Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fairfield County Wine Tasting Appreciation Society Merlot Dinner

Yes, the name is a bit of a joke. Some friends of mine (6 of them) started coming to BONDA three years ago once a month for Open That Bottle Night.

They would choose a wine theme, Shiraz, California, 2003 Pinot, etc.... and each contribute a bottle and judge who brought the best. Jamie and I would dip in here and there, trying some of the wines and adding our two cents.

The natural evolution turned to pairing 2 people together to bring in better wines, which begat buying wines at auction for the group. I have been participating off an on for the last 18 months, and was lucky enough to make it to last night's Merlot tasting.

The first wine was a 750 ml of 2003 Etude Merlot from Napa Valley. It was sweet on the nose, with a medium body and mild tannins. Not a lot of fruit for a Cali Merlot - which is good -but a handful of oak, and a hint of bitterness in the finish. We were having a bit of Roaring Forties blue cheese, which I thought "muted" the wine - Sam said "it goes well!"


"smooth", "straight forward", "playing it safe", "solid", "I could drink this everyday" - although I think this was facetious.

Next up was a magnum of 2001 Fisher Vineyards 157 Estate Merlot. We decanted this for about an hour, maybe more and drank it with our first course, mostly bacon dishes. I had bacon with fingerling potatoes and onions, which really complemented the vino.

On the nose, I thought the Fisher resembled a Montepulciano, specifically a 1998 Pepe. Super high toned fruit, with acetone, fig and cherry. I was in love with the nose, I wanted to drink the nose. On the palate it was a little disappointing with mild fruit, medium tannins and a touch of bitterness in the finish. It definitely did not live up to the nose. Sam said it tasted like rotten tomatoes.

It was great to try these Merlots as they really bucked the thought of Cali Merlot being big fruit bombs.

The last Magnum we had was a 2003 Peterson Family Merlot. Unfortunately my pen ran out of ink, but this wine was awesome and won the night. Bizarre in that it did not resemble a Merlot, but more like a well balanced Zin. Gobs of black fruit, spice, with a touch of oak. After decanting for two hours, it could have gone longer. This wine with last for at least 15 years. Go buy some now!

Sorry I forgot to take some pics, but it was a busy night at the restaurant and Jamie left early!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Burgundy Wine“The wines from Bourgogne boast a longer history than any others.”
Here are some key dates in the long winegrowing history of Bourgogne, listed in chronological order.

312: Eumenes’ Discourses: oldest known documented reference.
1115: Clos de Vougeot Château built by monks from Cîteaux.
August 6, 1395: Duke Philip the Bold (1342-1404) publishes ordinance governing wine quality in Bourgogne.
1416: Edict of King Charles VI setting the boundaries of Bourgogne as a wine producing area (from Sens to Mâcon).
November 11, 1719: Creation of the oldest mutual assistance organisation, the "Société de Saint Vincent" in Volnay.
1720: Champy, Bourgogne's oldest merchant company was founded in Beaune and is still in business today.
1728: The first book devoted to the wines from Bourgogne, written by Father Claude Arnoux, is published in London.
July 18, 1760: Prince Conti (1717-1776) acquires the "Domaine de La Romanée", which now bears his name.
1789: French Revolution. Church-owned vineyards confiscated and auctioned off as national property.
October 17, 1847: King Louis-Philippe grants the village of Gevrey the right to add its name to its most famous cru – Chambertin. Other villages were quick to follow suit.
1851: First auction of wines grown on the Hospices de Beaune estate.
1861: First classification of wines (of the Côte d'Or) by Beaune's Agricultural Committee.
June 15, 1875: Phylloxera first detected in Bourgogne (at Mancey, Saône-et-Loire).
1900: Creation of the Beaune Oenological Station. April 30, 1923: Founding of La Chablisienne, Bourgogne's first cooperative winery.
April 29, 1930: A ruling handed down by the Dijon civil courts legally defines to the boundaries of wine-growing Bourgogne (administrative regions of Yonne, Côte-d’Or, and Saône-et-Loire, plus the Villefranche-sur-Saône area in the Rhône).
December 8, 1936: Morey-Saint-Denis becomes the first AOC in Bourgogne.
October 14, 1943: Creation of Premier Cru appellation category.
October 17, 1975: Crémant de Bourgogne attains AOC status.
Jully 17, 2006: Creation of Bourgogne's 100th appellation: “Bourgogne Tonnerre”.
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