Archive for April, 2012

Exploring the Red Wines of Burgundy

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

There’s no place like Burgundy.  There’s no place like Burgundy.  There’s no place like Burgundy.  Ironically, this truly is a belief that floats in so many minds all across the globe.  And who more passionate to instruct a class on the red wines of Burgundy?  None other than James Beard Award-Winning author Jordan Mackay.  Aside from a little bit of Gamay thrown into the mix, we explored the infamous Pinot Noir grape and the many facets of Burgundy in which it grows.  From its continental climate to limestone soils, we ventured through the most prestigious appellations that make up the Burgundian empire.

To even further our experience, we tested the waters of several different vintages from as far back as 1976 to as recent as 2010.  What’s even better, the wines in which we tasted were from an enormously wide range of price points starting at $14 all the way to $500.

My Favorite Wine of the Night?

1976 Domaine Leroy Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru

This musty old girl was still smokin’ hot like a Bloody Mary on a Sunday morning.  My nose was blown away with aromas of sour cherry, tomato juice, peppercorn, and Tabasco sauce.  Along side its well-structured tannin and vibrant acidity, this wine certainly didn’t let the palate down with further notes of grilled red meat, rhubarb, orange peel and black tea on the finish.

Thanks to Brian for an epic wine list and to Jordan for another amazing class!

-Julie Albin

Wine List

1.  Jean Marc Burgaud Beaujolais Villages Les Vignes du Thulon 2010

2.  Oliver Guyot Bourgogne Rouge 2005

3.  Claire Forestier Volnay Cave des Ducs 2007

4.  Domaine Gabriel Billard Pommard 1999

5.  Dujac Fils & Pere Chambolle Musigny 2009

6.  Domaine Perrot-Minot Gevrey-Chambertin “Les Perrières” VV 1er Cru 2007

7.  Vincent Giradin Echezeaux Grand Cru 2005

8.  Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2005

9.  Domaine Leroy Romanee St Vivant Grand Cru 1976

Three Big B’s of Italy

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

To spend an evening with one of the B’s is a blessing, but to spend it with all 3 B’s?  Now that’s just heaven.  Led by Mauro Cirilli of the North American Sommelier Association, our class featured wines from three of the most reputable regions of Italy: Barolo, Barbaresco, and Brunello di Montalcino.  A native from Venice, Mauro was the perfect candidate to lead this excursion through these three amazing regions.

Mauro dove deep into the nitty gritty of each region describing the varietals that dominate, the differentials in climate, the variances in soil types, and most importantly, the characteristics of the wines produced.  Although many people know that Barolo and Barbaresco both produce the Nebbiolo grape, not everyone might be familiar with the differences the two have in wine styles.  For that matter, some may not be acquainted with the characteristics of the Sangiovese grape and why it has made Brunello di Montalcino as celebrated and renowned as it is.  With so much to learn and so much to taste, this class definitely had no problem keeping everyone interested and having a great time.

My favorite wine of the night?

Salvioni Brunello di Montalcino 2001

Even with a bit of Brett on the nose, this wine is still wonderfully aromatic with notes of meatiness, muskiness, and wet doggy-ness.  This Brunello is well-balanced with fresh acidity, smooth tannin, and notes of dusty wood, red cherry, red currant, and smoky coals on the palate with Pico de Gallo on the finish.

Thanks to Mauro and Brian for such an exciting class on these awesome B’s of Italy!

-Julie Albin

Wine List

1.Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco 2006

2.Moccagatta Bric Balin Barbaresco 2004

3.Burlotto Vigneto Monvigliero Barolo 2000

4.Vietti Barolo Brunate 2005

5.Luigi Einaudi Costa Grimaldi 2006

6.Talenti Brunello di Montalcino 1999

7.Pieve Santa Restituta (Gaja) Rennina Brunello di Montalcino 2004

8. Salvioni Brunello di Montalcino 2001