Richard Kinssies presented sparkling wines from around the world; Here are some of the highlights of what we tasted:
Non Vintage Szigeti Brut Sparkling Gruner Veltliner (Austria) $18
Szigeti is the producer and Gruner Veltliner is the grape. Gruner is the most important white grape in Austria and it can make amazing wines both still (without bubbles)… and sparkling. This one is bright and fresh and though it is very dry it is loaded with fruit. The nose was fabulous as it reminded me of carmelisied popped corn! This was my personal favorite and was a big hit with the other “winos” as well!
Non Vintage Henri Abele Brut Champagne (FR) $29
This is real Champagne! Though it may not be the most famous Henri Abele is one of the oldest and most respected of the Champagne houses. The wine is dry with notes of yellow apple and biscuits.
Non Vintage Domaine Michel Juillot Blanc de Blanc Cremant de Borgogne $19
This is a sparkling wine from the Burgundy region of France. It is made almost entirely from chardonnay grapes and has the elegance and complexity that that grape imparts on sparkling wines. This wine could easily pass for Champagne.
Also, we purchased three bottles from their happy hour menu to try last night. The hands down favorite was none other than Richard Kinssies ’07 Yakima Valley Tempranillo $15. The nose had a lovely eucalyptus aroma and the palate was a sumptuous mix of berry flavored tobacco, menthol, cassis with an expansive, slightly tarry finish. This wine is both a great food and sipping wine! A great value!
And of course, what “Winos” evening would be complete with out stopping at Wine World! I picked up a Muscat De Beaumes de Venise, Domaine De Coyeux, ’03, a dessert wine from the Rhone valley. There are two types of Muscat planted at Coyeux – grains blancs and grains noirs. The latter, being darker, have more aroma and flavor. In the words of the owner, the dark berries give body and the lighter ones give elegance. I haven’t cracked this open yet, so here are the winemaker’s notes: The powerful and expressive nose shows aromas of white flowers, peach and honey. On the palate the wine is round and sweet, but not cloying, with a lively acidity. The total effect is fresh and elegant with good length and lots of charm.
This is my last post of the year, but stay tuned for next year’s posts where I will have an up date on “My First Wine“, video from Green Lake Wines, updates on activities with Vintage 2010 @NW Wine Academy and much more!
A World of Wine in a Single Spanish Valley Wednesday, October 20, at South Seattle Community College. Adrian Murcia, a Brooklyn-based writer and educator and frequent traveller to the region, lead us through a tasting tour Rioja‘s history, geography, and impressive natural endowment of soils and micro-climates, along with the area’s oddly harmonious commitment to both tradition and restless innovation–help explain Rioja’s modern-day multiplicity of styles.
Of the seven that were presented I will give you my personal top three:
- Starting with Number 3: Lorinon: Bodegas Breton, Rioja Alta: Reserva, ’05, 85% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano, 5% Mazuelo & 5% Garancha. Aged 22 months in oak. Raspberry, black tea, dark cherry flavors predominate. $10.50
- Number 2: Ondalan Crianza, 06, Rioja Alavesa. 80% Tempranillo, 20% Graciano. Aged 14 months in 75% american and 25% French oak barrels. With licorice, cocoa and raspberry flavors. $15.
- And finally Number 1: Beronia: Gran Reserva, ’01, Rioja Alta. 88% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano, 4% Mazuelo. Aged 24 months in French and American oak. Definately the big hit amounst the tasters I talked to that afternoon! With complex notes of earth, black tea, mushroom, saddle leather, licorice, and vanilla. And best of all I saw this one at the Kirkland Costco for $14.99! A total bargin!
On our way back from a camping trip to Glacier MT we stopped in Spokane to visit a few wineries. There are lots of new wineries popping up but didn’t have time to check them all out. But we did manage to go to one of our favorites Townshend Cellar. Highlights of their vast offerings are their “Red Table Wine” for $10.95, 03 Merlot for $22.95, Late Harvest Chenin Blanc (with just a touch of Botrytris) for $17.95 for a 375ml bottle (what a steal!), and their 05-06′ Tempranillo for $24.95. But the wine that struck a cord with me was their 06′ Lemberger for $19.95! A cherry/strawberry pie extravaganza with spice like nutmeg and cinnamon with a little smoke to finish it off! Haven’t had a Lem in quite some time and so glad I had a chance to try Townshend’s! I see their Vortex in Costco quite often and other wines in wine shops in the Seattle area.