Our happy group of tasters are getting a little too good at identifying which wine is which if all that they have to do is match up wines with vintages etc, so I tossed a curve this weekend.
The tasters were given two wines in each flight, one old world and one new world. They got points for knowing which was which, an extra point for knowing which country and what vintage and a bonus point for nailing the actual wine itself.
A few notes are below
served with assorted cheeses
1995 Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill Brut--this was not in the old/new since we thought it unfair to the new world wine. This is a delightful full bodied champagne, with enough toast to keep me happy but a few bright notes as well. Clean and wonderful finish.
A hint of baked crusty bread and a touch of apricot, nice wine, easily identified as French.
NV Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs Brut
A hint of cherry, nice and fresh if a little short on any lingering finish it is still a decent value.
Appetizer— fried zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella di bufala served on a bed of greens
2003 Domaine Weinbach Schlossberg Grand Cru Riesling
Peach, passion fruit, vanilla and a slight petrol component.
note that one of our tasters identified this wine without clues. I found the finish a little dissappointing.
2003 Château Ste. Michelle-Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling
Lovely aromas -- light to medium-bodied with some spices on a lingering finish. This fooled a number of tasters into thinking it was old world and showed nicely.
Primo—wild mushroom and white truffle risotto
2004 d'Arenberg The Feral Fox Pinot Noir
Initial nutmeg and asian spice, some earthy notes below and toasty French oak. This wine showed remarkably well with a full palate--deep and juicy with black cherry flavour and good structure.
This is a great value for us.
1996 Beaune 1er Cru Clos du Roi .
A very nice Burg with plenty of classic character. Elegantly simply with enough fruit to go longer. Another good price point
Entrée—Pollo al Vin Cotto served with rosemary grilled tomatoes and marinated summer squash
1998 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Masseto.
One taster remarked that you could taste the clay soils and not in a complementary way - for others though, the wine is powerful, complex and wonderful. This is a big wine with lots of time left. It remains elegant and balanced.
Expensive but delish
2003 Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot.
This big Merlot showed ripe black cherry and plum fruit, cassis. It has lots of structure and a terrific mouth feel. Very popular with the tasters, one person thought it might be a Masseto. Not cheap (less than $80 Cdn) but not nearly the ticket price of the Masseto.
Dolce—chocolate waffles with hazelnut gelato
Fonseca Guimaraens 1976.
This is still a fruit bomb, deep dark and purple. Think in terms of Lava cakes and kirsch. Still very tannic and robust with a lovely finish.
d'Arenberg Vintage Fortified Shiraz 2000.
Very mixed reviews on this from 'WOW' to 'I don't like this'. It is spicy, black pepper, blackberry jam nose streaked with prunes. It is a little bit hot and no one thought it was from Portugal, but another decent value for people who like big fruit fortified wines.
A fun night all around.
Just North of Nowhere