The infamous Men’s Wine Council is gearing up for our next gathering, so I figured I best catch you up on our last tasting before moving along to the next one. Linda, Roger, Corie, Scott, Ken and I gathered at our somewhat secret location in Temecula, armed with seven wines and some fabulous food. The afternoon’s first wine was the 2011 Dry Creek Vineyards Fumé Blanc. I loved the nose on this wine: grassy with citrus and mineral notes. Not only did it pair well with deviled egg, it was also a hit with pizza, black beans and lemon cookies. This wine has a nice, round mouth feel and a clean finish and is a bargain at $14.
We moved on to an offering from down under, Jacob’s Creek 2010 Chardonnay priced at a mere $15. There was a whole lot going on in this wine’s nose: stone fruits, citrus and cinnamon and it was quite well balanced on the palate. It was a perfect pairing with vegetarian pizza, black beans and deviled eggs. We were two for two!
The third wine of the afternoon was Puma Road’s 2010 silver capsule Chardonnay. Although more expensive at $22 than the first two wines, I was disappointed with it. When I first got a whiff of the nose I got excited, but the palate didn’t deliver what the nose promised. The finish left something to be desired. We really couldn’t find a food it paired well with.
We moved onto the reds, starting with a 2008 Dry Creek Vineyard Meritage. What a strikingly beautiful color! A deep violet wine with an almost Zin-like nose with blackberry and black pepper. This time the palate delivered what the nose promised. It’s a lovely wine with soft tannins and some plum that is well suited to accompany prime rib, black beans and chocolate graham crackers in a Kahlua dip. This wine retails for $28.
We went back to Australia for the fifth wine of the day, 2010 Graffigna Malbec reserve. At $13 this wine spun some heads in our group. The color was deep dark and I picked up chocolate and cherries on the nose. It offered a nice round mouth feel and it paired well with meat pizza, black beans and a few other offerings. The finish really lingered and at the price it was a true no-brainer.
We went with offerings from the Napa Valley for our final two wines. First was the 2009 Napa Cellars Stagecoach Cabernet Sauvignon. It was tight to begin and needed a lot of air, but once it opened up it proved to taste better than it smelled. I picked up strong cedar notes on the nose, but it was well balanced and a good fit with the meat pizza. All of us agreed it was a bit pricey at $48.
We ended the afternoon with Piña Napa Valley 2008 Mimbre Cabernet Sauvignon. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. The color was deep and extracted and on the nose I got tons of black licorice. This is a very young wine that is already drinking remarkably well. It will only get better with time. It paired quite nicely with sausage and dark chocolate graham crackers with Kahlua, but it really doesn’t need to be paired with anything. Even with a price tag of $115, none of us felt it was too expensive. Until we taste again, cheers!