Tag Archives: wine

Wines in October

Lots of wine this month, in great part due to the Wines of Chile tasting a few weeks ago.

2008 Washington Hills Paradise Peak Riesling

2008 Noël Bougrier Anjou

2009 Spier Chenin Blanc

2008 Wallace Brook Pinot Gris

2005 Valdivieso Eclat

2006 De Martino Las  Cruces

2008 Estampa Gold Assemblage

2008 Montes Limited Selection

2006 Vina Maquis Lien

2008 Hacienda Aracuano Clos De Lolol

2007 Emiliana Coyam

2007 Casas Del Bosque Gran Estate Selection Private Reserve

2006 Estancia Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 Quinta Da Aveleda Douro Charamba

2006 La Castellina Chianti Classico Riserva


















Wines of Chile Blogger Tasting

Last night I had the opportunity to attend and be part of an online tasting sponsored by the Wines of Chile.  Yes, it’s a marketing thing.  Yes, I got some free wine.  But it was still a fun and educational experience, and I figure if someone wants to send me a box with some wine in it and invite me to taste it while listening to the winemakers discuss the wine and while I interact with other wine lovers via the web, I’m willing to spend some time writing about it.

(I think that meets the FTC disclosure requirements.)

The tasting was led by Fed Dexhelmer, a Master Sommelier who works as an educator for Wines of Chile.  He’s also worked for a number of pretty well known restaurants, including Gramercy Tavern, Cello, Daniel, and the Spice Market.  He’s also been featured in a number of well known publications.

Because I’m a friendly fellow, and I like to share wine, I invited seven other people to join me for the tasting.  My wife, of course, who loves wine as much as I do (and is much better at the ‘pairing with food’ part), my next door neighbors as well as a couple who live across the street, and a colleague of my wife with whom we’ve been friends for years, along with her husband.

The tasting kit included 8 wines, a bottle of olive oil, and a bottle of chiles, as well as some recipes for dishes that would work well with the wines.  We decided to forgo all the cooking (we do have day jobs), and instead served a simple cheese board.  That turned out to be a good call, as we zipped through tasting all 8 wines in about 90 minutes, and it was much easier to remain engaged in the tasting without worrying about serving several courses.

There were two key themes to the tasting.  The first was that the 8 people in my house, as well as all the people commenting on Twitter and in the chat on the web meeting, had no clear consensus on which of the 8 wines were the best.  I had a clear favorite, but only one other person of the 8 at my house shared my view, and the others all disagreed with each other as well.  We couldn’t even agree on a least favorite.

The second key, and I think the more important, was the remarkable value of the wines we tasted.  Of the 8, I rated none worse than a 3/5, and there were a couple of 4’s and a 5.  Yet only two of the wines were more than $30, and two of them were less than $20.  I would buy almost all of them at the suggested retail price, and I’m pretty sure I’d by a case of all of them (with a case discount) if I had the room to store eight cases of wine.

All of the wines are blends, some more traditional Bordeaux style blends (which was historically Chilean wine’s strength), some more unusual and ‘New World’.  Almost all of the wines had an old world sensibility; there were no fruit bombs, although some of the wines were very bold.

Here are the wines we tasted, in order:

2005 Valdivieso Eclat, Maule Valley

2006 De Martino “Las Cruces”, Cachapoal Valley

2008 Estampa Gold Assemblage, Colchagua Valley

2008 Montes Limited Selection Cabernet/Carmenere, Cochagua Valley

2006 Maquis Lien, Colchagua Valley

2008 Hacienda Araucano Clos de Lolol, Colchagua Valley

2007 Emillana Coyam, Colchagua Valley

2007 Casas del Bosque Gran Estate Selection Private Reserve, Casablanca Valley

I’ll post my tasting notes over the next several days at The Grand Crew.

Again, I want to thank the Thomas Collective for inviting me.  This was an awful lot of fun.  I got to make some new online friends and really enjoyed the wines and the experience.   I think this type of marketing effort is fun and effective, and was very well done.

(Crossposted at The Grand Crew)

I’m Busy and Distracted

But it’s not all bad, in fact, some of it’s quite good!

First things first though:  I haven’t trained for about a month.  It’s my own fault that I let other stuff interfere with getting done what I need to get done, and those mistakes will keep me from achieving my goal of totalling 1200 in a meet.  The MD State PL Championships is scheduled for November 20, and I will just be getting back in to lifting shape, I don’t have any gear, and I’m just not prepared to commit what it takes to get there and perform well.

So I’ll go back and reevaluate where I want to go this next year, and come up with a plan.  Maybe this time I’ll execute it. Continue reading

September Wines

Still finding I’m drinking a lot of wine socially, so not taking notes.  Actually had 3 great wines last night, but didn’t take formal notes.  I’m going to try to at least give them a rating after the fact more often.

Wines blogged in September:

2009 Château de la Tour de l’Ange (4/5)

2008 Angeline Sauvignon Blanc (4/5)

2008 Concha y Toro Carménère Xplorador (2/5)

2008 Heartland Stickleback Red (2/5)

2007 Chateau Ste. Michelle Pinot Gris (2/5)

2009 River Road Vinyarda Chardonnay Reserve (3/5)

2006 Cave de Tain l’Hermitage Crozes-Hermitage (5/5)

Wines in August

Got back on track tasting wine and blogging about it.  7 wines.  I’m still well off the pace to get 100 wines tasted and noted this year, although I will certainly taste 100 wines.

2006 Bodegas Vicente Malumbres Navarra Rosado

2008 Bricco dei Tati Piemonte Barbera

Sauvion le Cleray Vallet

2007 Zind Humbrecht Pinot d’ Alsace

2007 Tiziano Chianti

2008 Hess Collection Chardonnay Hess Select

2008 Muirwood Vinyards Chardonnay Arroyo Seco

Wine in July

Normally this time of the month I put up a summary of all the wines I tasted and noted during the past month.  Nearly all of those wines are documented at The Grand Crew.

I had a number of outstanding wines last month, but remarkably didn’t take notes on any of them.  Why?  They were all enjoyed with friends, and I don’t typically take notes when having wine out with my wife or with friends, as the experience of sharing wine with people you like always inflates how good the wine tastes.  I typically take notes when drinking at home (usually with J), where we taste and compare our thoughts on the wine.

There’s a lesson there – drink wine with loved ones and friends, and the wine tastes better.

May Wine

Still behind my goal for the year, but I did taste several wines at a Riedel class/wine dinner, but I didn’t take any notes on them.

5 wines this month.

2008 Paul D Gruner Veltliner

2008 Rock Rabbit Sauvignon Blanc

2007 Valintin Bianchi Malbec

2007 Alexander Vinyards Merlot (Wetzel Family Estate)

2007 Finca Filchman Malbec Reserva

The Paul D was a fantastic deal, a Liter of wine, rated 4/5, for under $10.  Great summer sipper if you can find it.

33 wines thus far in 2010, I should be closer to 42 to be on track to get to 100.   Gonna need to blow through a case of the month here soon to catch up!

Maryland Comptroller Studying Wine Shipping

Well, that sounds positive.  Until you realize the only people invited to the first meeting were representatives of the liquor distribution industry.  No consumers attended the meeting.

Wine drinkers said they were dismayed to find that they weren’t invited to the first meeting last week held by the Maryland comptroller’s office to study the wine-shipping issue.

The study commission seems to be focused on the potential impact on liquor wholesalers and distributors, and could “overlook” consumers, said Adam Borden, former executive director of Marylanders for Better Beer and Wine Laws.

Of course anything they do will be focused on liquor wholesalers and distributors.  That’s who write the checks to those campaigns.

There’s an election in November, Maryland.  Time to do some housecleaning.  Ask your representatives where they stand on this issue, and how much money they take from distributors.  If you don’t like the answers, vote for someone else.

April Wines

Didn’t take notes on many wines this month, spent a couple of evenings with friends sitting around enjoying some wine, but I prefer to not take formal notes in those situations, just when it’s just me or my wife and I.  It’s more controlled; I usually record tasting notes without food, then once the notes are done, I enjoy the wine as normal.  Making notes when I’m with friends always inflates my opinion of a wine, when you’re having fun, wine always tastes better.

Anyway, here’s what I drank this month:

2008 Lucky Star Pinot Noir

NV Mark Davidson Cabernet/Merlot and 2005 O’Neill Vosti Petit Batard

2007 BGA Cabernet Sauvignon

2008 Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Sélection Prestige

2006 Lemelson Vinyards Pinot Noir “Thea’s Selection”

Mixed bag this month, a 5/5, two 4/5, but also a 1/5.  28 wines so far this year, need to be around 34 now to stay on pace to taste 100, so I guess I’ll have to get busy this month.

Wines I Tasted in March

Tasted some good stuff this month.   Taste 7 wines, which is a little off the pace I wanted to set to get 100 this year.  In the first quarter, I’m at 22, so just 3 off.  I’m sure I’ll make up for it as the summer drinking wine on the deck season gets here.

2006 Courney Benham Cabernet

2004 Artesa Merlot

2008 Domaine de Bertier

2007 Vina Cono Sur Merlot

2006 Vignobles Laplace Pacherenc du vic Bilh

2007 Marchisi de Coronodo

2005 Grimaldi Luigino Barbera

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