Private Blind Tasting
These are the four wines we poured for a private Blind Tasting League event last night. If you are interested in a private event in the shop or in your home or office, call us at 828 575-9525.
Scarpetta 2012 Pinot Grigio IGT delle Venezie
Pinot Grigio has taken a lot of hits, a lot of bad press, a lot of flat out mean talk. Some say it is weak, has no taste, has no body, has no reason to be bottled! No nothing. Eric Asimov of the New York Times has not been shy about expressing his doubts. Truth be told, there may be some substance to what Eric and the rest of the Pinot Grigio critics say. Many versions of the varietal are poorly produced and just plain cheap. But not Scarpetta.
Voted one of the 25 most popular bottles of Pinot Grigio by Wine and Spirits Magazine, this bottle comes with a pedigree. Scarpetta Winery is owned and operated by Bobby Stuckly, M.S. (Master Sommelier) and Chef Lachan Patterson who are also the owners and creators of Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colorado. Stuckly was the sommelier and Patterson the chef at the highly rated, internationally known, very difficult to get a reservation at, delicioso, Napa Valley French Laundry. The two teamed up and headed to Boulder to start their own place. Frasca is a restaurant inspired by the culture and cuisine of Friuli Venezia-Giulia, Italy. That tells you two "known knowns." First, Stuckly and Patterson have a lot at stake here. It is unlikely they would put their names on any bottle short of the best. Second, they clearly have the know how to make great bottles. As a Master Sommelier, Stuckly can taste to perfection. And as a renowned chef, Patterson knows what works with food. Together, they oversee a winemaking process that brings about a Pinot Grigio that proves why this grape, properly brought to bottle, can be awesome.
DESCRIPTION from Scarpetta
This is a dry, strike that, bone dry, riesling. Dry, you ask? Here's what Eric Asimov had to say in NYT on the question of dry vs. sweet Riesling: "The subject now is dry German riesling, a notion that many people find confusing because they believe that riesling is inherently sweet....Yes, German rieslings can be sweet, gloriously so. These sweet wines at their best are fresh and refreshing and exhibit a thrilling tension, balance and grace unique among rieslings and white wines in general. Yet riesling can also be dry, as it has increasingly become in Germany and as most rieslings are in the rest of the world."
Now, you are asking about this wine being 2011? Riesling is one of the white grapes that can and does age well, not indefinitely like a fine Bordeaux, but it can go years in the bottle and, as in this case, did itself proud. This wine has taken on a structure and a smoothness that did not exist in 2011. Here's what Eric Asimov said in NYT on the subject: "Riesling also has the ability to age for decades, to make wines that are intense yet delicate and to express the intricate nuances of terroir so beloved by wine geeks, regardless of whether the wine is dry or sweet."
And Kabinett? In essence, kabinett = reserve. The history of the term from wiki:
The term Kabinett, also known as Cabinet, originally implied a wine of superior quality, set aside for later sale. It is essentially the German version of the wine term Reserve. The term originated with the cistercian monks at Eberbach Abbey in Rheingau, where the first recorded use of the term Cabinet occurred in 1712. The abbey's best wines were set aside to be stored in a special cellar built in 1245, and it was later known as the Cabinet cellar, orCabinet-Keller.
Before 1971, the term Cabinet or Kabinett often followed the name of the grape varietal, for example, a wine might be a "Trockenbeerenauslese Cabinet". The term is superfluous under current German wine law, although it can still be found on older bottles.
In 1971, the term Kabinett was officially noted in German wine law, and it was given its current definition which applies to wines which are light and non-chaptalized. Kabinett's current definition differs greatly from its etymological implications of it being a reserve wine. Before 1971, the terms Naturwein (natural wine) or Natuerrein (naturally pure) were used in place of Kabinett. These terms designated non-chaptalized wine, where no other designations, such as Spätlese or Auslese, applied.
And finally, about the wine from the importer, Robert Walter Selections:
- See more at: http://www.metrowinesa
Grochau Cellars Commuter Cuvee 2012
Metro Wines Tasting Panel says you "cannot find a better Oregon Pinot Noir for this price."
Blended from an assemblage of 8 different vineyards from around the Willamette Valley, The Commuter Cuvee is the first wine produced every year, that is to say, first dibs in the vineyard! This wine is concentrated, dark in color and fruit. Raspberry and cherry with hints of violets on the nose and palate. Only 15% new French Oak used to make this wine with 85% of the barrels used at least twice before.
John Grochau says this wine is "bright, fresh, vibrant, perfumed." Of the production, John tell us: "I sacrificed some of my high end Pinots to make this vintage of the "Bike" especially good." John recommends serving his wine with herb and chèvre stuffed baked chicken, grilled salmon, and dishes made with wild mushrooms. With a sweet spice foundation, the wine is soft and balanced.
A portion of proceeds from sale of this wine will go to the Brett Jarolimek Memorial Fund, created in honor of cyclist Brett Jarolimek, and in a joint venture between the Bike Gallery and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance to promote bicycle safety and awareness throughout Oregon.
Ready to drink now but has 2 to 3 years left in bottle.
Bottled unfined and unfiltered, this wine is unparalleled for the price, $13.99. Located in Catamarca, Argentina, surrounded by the Andes Mountains, the Alto3 vineyard is one of the highest altitude vineyards in the world sitting at 4947 feet! It is this high altitude and the characteristic dry, rocky soil combined with minimal rainfall and highly contrasting temperatures between day and night, that produce low yield, high quality grapes. The altitude and weather facilitate organic practices. The vines are not treated with any chemicals.
The grapes that make Alto3 are hand picked and packed in small cases of 30 pounds. Fermentation takes place in small concrete tanks and only native yeasts are used. After a 21 day maceration, the wine is aged in American and French oak casks for 6 months and then bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, Alto3 presents a deep red, purple color in the glass. On the nose, you will find red currants, herbs, licorice and tobacco. On the palate, the flavors mimic the nose and add a slightly minty quality to the mix. Alto3 is medium bodied with a smooth texture, solid structure and balanced fruit profile.
"The Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva is inky purple with an attractive bouquet of toasty black currants. The wine has excellent depth with ample spicy red and black fruits, light tannin, and a very good depth. Bodega Alto's Alto3 vineyard, consisting of 190 acres, is located in Catamarca, 515 miles north of Mendoza, at 4900+ feet of elevation. The vineyard is farmed organically."
Wine Advocate 88 points.
Metro Wines Tasting Panel ALL agreed, and this is not always the case!, that this wine is excellent. Being unfined and unfiltered, the true flavors of the grapes are strong, yet elegantly blended. Alto3 is a great food wine.
Online shippers are showing limited supply of this wine left.