Archive for May, 2012

The Evolution and Revolution of the Wines of Spain

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Another exciting Tuesday night wine class here at the SF Wine Center, out came the sabers and paella as we explored through the magnificent world of Spanish wines.  Okay,  I’m totally kidding about the sabers and paella, but man would that have been awesome!  Led by our very own James Beard award-winning author Jordan Mackay, we combed through the entire country and the phenomenal wines that decorate this Iberian beauty.  From the rugged Pyrenees to the serene Mediterranean to the foggy Atlantic coast, Jordan led us through the ins and outs of this historically wine abundant land.

We started the tasting and discussion on Fino Sherry as Jordan explained to the class the different levels of Sherry production that take place in Spain.  After that we moved on to the whites starting with the Spanish sweetheart known as Cava and ending with Godello from Valdeorras.  Finally onto the reds, we tasted our way from some lovely Bierzo from Mencia all of the way through Alicante, Castilla Y Leon, Rioja, and ended with none other than Ribera del Duero.

My favorite wine of the night?

Flor de Pingus 2001 – Ribera del Duero

Just like a female gymnast, this wine is a powerhouse of both intensity and eloquent beauty with its inky opacity and aromas of black plum, black cherry, cedar, iodine, and slightly burnt rubber.  It’s full body and well integrated tannins are perfectly partnered with the wine’s subsequent acidity and flavor characteristics of black pepper, chili powder, serious minerality, and toasted hazelnut on the finish just to remind you of the oak used.

-Julie Albin

Wine List

  1. Alvear Fino En Rama 2006 Pedro Ximenez Sherry – Montilla Moriles
  2. Raventos i Blanc de Nit Rosé Cava 2009 – Penedes
  3. Montecillo Verdemar Albarino 2009 – Rias Baixas
  4. Jose Pariente Verdejo 2010 – Rueda
  5. Vina Godeval Cosecha Godello 2010 – Valdeorras
  6. Dominio de Tares Bierzo Tares P.3   2006 – Mencia
  7. El Seque 1999 – Alicante
  8. Abadia Retuerta Rivola 2001 – Castilla Y Leon
  9. Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial Cosecha 2004 – Rioja
  10. Flor de Pingus 2001 – Ribera del Duero

The Great White Wines of Burgundy

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Burgundy.  Burgundy.  Burgundy.  And just like Beetlejuice would, the magnificent whites of Burgundy magically appeared in our glasses.   James Beard Award-winning author Jordan Mackay grasped the lead and took us through an epic journey from Chablis all the way down to Mâconnais.  To start the class, Jordan laid out the ground work to help everyone understand and interpret the minerality that is Chablis.  Typically untouched by oak, the Kimmeridgian soils of the area are so perfectly expressed in the wines and give Chablis the timeless minerality and natural acidity that have earned the region the following that it has.

Next we moved on to the notorious Côte-d’Or and then down to Mâconnais, during which we tasted an A-list of wine producers including Leroy, Latour, Leflaive and several more.  As terroir widely differs throughout Burgundy, we examined how well Chardonnay is able to articulate the soils and climate from which it came.  Expressing a broad range of characteristics, the wines tasted blessed our palates with notes of just about everything from lemon zest to green apple to cinnamon and even lightly buttered toast.  Despite the extensive list of characteristics that the class noticed, one thing did seem to appear unanimous…Minerality.

My favorite wine of the night?

Dom. Bernard Morey Chassagne-Montrachet Maltroie 1er Cru 1998

At a rather pleasant point of oxidation, this golden-hued wine conveyed the richness of a baked apple layered with cinnamon while carrying the salty bitterness of peanut skins.  Full bodied and still bracing with acidity, this is a wine that’ll send you straight into White Burg bliss.

-Julie Albin

Wine List

  1. Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis Vieilles Vignes de Sainte Claire 2010
  2. Maison Louis Latour Pouilly Fuisse 2009
  3. Domaine Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc 2008
  4. Thierry & Pascal Matrot Puligny-Montrachet Les Chalumeaux 1er Cru 2010
  5. Domaine de la Vougeraie Le Clos Blanc Vougeot 1er Cru 2007
  6. Dom. Bernard Morey Chassagne-Montrachet Maltroie 1er Cru 1998
  7. Maison Leroy Meursault 1er Cru 1996
  8. Dom. Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 1995