December 12th Wine Tasting -- And the winner is .....

Post date: Dec 13, 2009 10:13:07 PM

our hosts Susan and David Spector. They provided an elegant setting for our wine tasting and set the mood with selections of traditional French music. They were more than gracious hosts and we deeply appreciate everything they did in hosting the wine tasting. The choice of favorite wine of the evening was more difficult to determine. So let's give the awards in several categories:

  • Best wine for an over-the-top meal:
    • Clos du Mont-Olivet Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2007 Classic wines like this shouldn't be approachable for several more decades, yet the '07 Clos Du Mont-Olivet was already showing the depth and variety of flavors that is to come. This is the second bottling of the more famous Cuvee du Pape wine. I agree with Chris Saia at West Concord Liquors that there isn't enough difference in the two bottlings to justify a $100 price difference. At around $40 per bottle, this is clearly a special treat bottle, but well worth it. (West Concord Liquors)
  • Best wine value:
  • Tablas Creek Cote de Tablas 2007 San Robles, CA This wine is a great example of the difference between Old and New world wines. It is a mix of Grenache, Syrah and Counoise and had a much larger bouquet and assertive fruit. Parker rates this a 93 point wine. At less than $28 per bottle, it is an absolute steal. This wine has limited availability. If you like a great Cote du Rhone with a fuller bouquet and mouth feel, this is the one for you. The Perrin family, a leading Rhone producer and negotiant, is co owner of this winery. So Tablas Creek is a Frenchman's take on what a Californian would do with a classic French wine. (Acton Wine & Spirits, Colonial Liquors and special order through West Concord Liquors)
  • Best wine under $20:
    • Cline Cashmere 2007 Cline has produced an authentic Californian take on the classic Rhone mix of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre (GSM). All of the expected qualities are here with the unexpected addition of an incredibly smooth taste and finish. When Peg and I were at Cline this past summer, we were told the back story to naming the wine. They told us that the tasters were asked to describe the wine and after some frustrating attempts, one of the tasting room staff said, "It tastes like cashmere feels." The name stuck and the legend lives on. This is the second time ABNN has tasted the Cline Cashmere and it is a consistent crowd pleaser. (Acton Wine & Spirits, Colonial Liquors, West Concord Liquors)
    • Perrin & Fils Cote du Rhone Villages 2007 In the hierarchy of Rhone wines, it begins with Cote du Rhone, then Cote du Rhone Villages and at the pinnacle is Chateauneuf-du-Pape. 2007 is one of those extraordinary years when a finely crafted Cote du Rhone Villages tastes better than a Chateauneuf-du-Pape in a respectable year. I love a bargain and at $15 per bottle this is one of the best wine values on the planet. There is no way that you would be able to approach this quality in a Cote du Rhone Village in a normal year. Purists may say you should purchase the Perrin family's Chateau Beaucastle CDRV for $45 per bottle, but I'd rather triple my fun and get equivalent quality. It's only fifteen freakin dollars! (Colonial Liquors, West Concord Liquors)

The one surprise of the evening was how quickly the Red wines were consumed. As the conviviality went later and later into the evening, the Red wines were drained of every last drop. The white wines, well, they were finished off when there was nothing left to drink. This is not to say they were stinkers. The Perrin Reserve Cotes du Rhone white blend was very, very good. It had a clean and elegant finish to a well balanced wine. I guess it demonstrates that the club tends to enjoy Red wines more.


Erik Molander