A few weeks ago, a group of lovely ladies asked me to join their newly-formed wine club. A group of ladies, getting together on a monthly basis to do wine tastings, eat food and talk about one of my favorite things in the world? Sign. Me. Up.
The first meeting was last Friday evening and if this is any sign of things to come, not only will we be enjoying some great wines, learning from each other and tasting new wines, but we will be building some new friendships over our mutual love of all things grapey.
Our inaugural meeting of the Congregation of Succulent Grapes (yup, our club has a name and personalized tasting sheets!) was broad in scope: Red wines from France. Everyone brings a bottle ranging in price from $15-$20, with the hostess contributing appetizers and a bottle in the $20-$30 range. Here's what we tasted:
1. 2011 Coudoulet de Beaucastel Cotes-du-Rhone ($30)
2. 2012 Panicault Plan de Dieu Cote-du-Rhone-Village ($16)
3. 2010 Andre Délorme Bourgogne ($21)
4. 2011 Domaine Moillard Hautes Cote de Nuits Bourgogne ($23)
5. 2009 Chateau Cap de Faugères Bordeaux ($30)
All of these little beauties are available at the LCBO. We also tried a 2012 Inniskillin Meritage ($20), as well as a few more bottles as the night wore on. The Meritage was meant to show the differences that blends, terroir, etc. can have on the finished product (Bordeaux and Meritage are the same in that they usually include Merlot, Cab Franc and Cab Sauvignon but you can't call it Bordeaux unless it's from the Bordeaux wine region in France). That said, after the 5 bottles, things got a little scarce as far as tasting notes go.
The big winner of the night was wine #4. Although this burgundy was still young, the acidity wasn't as high as I would have expected (not nearly as high as #3, which was a 2010), and the nose and palate were amazing: strawberry, cherry (Nibs), earthy, sweet spice, peppery. It drank nicely now, and would likely be even better still given another 2-3 years.
Second place was the Bordeaux (#5). It was still pretty high in fruity-sweetness on the nose and palate as it is still young, but I can see this being pretty spectacular given another 5-7 years.
Coming in third was the 2011 Cote-du-Rhone (#1). Again, a young Frenchy, high in acidity and alcohol, but it had a really nice flavor profile which included strawberries, currants, cedar, cherries and plums. Another 5 years laying down and this bottle would be aces.
CSG won't be meeting next until August (July is busy for most, what with 2 weeks of Bluesfest, and general Summer plans). The region selected is Italy and this time we'll be doing both whites and reds. I'm very much looking forward to hunting down an interesting vino bianco to contribute, as well as spending time with these interesting ladies. Finding people that share your passion for all things grapes is a truly wonderful thing.
Wishing you all a summer filled with tasty travels and tasty wines!