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wine tasting

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
We never established if Wine tasting is a sport but it is something I enjoy during the season and off season so I thought I would pass this one on.
I tried a Zaca Mesa 1996 Syrah from Black Bear block. "B3"
This was a wonder full full bodied Syrah made in the Rhone style.
Dry, bold, fruity. The nose carried blackberry, cherry, tobacco, chocolate, vanilla.
The taste confirmed the above with medium/high Acid, firm round Tannin. velvet/leather expansive feel in the mouth.
and a wonderful lingering aftertaste with a hint of cedar.

Wonderful wine if you get the chance to try it.

I had it at "left bank" in Larkspur, CA. Approximate price in the store if you can find it should be about $30.00 USD<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dchan (edited May 21, 2001).]</FONT>
post #2 of 52
Have you ever been winery hopping?
It's a sport. Let's formally establish it!

I here by declare "wine tasting" as a sport. Anyone (dchan) second the motion?

Deep yogic breaths...
post #3 of 52
okay, DCHAN,

howdja get into this?
how long ya been a wine guy?
why do i prefer merlot to its kin?
where are the keys to your cellar?
post #4 of 52
Thread Starter 
ok Ski Minker. I second...
Ryan, I got into it when I finally had a good well aged wine. and I was hooked. The next step was to learn how to select one young so I could purchase them cheaper and let them age myself.

Been collecting for about 7 years. taking classes 2 years.

Reason for affinity to Merlot, usually is a result of not being exposed to good or great old wines. (too expensive or can not be found in the local market and resturants don't usually have older wines(unless you have a great bankroll)
Most merlot is pretty easy to drink young. soft simple, fruity and not too expensive. Most Cabs and Zins need time to age to mellow tend to be harsh when young. The more complex ones seem bitter or acidic and super dry until they age. Nothing wrong with enjoying what you like.

keys... like I'm letting that one out...
post #5 of 52
i'll have to write trader joes a letter. MORE 50-YEAR OLD CABS!!!!
post #6 of 52
Thread Starter 
good luck, tell me how they respond.
If you want to try a good Cab, young and pretty nice. 1997 Hanna Proprietor grown estate bottled. Might even be at the local costco. 12-14.00

Or try a Chilean Cab. 1997 or 98 Montes Alpha reserve 14-16.00 (in general Most of the Cab's from Chile drink nice when young)

For a fantastic Zin that drinks young and very nice, See if you can find Joel Gott 1999 Amador county. 14-16.00

Prices are retail..
post #7 of 52
Ryan-check out www.geocities.com/idminkoff/Wineandcheese_homepage.html (and you have to type it in exactly like that) and it has all my favorite cabs, most are even reasonably priced and easy to find.

Deep yogic breaths...
post #8 of 52
Thank You both. I have to go now. There's a commotion in my Fridge that tells me my beer has heard and is NOT very happy. Gotta go.
post #9 of 52
Thread Starter 
Better not be putting those reds in the fridge. they seem to lose something when they get the shivers..
post #10 of 52
dchan, I'd much rather see them having a bruhaha with the beer in the fridge then the unairconditioned heat wave we are having!! Red wine no likey the heat!!

Deep yogic breaths...
post #11 of 52
Thread Starter 
good point skiminker. I'm spoiled and have a cellar and also live in an area where there is almost always natural AC.

Ryan, unless you have a place to store wine where it doesn't get too warm...

By the way Skiminker, If you store wines in a fridge at the 36-42 degree range it will cause the wine to age un evenly. (it will oxidize but at a strange rate). some of the things you find in an old wine will come out but the things that make an old wine good, like mellowing out will not happen. Makes for some strange tasting wine. (I've had some).

A beverage cooler (55-60 degree) would be ideal if you don't want a full blown cellar.
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[This message has been edited by dchan (edited May 23, 2001).]</FONT>
post #12 of 52
Ahhh! the ocean breezes (or today the giant blob of fog!)
post #13 of 52
Now, this is more my speed. We (err, did I say that?) did this in Virginia, hit a bunch of vinyards around Charlottesville. Reminded me of a college progressive drinking party.

Cannot say I'm all that of an educated afficiando. Sorta like art: I just know what I like. Did 2 "educational" evenings while in Durham. Syrah was the red, I remember, but damned if I know what the white was (must have gotten too snockered that night). It was interesting to learn how differences in climate/geography matter, like how a South African/Australian red does not taste like a French one.


Dante non ha mai immaginato questo cerchio dell'inferno!
post #14 of 52
ooooooooh come on Gonzoooo, puleeeease. (note the whiney tone )

Too late, we already declared it! Come to Sonoma and go winery hopping, you'll see!!!
post #15 of 52
Thread Starter 
Ok Gonzo,
We can do a bike ride in wine country and hit as many wineries as possible. Just for you...
post #16 of 52
Ah, see a sport!! Excellent dchan!
post #17 of 52
So if the concensus is that wine tasting is indeed a sport [ at least on this forum,] we need to discuss tasting techniques along with types, vintages and so on.

First Issue, do you swallow or spit ??
post #18 of 52
Hey Wink,

If I'm there, I want to get loaded. I might be sipping, but I am definitely ingesting.

Actually, a double jack and coke might be more me sometimes (at least when I was drinking with that Austrian wunderdrunk). Whiskey sour is a good one, too. Keep the darn cherry, though.


Dante non ha mai immaginato questo cerchio dell'inferno!
post #19 of 52
Thread Starter 
If I am tasting, It's evaluate apperance, which is color, clarity, legs and sediment if any.
Then Aroma.
Initial impression, what componants ie;fruit, what types and specific smells,
any chemical smells, oak or smells from wine making process,
then taste, Maybe a small swallow but usually spit. does the taste transmit what I expected from the aroma. What else to I taste. what is the feel of the wine in my mouth, ie chewey, dry, acidic, velvety, leathery does it fill the mouth or just go away, is it "hot".
Then the aftertaste. Does it linger, does it carry. is it a pleasant taste..

Do I like it?

post #20 of 52
Yes skiminker,dchan it’s a sport!! Of the things I miss about CA is the wine tasting and Trader Joes. Strange liquor laws prevent chain stores here. When we were very poor living in Santa Barbara wine tasting was our entertainment. If you have never done tastings along the central coast you need to try it. Much more casual than Napa or Sonoma. My husband used to work at Masion Duetz Champagnery near San Luis Obispo, sadly I hear its no longer. Spent many an afternoon there. We went to Oregon last year, tasted our way from Portland to the coast.

No cellar, we have a wine rack in the basement. Looked to see the oldest bottle. 1988 Martin Brothers Nebbiolo, we seem to drink rather than put up.

We usually shop the sales and try to stay in the 10.00 range, any good finds you want to share.

Glad this post was today rather than yesterday. Sunday was spent drinking far to much of the nectar.
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[This message has been edited by Kima (edited May 22, 2001).]</FONT>
post #21 of 52
Thread Starter 
you may have to raise your sights just a bit. In the past several months most of the wineries have begun to push their prices up. Sadly I believe it's due to the economy boom that just fell flat on it's face. Look for some good sales in the fall a little when all the wine shops are trying to clear their shelves for the next years releases. I talked to a friend who works in the wine business (retail and restaurant). He says he can tell when the stock market dives because he starts getting calls to cancel wine orders. When the calls come in with wine orders then the stock market is doing good.

good 10.00 wines are hard to come by these days. Especially reds.
If you are interested in some good whites, try a Chablis from France. Most Premier Cru Chablis with an A.C. designation are pretty nice. Crisp, citris flavors, med dry to dry. But no buttery oak like California Chard. A great summer wine. I have found some at 9.99 but ususally around 11.99 or 13.99
Chile has great cabs in the 12-14 range.
New Zealand has real nice Sauvignon Blancs in the 10-14 range.
Oh try the Rosemont Estate Shiraz from Australia. I think its in the 10.00 range.
Their cab-shiraz is about 14.00 also very nice.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dchan (edited May 22, 2001).]</FONT>
post #22 of 52
thanks dchan. One of the good things about Denver is Applejacks and Argonaut liquors which have awesome sales. You can find the Rosemount for around 7.00 during a sale. So if your viligant you can find great deals. Found Bryon Chardonny from Santa Maria Vineyard for around 15.00 something like half the normal price.

So any tips in the 10-20 range will help.

oops just checkd the e-mail from Argonaughts ROSEMOUNT SHIRAZ 750 ML
1: $8.49 12: $101.88

for other Denver residents
http://www.spiritsusa.com/pages/page...&skiplogin=yes <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Kima (edited May 22, 2001).]</FONT><FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Kima (edited May 22, 2001).]</FONT>
post #23 of 52
Thread Starter 
What is your taste in wines?
FYI I normally prefer full bodied reds and like very complex and different styles so my tastes are more "eclectic" now. I do taste a lot of wines and good wines are good wines, maybe not to my taste but I'm happy to share what I find. I've been tasting lots of less mainstream wines lately. Rhone style wines, Morvedre, sancerre, Chablis, Syrah, Grand Noir.
There's an interesting one to try. If you can find it Grand Noir from Storrs Vineyard in Santa Cruz. around here it was 19.99

Looks like your Argonaut has McDowell Syrah. 1998 and 1999 were great for them. (99 may not be out yet. I tasted that one as a barrel sample)<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dchan (edited May 22, 2001).]</FONT>
post #24 of 52
dhcan thanks again. I like "big wines" reds, oaky chards. We really do not know much about wines other than California so would love tips on French or Italian wines.

If you have time take a look at the above link click on in-store specials and see if anything jumps out at you.

Boy this is great!
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[This message has been edited by Kima (edited May 22, 2001).]</FONT>
post #25 of 52
dchan, I have heard that you shouldn't age cabs for too long (8 to 12 years.) Is that true?
post #26 of 52
Thread Starter 
These look interesting.


Villages designation usually means the area is trying to get it's own AC ruling and the wines usually are edging up towards the higher end. Macon makes some very nice light Chards old oak or stainless steel tanks so they will not have that buttery property that California is known for but great picnic wine.


in the past this has always been a well made wine. not super complex or blow you away but very good value

usually a well made full bodied simple wine. usually does good with a 3-5 year age. 1998 might be a bit tight.


See above for this vineyard. classic Zin qualities.


This one looks interesting just because of the vineyard. They have had some great cabs and some ok ones. At that price I would be tempted to buy one just to try.
post #27 of 52
Thread Starter 
I'm seeing double and I haven't even had a drop yet...


There's a lot that goes into aging wines.
The first thing I will say is Throw out the "age this, don't age that" thinking. In general for California wines, you are correct for about 8-12. but a better test is to learn what components of the wine change over time and taste the wine before you decide if it's even worth aging. I pulled a vertical tasting from my cellar 2 weeks ago. 1997,96,95,94,93 Hess Collection Zin.
Normally general rule for Zins is 3-5 years so most of these should be past peak.
I found that the 97 tastes like it needs to be in the bottle another 5-7 years. the 96 is good now. may only last 2 more years. 95 needs 2-3 years. 94 needs more time. Can't tell maybe 4-6 years. It drinks almost like the 97. and the 93 maybe 2-4 more years.
This is one specific winery. If I did the same for Chateau Souverain (see post to Kima)
1994 is at it's peak now. 95 is past it's peak. 96 and 97 are drink now. I have them too.

And a lot has to do with your personal taste. Some people like the rustic young wines. some like mature aged wines. One of the things that make wine tasting so fun is the individual tastes of each person.

To answer your question. yes and no...

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[This message has been edited by dchan (edited May 22, 2001).]</FONT>
post #28 of 52
I you feel like swallowing a bit of wine, try a Pelee Island Gamay Noir, its fairly different.
You should really do your self a favour and head to to Las Lenas Argentina. Great wine great skiing.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by JoCanadian (edited May 22, 2001).]</FONT>
post #29 of 52
Agree on the Rosemount Shiraz, '97 was the best year (IMO), '98 and '99 are good but not quite as flavorful.

I have had good luck with odd year Northern Italian wines. '95 and '97 especially.

Vitiano - $8-10
Taurino - Same

I love wine and try to find good bottles under $10.00. I am not an expert, nor claim to be, but keep my ears open when a real pro makes a suggestion.
post #30 of 52
dchan thanks once again! Have a couple of SOUVERAIN CAB SAUV.

Argus if you like chards one of our "house" wines is J Lohr. in our price range.

Will have to go and shop for the other suggestions. Or perhaps I should work?
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