NCWC TASTING WITH JEFF ROSE, 11/4/11
CHARLES DURET CREMANT DE BOURGOGNE
Our first tasting event for November kicks off with this lovely sparkling wine from France. It can’t be called Champagne because it’s not from that region, but it’s damn good, and a heckuva lot cheaper! Made in the traditional method, using both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Burgundy, its nose of green apples and yeast foreshadows a rich, creamy texture, with Pinot flavors shining through beautifully. 89 points Bill. $17.97.
CLOS LE VIGNEAU VOUVRAY 2009
Wines from the Vouvray appellation in France’s Loire Valley are made from Chenin Blanc, which does exceptionally well in the area’s limestone soil. Made in a relatively dry style, this shows “wonderful flowery, honeyed melon notes that jump from the glass of this medium-bodied wine, which has excellent texture, purity and personality.” 90 points Robert Parker. $18.97.
If you’re looking for a great everyday red that way overdelivers for the price, you can probably end your search right here. Sangiovese of course is the primary red grape of Tuscany, but it also thrives in California. This example shows off ripe cherry and plum fruit, integrated oak, smooth tannins, and enough balanced acidity to make it a terrific food wine. Yummy stuff! 89 points Tobins. $9.97.
ALAIN JAUME COTES DU RHONE 2009
This is a classic Rhone blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault, and shows the structure and ripeness typical of the 2009 vintage. Its rich nose of vanilla oak over red plums and berries is echoed on the palate, with the fruit and tannins combining to create a full, round quality. Touches of spice, minerals, and savory notes complement the finish. 90 points Robert Parker. $14.97.
NUNA BONARDA RESERVE 2009
Bonarda is a grape that does very well in Argentina. This one begins with rich aromas of black cherry and vanilla spice. On the palate it “offers a dark, medium-weight beam of fig sauce and blackberry preserves, along with sweet spice and black licorice notes that linger through the finish.” 87 points Wine Spectator. $15.97.
PARADIGM MERLOT 2007
Made by renowned winemaker Heidi Peterson Barrett, this is a Cab lover’s Merlot if ever there was one. Rich and balanced, it shows the classic Napa profile of black cherry, cassis, vanilla spice and smooth oak. Substantial tannins provide the backbone for this to stand up to any Merlot out there. 91 points Bill. $39.97.
PARADIGM CABERNET 2007
Heidi’s Cab carries luscious black cherry and blackberry aromas with bits of mocha, red licorice and spice. On the palate, the wine is a big round mouthful of flavor, power and elegance. Black cherry, berry, and sweet toasty french oak flavors explode without disrupting the silky texture, lovely structure, and seamless, well-tiered finish. This is really, really good. 92 points Tobins. $54.97.