24 April 2005

Tasting Notes for April 23, 2005 (Part 2)

After a late lunch and a quiet couple of hours, it was time for the evening's tasting. Ostensibly an Oktoberfest in April celebration, I was looking forward to tasting a lot of German wines. Alas, there were very few, and the remainder of the wines weren't much to get excited about. But a lot of money was raised for charity, and it was good to see friends and family. No idea on the prices of these wines, but I wouldn't recommend most of them. None of the German wines were marked with the VDP stamp of quality, and I'd assume that all of them were of QbA or Estate quality.

For a variety of reasons, I didn't really taste these in a proper order, but had enough space between each one to let the palate recover.

Wine 1: 2002 Schmitt-Sohne Dornfelder Rotwein Trocken. A rare German red. Not many red grapes are planted in Germany, and very little of that is exported. I found it sort of sour. Curiosity satisfied!

Wine 2: 2003 Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett. Good smooth Riesling, not overly sweet. A decent wine, but certainly of the table variety.

Wine 3: 2001 Covey Run Syrah. Washington State, not terrible, but not really that enjoyable either.

Wine 4: 2001 Toni Mor Pinot Noir. Hey, another Oregon Pinot Noir. I think this was a bad bottle--sour, unbalanced, almost vinegary.

Wine 5: 2000 Leonard Kreusch Niersteiner Gutes Domtal Kabinett. Tasted almost like apple cider. Really quite delicious, but maybe a little too sweet for some. Has held up well for its age.

Wine 6: 2002 Leonard Kreusch Late Harvest Riesling. A Mosel-Saar-Ruwer wine, musky and sweet as you'd expect from the late harvest.

Wine 7: 1999 Twisted River Gewürztraminer. If the person pouring the wine--who is either paid to serve the wine or otherwise profits from the sale of said wine--tells you not to try something, don't. This is an inexpensive table wine that had apparently been forgotten in the back of a warehouse, and was never meant for aging. All the fruit was gone, and it was really quite flat.

Wine 8: 2000 Eugene Wine Cellars Oregon Melon. That's not Melon like a watermelon, it's Melon de Bourgogne, a French grape used to make Muscadet in the Loire Valley. It comes in sweet and dry varieties, and this was a sweeter one. Curiously, the website for that vineyard doesn't display the varietal, and I'm guessing that this is another attempt to unload some old stock by a local warehouse. Not a bad little wine, but I bet it was really spectacular in its youth.

Wine 9: 2002 Fife Vineyards Redhead Rosé. A real crowd pleaser, this is a North California wine made entirely from Carignane, normally used as a blending grape in Rhône. Should suit a wide range of palates and foods. It's also a dry wine; people tend to assume that rosés are sweet, but most of the good ones aren't.

Wine 10: 2001 Turner Road Lodi Shiraz. From California, just a basic shiraz/syrah. Not spectacular or disappointing.

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