Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

This is the seventh of twelve wines tasted from the Wines of Chile Blogger Tasting.

Wine #7:  2010 Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere

Appellation:  Cachapoal Valley

Notes:  14% ABV.  Deep color.  Plum jam and chocolate nose.  Very rustic.  Good fruit, some complexity, huge acid.  This becomes a sour candy.  I like acid and I like sour, but this becomes off balance.  Some heat, too, but I’m not sure if that’s the acid or the alcohol talking.  Grows on me as I drink it, decanting may smooth out the rough edges.

Rating:  2.5/5 (got an extra .5 because it’s getting better.)

Price:  $22 SRP


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This is the sixth wine tasted at a Wines of Chile blogger tasting.

Wine #6, 2009 Morande Gran Reserva Pinot Noir.

Appellation:  Casablanca Valley

Notes.  100% Pinot Noir.  Proper color and transparency, very floral notes with red fruit.  Lots of strawberry, some spice.  Acidic.  Off balance to me, I’m unimpressed, but it’s OK.

Rating:  2/5

Price:  $17.99 SRP


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This is part of an ongoing series of posts covering a Wines of Chile Blogger Tasting.

Wine #5:  2009 Cono Sur 20 Barrels Pinot Noir

Appellation:  Casablanca Valley

Notes:  100% Pinot Noir, 14.5% ABV.  Deep color.  Red fruit nose, almost jammy.  Very fruit driven at first, with cherry and strawberry, then some floral and pepper sneak in.  Good acid.  A little off balance to me, but the velvet mouthfeel and good potential for food pairing win me over.  Not really a typical Pinot.

Price:  SRP $32

Rating:  3/5

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This post is part of an ongoing series covering a Wines of Chile Blogger Tasting.

Wine#4 2010 Emiliana Novas Pinot Noir Grand Reserve

Appellation: Casablanca Valley

Notes: 100% Pinot Noir. 14% ABV. This wine has a little funk on the nose. If I didn’t know better, I would think it was from Burgundy; very French. Pepper and fruit undeneath. On the palate, this has nice fruit, great balance, soft tannins, and some acid. Wonderful character and elegance. I am blown away. Blown. Away. This is great wine, and a killer value.

Price: SRP $19

Rating: 5/5

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This is the third of a series of posts reviewing wines from a Wines of Chile Blogger Tasting

Wine #3:  2011 Casa Silva Cool Coast Sauvignon Blanc

Notes:  100% Sauvignon Blanc.  13% ABV.  Pretty typical Sauvignon Blanc, very stong pineapple and citrus on the nose and on the palate.  Almost a little effervescent.  Something is off with the balance here. Mostly this is like watered down pineapple juice.  Not a fan.  Certainly not the value the first wine was.  I would have reversed the order of the first three wines.

Price:  SRP $25

Rating:  1/5.

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I got another opportunity to participate in a Wines of Chile Blogger tasting tonight.  Tons of fun interacting via social media with wine bloggers around the world via the #BlogChile hashtag on Twitter.

For this tasting, all of the wine makers were available via webcast to describe their wines and participate in Q and A.  Nothing like interacting with wine makers while drinking their wine.. having them describe the process, the goal, and how they think they did.

Big theme for tonight was terroir.  One may think France, but all wine is of it’s place.  During the tasting, one of the wine makers (forgive me, I forget which one), described terroir as:

Soil, Climate, and Culture.

Well said.

12 wines in all during the tasting.  I will post on each one over the course of the next few weeks.

Wine #1:  Vina Casablanca Nimbus Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2012.

Appellation:  Casablanca Valley

Notes:  Apricot and grass on the nose.  Very crisp and acidic, but also lots of structure and elegance.  Lots of complexity, will be a great food wine.  This is very good wine, and a great value.

Price:  $12.99

Rating:  4/5

(Wines were provided by the Thomas Collective.  There was no compensation, and my opinion is just that.  Mine.  If the wine is good, I’ll say so.  If it sucks, I’ll say that, too.  I already got the free wine.)

Crossposted at mdwinereport.com

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Wine Express is a local wine tasting/retailing company.  They host regular tastings at Silo Point in Baltimore.  For a reasonable cost in an awesome setting, you can taste a number of wines and discuss both with the host (Rita Blackwell) and the other participants.

It’s a great concept, and they execute it well.

A couple of comments on that execution, then I’ll run down the wines.  The setting is outstanding.  Silo Point is a spectacular building, and the tastings are hosted in a warm space on the 19th floor.  The view is spectacular, and the space is large enough for the group, with plenty of seating options.

The folks running the tasting do a very nice job keeping things moving… I never waited more than a minute or so to get a pour of the next wine, and the wines were served at appropriate temperatures in appropriate glassware.  Everyone had some knowledge of the wines, and had clearly tasted them.  From a service perspective, the tasting is very well done.

Rita Blackwell, as the host, engages every guest.  She’s got an uncanny ability to recall people, she remembers small details that matter.  Clearly, she’s about service first.  That said, she provides background and educates in a manner that everyone can appreciate, from novice to the experienced oenophile.

Most striking is the diversity of the group.  I was really happy to see a varied group; instead of the wine tasting of your old perception (a bunch of wealthy white people over 40 with their pinkies in the air), this was a racially diverse group ranging from 20’s to 70’s.  Everyone was friendly, and we had a great time talking wine with each other.

Wine is fun, and this tasting made fun the focus.  I’m looking forward to attending more.

Now for the wines.  The tasting was “California Dreamin'”, and while the theme was one of summer, the wines really reminded me of Thanksgiving, a great variety of food friendly and crowd pleasers.  All of these wines would pair with the rich/diverse foods on your Thanksgiving table, and would make everyone happy.

Kali’s Heart Chardonnay (Monterey County)

A bit sweetish, unoaked, but retained the California fruit/richness.  Good drinking, would be a crowd pleaser.  Grew on me.

$23.  3/5

Qupe Marsanne (Santa Ynez Valley)

Great wine!  Food friendly, crisp minerality and acid.  Very old world, would have guessed it was from the Northern Rhone.  Extremely food friendly, made my mouth water.  My favorite of the tasting.

$24.  4/5

Paraiso Riesling (Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey)

Probably my least favorite, but still pretty darn good wine.  There’s a hint of risidual sugar, but nice fruit, and some crispness on the finish.  Another very food friendly wine, and a good turkey wine.

$18.  3/5

Fappiano Pinot Noir (Russian River, Sonoma)

Another easy drinker, and another crowd pleaser.  Funk and fruit, enough complexity to pique my interest, and plenty of fruit to keep the family happy.  Yet another match for roasted poultry.

$26.  3/5

Ancient Peaks Zinfandel  (Paso Robles)

A peppery nose belies the huge fruit on the palate.  Offsetting that fruit was a ton of acidity, another one to make your mouth water between bites of turkey, stuffing, and cranberry; but flexible enough to stand up to some meat off the grill.

$24.  3/5

Paradiso Syrah (Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey)

Another big fruit wine.  I think they were trying for a Northern Rhone style, but ended up closer to an Aussie Shiraz.  Along with the fruit, there is some beef jerky and spice; another wine you could put on your Thanksgiving table.  Probably my least favorite of the tasting, but still pretty good stuff.

$26.  3/5

You can find Wine Express on the web here.

They’re also on Facebook.


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