The red wine theme for our 27th VWTC tasting was Cabernet Franc. We kicked it off with this classic Chinon from the Loire valley. As I opened the bottle and took a sniff I was very worried about the wine’s acceptance into our group. It was very, very funky with loads of herbaceous aromas- not everyones cup of tea mind you. This wine is deep purple colored with pronounced aromas of green pepper, dried herbs and earth. We also got funk, cave moss, overripe blackberry, sea salt, lavender, violet, plastic band aid, overripe cherry and sarsaparilla. There was definitely some minerality in this very complex wine. The palate was dry with medium (+) tannins, medium (+) acidity and was full bodied. In addition to the herbaceous notes we also got flavors of tart cherry on the plate, especially towards the back end. Oak was present by way of svelte cinnamon and nutmeg flavors and the wine finished to a medium length. I was pleasantly surprised how this $38 monster developed in the glass and became one of the group’s favorite wines. Some just love the funk! I gave it 91 points and would drink this over a 10 year window with hearty steaks, venison or rich stews. It gets 5 stars from me, just beware of the herbaceous quality of this varietal- times 10. Salut….
I have always enjoyed wine from the Vouvray appellation where they make great Chenin Blanc, the majority of which is sparkling. This one happens to have a bit of bottle age and is a stunning deep gold color. 12.5% ABV shows off barely a leg in the glass but the color is exquisite. The nose has pronounced aromas of pineapple, pear, green apple, acacia and quince. I’m also getting a touch of honeysuckle. The palate is off-dry and full bodied. Wow, the fruit just coats my mouth. The acidity is medium (+) and the flavors are persistent- really ripe pineapple, green apple, fresh grated ginger, quince and floral notes of acacia and honeysuckle. The back end is stunning- ripe fruit, great acidity and tremendous balance that goes on for a while. This is a blockbuster of a white wine that will pair well with hearty fowl, Asian dishes, cheese boards and full throttle fish like Mackerel. 93 points from me make this $24 wine a no-brainer 5 point wine that will drink nicely till 2026. Salut….
Pale gold in the glass with weepy legs. The nose is bright citrus, cut grass and green apple. It smells fresh and inviting. On the palate it is quite rounded and full. Nice flavors of Pomelo, lemon zest and green apple are kept fresh with a touch of acidity. The mid palate cuts more with lemons and a herbaceous note. The finish is a delight- long and generous with the citrus notes whilst not too tart. There is a warmth to this wine even though I am tasting it chilled, the mouthfeel is great. I am enjoying it thoroughly and will pair with Beef Bulgogi, a Korean dish. The spices will work well with the lower acidity of this Sauvignon Blanc. 90 points and 4 stars for this $26 wine that you should drink till 2023. Salut….
The second wine of Tasting #8 was another Chenin Blanc, this time from Vouvray. Served at room temperature first we noted a pale gold color. The nose was flowery, with honeycrisp apple, honey, green apples, honeysuckle and pear. The palate is somewhat sweet with several participants noting canned pear with it’s syrupy goodness. I got passion fruit but the wine had a bitter aftertaste.
The chilled version was very interesting. Oatmeal, burnt honey, Graham cracker, butter and white pepper were noted. The wine had more citrus on the finish and I tasted sweet tangerine and pear as well. I scored the chilled version the second highest wine of the night and really enjoyed this $25 wine, giving it 91 points and 5 stars. Pairing suggestions would include grilled Swordfish, roasted Quail or even Moussaka. Drink till 2026. Salut….
From the Loire valley comes this Sauvignon Blanc. Pineapple and flint on the nose tell me this is going to be a rather refreshing wine. Crunchy acidic bite of green apples and pear greet the palate for an initial impression. Good vibrancy with a citrus mid palate that leads to a generous finish. Nicely balanced if you like this style of Sauvignon Blanc- steely, lean, not overoaked and refreshing. I served it with some Cajun spiced Cod and an arugula salad. 88 points from me and definitely a re-buy for $16. Perfect for a hot summer day with a salad, sitting by the pool or nibbling on oysters. 3 stars. Salut….