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Jul 15

Wine Speed Tasting: Reds

Every year at the Wine Blogger’s Conference, we partake in Live Wine Blogging. Basically, winemakers move from table to table, telling us about their wine in 5 minutes or less. We get to make a snap judgement and blog about it. It’s sort of like speed dating for wine and it’s equally as exhausting.

This year the Live Blogging sessions were split into two: Whites & Rosés on Friday and Reds on Saturday.  Because we had so little time to learn, ask questions, and type, the notes aren’t the best. They should, however, give you a general idea of how we felt about the wine. The reds, in general, were consistently more impressive than the whites.

Reds

Wine #1: Desert Wind Ruah, Merlot blend: 46% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc
Soft and silky with structure throughout. At $20 would go great with Steak or heavier food.Little bit of tartness on the middle.Lighter tannins and acid makes this a drink sooner rather than later. A little too green for Michelle.

Kevin: Michelle:

Wine #2: Duck Pond Red Blend: 52% Merlot, 29% Syrah, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon
Wahluke Slope, Washington (Columbia Valley)
Slightly tannic, ready to drink now and rather fruit forward.  ~$15

Our rating:

Wine #3: Mollydooker Velvet Glove, 100% Shiraz single vineyard
Nice and well rounded. Surprisingly, much lower in alcohol than other Mollydooker wines.  2010 Velvet Glove will join the rest of the Mollydooker line with a screwcap.  Wine is thick and coats the glass, but the fruit is not as up front as a more traditional californian shiraz. Drinking this ruins your glass for anything else, it’s so thick. It’s also not an easy wine to get through – better off sipped over a period of time. Coffee and chocolate flavors. $185/bottle

Our rating:

Wine #4: Trio Vintners 2007 Riot Red Table Wine: 52% Sangiovese, 36% Syrah, 12% Mourvedre
Columbia Valley, WA
Light, easy-drinking, pleasant berries. Strong acid and nice overall flavor. Mouvedre smooths out the Sangiovese. Well done Italian blend. Different from others, yet tasty..

Our rating:

Wine #5: Ponzi 2008 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Almost a little effervescence and bubbles on initial taste. 11 Mo in French oak. $35 a bottle.Kind of a basic level Pinot. Newly bottled  and not the best.  Everyone agreed later that there was something wrong with this wine. It shouldn’t have been bubbly. From Michelle’s perspective, it was definitely too bright and fruity for an Oregon Pinot Noir, lacking earth.

Our review: Review withheld due to the fact we believe it was a bad bottle.

Wine #6: Stoller JV Pinot Noir 2007
Dundee Hills, Oregon
Heavy terroir and earthiness on the nose. Sustainable winery that is an old turkey farm that was transitioned to winery. Burgundy was referenced as a similar area. 10 mo in oak, mostly neutral. This is a great example of what new world grown pinot noir can taste like. Turned earth and subtle cherries all over the palate. $25

Our rating:

Wine #7: Cornerstone Stepping Stone 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Franc

Tons of tannins and acidity. Acid is flavor, tannins are a feeling. According to Craig, “Acidity is what makes a wine live.” This would age well (might even benefit). Very balanced with lots of tannins and acid, but happily lacking in vegetal flavors. $30 bottle. 600 cases.

Our rating:

Wine #8: Sequel by Longshadows 2007 Columbia Valley Syrah (98%syrah with 2% cabernet)
Washington state
We have very few notes on this one – just a rating. It’s worth mentioning that we did pick this up at a charity auction (and paid a pretty penny) because the Sequel line has such a great reputation.

Our rating:

Wine #9: Solena Estates 2008 Pinot Noir
Hyland Vineyard, McMinnville, Oregon
Solena Estates was Michelle’s big find at the Conference. She fell in love with the consistently earthy pinot noirs they produce. 2008 is set to be best  vintage ever from Oregon. Earthy with an acidic finish, but still plenty of fruit up front. Single vineyard designates is primary focus. Volcanic soil. $50

Our rating:

Wine #10: Concannon 2007 Petit Syrah
Livermore Valley, CA
Nice bing cherry and acid on the finish. Big wine – called the “little monster.” 12 mo american oak. plus 6 months in large 58 year old large barrels. 4 months since bottled, but still ready to drink. Bottle itself seems to weigh a ton. Vineyard is in a conservancy land trust near the San Francisco Bay. Made us crave steak. $15/bottle

Our rating:

Wine #12: Jordan 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon blend: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot., 5% Petite Verdot, 1% Malbec
Napa Valley, CA
Decanted. Balanced and not as fruit forward as we first expected. Earthiness is in the mid palate with fruit up front and tart fruit on the finish.  $52

Our rating:

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Kevin at 8:00 am in Tastings, Wine Notes | Permalink | Comments ()
Jul 14

Wine Speed Tasting: Whites and Pinks

Every year at the Wine Blogger’s Conference, we partake in Live Wine Blogging. Basically, winemakers move from table to table, telling us about their wine in 5 minutes or less. We get to make a snap judgement and blog about it. It’s sort of like speed dating for wine and it’s equally as exhausting.

This year the Live Blogging sessions were split into two: Whites & Rosés on Friday and Reds on Saturday.  Because we had so little time to learn, ask questions, and type, the notes aren’t the best. They should, however, give you a general idea of how we felt about the wine.

Whites & Rosés

Wine #1: Pithy Little Wine Company, Sangiovese Rosé with 2% Syrah
Jeff and Felicia, San Luis Obispo, CA, with grapes from all over the state. Nice melon and spice characteristics. Blood orange was mentioned as possible characteristic as well. Finishes quick but has the acid on the finish. Watermelony, summery, some spice on the finish. Flat rate wine shipping.
Our rating:

Wine #2: Ortman Family Wines 2007 Edna Valley Chardonnay
Pasadena / Paso Robles
Family owned winery. Well-balanced chardonnay with a little butteriness. 25% New French Oak, 20-40% malolactic fermentation. A little too much oak for Michelle’s taste. 1500 cases.
Our rating:

Wine #3: Pepperwood Grove California Chardonnay in a box, non vintage
Pepperwood Grove is a familiar label by Sebastiani that added box wines just a few months ago. It’s not too oaky, which was surprising. 88% chardonnay, 10% chenin blanc,  splash of viognier. Clarksburg and Interior valley grapes and  6 months oak staving.
Cost is ~$19 for 3L.
Michelle: Kevin

Wine #4: Desert Wind Winery 2009 Viognier
Prosser, WA
Viognier is my favorite grape and this one was a standout during the speed tasting. In fact, I decided I really enjoy Washington state Viognier in general. This was flowery, fruit loopy (as it should be) and light, with spices on the finish. Slightly oily mouthfeel (in a good way).  ~$15
Our rating:

Wine #5: Long Shadows Poets Leap Riesling, 2009 Columbia Valley
German winemaker comes to walla walla to get grapes and sticks around. Full of slate, with a little bit of sweetness. Acidic.
Our rating:

Wine #6: Octavin Big House White in a box
Familiar brand – also available by the bottle.  ~21.99 for the box. Fairly enjoyable. A crazy mix of grapes: 51% Malvasia Bianca, 14% Muscat Canelli, 13% Viognier, 10% Gruner Veltliner, 5% Pinot Gris, and 4% Riesling. Kevin judged this assuming it was a Chardonnay and gave it a low score. However, since it’s not a Chardonnay, I actually gave it a decent rating. I tend to prefer boxed reds, and this is the first boxed white I’ve tried that I think I could sit around and enjoy periodically. Is it an award winner? No. But it’s fun for a hot day after you’ve mowed the yard.
Michelle’s rating:

Wine #7: Maryhill Winery 2008 Viognier
Winery in Walla Walla.
Oaky and creamy at first, cotton candy on the finish. Used 1 barrel of neutral oak to bring in oak flavoring.
Our rating:

Wine #8: Hogue 2008 Genesis Chardonnay, Washington
Hogue was the 19th winery in Washington state – now there are a lot more. Unoaked chardonnay. From sunny side in Yakima valley. 13.9% ABV. Chablis style with nice, crisp flavors. Good light summer wine. $16.00/bottle, but look for specials. Nationally available.
Our rating:

Wine #9: Buty Winery 2008 White Blend: muscadelle, semillon, sauvignon blanc
I tend to shy away from muscadelle – it’s just not one of my favorite grapes. That said, this wasn’t bad. Used oak. High acid. Goal is to be distinctive in Washington.  $23 retail.
Our rating:

Wine #10: Dusted Valley Ramblin’ Rosé
This was my second favorite wine of the speed tasting (after the Desert Wind Viognier).  The wine is made up of 52% mourvedre, 29% counoise, 16% syrah, and 2%viognier. 273 cases produced. Spends 16 hours on skins. No malolactic fermentation – all stainless to get life and crispness. . ~$18 retail. This is all younger fruit farmed specifically for use in the rosé. Has a lot of heft.
Our rating:

Wine #11: DeLille Cellars 2008 Chaleur Estate Blanc: blend of 62% Sauvignon Blanc, 38% Semillon
White Bordouex style inspired wines. Old world traditionalist in the new world. Whole berry press grapes. Will be racked in barrels. Acid does help balance the wood but too oaky for Michelle.  60% new french oak. $34.
Michelle: Kevin: 

Wine #12: Duck Pond Cellars 2008 Pinot Gris
Dundee, Oregon
Vanilla and spice, Stainless steel and  2% barrel fermentation. Made dry to keep alcohol content low. Nice standard Pinot Gris. Fresh flavors and light acid. ~$15
Our rating:

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Michelle at 8:00 am in Tastings, Wine Misc, Wine Notes | Permalink | Comments ()

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