Wednesday, August 8, 2007

RSVP Tasting: L'Affaire petit-dejeuner du chien

Wine Red Rooster Pinot Gris 2006
From Okanagan, BC
Price $18.36
Alcohol Content 13.5%
Initially light and sweet, but too-hot alcohol punches in on the finish. Some hardness as well (perhaps the high alcohol is there to conceal it, though at some cost), but it would certainly have benefited by being conceived more completely in a lighter style. Pleasant if you're constantly being distracted by the conversation; unbalanced the moment you pause for contemplation.

Wine Apollonio Squinzano Rosso 2001
From Italy
Price $19.17 (Spinnakers, BC)
Alcohol Content 14.0%
Big fruit and the kind of nose you want to keep dipping your own into. Lead taster noted notes of licorice and dustiness; others gave him the benefit of the doubt. Very Southern Italy, this, with persistent fruit and dry-your-mouth-out, yet sweet tannins. Big, friendly, earthy and unfiltered---like the winemaker...?

Wine Geherenger Private Reserve Pinot Noir 2006
From Okanagan, BC
Price $16.90 (Spinnakers, BC)
Alcohol Content 13%
Peppery nose; softer attack than, say, Church and State's competing offering (one theory, proposed to the shocked silence of the group, was that the milder tannins let the fruit escape more completely). More acid would better focus the fruit, and it's still a bit green on the finish, but nobody spit it out on the lawn, either.

Wine Chateau Haut Perthus 2004
From Bergerac, France
Price $13.95 (BC Liquor Stores)
Alcohol Content 13.0%
Bergerac used to be regarded as Bordeaux for bargain-hunters; in the current era, where provincial liquor boards decree that there shall be no bargain wines, Bergerac has to make it’s case going head-to-head with its southern neighbor. This example does a pretty decent job: gamy nose hints at some depth; good fruit backs it up. Low acid and friendly tannins carry through to a (slightly herbaceous) finish that goes on and on. A deal: punches above its weight class.
Update: A new batch appears to be percolating its way through the system---same vintage, but a higher (13.8%) alcohol content. Fearless Leader, acting on a tip, tasted and was unimpressed. Beware.

Wine Great Wall Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
From China
Alcohol Content 12%
You read that right: China has about a hundred wineries attempting to make modern-style wines from vinifera varieties. This offering, courtesy of a particularly zealous distributor’s agent, proved more-or-less in line with expectations: drinkable (and actually identifiable as Cabernet Sauvignon) but awfully rough going. If they produced tens of millions of bottles of this at virtually no cost to the proletariat, there might be a place for it; but in this country it’s going to retail for more than ten bucks, making it more of a novelty for the anti-Sino set.

Wine Chateau Coucheroy 2003
From Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
Price $18.15 (LCBO, Ontario)
Alcohol Content 12.5%
Serge Gainsbourg nose---assertive and seductive. Is this the scent of Graves? Or the winemaker? Who cares---good fruit is held together with gentle tannins and a nice dollop of finesse with a lingering finish. Fearless Leader: "I would have actually bought this."

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