Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Belated Twitter Taste (not so) Live

I know the Frederick Wildman Twitter Taste Live took place on Saturday night, but several things caused me not to be able to join. The primary issue was the temperature in Cincinnati, it was raw and in the low seventies, certainly far from ideal weather to sample such a fine selection of summer wines. So we tried them twice over the last two evenings and will finish them off tonight. That said, they were exceptional wines! I am not sure how many people read this blog, but I know that some other bloggers have gotten flack for not acknowledging freebies. I got these wine for free as samples.

The Sauv Blanc ,which is clearly marketed to the US market, called Attitude (2008) is a crisp clean wine from Pascal Jolivet. This wine was not grassy in the least, but rather had a refined tart pink grapefruit flavor that I find very refreshing. The wine has "racy acidity", which makes it very food friendly. My wife particularly liked it with asparagus. This wine was a hit with all of those who we sampled it with.

The next wine was a Chablis (2007) from Christian Moreau. This wine exhibited the lighter side of Chardonnay. It was simple and straight forward, with clean vanilla and honey notes. This was a very refreshing wine with hints of melon. For this often overlooked French stepchild of Chardonnay, often overlooked in the over oaked work of the American wine industry, this was very good.

From Burgundy we took a detour to Alsace and the Hugel 2007 Riesling. Hugel has always been one of my favorite Alsatian producers with just enough of the gravely flintiness of the region to make it refreshing, while not overpowering the wine. This wine had wonderful green apple notes complemented by melon and peach. I found just a hint of nuttiness on the finish. Again this was another wonderful wine!

Next we travel back to Burgundy for Olivier Leflaive's "Les Setilles" 2007, this was wonderful expression of chardonnay, with just the right amount of oak to give it creamy vanilla notes. It also exhibits the tropical fruits which are most associated with the grape in its unoaked form. This is a clean wine with fresh tart notes that I find to a great expression of the grape. There are hints of citrus, mango and guava. This is truly a summer wine, while many of the over oaked American expressions of the grape are better suited for steak and cold weather.

My favorite of the tasting was the next wine from the Rhone. The Parallel 45 Rose'from Paul Jaboulet. I must admit my wife and I have been on a serious Rose' kick this summer. That said it was still a really good wine. This wine had body and creaminess sometimes missing in Rose'. It had light refreshing notes of strawberry and is very thirst quenching. A great summer sipper.

Finally came the Gamay from Potel-Aviron 2008. Just as with the Rose' I must admit that I am not a big fan of Beaujolais. I was pleasantly surprised with this wine, it was good. While still not one of my favorite, I must say that this is a good red wine for the summer and even though I am not a fan of chilling red wines, I could see this wine with a slight chill on it. This is a good wine for anyone who likes wines on the fruitier side. Though heavy on the fruit this is still a clean and smooth tasting wine. I still cannot say that I really like Beaujolais wines, but I do have more respect for them after trying this example.

In closing I want to thank Frederick Wildman for providing these wines free for us to sample and review. They were all very nice. More importantly for most consumers they were affordable. The Rose' is $12, the Beaujplais is $13, the Sauv Blanc is $18 (though a little high for a sauv blanc, not so for a good Sancerre), the Hugel is $20 and worth it, and the two Chardonnays are $23. I think these are all affordable and worth the money. Obviously there are a lot of good summer time wines out here for those without a clue, these could be good starting points in each of their categories. I also want to say in closing that we will likely carry several of these wines in our new store when we open this fall, so Wildman will benefit from there sampling in more than one way. Thanks again.

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