Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tasting Report - Halloween 2009

On Hallowe'en this year a friend of mine hosted a wine tasting. While the kids were running around dressed like skeletons and spiders, we were sipping a diverse variety of fine wines.

There wasn't a theme. The idea is each person (or couple) brings one bottle of 'fine' wine. Because 'fine wine' is difficult to define, we decided on a guideline of £20+ for each bottle. Each person also brings a suitable food match nibble, such as cheese that is supposed to pair particularly well with their wine.

There wasn't a dud in the whole bunch. I would have liked to have seen more whites, but that's not a criticism, it's just my personal taste.
  • Domaine Huet, Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Dec, 1996, Loire Valley, France. This was my contribution, and the first wine to kick off the tasting. I would have preferred a demi-sec, but I wanted something with at least 10 years bottle-age, and this was all BBR had to offer (besides the 1995 which apparently was inconsistent). Nose of honey and sultanas. Very dry, tart palate. Buttered toast finish. Nice, but I think a bit of residual sugar would have complimented the acidity nicely. 4/5. (BBR, £23.50). Food match: Loire Valley goats cheese.
  • Domaine Michel Cecillot Santenay, 2004, Burgundy, France. Couldn't find any info on the producer of this Cote d'Or white Burgundy. We struggled finding descriptors for this wine. It was good, but the only things we could come up with were cinnamon and asphalt. 3.5/5. Food match: cold lobster.
  • Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2006, Rhone Valley, France. Typical Rhone-like nose of blackcurrants, which I don't much fancy, but makes up for it with powerful, intense palate and a long, gravelly finish. Nice. 4/5. Food match: Pâté.
  • Agricola do Sanguinhal Quinta des Cerejeiras Reserva, AOC Obidos, Portugal. Can't remember the vintage. Claret-like nose, very perfumed. Classy. 3.5/5. Food match: Manchego cheese.
  • La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904, 1997, Rioja, Spain. Benchmark Rioja from an average vintage. All the interesting things were in the nose - some Burgundy-like fecal notes, tomato. I found the palate slightly sour and vinegary. Not much to my liking. 2.5/5. Food match: chocolate cheesecake.
  • Scala Dei, 2005, Priorat, Spain. Grenache/Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon blend. Nose of dried chilies, powerful wine with drying tannins. High alcohol and savoury fruit. I like this style of wine. 4/5. Food match: Spanish omelette.
  • Les Vignerons de Maury, 1928 Solera, Roussillon, France. Last wine of the afternoon, the only notes I have is a walnut-like nose. Port-like, with good complexity and length. 4/5. Food match: Saucisson au Chocolat.