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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spring tasting, April 2013

The month of April has brought some lovely wines my way this year; some have been unfamiliar, and some I’ve had the pleasure of sipping in the past. In the last few weeks I’ve done more tasting than I have in many months, mainly because I’ve been keeping kind of a low profile for a while. 2012 was a difficult year with a few significant setbacks, and I just haven’t been getting out as much.

This month’s imbibing started out in the first week with four bottles at the Free Friday tasting at Swirl Wines. I was excited at the prospect of the first, a Grenache Blanc, the name of which I didn’t note, but it wasn’t a style that I prefer so I guess it’s just as well.

The next wine, Noster Inicial 2008, a plump, juicy red, from Priorat, would turn out to be my favorite of the evening. Really, they had me at Priorat. It is a delicious blend of Grenache, Carignan, and Cabernet Sauvignon, and I highly recommend it.

Wine number three was the very fruit driven Treasure Hunter 2010 Petit Verdot from Paso Robles. It was nice enough, not as dry or tannic as I had expected it to be. (You can read Beth’s tasting notes on Treasure Hunter on the Swirl and Savor blog by clicking here.

The fourth and final wine of the evening was the One Time Spaceman Moon Duck Red Rhone Blend, also of 2010, and also from Paso Robles. Another palate friendly and fruit forward wine; more interesting than number three, but still second to the Priorat (did I mention it was my favorite of the evening?) Unfortunately, I didn’t take detailed notes that evening, just a few cell phone photos.

The following day my friend Katrina wanted to go to Hopper’s Carte des Vins for a farewell tasting together before she departed for Germany to join her military husband. We’d forgotten about the time change and arrived at three o’clock when the bottles were significantly spent. 

We weren’t particularly excited about anything that day, but we both liked the 2010 Domaine Raymond Dupont-Fahn Auxey-Duresses Les Crais Pinot Noir. It was light, fruit forward, soft, and balanced. I look forward to someday having it again.

April 10 was the Wine and Cheese 101 monthly class at Whole Foods. This month Rob presented five bottles: four rosès and a Beaujolais. The first was one I hadn’t had in a while, Susana Balbo’s Crios Rosè of Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina; it was bright and bursting with berry. (We’d had the Torrentes at the previous month’s class).

Number two was the Sauvion Rosè D’Anjou from the Loire Valley, comprised of Groslot and Gamay. I found it to be light and a little vegetal initially, maybe because it was more delicate than the Crios, but soon the wine’s berry notes began to emerge.

The very lovely Gassier Sables D’Azur Cotes de Provence Rosè was the evening’s third selection, and my favorite of the evening. A blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Carignane and Syrah, (how could you go wrong?) it was delicate, pale and pretty, with soft floral notes and a long finish.  It came in a lovely bottle too!

Following was the Marques de Caceres Dry rosè from Rioja. Whenever I have this at a tasting, people are always fascinated by the deep color. The thin, almost brick red isn’t what most people typically think of when they picture a rosè wine. Made up of mostly Tempranillo blended with Garnacha, this bright, berry laden wine is the ideal rosè for red wine drinkers.

The final selection of the evening was the Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages, also served slightly chilled. What can you say about Beaujolais? Light, slightly dry, slightly tannic, and with a long finish. It had just enough fruit to make it palate-friendly, though still not quite what you might consider a social wine.

The following Friday I was back at Swirl. More on that later...

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