Sparkling Pinot Noir: Mission Wines Tasting

30 Dec

At Mission Wines, my friends and I are the sole representatives of the 25 and under demographic.

It’s a bit sobering to chip in five or ten bucks each for a $20 or $30 bottle of wine–nothing to shake a stick at–and watch as silver-haired gentlemen wearing well-worn L.L. Bean vests and Eddie Bauer sweaters carry out cases (CASES!) of $50 wine to their idling sports cars.

That’s why I love going to wine tastings. For $10 I can try five different wines. Nothing’s worse than spending good money on a vaunted bottle of wine and finding that it’s terrible. (I guess the same goes for first dates, eh?)

The five wines at the tasting today were:

  • Juve y Camps Brut Rosé | Sparkling Pinot Noir (Sant Sadurini D’Anoia, Spain)
  • Breggo Ferrington Vineyard | Sauvignon Blanc (Anderson Valley, California)
  • Luzon | Monastrel/Syrah (Jumilla, Spain)
  • Chateau Puygueraud Cotes de Francs | Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Malbec (Bordeaux, France)
  • Graves | Syrah (Paso Robles, California)

The Juve y Camps cava was wonderful. It had a cherry bouquet and a taste that reminded me of cherry soda–minus the sweetness. There was a lively bit of acidity with a dry fruit finish. I wrote a previous post about rosé sparkling wine in which I talked about the merits of the Korbel Brut Rosé–I would far recommend the Juve y Camps version.

The sauvignon blanc was good. I’ve stated often that I’m not the biggest fan of white wines but I’ve lately been exposed to some very decent ones. This sauvignon blanc, according to the pourers, was more like a sancerre (think austere, smooth) than a California wine (think big, oaky, sometimes a bit rough). The Breggo was very smooth, had a light body, and good minerality. The only fruit I could detect was a hint of melon. There was only a little bit of oak, suggesting aging in neutral oak barrels. Unfortunately, its relative merits would not warrant my shelling out $24.99 for it.

The Luzon was a strange wine. My three companions agreed. Strange nose whose components I couldn’t really make out. My first sip elicited an “ugh” from me–the wine hit my mouth awkwardly. It was like a Stravinsky composition or something. As for the taste–I could only make out prune. Not such a good wine… maybe the monastrell (mourvedre in French) was too young… young monastrell tends to be gamey.

The Chateau Puygueraud was decent (especially after the Luzon!), very well-balanced, a well-crafted wine.  The best thing about this one was that it had a very, very long finish–one or two minutes.

The Graves syrah was the crowd favorite in the red category.  Lighter body than most of the other syrahs I’ve had, though full of the characteristic chocolate and plum.  This wine was utterly smooth and easy to drink.  Pretty good wine, though at $36.99 a bottle I think I’ll stick with the Cimicky Trumps or the Shotfire Ridge shiraz.

We ended up splitting a bottle of the Juve y Camps after the tasting, then getting a taco each at La Fiesta Grande across the street.  Eddie, Jonathan, and I then went to Fair Oaks Cigars and watched part of the Patriots – Giants game while puffing away on stogies.

Hedonistic fools as we are, Jonathan and I then went to Lucky Boy and split a coke and a large order of chili cheese fries.  Good end to a good night.


One Response to “Sparkling Pinot Noir: Mission Wines Tasting”

  1. E December 31, 2007 at 12:14 pm #

    Which wine would you suggest to go with tacos, or better yet, In & Out’s Double Double with fries.

    I told you I was a classy girl.

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