Saturday, June 25, 2011

JB's Mystery Wine Tasting Party - 18 red wines

JB held a mystery wine party for her daughter's return from studying abroad. We are all so happy that she's back!!!! And we LOVED the wine tasting - so much fun!!!!

I've included these in the order that I tasted them. All labels and prices were revealed at the end of the tasting after tasting notes had been made.



Little Yering Pinot Noir 2008, Yarra Valley, Australia - $11.99
Number 12 at the tasting, this wine was the one I brought and this was my first time tasting it. I purchased it at Austin Wine Merchant. It is made by Yering Station and was rated 90 points by James Halliday.

Aroma - a little hot, a little spicy
Taste - red fruit, black tea, soft to moderate tannins

I liked this wine and would buy it again - it's a good value Pinot Noir. See my updated tasting notes for it here.



Domaine les Grands Bois "Cuvée les Trois Soeurs" 2009, Côtes du Rhône, France - $13.99
Number 9 at the tasting, this wine is a blend of a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Carignan, and was rated 90 points by Wine Advocate.

Aroma - dark fruit, a little hot
Taste - dark fruit, strong black tea, strong tannins

I liked this wine and thought it could have been a Burgundy, although it did seem more full-bodied than I would have expected a Burgundy to be.



Water 2 Wine Orange Chocolate Port Dessert Wine
Number 11 at the tasting, this wine is only available at Water 2 Wine.

Aroma - dark chocolate covered raspberries
Taste - same

I would probably like this wine with dessert.


Roche Pinot Noir 2005, Carneros, CA - $30
Number 2 at the tasting, a wine collector brought this Pinot and was worried that it might be past its prime.

Aroma - raspberries, chocolate
Taste - tart red fruit, dark cocoa, moderate tannins, fresh

It was clearly a Pinot when I tasted it, and I liked it! Definitely not over the hill.



Irony Pinot Noir 2009, Monterrey County, CA - $16
Number 16 at the tasting.

Aroma - cherries, a little spice
Taste - cherries, black tea, soft to moderate tannins

A common Pinot Noir tasting profile - I liked it.



Cameron Hughes Frunza Merlot 2009, Timisoara, Romania - $7
Number 14 at the tasting, the Cameron Hughes website says that this wine is available at Sam's for under $7 a bottle, but is comparable to wines that range from $10 - $15/bottle.

Aroma - a little hot
Taste - dark fruit, a little tea, moderate tannins

This wine is just okay.



Water 2 Wine Rattlesnake Red
Number 8 at the tasting, this wine is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Syrah and is only sold at Water 2 Wine.

Aroma - acidic, tart cherries, cinnamon
Taste - tart red cherries, acidic, young, very light

Tastes like a white (not what I prefer), maybe good for summer, needs to be chilled.


CMS Red 2008 by Hedges, Columbia Valley, Washington - $15
Number 7 at the tasting, this wine is a blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot, and 6% Syrah. It was rated 88 points by Wine Enthusiast.

Aroma - dark fruit, dark chocolate, a little hot
Taste - black fruit, strong black tea, strong tannins, strong oak

Needs a filet mignon - this is a wine that should be paired with food!!! See my previous tasting notes for this wine.


Maroon Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Yountville, CA - $25
Number 6 at the tasting, this wine by Maroon Vineyards is a blend of 80% Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Napa Valley Merlot.

Aroma - dark fruit, hot
Taste - dark fruit, dark cocoa, very strong tannins, overoaked?

An okay wine. I think it's just been aged too long in oak for my tastes.



Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Sonoma County, CA - $16
Number 5 at the tasting.

Aroma - dark fruit, hot
Taste - dark fruit, wood, tart, strong tannins

Not great. This wine always smells a little hot to me, and this experience was no exception. The combination of heat and wood is not for me.


Galan Private Reserve Merlot 2009, Lontué Valley, Chile - $11
Number 4 at the tasting, RS and MS brought this wine to the party.

Aroma - fruit, vegetal, a little hot
Taste - dark fruit, dark cocoa, strong tannins, long cocoa finish

I like this wine - it's a little more complex than the average Merlot.



Rex Goliath Free Range Red NV, CA - $7
Number 3 at the tasting, one of the JBs brought this wine to the party. I think it retails for around $7/bottle at Whole Foods, and is a blend of Syrah and Zinfandel.

Aroma - dark fruit, a little musty
Taste - dark fruit, dark chocolate, a little musty, old world?

This wine is okay. See my previous tasting notes for this wine.


Red. Table Wine 2009, California - $9
Number 1 at the tasting, this wine is a blend of 72% Syrah, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot,
4% Zinfandel, and 2% Petite Sirah.

Aroma - hot
Taste - dark fruit, strong tannins

This wine is not for me. It's very unbalanced.



Chain Gang Red Wine 2009, Sonoma County, CA
Number 18 at the tasting.

Aroma - dark fruit, a little hot
Taste - dark fruit, strong tannins

Okay, a simple wine.



Beringer California Collection Merlot 2008, CA - $6
Number 17 at the tasting.

Aroma - hot, musty
Taste - red and dark fruit, a little musty, dry, tart

An unbalanced wine.



Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Alexander Valley, CA - $55
Number 15 at the tasting, CM brought this wine to the party. It is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and was rated 92 by Wine Enthusiast.

Aroma - red fruit, pepper
Taste - red fruit, dry, spice

Such a good wine! This is what I like! Interesting and balanced.



Lazzaro Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Argentina
Number 13 at the tasting.

Aroma - dark fruit, raisins, hot
Taste - dark fruit

An okay Cabernet Sauvignon.

Final thoughts...
Overall, my favorites for the tasting were:
  • Number 15 - Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Alexander Valley, CA - $55
  • Number 2 - Roche Pinot Noir 2005, Carneros, CA - $30
  • Number 12 - Little Yering Pinot Noir 2008, Yarra Valley, Australia - $11.99
  • Number 9 - Domaine les Grands Bois "Cuvée les Trois Soeurs" 2009, Côtes du Rhône, France - $13.99
Fun fun fun!!!

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