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Posts Tagged ‘sancerre’

2009 Christian Salmon Sancerre Cuvée Vieilles Vignes

Appellation:  Sancerre

Tasting Notes:  100% Sauvignon Blanc.  13% ABV.  Pale yellow color.  Nose is tropical with some apple.  Attack is tropical fruit, great acid, smooth full mouthfeel, then apple in the mid palate and finish.  Finish is pretty long.  Very nice wine.

Rating:  4/5

Price:  $19.99 at Beltway Fine Wine

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Our beloved Leslie Lovo takes the Gold, going 4 for 4 on the blind tasting, during the 2010/2011 inaugural MPA Wine Tasting, this past Saturday. Felicidades Leslie ! (the 5th round was a wash or maybe a slosh describes it better, because people were a little too happy by that point) And thanks to Keith and Kelsey for being such wonderful hosts !

In order of tasting …

2007 Domaine des Roches Neuves (Thierry Germain) “L’Insolite” Saumur
Tasting Notes : 100% chenin blanc, clay-limestone soil, fermentation in oak barrel, aged 12 months in oak, 13% vol. Quite raw, fleshy, fruity and complex on the nose, almost effervescent, with notes of fresh grass and flowers. Full-bodied, balanced, slightly off-dry and a little sour in the mouth. This wine is rich and slightly bitter with flavors of apples, peach and dried raisins.
Rating : 15/20 (13.3/20 MPA average)
Price : 18€00 @ La Grande Epicerie Paris

MPA winos …
Laura, “makes my inner thighs tingle” (14/20)
Jonathan, “dewey Spring morning” (11/20)
Christina, “pineapple, orange blossom” (13/20)
Rajul, “baba au rhum, pear with a hint of fresh paint thinner” (9.6/20)
Sayko, “onion rings with vinegar” (17/20)
Virginie, “swimming pool” (15/20) (more…)

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Last night Miki-san and I attended the Semester 2 kick off of In Vino Veritas.  Phil and Guillaume Desport, a young winemaker from Bordeaux, coordinated the tasting.  The theme was an introductory course on wine tasting, formatted as a blind tasting of two whites and two reds, all representative of their particular region.  Most of the bottles were good, standard and affordable wines, with the exception of the Bouchard Père & Fils, which is a very reputable domaine out of Bourgogne with a long history of quality and numerous grand crus and premier crus bottlings.

Another great tasting but just one grievance (sorry Phil), which drives me crazy everytime I run into it… OVERLY-CHILLED WINE!  In this case the two whites were way too cold.  Many within the wine industry are jumping onto the bandwagon of drinking all wine (white and red alike) at room temperature, around 65 degrees Farhenheit or 18 degrees Celcius.  I’m a big advocate of this, although I can certainly understand slightly chilled whites and of course even more chilled dessert wines and sparkling wines.  Some sommeliers will even preach to you for hours about the precise temperature at which each particular wine should be drunk.  But for a professional tasting, especially a blind tasting, and when selecting wines for purchase, the wine should NEVER be chilled.  It’s simply not possible to fully evaluate a wine below room temperature.  The acidity is exaggerated, as are any tannins.  Moreover the flavors and aromas will be closed and not able to fully express themselves.  It’s simple chemistry.  It’s like comparing a tango to a slow waltz.  Both can be beautiful dances but which one is more lively and expressive?  The same is true with the dance that goes on between the molecules that interact within the glass.  Thus, the colder the wine, the slower and less 2007 Domaine de la Moussièreexpressive the dance.  Again this doesn’t have to be a bad thing.  Everyone has their own taste and I always preach for people to drink what they like, not what experts tell them is good.  But for the purpose of evaluation, please always stick to room temperature.

2007 “La Moussière” Domaine de la Moussière (Alphonse Mellot)
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Appellation: Sancerre, Loire Valley
Price: 12€
Tasting Notes: Straw yellow in the glass.  A green nose with aromas of green apple, grass, and flowers.  A dry, medium-bodied, very acidic, and vibrant palate.  There are flavors of still ripening mandarin orange, a background of dried apricot and a citric finish, all accompanied by a smooth, light texture.
Rating: 12/20 (WS 88)

2007 Reserve Willm

Blind Notes: I narrowed it down to Loire or Bordeaux and knew it was a sauvignon blanc.

2007 “Reserve” Willm
Varietal: Gewurztraminer
Appellation: Alsace
Price: 8€
Tasting Notes: Lightly burnt straw yellow in the glass.  A very floral nose with aromas of honey, peach, tropical fruits and in particular lychee.  This wine is very fruity, dry to off-dry and full-bodied with a syrupy texture.  There are flavors of white peach and lychee.
Rating: 14/20 (WS 88)
Blind Notes: I nailed this one dead on.

2001 “Haut de Poujeaux” Chateau Poujeaux (Philippe Cuvelier)
Blend: 55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux
Price: 11€
Tasting Notes: Mahagony, reddish-brown, clouded by light sediment in the glass.  An alcoholic nose with aromas of black fruit, blackberry, vanilla, light hints of barnyard, and a 2001 Chateau Poujeauxlittle spice and leather.  A dry, very acidic, slightly unbalanced wine with bitter tannins and a medium body.  In the mouth there are flavors of dark chocolate, mushrooms and black fruit.
Rating: 14/20
Blind Notes: I narrowed it down to Bordeaux or Rhone and pinpointed the cabernet sauvignon, but wasn’t sure if the second grape was merlot or grenache.

2005 Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils2005 “Beaune du Chateau” Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Appellation: Beaune Premier Cru, Cotes d’Or, Bourgogne
Price: 12€
Tasting Notes: Light ruby red and clear in the glass.  Alcoholic aromas of spice, mild pepper, raspberry, flowers and pronounced cherries.  A dry, balanced, tannic wine with a smooth and silky texture.  The palate in dominated by strawberry and black cherries.
Rating: 15/20 (WS 89)
Blind Notes: I nailed it.

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On Wednesday the 28th Phil, President of In Vino Veritas, invited over a few friends from IVV and their alumni group Millésimes, for a private blind tasting.  On the agenda the main objective was practice and preparation for the upcoming 2009 blind tasting competitions.  There are many student competitions throughout France I am sure, but In Vino Veritas at Sciences Po participated in two last year.  The first is organized by Pol Roger, which hosts the semi-finals in February in Paris and the finals in June, matching up the best teams from the French cities of Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, and Lille, alongside Oxford and Cambridge.  The second competition is Vin/20, which holds its semi-finals in April and the finals in June in Bordeaux.  This competition is organized by the Commanderie du Bon Temps du Médoc, des Graves, de Sauternes et de Barsac and is hosted by the Baron himself (Éric de Rothschild) at Châtaeu Lafite Rothschild.  The competition is strictly focused on blind tasting Left Bank Bordeaux, with participants asked to identify the commune and the vintage.  Cambridge won the grand prize last year.  In fact both Cambridge and Oxford are known for having very strong teams and are given a free ride to the finals every year.  However, the schools in France must first to go through a preliminary qualifying round in order to be invited to the finals in Bordeaux.  Additionally, adding a third competition to the mix, this year In Vino Veritas is organizing it’s own Sciences Po International Tasting (SPIT).  Gotta love the name!  The details are pending but the competition will be hosted by Bollinger in Aÿ on April 25th and schools from around France and abroad will be invited.  Ya’ll might be interested to know that in addition to food, housing, and transportation being covered for all participants for all three competitions, the prizes given out are pretty remarkable, including wine trips, cases of Grand Cru old vintage wine, and rare double magnum bottles, including 1985 Lafite for example.

Let me make a quick call out to Phil for any corrections on the details behind these competitions, because this is the real deal and can get pretty intense, although a hell of a lot of fun as well.  And certainly In Vino Veritas is in it to win this year.  So the best of luck to Phil and the team at IVV!  Unfortunately I will be out of the country during this year’s first competition; however, I look forward to maybe having the opportunity to participate in 2010.

2006 Yannick Amirault “Les Quartiers”So back to our blind tasting practice round at Phil’s place.  There were about 7 of us and each person brought a specially selected bottle meant to be representative of a particular region.  There was no method to the madness, other than the general requisite that all bottles had to be from France.  Again our goal was to identify region, varietals, and vintage.  So we were off, tasting a flight of 9 bottles, 5 whites and 4 reds, tasting notes listed below.

2005 Domaine de la Pinte, Arbois-Pupillin “Viandries”
Appellation: Arbois, Jura
Varietal: chardonnay
Tasting Notes: Aromas of almond and banana.  A balanced acidity in the mouth with flavors of nuts, almonds, orange and hazlenut.
Rating: 16/20

2007 René Carroi Sancerre2007 René Carroi
Appellation: Sancerre, Loire
Varietal: sauvignon blanc
Tasting Notes: Minerality, floral notes and apple on the nose.  A nice acidity in the mouth with flavors of lemon, orange and general citrus throughout.
Rating: 14/20

2005 Eurl Thierry Puzelat
Appellation: Touraine, Loire
Varietal: sauvignon blanc
Tasting Notes: Mild oxidation on the nose with aromas of almond, pineapple and fleshy white tropical fruit, followed by subtle fig and dates.  A light wine with flavors of orange, apple, white peach and dates.
Rating: 15/20

2005 Domaine du Closel “Clos du Papillon” Savennières2005 Domaine du Closel, Château des Vaults “Clos du Papillon”
Appellation: Savennières, Loire
Varietal: chenin blanc
Tasting Notes: Citrus and very subtle creaminess on the nose.  A blanced wine with flavors of peach, apple, orange and orange zest and very faint cream.
Rating: 14/20

WS 94 (vintage 2004): Big wine, but with excellent definition and purity, this sports ginger powder, unsalted butter, white peach, honeysuckle and persimmon notes. Nice bracing finish has a hint of bitter 2004 Domaine Ostertag Muenchberg Pinot Gris Grand Crualmond. Drink now through 2012. 300 cases imported. –JM

2004 Domaine Ostertag Muenchberg
Appellation: Alsace Grand Cru
Varietal: pinot gris
Tasting Notes: Pineapple and floral aromas.  Light and citric in the mouth with an orange finish.
Rating: 15/20

2001 Chateau Cap de Mourlin Saint-Emilion Grand Cru2001 Château Cap de Mourlin Grand Cru
Appellation: Saint-Emlion, Bordeaux
Blend: 65% merlot, 25% cabernet franc, 10% cabernet sauvignon
Tasting Notes: Aromas of vegetable, rocks, earth, blackberries and plums.  Strong tannins but with a balanced acidity and flavors of blackberries and blueberries.
Rating: 17/20

2006 P. Corbineau “La Croiy Foucher”
Appellation: Touraine, Loire
Varietal: cabernet franc
Tasting Notes: Green pepper, olive, and pronounced cherry aromas.  Well balanced with flavors of cherry, and blueberry.
Rating: 16/20

2004 Chateau des Tours Reserve Côtes-du-Rhone2004 Château des Tours Reserve
Appellation: Côtes-du-Rhone, Rhone
Blend: 65%, 20% syrah, 15% cinsault
Tasting Notes: Floral, blueberry and Coca-Cola aromas.  Flavors of blueberry, plums and milk chocolate, followed by meaty flavors and texture.
Rating: 17/20

WS 86: A spicy style, with coffee and mocha notes leading the way for fig and blackberry fruit, followed by a soft, fleshy finish. Drink now. 4,165 cases made. –JM

2006 Yannick Amirault “Les Quartiers” Bourgueil2006 Yannick Amirault “Les Quartiers”
Appellation: Bourgueil, Loire
Varietal: cabernet franc
Tasting Notes: Aromas of violets, olives and cloves.  In the mouth there is dark chocolate, cherry, blueberry and leather.
Rating: 15/20

WS 92: A dark, grippy red from France’s Loire Valley, with charcoal, mesquite, roasted fig, dark olive and mineral notes coursing through while a backdrop of plum sauce and toast waits in reserve. The structured, mouthfilling finish drips with fruit and mouthwatering olive notes. Best from 2009 through 2017. 821 cases made. –JM

NV Alvear Pedro Ximenez “1927 Solera”NV Alvear Pedro Ximenez “1927 solera”
Appellation: Jerez, Spain
Varietal: pedro ximenez
Tasting Notes: A nutty nose with intensely syrupy sweet flavors and almonds on the palate.
Rating: 15/20
Pairing: Pour this over vanilla ice cream and you won’t regret it!
Note: This glass wasn’t part of the blind tasting practice but rather was just a nice casual closure to the night, while talking with Phil about education and healthcare in Canada (he’s from Quebec).

WS 92: Menthol and prune aromas and flavors highlight this intense, sweet dessert wine. It exhibits plenty of brightness and complexity, ending with butterscotch and bitter chocolate notes. Nicely put together. Drink now. 300 cases imported. –BS

Anecdote…

Well after 2 months of what has been the most organizationally and emotionally crazy roller coaster that I can remember, FINALLY the end objective has been met.  So what the hell am I talking about?  I’m going to South Korea and Japan for 10 days!  Miki San will be hosting me and a few friends in Tokyo and Gom will be hosting us in Seoul.  I won’t go into all of the drama and what would have made for an amazingly successful reality TV show, but let’s just say we’ve been through absolute ecstacy and jubliation and absolute devastation and tears from one moment to the next, throughout the whole trip planning process, which was made so difficult since we were presented with the challenge of planning such a trip in tandem with a 2-week study trip to China (Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’an) that will immediately follow.  Wow that was a long sentence!  Unfortunately we had to deal with one of the worst travel agencies I’ve come across in my life as well as many last second straight-out-of-left field decisions and changes from our program’s administration.

Anyways, the point is, we’re going!  Departing on Finnair tomorrow the 30th.  And although this will be a whirlwind tour, I certainly plan to post about regional wine while I’m adventuring through East Asia.  I’ll be back in Paris on the 22nd of February.

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