Wines of Alsace Twitter Tasting Wrap Up!

Here are my tasting notes from the Wines of Alsace Twitter Tasting on June 27th.  Each dry Riesling is distinctively different and perfect for the hot, summer weather that seems to be taking over the country!

The lineup for #AlsaceRocks!
The lineup for #AlsaceRocks!

Trimbach 2010 Riesling

Beautiful aromas of sweet ginger and fresh flowers are followed with a crisp and vibrant palate.  Racy acidity and flavors of peach, lime and ginger make this wine a perfect match for sushi! (13% alcohol, $20, B+)

Weinbach Riesling Cuvee Theo 2011

Opens up with a nose of delicate flowers, peach, orange and anise.  The palate has lively acidity and tastes of orange, herbs and lime.  The finish is long and the palate shows some depth and character.  Only native yeasts were used for fermentation with minimal intervention in the winemaking process. (13.5% alcohol, $30, A-)

Meyer-Fonne Riesling Reserve 2011

This organically farmed Riesling opens with gentle aromas of dried pineapple and citrus.  The palate is elegant with noticeable yet soft acidity and tastes of citrus and sweet white peaches.  A great wine for those not familiar with dry Rieslings!  (13% alcohol, $22, B+)

Domaine Ostertag Riesling Vignoble d’E 2011

To me, this was the most interesting wine in the lineup.  Floral aromas with citrus accents.  Lively acidity envelopes tastes of white flowers, citrus, peach and minerals.  Biodynamic with only native yeasts for fermentation.  Definitely my pick to pair with fish tacos! (13% alcohol, $24, A-)

 

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Domaine Maestracci 2011 Rouge Corse Calvi

Ever tried Corsican wine?  I actually hadn’t until last week.  Corsica, an island off of Southeastern France, is one of the most exciting wine regions in France right now.  The wines are some of France’s best kept secrets and include unique varietals and expressive palates.  Last week, I had the chance to try a bottle of Domaine Maestracci 2011 Rouge Corse Calvi.  Incredibly interesting for a wine at an everyday price and well worth drinking!

Domaine Maestracci 2011 Rouge Corse Calvi
Domaine Maestracci 2011 Rouge Corse Calvi

Tasting Notes

A blend of Niellucciu, Grenache, Sciaccarellu, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Carignan, this wine opens up with rich aromas of herbs and flowers with hints of berries.  The palate is savory with tastes of licorice, sage, bright cranberry, and black pepper.  If you want to try something a little off the beaten path as far as wine goes, this bottle is for you! ($15, 12.5% alcohol)

My Wine Rating – A-

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with grilled duck, pizza topped with sardines and peppers, or charcuterie.

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Clos la Coutale 2010 Cahors

Character and aging potential…if that gets your attention, then I suggest picking up a bottle or two of Clos la Coutale 2010 Cahors.  This blend of 80% Malbec and 20% Merlot comes from an undervalued region in southwestern France.  Imported by Kermit Lynch, it has 13% alcohol and sells for around $14 (a bargain!).

Clos la Coutale 2010 Cahors
Clos la Coutale 2010 Cahors

Tasting Notes

This dark, reddish-purple wine has intense aromas of ripe, red fruit, cardamom, and black licorice.  The plate is young and rustic with firm tannins.  There are tastes of black licorice, sage, pepper, and hints of dark berries.  Bold yet balanced, this wine will only improve with time!

My Wine Rating – A-

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with steak, duck breast, or rabbit stew.

 

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Rhone Rangers Los Angeles – An Event You Don’t Want to Miss!

I don’t regularly promote wine events (maybe I should?), but when it comes to my favorite event of the year, I am definitely going to share it.  Rhone Rangers is a non-profit organization dedicated to “advancing the knowledge and enjoyment of Rhone wines produced in America” and they do a fantastic job.  Their event in Los Angeles showcases some of the best Rhone winemakers outside of France (think Bonny Doon, Two Shepherds, and Tablas Creek).

Last year's event held at the Vibiana...a beautiful setting and even better wine!
Last year’s event held at the Vibiana…a beautiful setting and even better wine!

This year’s event will be held on June 23rd at the Vibiana in Downtown LA.  The Vibiana is a breathtaking location (it was held there last year as well) and the featured producers seem to get better every year.  So Rhone lovers, look no further for weekend plans!  This event is not to be missed!

Check out the event here: http://www.rhonerangers.org/calendar/Los%20Angeles%202013.php

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Eric Chevalier 2011 Muscadet Cotes De Grand Lieu Sur Lie

Want a beautiful, summer wine at a really attractive price (definitely a rhetorical question)?  That is exactly what I found when I picked up a bottle of Eric Chevalier’s 2011 Muscadet Cotes De Grand Lieu Sur Lie.  Imported by Kermit Lynch, this wine is naturally fermented and unfiltered.  For a price of around $14, this wine shouldn’t be missed!

Muscadet
Eric Chevalier 2011 Muscadet Cotes De Grand Lieu Sur Lie

Tasting Notes

This lovely wine pours a pale gold in the glass.  The nose has gentle aromas of lemon peel and green apple.  Racing acidity and fresh minerality envelope your palate along with tastes of sweet melon and citrus.  A delicious wine worthy of being enjoyed now! (11.5% alcohol)

My Wine Rating – A-

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with summer salads, oysters, or soft shell crab.

 

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Weekend Wine and Food Pairing – Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine and Shrimp & Grits

Spending last week in South Carolina really got me thinking about some wine and food pairings with low country cuisine.  I ate some amazing food, including my share of grits dishes.  One standout dish was shellfish and grits at Magnolia’s in Charleston.  It consisted of creamy, white grits, shrimp, scallops, and lobster topped with fried spinach and was delicious!

Shellfish & Grits from Magnolia's in Charleston, SC...the picture does not do it justice!
Shellfish & Grits from Magnolia’s in Charleston, SC…the picture does not do it justice!

When it comes to wine, there are a few good pairings with this style of shrimp and grits.  One wine I definitely recommend is a Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine.  The crisp acidity in the wine cuts the creaminess of the dish while the fresh flavors complement the seafood.  Try Les Clissages d’Or Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Sur Lie 2009 ($13, 12% alcohol)…this is a pairing you don’t want to miss!

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Mini-Review – Agostino Pavia Blina Barbera d’Asti 2010

When I came across a Barbera aged in stainless steel instead of oak, I had to pick up a bottle!  It opens with aromas of red berries and a hint of white pepper .  The palate has simple, bright tastes of cranberries and red cherries with lively acidity.  The lack of oak influence makes the wine very fresh and food-friendly.  Easy to drink and definitely worthy of mid-week sipping!  Pair with pork, game meat, or pizza.  (B+, $14, 14% alcohol)

Barbera

 

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