Several of you are loyal followers of our “Vintage Pairs” blind tasting sessions that happen every other month, so we decided to add in an additional blind tasting series. We will feature a different topic each time, but no pairs to guide you through. For this session, we are featuring Italian wines. The tasting will include ten wines all tasted blind. Bear in mind, the selection isn’t just from our inventory, so studying our list won’t necessarily help. But, don’t be intimidated as I will still be helping to guide you through. When you arrive, you will receive the list of wines for the tasting, so this event is semi-blind. This blind tasting session is for all, both the expert and the beginner. We will proceed through the tasting together in an analytical way to uncover the answer of producer, name of the wine, vineyard name if applicable and vintage. The idea behind this tasting is that we learn more about Italian grape varieties by tasting them and discerning more about their unique qualities.
For the first session, the theme was Pinot Noir From Around the World, and the big discovery was that Germany is the region to watch as Spätburgunder (their name for Pinot Noir) has gotten better and better. The overall favourite wine of the day was 2015 Deutzerhof – Grand Duc Reserve Spätburgunder ’30 Monate Barrique’ Auktion.
Then, for the second session, the theme was Syrah From Around the World, and the big discovery was Switzerland(Discover the Syrahs of Jean-René Germanier), Italy(Try Tua Rita’s Syrahs from Tuscany), and the Santa Cruz Mountains in California(Check out Rhys) are making delicious Syrah.
For the third session the theme was Bolder Wines From Thick-Skinned Grapes, and the highlight was 2009 Château Bélair Monange. Christian Moueix, the President of Établissements Jean-Pierre Moueix, bought Château Bélair back in 2008. Upon the purchase of the Château, the name was quickly changed to Bélair-Monange. The 2009 was the first vintage made under the direction of the Moueix family leadership. This vintage is mainly Merlot, more than 90%, with a small percentage of Cabernet Franc in the blend. We enjoyed this wine and had a fun time trying to uncover Syrah, Merlot, Nebbiolo, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvèdre in the lineup of wines that day.
Come join me on Wednesday, 8 January, focused and ready to discover Italy’s gems.