How to taste wine at 100º, evening session

king is eating 7-09.jpgWe continue with the evening session of a Great Riesling Tasting in 100 degree heat. As you can see laying down a leeching field is critical. If you missed the preceding afternoon session click here.
Icardi Suri Vigin Brachetto NV $19: Time to transition to red. How about a sparkling red from Piemonte? Wow. Absolutely delicious. These light sparkling fruity winesbrachetto.jpg are the joy of summer. Pronounced blueberry flavors with just a hint of pepper in the back. The King decrees Brachetto is a fun wine. Long live the King!! 6.5%

bugueymondeuse07.jpg2007 Bugey Mondeuse Maison Angelot $14: The most challenging wine of this tasting. “It hurts my tongue”. Terroir-driven wine. “Bacon bits”. Palatable to the same two tasters who found redeeming qualities in the Austrian Riesling. Imported by Charles Neal with his typical hallmarks; from off the trodden path, very local, daring. 12%
2006 Menetou-Salon Domaine Philippe Gilbert
$24 at K&L: Loire Valley Pinot Noir. Light in color, delicate in flavor. Nicely balanced, a perfect start for the red flight. Imported by Neal Rosenthal who also digs discovery. 12.5%.
2006 Martinelli Bella Vigna Russian River Valley $44: It is official. tBoW and Dotor√© are done with rich full and lush domestic Pinot Noir. martinellPN06.jpgAnd that is what this wine is all about. I smell the sweet on the nose. You got a run in your hose. We don’t taste no more of those. Nothing wrong with the wine. It is well made and every bit as good as Rochioli and Williams Selyem. We are just dunwiddit. Some tasters cry bias. My liege says 1 mouse. Two peasants grumble. Grumble grumble. 14.7%

artadi06.jpg2006 Artadi Vi√±as de Gain ~$30: Spanish showpiece. Middle weight, deep, lush, complex. Nice follow to the Martinelli. Just that much bigger. tBoW lifted the rest from a website. In fact, these words are on a lot of websites. “The 2006 VI√±as de Gain is old-vine Tempranillo aged in 40% new French oak for 12-14 months. Deep crimson-colored, it offers an alluring perfume of truffle, pencil lead, vanilla, blackberry, and black cherry jam. Full bodied, the wine is opulent yet elegant. It has enough stuffing to evolve for 4-5 years and should drink well from 2012 to 2025”. We can add the vines are 40 years plus from Rioja Alavesa which is the finest Rioja region. Very nice. 12.5%
qrtdechaume97.jpg1997 Domaine de Plaisance Quarts de Chaume $50?: Tasting fraulein EJ requested dessert wine with her fruit and cake. The mark of a great dessert wine is its ability to capture the interest of thoroughly fatigued palates and, in some cases, tasters who have hit the wall. “Looks like beer” – WW. This is a special bottle for several reasons including its ability to drag one more effort from tasters’ palates. The Coteaux du Layon is a 1500 year old premier growing region in the Loire; the Chaume is the top region with the Coteaux du Layon; and the Quarts de Chaume is the Gran Cru site within the Chaume. Only dessert wines may be produced from the Quarts. The wine showed coconut, in particular the milky inner lining of the hairy nut. Flavors show candied, walnuts, toasted almond, and Hawaiian haupia. “Traditional syrup” – WW. This wine is the next step up from the Chateau Soucherie Coteaux du Lyon Chaumes tasted only one week ago. Two outstanding Chenin Blanc wines, properly aged and tasting absolutely delightful. Makes one wonder how Bordeaux manages to overshadow the Loire. 12.5%

Any wine tasting is greatly enhanced when there is at least one taster with the encyclopedic knowledge of someone like Steve Goldun, both Wasserman brothers, or the King aka Mouse [ed. Martin Glasser]. As wine snobs we appreciate the “back story” and history of regions, producers and bottles. There are not many folks who can bring it like The King. This was an outstanding tasting that really rang the bell in terms of diversity and excellence.

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