Friday, April 09, 2010

Oddball Wines Tasting

The other day, we had an interesting theme for our wine tasting: oddball wines. Everybody was asked to bring what he or she would consider an oddball wine and this resulted in a surprising set of bottles. They were served blind and we tried to identify what they were, but I have to say that most of the time, we were just completely puzzled and we had no clue as to what the wine was or where it came from!

Here are the wines that we tasted:

• 1985 Adams Chardonnay Yamhill County: I could not find any information on the internet regarding the Adams winery. This wine is from Yamhill County, which, with over 80 wineries and 200 vineyards, is considered to be the center of Oregon's wine production. My notes: deep yellow color, apple cider flavors, tasted like a mature Chardonnay or a Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc blend from the Graves region.

• 1985 The Eyrie Vineyards Chardonnay Yamhill County: located in the Red Hills of Dundee appellation in Oregon, the Eyrie Vineyards was founded by David and Diana Lett in 1966. This was the first planting of Pinot noir and Chardonnay in the Willamette Valley. In 1979, the 1975 Eyrie Vineyards Reserve Pinot Noir won tenth place among Pinot noirs in blind tasting at the Wine Olympics in Paris. My notes: dark yellow color, nutty, oxidized, Sherry taste.

• 1991 Panther Creek Reserve Pinot Noir: located in McMinnville, Oregon, Panther Creek Cellars has been producing Pinot noir since 1986. The reserve Pinot Noir is a barrel selection coming from different vineyards within the Willamette Valley. My notes: copper color, sour cherry and flowery aromas, actually pretty pleasant, tasted like a mature Pinot Noir.

• 2007 Chinon Charles Joguet Cuvée Terroir: located in the Chinon appellation, in the heart of the Loire valley, the Domaine Charles Joguet was founded by Charles Joguet in 1957. The wine production is mostly red with a little bit of rosé and made from Cabernet Franc only. The Cuvée Terroir is a blend of several vineyards and is made to be drunk young. My notes: unfortunatelly, I found the wine not drinkable and most likely, the bottle was flawed.

• 1999 Masi Osar Rosso del Veronese: this is Masi's only wine made from Oseleta, an traditional grape from the Valpolicella area, almost completely abandoned, due to its extremely low yields. The grape is harvested late to get higher concentration, roundess and a higher level of alcohol. In Italian, osar means to dare. My notes: dark color, raisiny, tannic, seemed high in alcohol, tasted like a Petite Sirah.

• 2005 Château de Bellevue Lussac St Emilion: the blend is mostly Merlot with some Cabernet Franc. Farming is organic with the use of green fertilizers and biodynamic techniques. Grapes are 100% hand-picked. My notes: citrus on the nose, medium bodied with some acidity on the palate, green pepper flavors, didn't taste like a Merlot to me.

• 1998 Sandhill Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley: Sandhill Winery is a small, family owned winery located in the Columbia Valley, specializing in Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Gris. My notes: typical Cabernet aromas, woody, tannic, young.

• 1995 Bussia Soprana Barolo: Bussia Soprana is located in Monforte d'Alba, which is widely considered one of the best areas for making Nebbiolo-based wines. My notes: light copper color, flowery nose with aromas of wild wood berries, light to medium bodied, tasted like a mature Pinot Noir.

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J. said...

The Eyrie Vineyards "1985 Chardonnay" was a favorite when we poured it at the winery over this last Thanksgiving week-end.
In July 2009, Eyrie Vineyards conducted an amazing vertical tasting of all our Chardonnay since the first 1970 vintage.
Wine writer Jancis Robinson was in attendance and she wrote: "I had to go back and alter my suggested drinking dates on the basis oh how well the older wines had lasted. And by the time we had got back to the 1980s and 198=70s, I started wondering just how many Burgundian domaines could present an array of white wines that has lasted as consistently well...".
Cheers! - Jacques (Eyrie Vineyards Team)

Catherine Granger said...

Thanks a lot for this additional information!