"BEST of Class" - Summer 2014
Class # 6, Champagne and Dessert Wine
Champagne, Ayala Brut Majeur
A Wine Spectator, #77 of Top 100
WINEMAKER'S NOTES: Pale gold in color with a fine mousse, the wine is aromatic on the nose. On the palate, it is well balanced and shows great finesse and complexity. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the best grand and premier crus bring vinosity and delicacy together in a very harmoniously balanced blend. The complement of Pinot Meunier adds a charming touch of fruitiness and liveliness..
CRITICAL ACCLAIM: “Dry and creamy in texture, this well-cut Champagne offers flavors of ripe yellow apple, white raspberry, anise, pastry and lemon curd. Completed by a stony, mineral-tinged finish.“ 91 Points, —Wine Spectator.
WBTC TASTING NOTES: Although a Brut, this Ayala offered a lot of nice dry, crisp fruit, dry but not bone-dry. The mineral texture and the fruit of the Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blend filled up the mouth agreeably. Lots of structure. The class loved it.
Class # 5, Italian and Spanish Wines
Bodega Muriel Rioja Reserva, 2007
WINEMAKERS NOTES: Clear, ruby red color, with good intensity, boasts a perfect blend between intense fruit aromas (strawberries and blueberries) and vanilla, balsamic scents and spices, due to fine oak maturation. The palate is round, velvety and mouth-filling, with a very long, satisfying finish.
CRITICAL ACCLAIM: "Amedium-intensity example of a well-made wine that doesn’t overpower and isn’t over-oaked. Rose petal, brick dust, leather and vanilla aromas set up a mostly fresh palate with plum, berry and herbal flavors. Barrel spice and sweetness on the finish." 90 Points, –Wine Enthusiast
Class # 4 German and Alsatian Wines
Schloss Schonborn, 2006 Rheingau Estate Bottled Riesling Kabinett
WEB TASTING NOTES: Honey yellow color. Initial notes of eggnog spice and petrol while mint, rice paper and floral aromas appear when the wine opens. Palate is smooth and silky with acid to balance.
WBTC TASTING NOTES: A class favorite. Honey yellow color. Moderate acidity. Overtones of apple cider, spice. Floral but with nice structure and length.
Class # 3 White Wines of France
Chablis, ‘Champs Royaux’ 2012, William Fevre
WINEMAKER'S NOTES: Champ Royaux Chablis has a very fresh bouquet with notes of citrus and white fleshed fruit, with a very slightly oaky finish. Fresh and supple, the wine is marked by the desirable mineral notes that are typical of the appellation.
CRITIC'S NOTES: "Pale green. Subtle aromas of lime, mint and white flowers. Juicy, lemony village wine with noteworthy precision and persistence."
Loire, Sancere 2013, Pascal Jolivet
“A wine of style marked by richness, elegance and smoothness. This wine is powerful and presents a perfect balance.” www.67wine.com
WINEMAKER'S NOTES: Pale and vibrant in color. The 2013 Pascal Jolivet Sancerre is fresh, clean and screaming with racy acidity. On the palate it is fresh and tightly wound; acidity is tempered by very subtle residual sugar; very clean; alive, racy, youthful. A dry and elegant wine.
WBTC TASTING NOTES: Acidity is pronounced but refreshing and zesty. Very green now.
Food pairing: Salmon, grouper, shellfish and goats cheeses will prove to be a compelling match, demonstrating the full expression and minerality of this Sancerre.
Class # 2 Red Rhone
Rhone South - Gigondas, 2011 Louis Bernard (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre)
WINEMAKER'S NOTES: Opaque purple color. Expressive bouquet of jammy dark fruits and spices. Its mouth is full, well balanced with a floral nuance adding complexity. A fleshy and round wine with a nice length and round tannins.
WBTC TASTING NOTES: Easily kept for several years but very drinkable now. The blend is seamless and balanced. Should go well with lighter foods but can stand up to hearty fare.
Class # 1 Red Bordeaux
Chateau Brio de Cantenac 2009 Margaux (2nd wine of Chateau Cantenac-Brown, 3rd growth Margaux.
GRAPE VARIETIES: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon 30% Merlot 5% Cabernet Franc Vinification: in temperature controlled stainless steel vats. Aged: 12 months, 20% to 25% new oak barrels.
WBTC TASTING NOTES: Big tannins and fruit, rich, thoroughly Bordeaux, for putting away for yet another year or two.