Monday, May 31, 2010

Vintage Party 2010

We hosted our Vintage Party, a blind tasting wine dinner for a few of our close friends, this past weekend. I love doing a blind tasting, as it promotes great conversation. Plus, since there are no wrong answers, people feel free to express what they are seeing, smelling, and tasting.

We pulled some of our best bottles out of the cellar for this event. All the wines had been decanted for 6 hours. We invited six guests, and assigned each guest to a bottle. Starting with wine #1, we asked the assigned person to taste and describe the wine to the group. Then we poured tastes for the remainder of the group and discussed the wine. This format worked well and made for a nice pace in tasting as well. For the tasting we provided a range of appetizers that included lamb popsicles with cherry demi –glace, mushroom and gorgonzola crostini, and smoked oysters. Also, I tried my hand at homemade crackers with wonderful results. I made plain baking soda ones, as well as parmesan and thyme crackers. Additionally, I had done some quick pickled veggies. Butternut squash, beets, and fennel all turned out great. The beets especially were a bit hit! The apps were rounded out with a cheese and meat plate. Whew! Did you get all that? Now on to the wine:

  1. 2006 Quilceda Creek Galazine Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon - Even after a 6 hour decant, the nose was still pretty closed up. There were hints of raspberry, marionberry, and anise on the nose. Tastes yielded pepper and tobacco. This wine was not the favorite during the tasting. However, it moved up the list as the evening progressed and with food. The consensus was that it was outstanding with fatty cheeses and the T-bone steak we served with dinner.

  2. 2007 Adams Bench Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon - 100% Cab all from one of the oldest vineyards in WA, Red Willow in Yakima Valley. A spectacular nose on this wine - vanilla, cardamom, perfume, Crème Brule, tobacco, and fig. An array of flavors with this wine including currant, pepper, fig and date. A very well balanced wine, with an excellent tannin structure that will make it a great keeper for a few years.
  3. 2007 Buty Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – Soft floral nose with notes of caramel and earth. The taste had classic Champoux characteristics – smoke and earth, plus a wonderful rich berry component from the 20% Cab Franc. This was a definite favorite amongst the tasters.

  4. 2005 Goose Ridge Reserve Syrah – The one and only Syrah in the tasting line up. There are smells of raspberry, blackberry, tobacco and smoke. It tasted like it smelled – smoky berries with a bit of pepper. This wine would be awesome with some BBQ ribs or smoked chicken.
  5. 2007 Fidelitas Red Mountain Red - The inaugural release of this wine for Fidelitas, a red blend all from Red Mountain grapes. On the nose – vanilla, cherry coke, pepper, floral, cherry yogurt, and grapefruit. Tart cherry, plum, and cedar explode off the palate.
  6. 2007 Betz Clos De Betz – Dark and brooding in color. Hints of cigar box, oak, dark fruits and slight dustiness on the nose. This wine grabs your palate immediately and
    takes it for a ride with a good amount of oak balanced with plum, cherry and chocolate. Seamless and balanced with an incredibly silky mouthfeel.

The tasters voted and the Betz was the winner with the Buty coming in a close second. We ended the evening with a scrumptious dinner of T-bone steak cooked over charcoal, creamed spinach, potatoes au gratin, and honey cumin glazed carrots.

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