This is a "new" series in our blog section that will highlight tasting notes from our in store classes. I'll try to be dilgent with keeping up with the content.
Last night we hosted "Summer Sippers", an all white wine themed class. It was hardly a warm summer June evening with temperatures down in the 60's, but our students endured the elements to get to class. Each class we try to feature different, off the beaten path wines to introduce everyone to new varietals, regions and flavors. For this class we showcased Picpoul, Torrontes and three white blends, given that red blends are all the rage.
1.) Bellafina Prosecco:
By now it's safe to say that you've had Prosecco. We usually start off every class with some bubbles, so tonight we picked this "frizzante" style of Italian bubbles. This one hailing from Treviso Italy half way between the Alps and Venice. Produced using the "Charmat Method" (look that up, there'll be a quiz later) and fermented in stainless steel tanks. Small soft bubbles almost still wine style more similar to a Pinot Grigio. Classic characteristic of green apple skins and lemon peel. Easy going Frizz for uncomplicated afternoon.
2.) Finca El Origen Torrontes:
Each summer, the marketing machine tries to pitch Torrontes as THE summer white wine. Happens every year. Produced in the northern Argentinian region of Salta within the Cayafate Valley known for producing high quality Torrontes. The Finca was very floral, tons of fresh cut white flowers, honey suckle and perfume. Bright acidity on the palate with tropical fruit notes and medium light body just not ultra light. The flavors linger on for a while while the perfume on the nose can be overwhelming at times. It's an enjoyable white wine but I can see why they have difficulty appealing to the mass market.
3.) Domaine de Morin Picpoul de Pinet:
Another white wine that we see trying to make a huge splash (no pun intended) for the summer season and when you get a chance to taste you understand why it should be sitting poolside with you. Located in the Languedoc region of France within the commune of Pinet, it's one the Languedoc's oldest grape varietals. Picpoul comes in both red and white variteals (Noir & Blanc). This particular domaine has been in existence since the mid 1300's first owned by monks. Having been purchased in the 1960's by the Morin family where daughter Caroline now heads up the wine making responsibilities. Light, bright and filled with stoney minerality. This was a close match to Muscadet from Loire. Just by everyone's reaction, this was the clear winner even with three more wines to go.
4.) Vina Robles White 4:
Vina Robles is a new vineyard we are working with out of Paso Robles, California. For tonight's first white blend we're looking at Viognier, Sauvignon, Verdelho and Vermentino. Such an interesting blend of grapes not everyone is super familiar with. The key to this wine is that Vina Robles ferments each grape varietal separately until the wine maker decides to blend them all together. Drinking any white wine ice cold provides no flavor. I like this white more when it hits room temp. More body comes out with almost a rounded mouthfeel. It's a huge basket of flavors going on with some dry under ripe pineapple coming through.
5.) Vinedos de los Vientos Estival:
Blend #2 comes from Uruguay....yes that Uruguay! Known for Tannat and some really tasty Sauv Blancs, this blend is made up of Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay and Moscato Bianco. Owned and operated by wine makers fro Piedmont Italy, they pick the Chardonnay early to retain it's bright acidity. The Gewurz is late harvested and the Moscato is finally picked once it achieves over ripeness. Medium bodied with an almost bloomy rind brie on the nose. Buttery pear, white pepper and again with pineapple on the palate.
6.) Borealis White Blend by Montinore:
Blend #3 hails from Oregon in the Willamette Valley. A unique Alsatian-esque style blend utilizing Gewurz, Muller-Thurgau, Pinot Gris and Riesling. Fruit forward, medium bodied, medium acidity. Very easy to drink, especially on it's own when you just want to enjoy a glass of vino and not necessarily eat a meal. Maybe too fruity for some, but I can see this working well when paired well with something that has a little spicey heat like maybe sushi.
Hopefully in the next Summer Sippers class we'll demonstrate chillable red wines which sounds blasphemous but in actuality quite enjoyable. All wines mentioned above are available for shipping through our website.
Thanks for making it down this far.