Skip to main content

Tasting Malbec with the Houston Chapter of the American Wine Society

I thoroughly enjoyed hosting the Houston Chapter of the American Wine Society at my home in September for a Malbec Tasting. This event was organized by my sister and her husband, a long time member of the organization. We opted to set up tasting stations throughout the house to allow guests to move through with greater ease. 

My sister was recovering from a recent foot surgery so she primarily manned the kitchen while I was on hand throughout the event to discuss fun facts about the wines. Attendees are given any information about the wines in which they are interested such as scores, pricing, etc, before the "people's choice" style voting. 

I shared my stories of meeting Bertrand Vigoroux here in Houston, he was the producer of two of the evening's wines, and my more recent introduction to Aurelio Montes of Kaiken at a wine event in New York. My brother in law, who has traveled extensively throughout South America, shared his stories about the Argentine wine tours at Balboa and Catena. 

The tasting began upon each guest's arrival in the foyer with some chilled rosé. 
  • 2014 Georges Vigouroux “Pigmentum" Rosé Cotes du Lot ($11)- Dry, refreshing, raspberry/apricot aromas, minerality, long finish.
  • 2013 La Flor Malbec Rosé Mendoza ($15)- Dry, smooth, red berry/plum, dried herbs and spice.
Next stop, the coffee table, where there were some anytime, affordable reds ready to try.
  • 2013 Urban UCO Malbec Valle de Uco ($10)- From high altitude vineyards, fresh sweet berries, lightly spiced finish.
  • 2012 Kaiken Malbec Reserva - Mendoza ($10)- More floral, plum flavor, smooth finish
In the dining room, members found Malbec from more specific areas in the $20+ price range.
  • 2012 Susana Balboa Signature Malbec-Valle de Uco ($25)- A blend of 92% Malbec with 8% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from high elevation desert vineyards. Floral, ripe berries, elegant, smooth finish.
  • 2012 Luigi Bosca Single Vineyard Malbec- Lujan de Cuyo ($21)- From a 70 year old high altitude vineyard. Fuller bodied, more intense, rich, ripe blackberry, white pepper, spicy finish.
  • 2009 Chateau De Mercues Malbec- Cahors ($22)- From the vineyards surrounding the home that housed the Bishop of Cahors for centuries. Full bodied, also intense with berries, spice, dried herbs and a savory note, more structured, long finish.
The final wine:
  • 2011 Catena Alta “Historic Rows” Malbec- Mendoza $(48)- Sourced from select rows from four Zapata family Andean vineyards to create a best of blend to reflect the four generations of the family that have worked there. Savory with blueberry jam, eucalyptus; structured, tighter.
Guests could then move throughout the house to retry the wines or head into the kitchen. Snacks for the event included warm smoked sliced sausage with barbecue sauce on the side with sweet potato chips, fresh bread and crackers served with a cheese array and a platter of fresh berries with an assortment of roasted nuts and dark chocolates.

The cocktail party atmosphere was interrupted briefly for a short meeting. Members and guests then placed their votes for their favorite wine of the evening and the winners were announced. Opinions varied in this close competition with the fourth place winner ending with 11 votes.

The Winners:
First place- 2012 Luigi Bosca with 18 votes 
2nd place- 2011 Catena Alta & 2014 Georges Vigouroux "Pigmentum" Rosé- tied with 13 votes each
3rd place- 2009 Chateau De Mercues with 12 votes

It was a great time with a great group of people!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

An Immersive Introduction into the World of Asolo Prosecco

Dinner Views at Osteria Alla Baracca. I was very excited to visit the Asolo DOCG Prosecco region at the end of May on a press trip as it is an Italian area that I have not previously traveled through. Asolo is located in the Province of Treviso at the foot of Monte Grappa in the high hills to the west of the Piave River with views of the Dolomites. The grapes are grown in 17 communes surrounding the town of Asolo. The days were very warm while I was there but I needed a sweater or light jacket on most evenings due to the diurnal swing that makes it a great area for grape growing. Wines from the Master Class Tasting. Asolo was elevated to the DOCG level in 2009. The majority of the Prosecco that I have found in Houston is Prosecco DOC which is mostly from very large producers. Asolo was separated from this category and the region was given this higher status because there are terroir elements that make it distinctive in the world of Prosecco. The Sant'Anna Vineyard. Many of the vin

Lust Zinfandel 2007

     My husband loves this wine so he purchased quite a few bottles at a recent Michael~David  dinner that we had attended. Last night, I decided to open a bottle to serve with dinner. I was making a roasted southwestern pork tenderloin, sweet potato fries (w/ chipolte ketchup) and a salad consisting of baby lettuce (fresh from my garden) with strawberries, red bell peppers, red onions and walnuts tossed with a white balsamic-raspberry vinaigrette.      This turned out to be a great pairing. It is a bold wine that really stood up to the strong chipolte seasoning while complementing the fruit flavors. I opened the bottle a 1/2 hour before I served it as I have found this wine to be more enjoyable when I do so.      The Lust Zinfandel by Michael~David 2007  was a dark purple color with a ruby rim. It has intense aromas of very ripe mixed berries and baking spices-both allspice and ginger with hints of cedar. It has flavors of creme de cassis, milk chocolate and also more of the baking

"The Zen of Zin" Tasting at Fleming's in River Oaks

On Friday evening, my husband and I attended the Zinfandel wine tasting at Fleming's in River Oaks. My husband gets totally pumped up for any and all things Zinfandel but what I found really intriguing in the line up of wines were the aged offerings. Brent Sloan, managing partner at Houston's premier wine storage facility Nos Caves Vin, had provided Fleming's with four 18 year old bottlings and one 17 year old bottling from his collection of some of his favorites. I found this interesting because 1. I don't believe that I have ever had an 18 year old Zinfandel before this evening and 2. From various wine classes, I had always heard that at best Zinfandel had very limited aging ability. So, I was definitely excited to give these wines a taste. There were also an additional five younger Zinfandel wines that are some of Fleming's best sellers. The entire tasting line up for the evening included: 2009 Orin Swift Saldo - California 2007 Schulz "Lampyridae Vin