Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pinot on My Mind

On Monday night my WSET tasting club kicked off with its first meeting. There were only 3 of us for this one, but we knew we had to get it started or else we would never do it. I'm so glad we did! The meeting was great...and now I'll plan my schedule around the tasting club schedule....the 2nd or 3rd Monday of each month.

This month was a horizontal tasting on Pinot Noirs, with a Cabernet Sauvignon thrown into the mix to check our tasting skills. Our host for the month, Tim, had a fantastic setup. He served us an apertif of Chardonnay from Sonoma Cutrer. His wife, Ann Marie (a definite hostess with the mostess) had prepared trays of cheeses and charcuterie and pistachios. The glasses were placed at the table on a sheet with numbers that corresponded to each wine. We had tasting sheets from the Master Sommelier program to assess each wine by aroma/flavor and structure charateristics. There were even spit cups to use while we assessed the wines. I clearly went back after the tasting to finish off the glass of what I liked!

As for the actual tasting of the wine, all 5 wines were tasted blind, and we all kinda knew which one was the Cab (Wine #2) first sip. The smell gave it away too, it had a slighty earthy, musty character. It was a Chateau Greysac Medoc, tasted delish though.

Wine #1
Regional Bourgogne
A slight floral hint appeared on the nose while flavors of red fruit, fresh raspberries were apparent in this dry red. There was also an earthy, soil component. The rest of the tasters noted that this wine had probably seen time in a French or American Barrique. I definitely need more work with 'oak' tasting.

Wine #2
Chateau Greysac Medoc
The dryness and high tannins of this wine were a dead giveaway. The black fruit on the palate confirmed what we thought, this was the cabernet.

Wine #3
Cote Nuits Village
Aromas of red fruit and strawberries practically jumped out of the glass on this one. Hints of florals and soil also appeared on the palate. This wine also saw time in a French Barrique. But that strawberry... I went back for a full glass.

Wine #4
Chalone Monterey
After tasting the 'original' pinot noirs from Burgundy, it was a bit easier to tell that this one was from California. While having the dryness and medium tannins that are indicitive of Pinot Noir, the red fruit flavors in this wine weren't nearly as fresh and ripe as the Burgundies. We didn't believe that this wine spent any time in oak.

Wine #5
Saintsbury Carneros
Hints of spice and black fruit were present in the aromas and on the palate in this one. Off-dry with medium tannins, this wine had a great fruity finish...that I actually did finish ;-)

Again, a fantastic tasting for our 1st one. We continued the evening talking about wine, books, travel, a whole lot of stuff! Then we had our coffee and prepared our minds for the 1 1/2 hr drive back home. Thanks to the O'Hare's!!!

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