WSR Wine Blog

Wine tasting reviews, trips and stuff

April 2012 WSR – Provence dégustation – Rose’s

A. Provence

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)


April 4, 2012 Posted by | California, France, Rose Wines | Leave a comment

WSR – April “The Great Debate” Tasting

Aprils gathering at Dads (Gerry’s) was an educational experience.  As he wrote in his
introduction  – “I am setting this up as a challenge, and a bit of fun.” 

Last summer at the annual SWE convention, Ed Korry set up a formal debate (a real one
with an advocate and rebuttal and then a second for the proposition and another rebuttal)
on the issue of whether wine prices and wine quality were correlated.  It was a fun event
and I scribbled notes as best I could and captured most of it which is attached here for
you review prior to the Tuesday event.  At the SWE we only got to do 4 wines, so I have
expanded this to include a spread of:
–the sparklers (yes, even they will be brown-bagged!)
–6 whites
–a pair of roses
–6 reds

It was very interesting and everyone jumped right in to the task at hand when they arrived.
As the group went through the process of #1 guessing what price mark the wine was at and
#2 which they thought was the best quality of wine of the two, it was clear that everyone
has an opinion as to what they thought  the wine is worth and really a mixed bag as to what was
everyones favorite! 

There were 10 people making the guesses so I have put the vote count under the wine of
where each person thought the wine price should fall. 
After the actual price of the wine I put an (F) to show the group favorite of the two wines.

Sparker 1 – Roderer Anderson Valley NV                                                       $15
                 $7=1 $15=4  $25=2   $35=3  $50=0

Sparker 2 – Roderer Champagne NV                                                                 $40(F)
                 $7=1  $15=1  $25=3   $35=5  $50=0


#1 – Chateau St-Jean des Graves, Graves blank 2008                              $14(F)
                $7=4  $15=6  $25=0   $35=0  $50=0

#2 – chateau Haut-Bergey, Pessac-Leognan 2004                                    $38(F)
                 $7=1  $15=4  $25=5   $35=0  $50=0
#3 – Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, Alto Adige 2009                              $21
                $7=0  $15=6  $25=3   $35=1  $50=0

#4 – Le Measure Pinot Grigio, Venezia Giulia IGT 2009                          $12(F)
               $7=2  $15=1  $25=3   $35=3  $50=1
#5 – Nickel & Nickel Russian River Chardonnay, Searby Vineyard 2008 $36(F)
                $7=2  $15=4  $25=2   $35=2  $50=0

#6 – Buehler Chardonnay, Russian River 2009                                           $12
                $7=0  $15=5  $25=4   $35=1  $50=0

#7 – Domaine Gros-Nore, Bandol 2009                                                         $29(F)
                 $7=1  $15=5  $25=3   $35=1  $50=0

#8 – Domaine ott, Bandol 2009                                                                         $34
                $7=1  $15=3  $25=4   $35=2  $50=0


#9 – St. Inocent Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Villages Cuvee, 2009 $20
                 $7=0  $15=5  $25=4   $35=1  $50=0

#10 – Beaux-Freres Willamete Valley Pinot Noir 2007                          $45(F)
                  $7=0  $15=0  $25=6   $35=4  $50=0
#11 – Produttori del Barbaresco, Barbaresco, Reserve 2009               $50
                  $7=1  $15=0  $25=4   $35=5  $50=0

#12 – Porducttore del Barbaresco, Nebbiolo, Lange 2009                     $18(F)
                 $7=0  $15=0  $25=0   $35=3  $50=7
#13 – Perrin et Fils, La Gille, Gigondas 2007                                                 $26
                  $7=0  $15=0  $25=6   $35=4  $50=0

#14  La Font de Vent Cotes-du-Rhone, “Notre Passion” 2007               $14(F)
                  $7=0  $15=0  $25=1   $35=6  $50=3
I think the learning process here is that everyone has an opinion as to what they
feel is a wine of there preference and also an option of what they would pay for
that bottle of wine.  The interesting thing is that in some cases the cheap
wine showed better than the expensive wine so what ever the outcome, we really don’t
know the real answers, just what wines we really prefer when all said and done!

April 27, 2011 Posted by | California, France, Group Tasting Notes, Rose Wines, White Wines | Leave a comment

WSR October 2010 – Something Old, Something New!

This months tasting done by David certainly was an enjoyable one in that we were able to taste some new vineyard wines that were very good and reasonably priced and ones that I would not have thought about purchasing, and then ones that are no longer available that were a real treat to try.  Also, to have a member and friend share his thoughts on his post 89th Birthday and still going strong, Happy Birthday Derickson!!!!

Being part of this group allows us the opportunity to try a 36-year-old wine and understand why wine is meant to cellar… because it puts a smile on your face when you see that the fruit and the balance all held up all these years and you can recall the time you purchased it but not knowing that you were going to allow 12 others enjoy in the moment.  Thanks to David for going into his cellar to allow the group an impressive set of wines for this months tasting. 

Here is the lineup for this tasting with his notes.

1. Henri Able non-vintage  Brut champagne  (probably 25+ years old, but with the nutty character of a much more expensive late disgorged champagne)

2. Francois Montand non-vintage French methode traditionalle sparkling wine  $9.99

3. 2009 Bandol Lepont rose $16.99  (lightest colour)

4. 2009 Bougrier rose D’Anjou Loire valley rose $7.99

5. 2008 Chateau Grande Cassagne Los Rameaux Costieres de nimes rose $9.99

6. 2007 River Rroad Boschetti vineyard russian river valley pinot noir $15.99

7. 1998 Bridlewood Paso Robles syrah (in with the pinots as a syrah by dan geher with significant french and russian oak)

8. 2007 Flying Goat Cellars Santa Maria Dieberg vineyard pinot noir $35.99

9. 2007 Delhinger Russian River Estate pinot noir

10. 1909 Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Willamette Valley pinot noir

11. 1980 Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard Napa Valley cabernet

12. 2005 Chateau de Sales Pomerol $39.99 (did not show very well that night, but does have aging potential)

13. 1997 Zaca Mesa Misty Ridge old block merlot (santa barbara)

14. 1977 Trefethen Napa Estate cabernet sauvignon

15. 1974 Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Estate cabernet

16.  2000 Arvay 6 Puttonyos Hungarian Tokaji Aszu

Although we did not do a strict tabulation by any means the roses seemed mixed with the Loire being the least favorite.  The Flying Goat had the most votes for the Pinot flight.  Over all almost all hands were raised for the 74 BV Estate regular cab. making it the over all favorite of the evening as well as my personal favorite.  The 6 basket Tokaji Aszu also received many favorable comments.

October 14, 2010 Posted by | California, France, Red Wines, Rose Wines | Leave a comment

WSR – September 2010 – Coombsville Appellation (almost)

Running a little behind in posting but September on Charlene’s patio posed to be very interesting and enjoyable.  We started the evening with a Rose from Tahiti which was quite enjoyable and anyone traveling there should search this out.  We then went in to the flights tasting wines from is what to be a new California Appellation in the Napa Vally called “Coombsville”.  Currently there appears to be 12 vineyards in this general area.

This new wine making area has been in production for quite some time and the wines that were presented to us were quality wines, showing good style and flavors but not at the prices that Napa Valley is asking.  I found the Cabernet flight to be the best of the evening, followed on by the Blends.  They all went well with the food that was served.

If you are ever in the area and want to search out something new I would recommend taking a side trip from the Napa and Sonoma area and check them out.  Thanks to Charlene for introducing us to what will certainly become a wonderful wine making area.  What we tasted is listed below:

A. Porter Sandpiper Rose (2007) $20.00

B. Tahiti Rose (Rangiroa, French Polnesia (2009) $25

1.  2007 Ancien Pinot Noir $40
 (Doesn’t grow grapes, only makes Pinot Noir.  Ancien served at the White House multiple times)

2.  2007 Tulocay Syrah.  Haynes Vineyard $20
 (Bill Cadman, winemaker. Doesn’t grow grapes)

3.  2007 Black Cat vineyard Syrah $29
 (Bottle 63 of 1,900.  Tracey Reichow, owner and winemaker)

4.  2006 Farella Park vineyards. Merlot. Coombsville Divide $19
 (Founded in 1985. tom Farella leads the initiatve for the applelation)

5.  2005 Farella Park vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon $33

6.  2006 Frazier Cabernet Sauvignon $38

7.  2006 Porter Cabernet Sauvignon $60

8.  2006 Palmaz Cabernet Sauvignon $80
 (Historic vineyards since the 1880’s.  Argentine family operations, Cave-aged 22mo. in French oak. Gravity run)

9. 2004 Tournesol Proprietors blend $36
 (78% cab, 8% merlot, 6% CF, 5% melbec, 3% PV, Ann & bob Arns – Organic, Doesn not make wine, all made at Ancien Winery)

10. 2005 Farella Park Vineyards – Alta Bordeaux Blend $52
 (70% cab, 30% Merlot.  Gold medal SF international Wine Competition)

11. 2005 Sodaro Private Reserve Estate Blend
 (50% cab, 25% CF, 20% PV, 5% Malbec)

12. 2006 Frazier – Memento $66
 (Free run wines, new french oak)

September 8, 2010 Posted by | California, Red Wines, Road Trip, Rose Wines | Leave a comment

May WSR Rose’ Tasting at Salt’s

Spring is in the air which brought much delight for our May tasting of ‘Rose’ wines.   There is a thought that rose (aka Pink) wines are known to be sweet, patio, jacuzzi wines but you would be sorely mistaken!  Yes they are pink, yes they are made to drink on the patio and/or in the jacuzzi but they are far from being the sweet, non-complex wines that has given this particular colored wines a bad rap. 

Rose wines come from many varietals of grapes (as noted below) and can range from very dry to very sweet,  complex or simple,  cheap to expensive, light pink to red and drink on its own to accompany the specific food dishes of the regions in which it is made, just like the whites and reds! 

For those that may not know how rose wines are created, they are made from red grape varietals.  The producer will start the process of creating the wines but in the beginning only leave the red skins on the juice for a very short time, maybe 48 hours to a week which they will syphon off and lightly pressing to get the red color and then go through normal fermentation, racking and bottling. 

What we discovered in this wonderful tasting this month is that there is a rose wine that will meet your particular characteristic of wines you like, be refreshing, and ones that will accompany a certain food dish and not be that heavy red that you may want to grab from your cellar.  I found all of these wines very good and all food wines, most were dry but with characteristics each to their own.  The task this month was to pick the region and grape in which they came but for most it was virtually impossible with exception to Richard who picked his home-made wine out of the bunch (#12)!  Awesome stuff. 

So, given all that rambling don’t overlook that rose wine on the wine aisle as you may find something you enjoy and not what you expected! 

1) Franz Karl Schmitt  2007 Pinot Meunier Rose Weissherbst, Niersteiner Findling 11.99

2) Schnaitmann  Evoe! 2007  Rose of Trollinger & Pinot Wurttembeerg  13.99

3) Kenwood  Vineyards 2007 Pinot Noir Rose  Russian river Valley 9.99

4) Clos Pepe  Estate 2009 Rose of Pinot Noir  Sta Rita Hills 20.00 (winery only)

5) Heitz Cellar 2007 Grignolino  Rose  Napa Valley 16.99

6) Pietra Santa 2007 Rosato of Dolcetto Cienega Valley 11.99

7) Cougar 2009 Montes Blush  Montepulciano (Sangiovese) Temecula 16.00

8) Mankas Crest 2007 Rose – Cabernet Sauvignon Suisan valley Mankas Hills    6.99

9) Corrison Corazon 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Rose Napa Valley ? (winery only)

10) Vida Organica  2009 Malbec Rose  Argentina 9.00

11) Tablas Creek Vineyards2009 Rose Mouvedre, Granache, Counoise   Paso Robles 20.25 (winery)

12) Arden Hills 2009 Rose of Garnacha Lodi, Bokisch Vineyard  ? (winery only)

13) GreMark 2009 Syrah Rose  Paso Robles  18.00  (winery only)

14) L’Aventure 2009 Rose Estate Syrah, Mouvedre, Granache, Cabernet Paso Robles  20.00  (winery only)

May 7, 2010 Posted by | California, Group Tasting Notes, Rose Wines | 1 Comment