I was a little nervous about this wine tasting because this was my 3rd wine tasting with this great group of people. I wanted to keep it fresh and some of this group had come to all 3. But I needn’t have worried, we had a blast. Don’t even get me started on aerators and vibrators, but one of the gentlemen got a little confused!! We laughed, we ate and we tried some great new wines.
For the first time I bought a white Spanish Rioja to this tasting, and it was the all-time favorite white wine of the evening. Montecillo Rioja Blanco is made from the Viura grape, also known as Macabeo, which is indigenous to Spain. The wine also contains some Sauvignon Blanc and Tempranillo Blanco (White Tempranillo) to make it a great refreshing white blend. Normally $19 a bottle here, this is a tremendous value because it was crisp and light and very food friendly. I was really surprised to read it had spent a little time in oak, because you can’t taste the oak at all. The oak was definitely just used to soften the wine. A great wine for the awesome charcuterie boards they made.
I love doing wine tastings with this group for several reasons . 1) They are a lot of fun. 2). They love wine as much as I do 3) And they love to eat like I do. They always put out a spectacular spread.
The second wine definitely saw some oak. I didn’t find it over-powering but some people didn’t like it as much because the oak was a little more dominant on the palate. I’m a drinker of big red wines so it takes a lot of oak for the flavor to over-whelm me.
It was the Meomi Chardonnay out of California and at $25 a bottle I liked it. It was heavier on the palate, but a Chardonnay normally would be. I think although low on acidity, it was fresh and clean with nice pineapple and lemon flavors. It’s a great wine to pair with lobster or roast chicken. It’s also big enough if you normally drink all white wine, this could be a great wine for barbecued food as well.
Speaking of big heavy wines, this was the last one we had that evening and it was a big wine.
From Black Sage Vineyard in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, this is a steak wine. There were two wines we had that evening that I suggested needed breathing time and/or aeration. The Seven Falls Merlot was one, it’s delicious once its opened for at least 30-minutes. This is another one. I had this wine opened for about 90 minutes before we tried it and it was still a big heavy delicious Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines from Black Sage are done in small lots which means any time it spends in an oak barrel, the flavors will be imparted on the wine. It spent 14 months in both American and French oak and it shows. We enjoyed the 2015 vintage, and this wine could be aged. You could still enjoy this wine years down the road. Personally, I felt this wine would be better enjoyed with food – steak, hearty stews, lamb. I think that’s where it would really shine.
And now my wine of the week, which was my favorite of the evening.
We enjoyed wines from California, then Oregon, then Washington State before we ended up in British Columbia. This was our first red of the evening and by far my favorite. The Elouan Pinot Noir hails from Oregon and if anyone thinks Pinot Noir is wimpy, should try this particular one. It’s very rich and very supple on the palate, and the name itself means ‘good light’. Delicious! Comes in at around the $35 price point.
We are going to do another one in the Fall and I’m really looking forward to tasting #4 with this group
FYI, I need the bottle of wine that goes along with this corkscrew