Vino Rouge Wine Tasting on November 4, 2015

wine tasting

We were back at Alpine country club in a big private room with an even bigger table than last month. The extra elbow room was appreciated. For the second month in a row, the members were delighted with the menu for the evening, which was captured here in this photo…

wine tasting

Brother Don presented six wines from six different parts of the world. After the tasting Don remarked how poorly we all did when we attempted to identify the wines. Wine made from different grapes in different parts of the world may have distinctive characteristics if that is the goal of the winemaker.

The first five wines were made in the modern fruit forward style. The influence of Robert Parker was evident in these wines which he has often called hedonistic fruit bombs. We all enjoy this style of winemaking but we cannot escape the reality that the potential terroir driven character of a wine will be compromised when this approach is used. So Don perhaps the heavyweight punch of ultra ripeness, high levels of extraction and lots of new oak may have dulled our senses.

wine tasting

Glass number one was a young big wallop Shiraz from newcomer Nugan. A novelty for this wine was the use of raisinated grapes. The wine was our number three favorite with 14 points. The Nugan had a lot of body, a lush mouth feel and a ripe fruit personality. Glass number two, another young newcomer made from Cabernet Franc grapes, with four points was not appreciated because it was not as expressive as the competition.

Dead last with two points, despite the highest professional rating, the 2007 Senechaux was enjoyed less by our club than a corked bottle of Rafanelli Cabernet. 2007 Châteauneuf Du Pape wines made by modernists like Senechaux are still massive fruit bombs. The ultra ripe Grenache in this blend produced a mouth coating texture that I thought was the result of raisinated grapes. Sadly the 2009 Rafanelli was impaired but this club favorite managed to attract five votes.

In second place with 17 votes was the big money 2010 Paul Hobbs Argentinian Marchioli Malbec. This well-made brawny wine was a winner in the heavyweight class. The club favorite with 18 votes was the delicate 2006 Amarone of Tomassi. How about that. My experience is that this cuvée by Tomassi is made for enjoyment in the first 12 years after the vintage. The style for this wine is reminiscent of a mellow Châteauneuf Du Pape made by a traditionalist. We appreciated the subtlety, the balance and the mellow complexity of the oldest wine presented.

Here’s a more detailed description of what we experienced…

Coming soon!

You can’t forget the wonderful close to the evening, with Don serving up a Graham’s 40 year old tawny port, with it’s golden brown caramel color and absolutely spectacular mouth feel!

wine tasting

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