberg.  The grapes are hand harvested, fermented with native yeasts, and matured in stainless steel vats and large oak barrels.

3) 2013 Calstar Cellars Pinot Meunier Rosé Russian River Valley - $19.99
100% Pinot Meunier farmed sustainably

This wine shows notes of peach, golden delicious apple, strawberry and mango with rosewater and undertones of warm cinnamon and vanilla.  Secondary notes of banana, fresh hay, and papaya round out the ripe, fruit-forward nose.  Medium bodied, with some dry extract and fresh strawberry-like tannins filling out the mouth.

This is the first time this Pinot Meunier Rose from Christinia's Vineyard in the Russian River Valley was made, and only 83 cases were produced.  Fruit was crushed and the juice was left in contact with the skins for 4 hours then pressed.  Fermentation with native yeast was 80% tank (to preserve the fruit) and 20% neutral barrel (for mouth feel).

4) 2012 Domaine Rimbert 'Les Travers de Marceau' Saint-Chinian - $16.99
40% Carignan,
30% Syrah, 25% Cinsault, 5% Mourvedre farmed sustainably
Ruby in the glass with purple highlights.  The nose is packed with crushed red berry, plum, blueberry and notes of saddle leather backed by crushed stones.  The palate is supple as it delivers red and black fruit flavors backed by silken minerality and a deft touch of acidity.  
*deceptively light

From 60 year old vines, the grapes are hand-harvested and de-stemmed before they are gently pressed.  Only indigenous yeasts are used, the varietals are fermented separately in tanks before the final wine is blended.  The wine is bottled using gravity and undergoes a slight filtration.

5) 2012 Olivier Cousin 'Pur Breton' Rouge (Anjou) - $24.99
100% Cabernet Franc farmed biodynamically (certified)
Ripe plum, juicy cherry, red apple core and chalk tones dominate the nose.  Crushed strawberries mixed with invigoratingly fresh Bing cherry and red apple flavors explode on the palate.

From 40 year old fines, the grapes are hand-harvested, brought to the winery by a horse, de-stemmed, and gently pressed.  Only natural yeasts are used and the juice undergoes an extended maceration.  Aged in old oak barrels.