Wine's Magnificent Varietals: Open Wine-Bar & Wine & Food Pairing Seminar

 Pre-Valentine's Day Celebrating

       Love, Wine, People, & Art

 

 

In keeping with our event's theme, Wine's Magnificent Varietals …

You are about to experience a Wine-Varietal Orgy of epic proportions … hahaha.

We've always stated that our objective in each of the wine-tasting events, is to expose our members to top rated wines (90+) and expand their knowledge and appreciation for the world's most phenomenal drink – wine.

Without a doubt, our up-coming wine tasting event will continue to advance this objective.

It consists of a brief presentation on Wine and Food Pairing, and a tasting of a truly magnificent line-up of 18 top-rated (90+) wines … yes, we increased the number again.

So prepare your palate for a real Wine-Varietal Orgy with Twenty (20) different grape varieties participating!   

Lets meet the participating grape varieties (in alphabetic order):

 (In the coming weeks , we'll continue our practice of unveiling the tasting notes for the wines featured) - 

Aragonez: Is a red wine grape indigenous to Portugal and is commonly used in Port wine production. The grape is noted for its dark coloring. The wine tends to be full-bodied and rich, with aromas of blackberries, herbs and flowers. 

Aglianico ("ah-LYAH-nee-koe"): Is a black-skinned red wine grape native to southern Italy. It tends to be full bodied with firm tannin and high acidityThe rich flavors of the wine make it appropriate for matching with rich meats such as lamb.

Alfrocheiro: Is a red Portuguese wine grape variety planted primarily in the Dao DOC.  The wine is spicy, soft and has a smooth texture, and is approachable when young. It isconsidered by many to be Portugal's finest.

Cabernet Franc: It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone - as inFrance's Loire's Chinon and California. Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, and contributes finesse and a peppery perfume to blends with more robust grapes.

Cabernet Sauvignon: Is one of the world's most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates. The style of Cabernet Sauvignon is strongly influenced by the ripeness of the grapes at harvest. When more on the unripe side, the grapes will exhibit pronounced green bell peppers and vegetal flavors. When harvested overripe, the wines can taste jammy and may have aromas of stewed black currants. Generally, New World examples have more pronounced fruity notes while Old World wines can be more austere with heightened earthy notes. 

Carignan: A red wine grape from Sardinia known for producing wines of finesse and elegance. 

Carmenere: Carménère wine, which has become Chile's flagship, has a deep red color and aromas found in red fruits, spices and berries. The tannins are gentler and softer than those in Cabernet Sauvignon and it is a medium body wine. 

Chenin Blanc: Is a white wine grape variety from the France's Loire valle. Its high aciditymeans it can be used to make everything from sparkling wines to well-balanced dessert wines.  

CinsaultIs a red wine grape that is prevalent in the  Languedoc Roussillon province of Southern France. It is often blended with grapes such as Grenache and Carignan to add softness and bouquet.

Garnacha from Spain & Grenache from Southern France: It exhibits berry flavors, and is soft on the palate with a relatively high alcohol content.  It is usually blended with other varieties such as Syrah, Carignan,  Tempranillo, and Cinsaut.

Malbec: Is a purple grape variety used in making red wine. The grapes tend to have an inky dark color and robust tannins, and are known as one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of red Bordeaux wine It is currently Argentina's most prevalent red-wine.

Malvar: Is a Spanish white wine grape variety that is predominantly grown in the province of Madrid Malvar produces slightly "rustic", medium bodied wines that tend to be very flavorful and aromatic.

Mencia: Is a Spanish red-grape variety primarily found in the northwestern part of the country. The wines tend to be powerful, while nuanced with red fruits and earthy richness. 

Merlot: Merlot-based wines usually have medium body with hints of berryplum, and currant. Its softness and "fleshiness" makes Merlot a popular grape for blending with the sterner Cabernet Sauvignon, which tends to be higher in tannin. Along with Cabernet SauvignonCabernet FrancMalbec and Petit VerdotMerlot is one of the primary grapes in Bordeaux wine where it is the most widely planted grape.

Monastrell from Spain and Mourvèdre from France:  Cultivated in the Mediterranean region up to the southern portion of France (where it is also known as Mourvèdre)has a Spanish origin.  This grape variety is used to make both strong, dark red wines and rosés, offering plenty of ripe fruit and great concentration.

Petite Sirah from California: Usually high in pigment and tannin, young wines may show dark berry fruit characteristics. This variety makes for big, assertive red wines. Powerful tannins and a dark, almost black color are characteristics that the die hard fan of the traditional Petite Sirah style seeks. The wine's fruit flavors of rich berry and boysenberry jam are typically enhanced by spicy notes of pepper, nutmeg and clove. 

Syrah/Sirah/Shiraz: Is a dark-skinned grape grown throughout the world and used primarily to produce powerfully flavored and full-bodied.red wines. Aroma characters can range from violets to berries (usually dark as opposed to red), chocolate, espresso and black pepper.

Tempranillo: Is a variety of black grape widely grown in its native Spain to make full-bodied red wines. It is the main grape used in Rioja, and is often referred to as Spain's "noble wine". Tempranillo is marked by strong fruit flavors and aromas, and is frequently blended with other grapes, but is often bottled as a varietal wine. 

Torrontes: Is a white Argentinian wine grape variety, producing fresh, aromatic wines with moderate acidity, smooth texture and mouthfeel as well as distinctive peach and apricot aromas on the nose 

Trincadeira: Is a red wine grape that is commonly used in Port wine or to make a somewhat spicy varietal wine . These grapes produce wines with a good colour concentration, very fruity aromas with vegetal notes (fresh herb) full-bodied and smooth but solid tannins, allowing a good evolution in bottle.  

Touriga Nacional: Touriga Nacional is the heart and soul of Portugal port wines. Though Port wine can be made-up of 20 or more grapes, Touriga Nacional could be argued to be the defining factor in its makeup. Full of bright acidity and strong tannins, it lend its flavor profile to the wines of Porto, and helps with the famous longevity of these noble wines.

 

 TASTING NOTES & RATINGS FOR

     12 OF 18 FEATURED WINES


1.  UNIQUE BOREAUX BLEND WITH “ ELEGANCE AND

REFINED TANNINS … A WONDERFUL BOTTLE”

Rated 91 by Wine Advocate (WA)

Tasting Notes & Review by WA: “This St Emilion Bordeaux has a unique blend for the region of 50% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Franc is the new darling in St. Emilion. The Cabernet Franc really comes through on the palate as the wine offers attractive tobacco, herb, black cherry, and currant fruit. There is superb balance, purity and elegance with sweet and refined tannins, fresh acidity and a seamless finish. This is truly a wonderful bottle and a rare opportunity.”

 

2.  THIS “IMPRESSIVE” PORTUGESE RED BLEND

POWERS FORWARD WITH GREAT BALANCE”

          Rated 91 by Wine Advocate & Wine Enthusiast (WE)

Tasting Notes & Review by WA: Always an impressive wine, this vintage blended from Aragonez, Trincadeira and Touriga Nacional powers forward with great balance among its black fruits, ripe tannins, oak and enticing acidity.”

 

3.   WHITE WINE FROM SPAIN'S MALVAR GRAPE IS “INTENSE WITH EXCELLENET BALANCE AND FRUIT-FILLED FINISH”

Rated 90 by Wine Advocate

Tasting Notes & Review by WA: “A round, spicy, intense wine withexcellent balance and a fruit-filled finish. This wonderful white made from Malvar, a grape grown exclusively in the centre of Spain's Peninsula. Its has rich aromas -white fruit and flowers with delicate touches of aniseed-and pleasantly light and fruity flavours. You will be surprised by its perfect acidity and its elegant nuances that are characteristic of the grape.”

 

4.  CABERNET THATS “FOCUSED, REFINED, AND APPEALING”

Rated 90 by Wine Spectator (WS)

Tasting Notes & Review by WS: Focused, refined and appealing for its open-weave texture around a generous core of plum and currant fruit, finishing with hints of coffee and dark chocolate.” (Blended with: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 3% Syrah, 2% Malbec)

 

5. AN ITALIAN “GEM” WITH “GORGEOUS TEXTURAL RICHNESS”

 Rated 90 by Wine Spectator (WS)

Tasting Notes & Review by WA:The Aglianico wine is gem. It reveals gorgeous textural richness that belies its elevage in stainless steel. There is plenty of varietal and regional character in this beautifully balanced, stylish Aglianico.”

 

6.  OLD-VINE SPANISH GARNACHA (100%) WITH “SEXY RASPBERRY AND BLACKBERRY AROMAS” … “SUAVE AND VELVETY” … “VERY APPEALING WINE”

 Rated 92 by International Wine Cellar (IWC)

 Tasting Notes & Review by IWC:Deep, bright ruby-red. Sexy raspberry and blackberry preserve aromas are complicated by Asian spices, smoky minerals and fresh flowers. Suave and velvety, with deep, sweet flavors of red and dark berries, cherry-cola and candied rose. Supple tannins supply shape and gentle back-end grip. A very appealing wine” 

 

7.  ARGENTINIAN MALBEC RESERVE THAT IS “SUCCULENT & COMPLEX”

 Rated 91 by Wine Advocate (WA)

Tasting Notes & Review by WA:"Opaque purple; black cherry, plum, and spice box jumps from glass; succulent, already complex."


8.  ARGENTINIAN WHITE WINE FROM TORRINTES GRAPE WITH “INTRIGUING AROMAS OF LEMON AND MINERALS”

Rated 92 by International Wine Cellar (IWC)

Tasting Notes & Review by IWC:“Very pale yellow. Intriguing aromas of lemon, minerals, menthol and white pepper. Tactile, supple but dry, with good density and an almost sauvignon-like tang to the flavors of minerals, ginger and flowers. This is made from the more minerally Mendocino clone of torrontes."

 

9.  A TEMPRANILLO THAT IS “MOUTH FILLING. GENEROUS, RICHLY FRUITED” WITH “ SUPERB BALANCE”

Rated 90 by Wine Advocate (WA)

Tasting Notes & Review by WA:"This Tempranillo was naturally fermented and aged in French and American oak for six months. It exhibits an expressive perfume of wood smoke, pencil lead, violets, cinnamon, incense, and blackberry. This leads to a mouth-filling, generous, richly-fruited wine with lots of spice, superb balance, and a lengthy fruit filled finish.”

 

10.  A FRENCH BLEND OF CARIGNAN, SYRAH, & GRENACHE “DELIVERS SWEET FRUIT” AND A “DEEPLY RICH FINISH”

                Rated 90 by Wine Advocate (WA)  

 Tasting Notes & Review by WA: "The as usual Carignan-based red Cuvee s simply the finest of its illustrious breed that I have tasted (and I go back 20 years with this cuvee and its predecessor). Clean, polished, and concentrated, this delivers sweet fruit with soil and soul. Ripe cherry, black raspberry, and purple plum are shadowed by their distilled counterparts in a high-toned nose and practically gush on the palate. Pungent, resinous herbs, smoky black tea, toasted pecan, brown spices, and crushed stone all serve for aromatic and gustatory interest, leading to a juicy yet deeply rich finish.”

11.  “A WELL STRUCTURED” PORTUGESE RED WITH A TOUCH OF ASIAN SPICE TO THE WILD PLUM AND DRIED RASBERRY FLAVORS”  Rated 90 by Wine Spectator

Tasting Notes & Review by WS: "A well-structured, muscular red, with a touch of Asian spice to the wild plum and dried raspberry flavors. Beef and mineral notes mark the finish. Distinctive, with a very wild allure. It is composed of indigenous varieties such as alfrocheiro, touriga nacional and tinta roriz, resulting in a lovely wine, which lead to a palate of very pure, spicy, mineral, and most important of all, balanced, fruit.

 

12.   A “FULL BODIED AND POWERFUL” PETITE SIRAH FROM CALIFORNIA “WITH WELL STRUCTURED TANINS”

  Rated by 91 Michael

Tasting Notes by Wine Maker:  “Aged for 18 months in French Oak Barrels, this Petite Sirah is full-bodied and powerful with black fruit, cherry, plum, and notes of chocolate. Well-structured tannins will allow for aging, but the wine’s concentrated fruit flavors and mouth-filling palate make it an ideal wine for enjoying now.” This is Michael's favorite Petite Sirah from California under $50.

 

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