I had a friend of mine come over to taste through some wines. So the menu was BBQ beef tenderloin on the smoker with grilled asparagus and roasted yukon potatoes. For the beef I season it up and then sear it in 450 oil about 2 minutes per side. I then went in the smoker for about 3 hours to an internal temp of 140. We started off with Dom des Lauribert VDP de Vaucluse 2008 $7. It had very nice bright, fresh berry fruit with a touch of spice. We then tasted the Lauribert Cotes du Rhone 2007 $10. This is definitely up a couple of notches. This is much more spice and pepper on the nose and more dense on the palate.
It is well worth the extra $3. Next was Dom Piaugier Sablet Counoise 2006 $15. This was interesting in that I hardly ever see just Counoise bottled. It was pretty subdued in the nose and a bit acidic on the palate with lighter raspberry flavors. Next is Alban Reva Syrah 1997. I bought this more than 10 years ago.
First of all the color is still very dark with purple at the edges. This is very aromatic with spice, smoke, and dark fruits in the nose and lots of black fruits on the finish. This mis one of the best domestic syrahs I have ever had. Quite the treat. Now on to Pinot Noirs. First was Waipara Springs Waipara 2008 $15. Color was fairly light but it smells like Pinot Noir. Lighter style , more strawberry flavors. Next up was Tohu Marlborough Pinot Noir 2006 $22. This is much darker and more to darker fruits in the nose. I feel that this is a very good example of Pinot in its price range. Last but not least was Craggy Range Te Kahu Merlot 2005 $$20. As i taste this merlot I compare it to merlot from anywhere. I ask myself how it stacks up. At this price i feel that it has much more complexity and is more interesting than most.It has more plum flavors on the palate and denser on the nose. This will hold up to BBQ very well. Basically, these all held up well with our dinner tonight. I also had some Greg Norman wines that we went through that were OK. Some were not. Remember I am here to sell wine for a living.