Friday, April 8, 2011

Inaugural AC Wine Club Tasting!

Thanks to everyone who turned out yesterday on a spectacularly warm and wonderful evening here in Co. Kildare. It was a great session. We are now up and running. Membership is open and we will meet on the first Thursday of each month at 8.00pm in the GAA at Ardclough.

I kept our first session confined to a populist range of wines that showed us a range of grape types, wine making style and country of origin  influences.

I then introduced my new, and fabulous:
ACWine Club Fact Sheet no 1: Tasting
ACWine Club Factsheet no. 2: Grapes.
You've just gotta join to get your hands on them!

Highlight of the night was when I brought up the concept of a Classics Tasting later in the year. Mind you a Champagne Tasting suggestion went down pretty good as well!!

The Wines last night:

Seifried Pinot Gris 2007 Nelson New Zealand Food friendly style with emphasis on savouriness. Perhaps a tad too old allowing acidity to mask the fruit. I have tasted more recent vintages of this and normally find it excellent. Really got our first discussion going well - everyone found their acid taste buds! I met, and interviewed, Chris Seifried in Dublin last year - genuine guy.

Les Jamelles Chardonnay  2009 Vin de Pays d'Oc France Soft and accessable wine with ample fruit for the price. This brought a great debate re chardonnay into focus. I'm still on a chardonnay roll and want everyone to try as many as possible. Bring Chardonnay back - I nearly said, 'in from the cold' ,but aren't cool vineyards giving a lot of Chardonnay's reputation back to it as a brilliant grape! les Jamelles is widely available.  

Gallo Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 California Last month I met, and interviewed, Stephanie Gallo. Really nice lady. Last year I was lucky to do likewise with Chief wine maker for Gallo, Cal Dennison. I say lucky because I have been fan of what Gallo has achieved for many years now. I understand their ideas behind wine styling and I have very little time for critics who dismiss their wines without even tasting them! This wine did not disappoint. As with all things Gallo it is very well made and appeals to a wide audience with a full, slightly fat fruit and a touch of residual sugar. Commercial and popular. Brilliant teaching wine. 

Marks and Spencer Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Margaret River Western Australia I admit that most of the Club last night were not as familiar with Marks and Spencers' wines as I had expected. That should change with M&S's new initiative utilising the skills of the members of the Association of Wine Educators. I hope so because wines like this should not be left to a chance purchase. They should be sought out, nay hunted down! This was brilliant fruit aged to perfection in both oak and bottle.

Michel Torino Coleccion Malbec 2010 Colchagua Valley 1700 metres Argentina If any area of the world expresses its location through its wines it really must be these fabulous high altitude ones out of Argentina. The depth, smoothness and sheer enjoyability of this wine is exceptional.
Muriel Rioja Crianza 2007 Rioja Spain This was my first introduction to this wine and I wasn't dissapointed. This shows modern and inviting soft fruits galore and yet has a good traditional oaking and velvet smoothness. If the previous wine was supposed to show off provenance and this one, wine making then both were very much on top of their game.  


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