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THE BLIND DRUNKS MONTHLY TASTING - Rich & Dana's (10/23/2010)

The wines for the tasting are served double blind to the group in brown paper bags. Each flight is tasted, discussed and unveiled before moving on to the next flight. Wines are listed in the order they appeared in the flight.
I. Warm-up whites.
With the Geja's tasting coming up, Rich used this flight as a an opportunity to taste some "odd" whites. Appropriate that we brought a Michigan Chardonnay tonight as Geja's has been known to insert wines from Ohio, Virgina and other obscure regions.
  • 2008 Martín Códax Albariño Rías Baixas - Spain, Galicia, Rías Baixas
    Pale straw color with aromas of melon and citrus. Honeyed citrus tones on the palate, with nice acidity. Has a rich, Rhonish texture. I guessed a Semillon/Sauvignon blend...never would have picked this out as Albarino, but one taster did.
  • 2008 Elena Walch Pinot Grigio - Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Alto Adige
    Pale color. Very smoky at first, with citrus and apple tones. Good acidity, with soft pear and melon flavors. No guesses on this one.
  • 2009 Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontés - Argentina, Mendoza
    Pale color. Very florally aromatics. Richer palate than I expected based on the bouquet. White fruit and floral tones turning bitter on the finish. I guessed Viognier.
  • 2008 Contessa Wine Cellars Chardonnay Reserve - USA, Michigan, Lake Michigan Shore
    Deep straw color. Aromas of pear and apple, with toasty overtones. Subtle flavors of orchard fruit, florals and toasty oak. Obviously Chardonnay, but some tasters thought California, others France.

II. Reds.
The Ravenswood Zins both showed very well, but the Belloni was really terrific. Also loved the Chehalem and the 2004 Pride, which has, for the 2nd time in a blind lineup, had some tasters thinking Bordeaux.
  • 1993 Ravenswood Zinfandel Old Hill - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
    Pale crimson core, turning clear at the edge. Initially displays licorice, red currant and spice tones. Opens further in the glass with red fruit spice and subtle prune aromas. Balanced, with flavors of red fruit and white pepper, with a very subtle raisiny tone on the finish.

    This was decanted briefly for sediment & rebottled for travel. It sat uncorked in bottle for about 45 minutes to an hour before it was tasted first in this flight. (91 pts.)
  • 2007 Château de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
    Ruby color. Notes of balck cherry, pepper and red fruit, though also hot and alcoholic. Medium-bodied, with tart red fruit and vanilla flavors.

    Second time I have tasted this, and I am still not a fan of this wine.
  • 1993 Ravenswood Zinfandel Wood Road-Belloni - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Crimson color. Herbal red currant, licorice and red berry aromas. Develops raisiny qualities with air; the fruit deepens too. Flavors of red fruit, cherries and herbs...terrific red fruit- vibrant. Guessed older Zinfandel. (92 pts.)
  • 2003 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Franc - USA, California, Sonoma County
    Initial aromas of chocolate, cherry, leather and mint. Black cherry and red currant flavors. Opens further in the glass with caramel and vanilla notes and a very subtle burnt tire quality. The tire quality follows through on the palate with dark fruit tones as well; a bit harsh on he finish. I guessed Petite Sirah.

    This was decanted for sediment & returned to bottle for travel. Uncorked and sat for an hour or so until it wound up in the first flight.
  • 2000 Chehalem Pinot Noir Rion Reserve - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Pale ruby color- appears to have some age on it. Initial notes of sour red cherry. Expands in the glass with red cherry, subtle earth and cinnamon tones. Very well-balanced. Gorgeous. 92+ pts. No doubt Pinot- I thought older California. (92 pts.)
  • 2004 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Franc - USA, California, Sonoma County
    Garnet color. Gorgeous bouquet of red fruit, herbs and roasted red bell pepper. Amy detected some iodine. Lush red fruit, herbs and dark fruit. Bordeaux-like. 93+ pts. Guessed Cali Cab.

    Decanted for sediment & rebottled for travel. Sat uncorked about an hour before this flight, about an hour & a half after the cork was first pulled. (93 pts.)

III. Reds.
No contest here - the Togni was the absolute class of the flight, and the night for me. Somewhat polarizing though, due to how tasters perceived the bell pepper tones. I loved it, others felt it was too green.

IV. Nonblind pizza/dessert wines.
  • 2001 Robert Biale Petite Sirah Old Crane Ranch - USA, California, Napa Valley
    From magnum. Aromas of chocolate, blackberry and roasted meat. Firm, sweet tannins, with flavors of blackberry and dark fruit. (90 pts.)
  • 1977 Graham Porto Vintage - Portugal, Douro, Porto
    Light ruby color. Terrific floral and berry aromas with underlying spice notes. Well-balanced, with red fruit and spice flavors on the palate. (94 pts.)

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