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Showing posts from April, 2012

Sugar Land Wine and Food Affair

The Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair took place at various venues throughout Sugar Land last week. While I did not attend the On the Rocks Bartender Challenge, the Scotch Whisky tasting, the Churrasco Chef dinner or the Sommelier Secrets Lecture, I did have the opportunity to attend all three of the big weekend events. Friday night, The Grand Tasting took place in the Town Square Marriot Ballroom. The room was packed with party-goers tasting the many special Chefs' creations while sampling the wide assortment of wines from around the world. One of my favorite tastes of the night was the elk carpaccio created by Vail, Colorado Chef Kelly Liken  which I washed down with some Malbec made by Ryan Levy pictured at right, the winemaker for Nice Winery. The festivities continued on Saturday afternoon at the more casual Sip & Stroll held on the Imperial Sugar property. The Houston Blues Brothers performed outside on the patio while guests strolled through the historic buildin

Tasting Spain - Some White Wines with One Rose

From Rias Baixas: 2008 Bodegas Montecillo Verdemar Albarino  Clear, medium straw color. Clean, medium- intense youthful aromas of grapefruit and grass. Dry, medium- body, medium+ acidity, medium alcohol with diluted flavors of citrus pith and a medium- length. Past its prime. 2010 Abadia de San Campio Albarino Clear, medium lemon color. Clean, medium intense youthful aromas of peach and lime. Dry, medium- body, medium+ acidity, medium alcohol with flavors mirroring the aromas and a medium+ length. Good+/ drink now. From Rueda: 2010 Herederos del Marques de Riscal Verdejo  Clear, medium straw color. Clean, medium- intense youthful aromas of melon and pineapple. Dry, light body, medium+ acidity, medium alcohol with slightly diluted flavors of under-ripe pineapple and a medium length. Good/ drink now. From Catalunya: 2010 Vina Esmerelda- Torres (85% Moscato and 15% Gewurztraminer) Clear, pale lemon color. Clean, medium+ intense youthful floral aromas of citrus blo

Almost Lost Thoughts

In the past few weeks, I have gotten way behind on things about which I wanted to post. To name a few, this would include notes on: a beer, saki and cider tasting, a Sherry tasting, a bottle of Cabernet from British Columbia, a Mexican Merlot, a few bottles of Romanian wine, Krug Grande Cuvee Brut Champagne, Pierre Peters NV Cuvee de Reserve Blanc de Blancs Champagne, some of Napa Valley's finest: 2006 Darioush Merlot, 2006 Dominus, 2006 Quintessa and last but certainly not least, the Houston Bloggers Dinner at Ciao Bella. All of these were certainly "thought inspiring"  but the clock is ticking so I decided to summarize what a few weeks looks like in the life of someone who is trying to stay on top of the world of wine and beverages before these thoughts were just "lost" for good.  The Beer, Cider and Sake Tasting: After over 20 bottles of beer, I am still pretty much of a Hophead but I knew that going in. I certainly enjoy a good brew but I was not rea

Some Random Tasting Notes

Wines from a Blind Tasting Practice: Muga Rioja Seleccion Especial Reserva 2005    $30    Appearance: Clear, deep ruby with a pale ruby rim. Nose: Clean, medium intense youthful aromas of  mixed almost jammy black & red fruit. Palate: Dry, medium body, medium+ tannins, acidity, and finish with sour cherry and vanilla flavors. Dunn Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet 2004      $80 Appearance: Clear, deep garnet with a pale garnet rim. Nose: Clean, medium+ developing aromas of ripe blackberry and cassis with some chocolate and cedar. Palate: Dry, medium+ body, tannins, alcohol, acidity and finish with flavors mirroring the aromas. Clementin du Chateau Pape Clement - Graves 2005     $35         Appearance: Clear, medium garnet with a pale garnet rim. Nose: Clean, medium+ developing aromas of tobacco and black fruit with just a hint of green . Palate: Dry, full body, medium+ tannins, acidity, alcohol and with the flavors mirroring the aromas with the addition of minerality

Reviewing Germany - A Taste of Nahe & Franken

The small Nahe region lies between the Mosel and Rheinhessen on steep south facing slopes along the Nahe River. Riesling is the most widely planted variety. Dornfelder and Muller-Thurgau are also important. The climate is warmer than the Mosel so their Riesling may have a riper fruit quality. 2010 Neuschwanstein Castle Riesling Clear, pale lemon yellow color. Clean, medium intense youthful aromas of peach and lime blossom. Off dry, light body, low alcohol, high+ acidity with low flavor intensity and a short finish. Acceptable. Franken is in the eastern part of the growing region and has a more extreme climate. Muller-Thurgau and Silvaner are the most important grapes. 2008 Castell-Castell Franken Silvaner Trocken Clear, pale lemon yellow color. Clean, medium intense youthful aromas of lemon, almond and an unidentified floral note. Off dry, light body, medium alcohol, high acidity with a slightly bitter lemon pith / almond skin medium length finish. Good. Related post: Revi

Reviewing Germany - Tasting the Rheingau

Rheingau is a small but important region which has its vineyards located along the slopes of both the Rhine and Main Rivers. It is protected from northern cold winds by the Tannus Mountain but the moderating effect of the rivers is the main environmental influence. The soils are a combination of weathered slate and quartz which retain and reflect heat. 80% of the land under vine is planted to Riesling which is typically produced in a fuller body, drier style though some sweet BA and TBA wines are produced as well. 2010 Schloss Vollrads Riesling    Clear, pale lemon color. Clean, medium- intense youthful aromas of lime and citrus blossoms. Off dry, light body, low alcohol, medium acidity and length with citrus flavors.  Acceptable, not typical/drink now. Around the village of Assmanhausen is a long tradition of producing Pinot Noir, known as Spatburgunder, which is considered to be some of the best in Germany. 2007 August Kesseler Spatburgunder Clear, pale garnet. Clean, mediu

Reviewing Germany - Tasting Rheinhessen

     Rheinhessen is Germany's largest region for area under vine with a wide variety of grapes grown. It is very diverse with the wines it produces, both stylistically and quality wise.                  2008 St Gabriel Liebfraumilch (Muller-Thurgau blend) Clear, pale lemon yellow color. Medium- intense developing aromas of lemon with some kennel notes. Off dry-medium dry, light body, low alcohol, short bitter lemon pith finish. Not recommended. 2008 Twisted River Dornfelder $8 Clear, deep purple color. Clean, medium youthful aromas of red and black cherries. Between dry and off dry, medium body, alcohol, acidity and tannins with low flavor and a medium- astringent finish. Acceptable. 2009 Fritz Windisch Openheimer Krotenbrunner Rheinhessen Riesling Auslese $14 Clear, pale lemon color. Clean, light youthful fruity aromas of citrus. Medium sweet, medium body, medium acidity, medium- alcohol with flavors of ripe pineapple and peach with a medium finish. Good/ drink or hold.

Reviewing Germany - Tasting The Mosel

The Mosel wine region of Germany is along the river valley of the Mosel River from Koblenz to Luxemburg. The climate is continental with cold winters and warm summers. Over half of the vineyard area is planted to Riesling. Some of the vineyard area is on flatter sites producing lower quality wines often from other varieties. Black Slate Riesling 2009 -   $12 Clear, medium lemon yellow color. Clean, medium intense youthful aromas of pineapple with a touch of honey and canned vegetable. Off-dry, medium body, medium+ acidity, medium- alcohol with flavors of peach and pineapple with a medium+ length. Good/Drink now. Dr Karl Christoffel Riesling 2010 -   $7  Clear, pale lemon yellow color. Clean, medium- intense youthful aromas of lime and peach. Off-dry, light body, medium+ acidity, medium- alcohol with diluted flavors of green apple with a short length. Acceptable+ The region's reputation for quality comes from the historic Mittel Mosel where Riesling dominates the vineyards o

Michael Martini at Spec's Downtown

     A couple of friends from one of my wine classes suggested we attend a Louis M. Martini tasting at the downtown Spec's last week. Winemaker Michael Martini was there to present five of his wines and regale us with stories about growing up in one of  California's well known wine making families.      We started with the 2009 Sonoma County Cabernet priced at approximately $12. Simple, black fruit with soft tannins.      Next, we compared the 2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet and the 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet which Mike called his "every night at home drink". He explained that the 2009 growing season had been cooler than normal resulting in higher acids than usual. The Alexander Valley Cabernet had a pronounced blueberry character while the Napa had more of a black cherry quality. They are priced around $25.      The 2008 Monte Rosso Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon at $65 followed. The Monte Rosso Vineyard is located on the southwest side of the Mayacamas mountain rang