WSR meets at the Fraser/Overton avocado farm on Feb 5 at 7:00. Tasting will begin at 7:30. We will have some Italian sparkling wine and then launch into a tasting of Super Tuscan wines including an Ornellaia and a Tignanello.
You’ll remember we tasted a Bolgheri at David Ries’ tasting last month – a DOC Bolgheri that is referred to as a Super Tuscan – or is it a Bolgheri? Super Tuscans were hot in the 90’s. They lost some of their luster after a flood of Super Tuscans came on the market – many at high prices that did not match the quality of the wine. Are they coming back again stronger and more assuredly than before? Just about every producer in Tuscany makes a Super Tuscan but are they super? Does a Super Tuscan have to cost over $100 to make it Super?
We’ll see since we will have some highly regarded wines referred to as Super Tuscan that are available for under $50.00. Super Tuscans can be categorized into those that are 100% Sangiovese, Sangiovese blends, Merlot-based wines and Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines (or Bordeaux blends). Some have Syrah in the mix. There are no real rules for Super Tuscan since this is mainly a marketing term. Some are DOC, some IGT and some undesignated. Confused? We’ll try to sort it out and test your ability to distinguish grape varietals.
Mostly we’re going to have some fun seeing if these wines can be considered “Super” and find out if there are any that we might want to have in our cellars. For more information about Super Tuscans see the articles below, they are PDf files and will open on your screen when you click on the name.
Super Tuscan Information:
Happy New Year to one and all! First let me me thank Charlene for allowing me to host at her home. Second let me thank Richard, Richard and Linda for all of their help in setting up, prep, and cooking.
December tasting at Tim’s was another success. Being sick for this tasting I am hoping that someone will add there notes to the comment section.
Here was the line-up of Champagnes:
A: Gloria Ferrer – Blanc de Noir – NV (California) $16
B: Schramsburg – Blanc de Blanc – 2009 (California) $25
1. Iron Horse – Brut – 2007 (California) $30
2. Jaume Cordorniu – Brut – NV (Spain) $30
3. J. Lassalle – Cuvee Angeline – 2005 $50
4. Henri Billiot – Cuvee Laetitia – NV (multi vintage) $90
5. Piper Heidsieck – Brut – NV $30
6. Domaine Carneros – Le Reve – Brut 2005 (California) $86
7. Piper Heidsieck – Rare – NV $110
8. Bellavista Franciacorta – Brut – NV $35
9. J. Schram – Brut – 2004 (California) $85
10. Pierre Peters – Les Chetillons, blanc de Blanc – 2005 $90
11. A.R. Lenoble – Blanc de Blanc – NV $35
12. Gruet – Bland de Noir – NV (New Mexico) $12
Gerry’s note: Group Split on 3 & 4, # 7, Group Split on 9 & 10 , 12 was the ringer!!
1.Sparkling wine (from Provence region, sparklers are not part of the AOC)
Château de Saint Martin NV “Bulles de Rose” pd 22.95 OG
Cinsault and Syrah
2. Côtes de Provence
a. Domaine Fontanyl 2010 pd 12.99 Sch.
b. Château d’Esclans “Whispering Angel” pd 15.99 TW
Listed producer in Classement, wine rated at 14/20
c. Château d’Esclans 2009 “Garrus”
80-year old Grenache and Rolle Aged on oak 10 months. SRP Fr = 80€, retail US = 99.99
Listed producer in Classement, wine rated at 15/20
d. Domaine La Courtade 2010 “L’Alycastre” pd 12.59 Sch.
Grenache, Tibouren, Mourvèdre
1-star producer in Classement, the 2010 rated at 16/20
e. Domaine St-André de Figuière 2010 Veilles Vignes pd 19.99 Sch.
50% mourvèdre, 25% cinsault, 25% grenache
Listed producer in Classement, this wine rated at 14/20
f. Gassier Sables d’Azur 2011 SRP = $13 to $15
g. Domaine Sorin 2011 « Terra Amata » SRP = $11.99
30% grenache, 15% cinsault, 15% mourvèdre, 15% syrah, 15% carignan, 8% rolle, 2% ugni
h. Château Peyrassol 2011 pd 17.99 K&L
i. Commanderie de Peyrassol 2011 pd 22.99 K&L
j. Saint Roch des Vignes 2010 pd 12.99 Gel
50% Cinsault, 50% Grenache
k. Château Roubine 2011 SRP $19.99
Cinsault, grenache, cabernet sauvignon, carignan, tibouren, syrah, mourvèdre
l. Château l’Afrique 2011
60% grenache, 30% cinsault, 10% syrah
m. Château Léoube 2011
Syrah, cinsault, grenache, mourvèdre
n. Domaine de Saint Ser « Prestige » 2011 SRP 18.99
Cinsault 40%, grenache 30%, syrah, rolle
3. Coteaux Varois en Provence
a. Château Margüi 2011 SRP = $19.99 to 24.99
50% cinsault, 50% grenache (Ecocert organic, bio next year)
4. Coteaux d’Aix Provence
a. Domaine La Rabiotte 2010 pd unk. TW
70% grenache, 20% cinsault, 10% syrah
b. Château du Seuil 2010 pd 11.69 Sch.
40% syrah, 40% grenache, 20% cabernet sauvignon
c. Château Vignelaure 2011 « La Source »
50% grenache, 40% cinsault, 10% syrah 1-star producer in Classement, rated at 13.5/20
d. Château Vignelaure 2011 List price in France = 12.50€
40% grenache, 30% syrah, 30% cabernet sauvignon
1-star produer in Classement, rated at 14/20
e. Commanderie de la Bargemone 2011 SRP = $16 to $19
36% grenache, 21% cinsault, 20% syrah, 17% cabernet saugvignon, 3% carignan, 3% ugni blanc
B. Bandol (is its own AOC, but surrounded by Provence AOC)
The March tasting at Scotts turned out to be a good tasting for those not familure with burgandy wines and to give them a taste of what French pinot should taste like compared to California… oh that was the twist!! Here was the lineup:
O – Bugey- Cerdon la Cueille – Sparkling Wine, Poncin France $16.
1 – Three Saints – Pinot Noir- Santa Maria Valley $17
2 – Michel Sarrazin – Givry – Sous La Roche $23
3 – Lousi Jadot – Beaune Les Avaux – $37
4– Marsannay – Les Longeroies – Regis Bourvir $28
5 – Morgon – Pinot Noir – Twelve Clones – Santa Lucia Highlands $25
6 – Thierry et Pascale Matrot – Meursault $33
7 – Louis Latour – Marsannay – Cote – D’Or $16
8- Albert Bichot – Domaine du Pavillon Beaune Les Epenottes $30
9- Domaine Faiveley – Mercurey Clos Des Myglands – Premier Cru $32
10 – Thierry et Pascale Matrot Monthelie $30
11– Hamilton Russell Vineyards – Pinot Noir, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, So.Africa $37
12- Domaine Du Chateau De Chorey – Beaune Les Teurons $60
A very good and interesting tasting of highend Melbec’s from Argintina. List to come.
1. Az Agr. Baccinetti “La Saporoia” K&L Wine Merchants, Hollywood $34.98
92 points – James Suckling: “A beautiful perfume and sweetness to this wine with plum, dark cherry and flowers. Full and very silky tannins with berry and blackberry tart flavors. Enticing and friendly. Try it in 2013.”
K&L: “Baccinetti is on Montalcino’s south fact, not far from Castel Sant’Angelo and next to Lisini. The nose is wild, full of gamey aromatics coupled with intense Marasca cherries and cranberries – it just gushes from the glass. On the palate the wine has a dense sweetness to it; it lush, but shows focus and balance while still giving the feel of weight and size in the mouth. The finish is very spicy, full of Middle Eastern intrigue, exotic and enticing. It is incredibly rich. Its dense testier, together with the spicy fruit, make for a long and complexity-filled finish.
2. Baccinetti “La Saporoia 2009 Rosso de Montalcino K&L Wine Merchants, Hollywood $16.99
K&L: Affectionately named “Cat-zilla” by our staff because of its Cat adorned unique label this is the newest addition to our direct imports from Montalcino. From vineyards adjacent to Lisini on the south face of Montalcino this wine is a thrilla! Lush, rich texture balanced with spice, complexity and a long finish. This tiny winery was brought to our attention by a couple of loyal K&L customers (Mark & Lori thank you) and is just an awesome drink right now at an unbelievable price. You’ll love the richness, be cativated by the complexity and be back buying more!
3. Canalicchio Di Sopra Hi-Time Cellars, Costa Mesa $54.98
Wine.com: “In 1962 Primo Pacenti, a lover of the land with a knowledge of its products, founded Azienda Agricola Canalicchio di Sopra. Situated in the northern side of theMunicipality ofMontalcino and in the middle of the tourist itinerary of Val d’Orcia, the farm extends for about 60 ha, 15 of which are cultivated with vines and 2 with olive groves.
Three generations live here side by side with the common aim of producing quality wines: the generation of the grandfather, Primo Pacenti, who founded the farm and managed it until the 1990’s, as well as participating actively in the social life of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino; that of the father, Pier Luigi Ripaccioli, who with the grandfather has undertaken to increase the quality by proposing careful and meticulous work; that of the grandchildren, Simonetta, Marco and Francesco who joined the management in 2001, bringing with them new ideas and new technologies always in respect of ancient methods and customs.
The vines grow in two of the zones with the highest vine growing and wine making vocations in Montalcino: Canalicchio di Sopra and Le Gode di Montosoli. The different exposure and the geological differences of the soils produce different Sangiovese grapes where balance and power compensate one another in the wine cellar through the patient work which always seeks the best blend of tradition and innovation.
The Wine Advocate: “The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino comes across as tightly wound and inward at this stage. With time in the glass the wine’s inner perfume gradually comes to life, even if this remains a reticent Brunello within the context of the vintage. Still, it is impossible not to admire the inner sweetness of the fruit and the impeccable polish of the tannins. All this needs is time, maybe a little more than usual in this vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026. ” 94 Points
4. Mastro Janni 14.5% Hi-Time Cellars,Costa Mesa $46.98
From Jim Suckling: Fascinating aromas of strawberry tart, dried fruits and tobacco box. Full body, with tobacco and berry character. Flavorful finish. I like the sweet, silky texture. This is racy and very refined. Traditional in style. Needs three to four years of bottle age.
Antonio Galloni writes: The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino is a wonderfully plush, warm Brunello loaded with radiant fruit. Flowers, licorice and leather develop in the glass, adding dimension to this opulent, expressive wine. The sheer depth of the fruit and the open, sweet bouquet completely cover the tannins, making this one of the most approachable wines of the vintage. This remains a rich, full-bodied Brunello capable of delivering plenty of enjoyment now and over the next handful of years at a minimum.
5. Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona “Pianrosso” Hi-Time Cellars, Costa Mesa $53.98
K&L: “Ciacci’s location in southern Montalcino gives it lots of ripeness to work with, and in Paolo Bianchini’s hands it shines. This vintage’s Pianrosso is the best I can remember in years: the fruit is classically Ciacci-flashy and ebullient, however very complex this year. There’s lots of plum and cherry, but this vintage has more spice, earth and verve. The wine has focus, length and, while it shows real palate plushness, it has the structure to age as well. The wine finishes with a balanced and bold replay of the fabulous fruit character it displays in the nose.” 93 pts.
6. La Fortuna 2009 Rosso de Montalcino K&L Wine Merchants, Hollywood $19.99
90 points Wine Spectator: “Juicy and appealing for its black cherry, raspberry, licorice and sweet spice flavors, this red is buoyed by its bright acidity. Long, rich finish. Drink now through 2013. 1,100 cases made.” (09/11)
7. La Poderina Hi-Time Cellars, Costa Mesa $45.98
95 points James Suckling: “Blueberries, flowers and raspberries. Love the nose, like so many others. Full body, with fine tannins and a silky textured finish. So much going on here. Class. Best after 2013.”
92 points Wine Enthusiast: “La Poderina’s Brunello shows impressive balance between its bright fruit and sassy spice components. On the close, the wine exhibits a tight, firm and penetrating feel that is carried forth by acidity and the natural firmness of the tannins.” (04/11)
90 points Stephen Tanzer: “Good full red. Withdrawn but pure aromas of cherry and iron. Juicy red fruit and mineral flavors are a bit sullen today but show good depth. Began serious and savory but time in the glass brought more texture and sweetness. Finishes with ripe tannins and very good length.” (Jul/Aug 11)
8. Lisini 2009 Rosso de Montalcino Hi-Time Cellars, Costa Mesa $26.98
Lisini’s 2009 Rosso di Montalcino is all class and elegance. A floral, open bouquet leads to layers of bright, high-toned fruit in this understated, feminine Rosso. This is a terrific showing from one of Montalcino’s historic names. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2019.
9. Poggio Antico 13.5% Alc Hi-Time Cellars, Costa Mesa $63.98
95 points James Suckling: “Fascinating aromas of blackberries, flowers, dark chocolate and nuts follow through to a full body, with chewy tannins and a long, intense aftertaste. Bright acidity. This is structured and held back. Massive wine. Most structured ever from here. Give it four to five years of bottle age before opening. Impressive power. (1/15/11)”
95 points Stephen Tanzer (International Wine Cellar): “Bright, dark red. Knockout perfume of black cherry, black raspberry, minerals, violet, rose petal and a whiff of dark chocolate. Silky on entry, then almost painfully intense in the middle, with terrific backbone and acidity to the classy fruit, mineral and dark chocolate flavors. This boasts fruit of steel, and great clarity. Finishes with a compelling savory quality, a spine of noble tannins and outstanding subtle persistence. (Jul/Aug 2011)”
93 points Antonio Galloni (Wine Advocate): “[$80 list] The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino is a very pretty, elegant wine. Fine, silky tannins frame a core of crushed berries, flowers, licorice and new leather in this mid-weight, gracious Brunello. The wine’s inner sweetness emerges over time, adding harmony and class. This is a super-elegant, refined Brunello from Poggio Antico. The estate gave the Brunello three years in Slavonian oak, yet the wine remains fresh and vibrant. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2026. (May 2011)”
93 points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): in big, Slavonian oak botti ranging from one to twelve years of age. The first class bouquet jumps from the glass in a beautiful mélange of cherries, woodsmoke, orange peel, a touch of gamebird, lovely soil tones and a topnote of Tuscan herbs. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and precise, with a lovely dollop of old school Brunello elegance, fine mid-palate depth, ripe tannins and excellent focus and grip on the very long, refined and chewy finish. A classic in the making and one of the best 2006 Brunellos I have had the pleasure to taste. 2016-2050. (May/Jun 2011)”
93 points Wine Enthusiast: ” Poggio Antico consistently delivers standout Brunello, and this expression from the 2006 vintage is no exception. The wine is plush and rich with deliciously soft succulence. In the background, it delivers loads of vanilla, sweet spice, clove and black cherry. (Apr 2011)”
“Poggio Antico has the good fortune, along with Gianfranco Soldera, to have their vineayrds at the highest elevations in Brunello di Montalcino, and this has certainly benefitted them in the hot 2006 vintage. The ’06 Poggio Antico is an absolute classic in the making, coming in at 13.5 percent alcohol and having been raised entirely.”
10. Uccelliera (A Mark deGrazia Import) 15% Hi-Time Cellars,Costa Mesa $63.98
94 points Wine Enthusiast: “A stellar performer year after year, Uccelliera’s confident delivery is characterized by intensity, purity and personality. This Montalcino favorite also delivers plush softness with thick texture and a focused point of bright acidity.” (4/1/2011)
93 points Wine Spectator: “Starts out supple, with licorice, dried cherry and plum flavors, picking up a touch of herbs as this glides to a lingering conclusion. Elegant and almost racy, with grip and character. Best from 2013 through 2025.” (06/11)
91 points Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, Jul/Aug 11: “Good deep red. Black fruits, licorice, black pepper, spices, underbrush and minerals on the nose. Dense and sweet but also nicely structured, offering good energy for such a creamy wine. A bit unwieldy today owing to its high alcohol, but the wine’s powerful tannins are nicely supported by ripe, deep fruit. Give this at least four or five years to come into harmony.”
As 2011 came to a close, Tim put together an exceptional champage list to end the year with and including some I have never had (being a novice and all). It was good to finally taste a Crystal and Dom to see what all the hubub was about with these highend champagnes, still thinking about those!!
Tim added some notes to his email of which has been included here:
I think everyone took home some new knowledge and perhaps a whole new set of expectations. There were quite a number of favorites among the group, not unexpected when you stack the deck (ratings were 93 or above for every wine), but then that really was my intent. The take home message: READ, READ and READ some more and when you find a general consensus of very favorable ratings by reviewers go out a try that particular wine, especially if it is $40. and not $200. as was the case with several wines last evening. As I mentioned everything we tasted last evening is available at ‘local’ shops.
Aperitif Price Score
Jaume Serra Cristalino – Brut Nature- 2008 $ 13. (mag) 91 W&S
30% Chardonnay, 30% Xarel·lo, 20% Macabeo. 20% Parellada
Roederer – L’Ermitage – Brut – 2002 $ 39. 94 W&S
60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay
Charles Heidsieck – Brut Reserve – NV $ 38. 93 W&S
34% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Meunier.
Dom Perignon – 2002 $ 130. 96 RP
Variable blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
Veuve Cliquot – Brut – 2002 $ 70. 94 WE
60% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay, 7% Pinot Meunier
Krug – Grande Reserve – NV $ 160. 95 W&S, RP
Variable blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier, 9 or more vintages in the blend
Henri Billiot – Brut – 2004 $ 63. 93 WA
75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay
Roederer – Cristal – 2002 $ 200. 100 W&S ,98 WE
60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay
Argyle – Brut – Extrended Tirage – 2000 $ 51. 95 W&S
54% Chardonnay, 46% Pinot Noir
Billecart-Salmon,Cuvee Nicolas-Francois Billecart 2000 $ 100. 95 WE
60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay
Henriot – Brut – Blanc de Blanc – NV $ 40. 93 RP
Charles Heidsieck – Brut Cuvee Royale 2002 $ 75. 94 W&S
50% Chardonnay, 41% Pinot Noir, 9% Pinot Meunier
Gramona – III Lustos – Gran Reserva – 1997 $ 51. 94 ST
70 % Xarel·lo, 30% Macabeo
Over the past few years the group has decided to do a Thanksgiving dinner and have everyone bring a wine of their choosing that they think will go best with the turkey, dressing, gravy and all the makings. This year there was a little bit of everything across the spectrum of wines, see list below.
The Thanksgiving Dinner and tasting was put on by Richard R. and Linda and what a feast it was! The champane openers were excellent that went with all the cheeses, olives and pate. The turkeys were cooked to perfection along with stuffing, yams, potatoes, green beans and gravy. Last but not least pumpkin pie to finish the night off!! What a way to get the season off to a festive start and yes the wines were exceptional as well.
Here was the line up for the wines and pardon the spelling mistakes and hope they can be corrected as I was reading the bottle labels off the pictures that were taken.
1) Artarelli – Balcana Verdelho
2) Dr Loosen – Weldener Somenalor Riesling 2009
3) Albarino – Paco Lola – Paso Robles
4) Carlson Vineyards – Cougar Run Dry Gewürztraminer
5) Mer Soleil Silver – Uncorked Chardonnay 2010-SantaLuciaHighlandsMontereyCA.
6) Peoret Jacquenart –Champagne
7) Brouilly – Joseph Druhin -2009
8) Chenas – 2009 Hubert La Pierre
9) Morgon –CoteDu Bly
10) Patricia Green Cellers – Pinot Noir 2006Oregon
11) Anglum – Pinot Noir 2007 – Paso Robles
12) Meridian– Pinot Noir – 1998Santa Barbara
13) Chapellet – Musgey les Charmes 1988
14) Gigondas – Domain le Goubet
15) Richards Granacha
16) Kenneth Volk Vineyards – Touriga – Paso Robles 2009
17) Preston Dry Creek Zinfandel 2007
18) Black Bart – Syrah
It was a lot of wine to go through but someone had to do it. Tasting notes are in the comment section and I don’t think there were any group choice favorites just good wines! Add your comments below.
Every Septemeber the wine group meets after the summer break to start the year off on Charlene’s patio to see what adventure she was on for the summer, this year was no exception, she went to Rhode Island! The tasting did not include all wines from that region as she actually included wines from other areas as well, France, Italy, Argentina and California. Food dishes were made to go with the wines and they were very tasty indeed. I will look forward to next year to see what region she ventures too!
Here was the lineup:
O – Jaffelin Cremant de Bourgogne – Blanc de Blanc Brut %100 Chard $12.99
O – Blason de Bourgogne Cremant de Bourgonge – Brut Rose, 90% Pinot Noir, 10% Gamany $10.99
1. Sigalas Asirtiko Athiri 2010 – Santorini Greece – 75% Assyrtiko, 25% Athiri $13.99
2. Colli di Luni 2010 – Vermentino – Lynae, Italy $12.99
3. Bodega Norton 2009 – Torrontes – Mendoza River Valley, Argentina $7.99
4. Colli di Luni 2010 – Vermentino – Terenzuola Estate, Italy $17.99
5. Newport Vineyards 2010- Gewurztraminer, Rhode Island $18.99
6. Newport Vineyards 2009 – Cab Franc & Cabernet , Rhode Island $16.99
7. Newport Vineyards 2009 – Landot Noir, Rhode Island $19.99
8. Newport Vineyards 2009 – Cabernet Franc, Rhode Island $19.99
9. Ridge 2008 – 72%zin, 20% Carignane, 6% pet. Sirah, 2% Mataro – Geyserville, Ca $31.00
10. Ridge 2008 – 74% zin, 21% Pet Sirah, 5% Carignane – Lytton Springs – Dry Creek Valley $27.99
11. Titan Hills Vineyards 2008 – Fiasco – Zin, Pet. Syrah, Barbara – Paso Robles $6.99
12. Ridge 2009 – Pono Zinfandel – 98% Zin, 2% Petite Sirah – Russian River $24.99
13. Ridge 2008 – Pagani Ranch – 85% Zin, 10% Alicante Bonschet, 3% Pet. syrah, 2% Carignane – Sonoma- $29.99