Sunday, October 19, 2008

Results of the October 18 Wine Tasting

A cool and clear night with a steady flame in the firepit on Dawson's patio was the backdrop of the first winetasting in nearly two months for us. This first of it's kind 'pot luck' theme was simple to follow--bring two bottles of something you haven't had before, red or white, already masked in either a paper bag or foil for a double-blind approach to this event. With the autumn air rolling in, it certainly made sense that we'd likely be tasting more reds than whites. The final count was two whites and 6 reds.

The results of this tasting (from worst to first using the traditional 1-5 scale, 5 being the highest) are listed below:
1. 2004 Chateau Gardey Minervois (French blend, $7.99)--a lot of pepper was detected on the nose and pallate with this one. It also offered up a vanilla and oak scent, with some vegetal tones as well. Despite the length this wine presented to the group, it's awkward delivery and finish did not convince us of it's overall drinkability--Total Score 7.0, Average Score 1.75

2. 2003 Chateau Greysac Bordeaux (French blend, $18.00)--this wine offered the anticipated oaky and vanilla components on the nose, but upon tasting seems to have somehow been 'watered down', quickly killing any lasting efforts on the pallate--Total Score 9.5, Average Score 2.375

3. 2006 Frog's Leap Napa Cabernet Sauvignon (California Cab, $40.00)--the group was in agreement that a very tight nose gripped this wine. A sweet yet very dry impression was had upon tasting, with the group also catching strong tanins. Dark fruits were abundant, but not enough to slot this effort any higher than 6th place out of 8 wines, especially at this price point--Total Score 11.5, Average Score 2.875

4. 2003 Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano D'Abruzzo (Italian Montepulciano, $12.00)--a candylike scent was sensed early on, with the expected oak, vanilla, and pepper components to the smell and taste. It had a nice length and reasonable smoothness. For the price a nice job! Total Score 12.0, Average Score 3.0

5. 2001 Hunt Cellars Syrah (Paso Robles, California Syrah, $27.50)--no recent tasting has been complete without some contribution from Paul Santinelli's arsenal of California faves. This reasonably sweet effort had a nicely balanced oak and vanilla nose and taste, with subtle pepper and seasonings in the mix. It was deemed serviceable and one to seek out again up the road. Total Score 12.5, Average Score 3.125

6. 2007 Cederberg Chenin Blanc (South Africa Chenin Blanc, $14.99)--the first of three to have distanced themselves from the rest of the pack was this white, which came across on the nose with a citris rind. It also had minerality and grassy hints to the smell. The taste was acidic and dry, having a minimal but detectable amount of lemon and/or lime in it's profile. Total Score 14.0, Average Score 3.5

7. 2007 Chateau St. Michelle Reisling (Columbia Valley, Washington Riesling, $9.00)--just edging the Cederberg out for 2nd place honors was this pear and melon scented effort from the Pacific Northwest. The citris and mineral tones to it's flavor composition were nicely organized, and when complimented with it's acidity and dryness, the group had no choice but to give this terrific selection a resounding 'thumbs up', except for Anthony, who preferred the Cederberg as the white of choice this evening. Total Score 14.5, Average Score 3.625

(Before unveiling the winner, it should be made clear that this was a major upset)

8. 2006 Alba Vineyard Old Mill Red (New Jersey Chambourcin, $17.00)--wow, the Garden State edging out Italy, France, South Africa, and the West Coast? This time, YES. The nose on this gem was very enticing, bearing lots of candylike tones, such as cinnamon and caramel. Vanilla and oak were detected both on the nose and pallate, and the medium tanins made this a VERY drinkable and enjoyable play. Upon tallying the scores, it was obvious this 8 wine contest had a clearcut winner--Total Score 16.5, Average Score 4.125

Once again another wine event has come and gone, so be sure to check on Wine Legends for updates on the next event!

1 comment:

Anthony F. LaVista said...

Excellent account JP. I think it's fair to say that a great time was had by all. One thing is for sure, New Jersey has proven it can hang with the big boys when it comes to this little known red grape.