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Saturday, May 8, 2010

A weekend of Wine

It was one of those weekends that was almost non-stop wine tasting. I started out on Thursday at Cork and Bottle for the Rodney Strong meet the winemaker tasting and then the next day I was at Swirl for the return of Free Fridays. Saturday afternoon I met some of the members of the wine meetup at Bacchanal for the first annual Rosé Festival.

What a weekend! Though, actually, I guess I could say I started the weekend on Wednesday since I was at Santa Fe for Cinco de Mayo. I had received a phone call from Carlos the day before asking for help finding music for that evening and made some calls around to the guys I knew (who are mostly Jazz musicians) and lucked out when my friend Detroit Brooks gave me the telephone number for guitarist John Bagnato. I put him in touch with Lale and they worked out the details.

I went by Wednesday night around 8:30 to see how things had turned out and the place was packed! John and Eduardo ended up playing an extra hour. I had a seafood quesadilla and a couple glasses of the Postales Sauvignon - Semillon white. That wine is so pleasant. It has just enough fruit forwardness for it to be social and it's "light" enough to be refreshing in the New Orleans heat and humidity without making you feel like you've been drinking.

Thursday, the Rodney Strong wines were not bad, not great, though I did like the '07 Pinot and the Symmetry Cab blend. Most of them had that toasty vanilla-ish thing going that we've been told is a result of the oak treatment. (More on those later.) I went into Clever after to maybe have a glass of wine after I was done, but the folks I was looking for had already left and there was music starting that didn't really appeal so I went out into the farmer's market. It was winding down by then but I managed to locate Dan Esses and get some fresh spinach pasta (that I almost ruined!) and putanesca.

I don't have a kitchen (still) and I don't know what I was thinking (insert laugh track here); I got home and put some of the pasta in a dish and poured some of the sauce on top and nuked it a bit before I realized I needed to cook the noodles. Of course it was fresh pasta, I got it from Dan! I had to scoop off the putanesca and rinse the noodles and then put them in a pyrex dish and microwave boil them. Surprisingly enough, I didn't ruin them. That sauce was really good too.

Friday at Swirl I got there after six and the tasting was already in full swing. I did manage to beat the crowd and get in all four tastes before the socializing took over but somehow I didn't record both of the reds and now I can't remember what the heck I had that night. (Details below on the ones I did record)

Saturday at Bacchanal turned out to be a blast. Up until now I would not say that I am a lover of rose, but that is because I still think of rosé as what I drank as a teenager. Even now some taste too much like Jolly Rancher candy but then there are others that are really light with floral notes or have almost the same characteristics of Red wines (which really should not be a surprise). Some reds seem to work better than others as rosés and of course climate and location and vinification all play a role. In the last year or two I have been discovering some wonderful rosé wines that I truly enjoy. There is such a vast world of wine and every new bottle is a new journey.

A few photos from Rosé Fest:

I can only hope the rose festival was as much of a success for Bacchanal owner Chris Rudge as it was a pleasure for those of us who attended. (I went back this past weekend for the Spanish whites tasting and purchased a bottle of the Saintsbury; too bad I didn't get two...) I'd had the Postales wines before so I didn't really make notes on them but they are listed below.

So here are the wines of the weekend in order of sampling:

'07 Reserve Chardonnay
Nose: Neutral
Palate: Fruit forward, note of vanila, bright acidity

'07 Reserve Pinot Noir
Nose: hint of dried cherries.
Palate: fruit forward (black cherry?), not too dry, subtle and warm with hint of (green?) tobacco on finish; kind of lingers.

'06 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Nose: fruity, toasty, hint of vanilla
Palate: fruit forward but quickly changes as it moves across; goes from vanilla to dry tobacco-esque to an interesting aromatic herbal quality. Mildly tannic, a little jammy; lingers.

'06 Symmetry Cabernet
79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec, 8% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot
Fruit forward, hint of vanilla, slightly dry, pleasant and pretty good.

'06 Rockaway Cabernet
97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Malbec
Nose: neutral
Palate: Oak? Sweetish Vanilla

Friday Swirl

Nose: petroleum jelly (slight)
Palate: Fruit forward, pleasant; subtle acidity, citrusy, bright.

Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon
Palate: light, refreshing, subtly fruity, perfect for summer.

Cabernet Sauvignon-Malbec
Palate: (Didn't record anything)

Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah
Palate: kind of Sweet, toasty vanilla, nice enough

Bacchanal Ros

é Festival

Nick Selby/Uncorked

Dry, crisp

Gurruxtaga 2009
Txakoli Rose
Very light, sharp vegetal tones

Cuvee Les Trois Soeurs
Light, good, refreshing. Has subtle feel of a red.

Light, zesty, pretty pale pink, floral note, nice.

Sangiovese Rose
Light, notes of strawberry, very nice.

Gabe Daigle/Select Wines

Pinot Noir
Interesting; foamy & yeasty

Rosada de Malbec
Nice, light, dry, barely fruity. Drinks like a very light red.

Grenache 58%, Syrah 37%, Mouvedre 5%
Slightly dry, some fruit, drinks like a lightweight red

Pinot Noir
Dry, very much like a red, little green/tobacco; long finish

Mike Procido/Wines Unlimited

Rosado of Tempranillo and Garnacha
Pretty good.

Vin Gris of Pinot Noir
Light, lovely with a slight floral quality

Crios 2009
Not bad

Gris de Gris
Grenache gris & noir, Cinsault, Carignan & Mouvedre
Really nice!

George Brown/Vino Wholesale

Cotes De Provence
Absolutely lovely! Delicate and delicious!

Veilles Vignes Bourgogne
(Missed out on this one)

* Recommended

Coming soon... Wines and Food of Spain

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