Wine Club’s benefit enjoys success
|Attendees were encouraged to sharpen their wine knowledge with wines priced at $20 or less.|
Wayne on Wine
By Wayne Crawford
Photos by Wayne Crawford
The fourth annual Big Canoe Wine Group fundraiser, in support of the Big Canoe Volunteer Fire Department, brought 110 participants to the Chimneys to enjoy an evening of good food from Talk of the Town and 20 highly rated wines from around the world.
Attendees were encouraged to sharpen their wine knowledge with wines priced at $20 or less. Among the delicious hors d’oeuvres were smoked salmon, mini-Beef Wellingtons and handcrafted finger desserts. The Chimneys offered a convivial environment, which allowed easy access to food and wine. The consensus was—from four-year veterans—this was the most enjoyable format yet for this fundraiser.
The evening began with a non-vintage Berlucchi Cuvee 61 Brut from Italy, an acclamation sparkling wine that cleared the palate and set the stage for eight white wines. All the white wines were well-received; two noteworthy ones included Shaya Rueda Arindo Verdejo from Spain and a Louis Latour Grand Ardeche, a French chardonnay priced at $9 – a real event-pleaser.
Twelve reds from six countries provided a broad test to the palate. The three best-of-show wines included a Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha from Spain, a Cantena Malbec from Argentina and a Small Gully “The Formula” 100 percent Shiraz from Australia.
‘Wines Drinking Well Now’
Shaya Rueda 2011 Arindo Verdejo (vehr-DAY-yoh), Northern Spain, $13.99: Juicy and ripe with crisp pineapple, pear and apple flavors, this wine has a lively acidity, juicy texture and enjoyable ripe, fruit flavors. The wine is aged in 80 percent stainless steel and 20 percent French oak. The vineyard is in the Rueda region of Northern Spain. The fruit is sourced from very old (average age is between 75 and 112), low-yielding vines. Verdejo is a white grape variety grown in, and indigenous to, Spain's Rueda region. It must make up at least 50 percent of the blend, and wines labeled Rueda Superior must be at least 85 percent verdejo. Pair this wine with greens dressed in vinaigrette and other sharp ingredients, such as tomatoes and olives. Fish and shellfish are also natural partners. A Best Buy.
Louis Latour 2010 Grande Ardeche Chardonnay, France, $8.99: On the nose, the wine has aromas of toasted nut and pear, apricot and cream. The wine is fermented in oak barrels for eight to ten months. The Latour family has been viticulturists since the 17th century and is one of the most highly respected winemakers in Burgundy. Pair with smoked salmon, roast chicken, mushrooms, Beef Wellington, twice-baked potatoes and fruit. An Exceptional Buy.
Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha 2010 Spain, $15.99: The grapes for this wine were harvested from old-vine Garnacha vineyards on the slopes of the famous Moncayo Mountain. On the palate, the wine is sweet black cherries and raspberries, peppers and spice. Full-bodied, rich, ripe, nicely textured, with a long finish, this is an unbelievable wine. Pair with pizza, quail, lamb and cooked roasts of pork. A Best Buy.
Catena 2009 Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, $16.98: This wine has a dark, violet color with deep, black tones from grapes drawn from four vineyards. This is a well-structured wine with a blend of aromas and flavors, excellent concentration, balance and freshness. Catena, one of the oldest winemakers in Mendoza and Argentina, is famous for his high-altitude vineyards. Pair with beef dishes, rich lamb, meat stews, barbecue and sauces with mushrooms. A Best Buy.
Small Gully 2008 “The Formula” Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia, $20: This 100 percent shiraz is sourced from a single vineyard: Roberts Vineyard is named after one of the three owners. The vineyard vines are 46 years old, and the winemaker is Stephen Black. The wine was stored for 36 months in barrel and 10 months in bottle before release. The winemaker notes: “Deep garnet-brick colored, mature notes of leather, tobacco and tea over dried cranberries, fruit cake and coffee.” This is a full-bodied wine that is surprisingly well-balanced at 15.9 percent alcohol by volume and offers well-rounded tannins with a lingering finish. Pair with grilled meats, barbecue and any bold meat. A Best Buy.
Next month, we will revisit Rhone Valley reds and whites.
Wayne Crawford is a certified specialist of Wine CSW and a member of the Society of Wine Educators and the American Wine Society.
Read more ... Wine group raises money for BCVFD