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Saturday Walk Around Tasting 3/10/2012

The Gourmet Shop, Columbia, SC

Tasted March 10, 2012 by Mike Kopanski with 167 views


James from Grassroots was our host for a pretty wide array of somewhat eclectic wines. From an easy on the palate Cava, to a decent Gruner Veltliner, to a minimal production, incredibly light, red Italian from Piedmont, to a heavy duty, purple teeth, big oak California bruiser, this is as broad as any tasting can get.

Flight 1 (4 notes)

White - Sparkling
2008 Raventós i Blanc Cava Elisabet Raventós Spain, Cava
87 points
Very tasty. This is not a simple little sipper, there is a lot of action here. The nose is very sharp with white fruit and flowers. As it crosses the lips, for just a second, I got the same flavor profile as apple cider. Very active little bubbles fill the mouth with apple, pear, and lemon. Lots of Granny Smith apple acidity. Even a nice touch of minerals on the roof of the mouth. Very complete, but still soft and refreshing.
2010 Weingut Ecker-Eckhof Grüner Veltliner Berg-Wagram Austria, Niederösterreich, Wagram
87 points
A tasty little white wine with some very interesting flavors. May be a little sweet as there is a touch of molasses on the roof of the mouth, but this could also be caramel. At 12.5% alcohol, this is probably as ripe as the grapes usually get. Light golden color. Very fresh on the nose and entry to the palate with a pineapple and grapefruit combination. Has a nice touch of honeysuckle, not unlike a Torrontes. I like the way the acid is civilized, you get a small dose of that Granny Smith apple puckering, but it is balanced by the fruit and the weight of the wine. At least medium bodied. The acid picks up as the wine warms in the glass. There is a touch of bitterness on the finish. This Gruner Veltliner is much more easy drinking than I am used to, and deserves another bottle or two.
2009 Castello di Neive Piemonte Grignolino Italy, Piedmont, Piemonte DOC
91 points
This is about as light in color as a red wine get. In many ways it is half way between a big rose, and a light Pinot Noir. Everything about this wine seems to defy conventional wisdom. The color is unreal light. The nose has cherry cough drops, molasses, caramel, red licorice, and the earth where mushrooms grow. The entry is as smooth and supple as any wine I have ever tasted. The fruit tastes like the first bite through the skin of a Mount Morency tart cherry, followed up with a lick of cranberry sauce. I also get the taste when you first bite into a ripe plum, the skin not the flesh of the fruit. Everything is so light, it seems to stay on the top of the palate. I am pretty sure these grapes were whole cluster fermented, can't imagine they broke the skins. Just a hint of some very silky tannins. Superb balance. Tart cherry finish. May be the most satisfying thing to cross my lips so far this year.
2009 Delectus Argentum USA, California, Napa Valley
90 points
The second choice barrels and lots from a premium California producer, this is a big, rich California style red wine that comes in as moderately affordable. As a Meritage blend, we expect, and get some depth and complexity the individual varietals may not be able to exhibit on their own. Starts with deep rich Cabernet type color. Very interesting nose that smells like the mums in my mom's garden with big red cherry, big oak, and plums. Very concentrated entry of superbly ripe black cherry, blackberry, and plum, layered with spices like clove and nutmeg. A nice touch of wet, mushy earth and minerals. Very integrated already, although the oak could use some time, and will get much more complex in the development of those secondary and tertiary flavors. The dusty tannins will also be enhanced with some bottle age. Quite polished and elegant for a wine this big. Long spicy finish of black cherry, citrus style acid, vanilla, and wet leaves.
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