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Today’s Wine Review

Thursday I went to a wine tasting that featured wines from Burgundy and for a special treat; the last glass was a 20 year old tawny Port. I’ve never tasted wines from Burgundy so that was pretty enticing but the real reason I wanted to go was for the 20 year old tawny Port. I’ve had 10 year old tawny Port and that was pretty special so I could only imagine what a glass of 20 year old tawny Port would taste like.

The wine tasting was a small private affair at a local liquor store that holds wine tastings about every month or so. These tastings are usually themed based, such as Bordeaux, Italian, Cabernet Sauvignon or a certain winery being featured. Thursday night it was wines from Burgundy. I learned that there are only three grapes grown in Burgundy one white and two red, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a Gamay Beaujolais.

We started off with a dry sparkling wine called Simonnet-Febre Cremant made from the Chardonnay grape. It was dry but not as dry some of the extra bruts I’ve tasted. It was also reasonably priced at $22.49 a bottle.

Then the tasting began with three whites and three reds. The first white wine was a 2012 Simonnet-Febre Chablis. The cost was $27.49 a bottle. It was dry and very clean tasting, not at all like the flat beer taste I usually get from a Chardonnay. That’s because the French don’t age their white wines in the big oak barrels like the California Chardonnays. It had a mineral taste and a bit salty but still a light wine similar to a Sauvignon Blanc.

The second white was a 2011 Latour Macon Lugny Les Genievres. It was a little less than the first one at $22.49 a bottle. It was also dry and had a mineral taste but it was a lot fuller more like a Chardonnay I’ve tasted before. The third white was a 2010 Latour Puligny-Montrachet AC. It was dry but also light and very smooth, my favorite of the white wines. Of course it was the priciest of the white wines too at $69.99 a bottle.

The next three were the red wines of the region. Two Pinot Noirs and one Beaujolias. The first red was a bottle of Fessy Regnie Reyessier, a Beaujolais. It was semi-dry a pinkish red wine very light and soft and very much a bargain at $20.49. The second red was a Latour Marsannay Rouge, a Pinot Noir. It was a darker red but still a fairly light wine, soft and dry. The cost a bit higher at $28.99.

The last red was a bottle of Latour Nuits St. George, a Pinot Noir. It was much fuller and a more golden red color. There was a dark fruit taste and much more expensive than the other two at $67.49 a bottle.

But they saved the best for last; a Grahams Tawny Port aged 20 years. It was a golden color in the glass with no hint of red. It smelled warm and inviting like warm honey. I almost held my breath as I picked up the glass and raised it to my lips. I took a sip and it was everything I had imagined it would taste like, warm maple syrup, honey and nectar all in one small taste. I didn’t care what the bottle cost, I knew I was going to buy a bottle. Actually it wasn’t that bad, it had a list price of $67.49 but the liquor store was offering a special that night for $49.98 a bottle, so I didn’t completely blow my budget. I think I would have bought it at full price anyway. It was that good. I am looking forward to opening the bottle and having a glass to savor all to myself without twenty other people in the same room.

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Today’s Wine Review

We have had a very pleasant summer so far, not the usual blast furnace complete with humidity in triple digits. This means that we have been able to drink a lot more red wines and not just chilled whites or rosés. Don’t get me wrong, I love white wines and rosés, but steak goes much better with red wine and with the summer heat we grill out most every night. Besides I think Mitch would stage a mutiny if all I fixed all summer was chicken and pork chops.

To go with the steaks on the grill, I opened a bottle of Mark West Pinot Noir, 2012. Mark West is a California wine and can be found at http://www.markwestwines.com. This wine was a brownish red purple color in the glass and had a fruit forward smell and taste. It had a light spicy taste with a medium finish. It was a very nice very drinkable wine. This is one I will be buying a lot more of when I go for my regular wine re-stocking.

Another really good Pinot Noir is Roaring Meg, 2010, from Mt Difficulty Estate, in New Zealand. The web site is http://www.mtdifficulty.co.nz. This is a wine I had in Texas on vacation earlier this year. It was full of crisp flavors of peaches and pears with a hint of spiciness. When I stuffed my nose in the glass I could smell honey and fruit nectar. It was a wonderful glass of wine and one that I will buy if I can find it.

Today’s Wine Review

As far as summers go, this one has been a very mild one around here. I’m not complaining mind you, in light of the previous three summers, this one has been very pleasant, rain now and then, temperatures only hit the nineties a few times, almost picture perfect. The only down side has been that because of the really long cold winter, it has taken my vegetable garden longer to produce any zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes.

This summer I’ve experimented with new white wines I hadn’t tried before. Overall I’m making a bigger effort to get out of my comfort zone and try more red and white wines. A few have been really good.

One of the white wines that I hadn’t had before is Concannon Selected Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc, 2012. A California white wine that was very light and tart, with a grapefruit aroma, and a clean taste. It had a nice light finish.

Another new wine we had was one of the wines we bought in Texas. Becker Vineyards, Wildflower, Fleur Sauvage, 2012. This is a Texas High Plains white wine blend. This wine was off dry, demi-sec. It was a wine that went really well with spicy food.

The third one is one that we’ve had many times, Toscana Villa Antinori, an Italian white blend. The vintage was 2011 and super tasty. The wine was tart and dry, with a mineral taste like a Sauvignon Blanc. The first taste was grapefruit with a medium finish.

One of the best things I’ve discovered about wine is that there is always a new wine to taste. No one can ever say that they’ve tasted them all. This is a passion that can never be fulfilled, but will never get boring either.

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