My little local wine group met at Roger’s Friday, with the broad theme of “Rose or White.” Nice first day of summer, perfect for sitting outside. This is not supposed to be dinner, but Roger grilled vegetables, tuna, steak, shrimp, and sausages. Fun night:
(non-blind welcoming wine )
2012 Houchart rose- nice lighter Provence, with a sweet edge. Ripe strawberroes, a bit of citrus, good. B
Fred’s wine: Bubbly but with restrained petillance. Sweet apple fruit, orange zest, chalky. Pretty sure not Champagne, guess Chenin Blanc (yes), Vouvray (yes),. Huet (yes). Know it’s not 2002, guess 2001 (no). 2005 Huet Vouvray Brut Petilliant. B+
Rogers Wine:Fairly dark rose, intenses, a bit heavy for me, but some others like. I guess California, told “I don’t think so.” But it is, the 2012 Bouchaine Rose of Syrah B-
My wine: Lighter, more elegant, crisp and refreshing, red fruits, mineral, hint of herbs. No one guesses CA (not usually what I bring), I then challenge on grape, saying it’s unusual. Dave, least geeky in group, jokingly says “Touriga Nacional” as I hosted a Portugese tasting, he’s right! 2012 Arnot-Roberts rose. A-/B+
Dave’s wine - light (almost to point of insubstantial), mild red fruits, I get Provence.
2012 Castel del Maures rose(cotes de Provence) B-
Alex’s wine: candied strawberry, moderate acids, a bit short but ok. 2012 Anne Pichon Montagne Gris B-
Marc’s wine: Finally, a still white. I get white Burg immediately, then stop guessing as I realize (and Marc confirms) it was a joint buy. Full-bodied, moderate acids, chalk, green apple. 2007 Domaine and Selection (Clotilde Davenne) “Blanchots” Chablis Grand Cru. B+/B
As there is still steak on the table and the night has cooled, Roger brings out a red, the 2005 Castelgreve Brunello di Montalcino. This wasn’t blind, if it had been I’d have guessed 20 years old, and not that good to start with. Pruney, black cherries, a touch of VA, short. Cooked or just bad? This bottle a C
So Saturday was high school graduation, and Betsy’s niece Rebecca was valedictorian. Betsy and Cal (Rebecca’s dad) have been coaching Beethoven op. 127 all week in Hamilton NY, but made it back in time for ceremony/speeches. Afterwards a crowd of relatives ate at Pio Pio in Manhattan. Great Peruvian chicken but a dismal wine list. I took a chance on a glass of Dante Robino Torrontes (vintage unknown), and wished I had stuck to seltzer. Chemical and dead flower aromas, a touch of VA, clipped. C/C-
Heat and humdity rolled in Sunday. I went to a graduation party, nice crowd, the house was steaming but there was a light breeze outside in the shade. Mostly seltzer for me, but I tried 2 whites that were thankfully cold and light
Casal Garcia Vinho Verde - hint of spritz, lemony, nothing complicated but perfect to to drink in the heat. B-
2010 La Ferla Inzolia - light, slightly grassy, reminds of a lighter NZ SB, simple but ok in the heat. B-/C+
I had brought a magnum from Rebecca’s birthyear, 1995 Ca Roma “Rapet” Barolo. Stood up for a few days, brought over that AM and left in cool spot. Uh oh, slightly depressed cork. And when I toch with Ah So down it goes. But we decant and end up with a perfectly nice mature Barolo. Still a bit of tannin, redder fruits, tar, and a little vanillin. Good acidic balance, not the longest finish,but pleasant.B+/B
Sunday night I grilled salmon, with beans and rice on side, wine was the 2012 Vissoux/Chermette “Cuvee Traditionelle” Beaujolais. Full and ripe for this bottling, pretty raspberry and cherry fruit, earth, tangy acids. Need more. B+
No wine on Meatless Monday as I made a trip into city to bring some cold beverages and clean clothing on a hot night.
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.