Wine Tasting Results from 9/17

Post date: Sep 26, 2011 12:43:33 PM

Well, David Raines did not disappoint. He provided our group with a fascinating tour of the major wine regions of Europe by providing keen insights on the role of the land (terroir), slope of the vineyards and direction of the wind on the wines. David packed a huge amount of information into his description of the eight wines we tasted. Here are the wines, all of which are available at West Concord Liquours through the Club's friend Chris Saia:

2010 Praffmann Riesling Trocken (one liter bottle) Pfalz, Germany

2009 Domaine des Guyons Saumur Blanc Loire, France

2009 Antoine Olivier Santenay Le Bievaux Blanc Burgundy, France

2008 Tenuta del Portale Aglianico IGT Sartsa Basilicata, Italy

2009 Domaine Pelaquie Cotes du Rhone Rhone, France

2009 Chateau Guilbonnerie Bordeaux France

2009 Reverdito Nebbiolo d'Alba Simane Piedmont Italy

2009 Domaine Durieu, Chateauneuf du Pape Rhone, France

The hands down favorite of the evening was the 2009 Nebbiolo d'Alba ($18 before discount) . This wine has great mouth feel and lots of layers of flavor. Don't expect a lot of tannin in this wine even though it is from the same region as Barolo.

Among the white wines, the 2009 Antoine Olivier Santenay Le Bievaux was an exceptional chardonnay. If you've never had a great chardonnay from Burgundy, this is the one to taste. It is pricey at $40 before discount, but still about 33% of a Puligny Montrachet. This is the best value Burgundian chardonnay I have ever tasted.

Our guests were really surprised by the 2010 Praffmann Riesling Trocken ($15 per liter the equivalent of $11.25 of a normal bottle). Many of us have bad memories of cheap sweet German Riesling and did a double take at how elegant this wine is. This is a dry riesling that has all the typical characteristics with none of the cloying sweetness. Compare this to Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris. If you like those types of wines, you'll love this.

Chris Saia and David Raines did something I've never seen an importer do at a tasting. One bottle of the Saumur was "corked" meaning that there was a flaw in the cork that gave the wine the smell of wet cardboard. Before they poured the wines, they sniffed the cork and tasted the wine to ensure that it was good. As fate would have it, one of the bottles was bad. David reserved that wine so that we could smell the aroma of the "corked" wine next to the good Saumur. Chris also gave great advice for you when you order a bottle of wine, but it doesn't smell or taste quite right. The restaurant just sends it back to the retailer, that in turn gets a refund from the Distributor. You should never feel self-concious sending a wine back.

My personal favorite was the 2009 Domaine Pelaquie Cotes du Rhone ($14 per bottle before discounts). Peg has never been a fan of Rhone valley wines, but this one was good enough to sneak into our cellar. The wine is primarily Grenache and because it is grown in sand, it tends to be more smooth and less tannic than other wines made from the same grape.

We again wish a special thanks to our new friends, David Raines from Vineyard Research and our good friend, Chris Saia of West Concord Liquors. They provided a delightful venue in West Concord's tasting room and a more generous discount on the wines than was to be expected.