The Cellar: Riesling, Pinot + Cabernet

Friday, May 24, 2013

 

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At the most recent ‘Evening with Wine’ event at the Providence Wine Academy participants tasted Rieslings, Pinot Noirs and Cabernet Sauvignons from around the world in three head-to-head comparative blind tastings. The following is a review of some of the wines that were considered ‘Crowd Favorites’ and are available locally.

Riesling

The first three-way blind Riesling tasting pitted the under $20 Eroica from Chateau St. Michelle against the $25 single-vineyard Kabinett from Germany’s Selbach-Oster and the Iconic Trimbach Cuvee

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Frederic Emile 2004 vintage, whose current 2006 vintage costs $78 on Wine.com. For a second week in a row the crowd favorite was the ’08 Eroica from Chateau St. Michelle – a wine that is made in collaboration with Ernst Loosen of the Mosel’s famous Loosen Brothers Winery. The grapes which go into the Eroica are sourced from Chateau St. Michelle’s most mature vineyards in Columbia Valley. While the ’08 is not the current vintage, Eroica is constantly receiving 90+ ratings so a more recent vintage is still worth seeking out. The style of Eroica is that of a very crisp and refreshing wine, slightly off-dry with considerable minerality.

Pinot Noir

The second three-way blind-tasting pitted three fantastic Pinot Noirs against each other; the ‘09 Reserve from Madonna Estate, Carneros; the ’07 Pinot from Central Otago’s Sacred Hill Winery and the 2010

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1er Cru Savigny-Les-Baunes from Domaine Jean Fery & Fils. Once again, the least expensive wine prevailed as the $20-$25 Sacred Hill took top honors. Over the past 10 years Pinot Noirs from New Zealand, and Central Otago specifically, have been gaining attention. Stylistically, Pinot from New Zealand are often compared to those of Oregon, i.e. medium bodied and displaying ripe fruit flavors but also carrying with them considerable savory notes and acidity. The ’07 was fantastic as the couple of years of aging had mellowed its fruit and pushed to the foreground a delicious, savory earthiness that people seemed to enjoy.

Cabernet Sauvignon

The final flight featured Cabernet Sauvignon as the battles between the continents continued—bringing to the stage Barossa Valley’s Kaesler, the American Block 917, Knights Valley Reserve and the

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Frenchman; the 2009 Zede de Labegorce Margaux. The winner in this blind-tasting was the ’09 Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from Kaesler. This Estate was founded in 1893 and planted its first vines early as that year, 1899 and 1930. In 1985 they planted some Cabernet Sauvignon on a plot they named ‘Mathew Block’. It is from these vines that this wine is made. The ’09 is aged 15 months in 20% new and 80% 2-year French oak and bottled unfined and filtered. The result is a big, fruit-forward Cabernet. Thankfully, it is not over-oaked so one can still detect the acidity which helps balance the expressive dark fruit.

The evening also featured a sparkling Pinot Noir; the delicious Crémant d'Alsace Rosé made by the Alsatian producer Lucien Albrecht. If you’d like see a complete list of the wines tasted, click here. While at the website feel free to sign up for the next tasting, which will feature the increasingly diverse wines of the Pacific Northwest; Oregon and Washington.

Cheers!

Steffen Rasch is a Certified Sommelier and Specialist of Wine. Feel free to email him at [email protected] with any wine-related question. Follow GoLocalProv’s Wine Cellar on Facebook to stay connected to the local wine scene or sign up for one of his tastings through the Providence Wine Academy.

 
 

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