Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wines of the Earth Seminar #euphoriagreenville

"Wines of the Earth" is an excellent play on words from the brilliant mind of Wayne Belding, MS. I knew that we were in for a treat when I walked in and say the power point set up.  How many times in your life did you wish that you could drink wine while sitting in a power point presentation? Well, if Wayne is your instructor, you'll be in good hands. (and drinking good wine)

Those eight glasses in the picture above represented a world tour.  There were some rock stars among them, notably the Amarone that was mistakenly shipped and replaced #5.

Wayne wrote the book Diving Into Wine - I haven't read it yet, but will link to my review once I do. It is great that he is a geologist by training.  How else would I have known about the secrets of Kimmeridgian soil?  He gave up maps & explanations, and then we talked wine:

Joseph Drouhin Chardonnay Premire Cru `08 $39.99
We start in France, Chablis, in the classic style.  Nuanced, with bold acid and a bit tart.  No oak, I loved that.  Hints of citrus (grapefruit? lemon), but also unripe pineapple.  This was a nice Chardonnay to sip as Wayne described the limestone in Kimmeridgian soil.

Allan Scott Millstone, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc `10 $14.99
From the famed Marlborough region of New Zealand, this was a mineral, yet grassy wine with a sweet finish.  It was great to taste the wine as Wayne discussed the growing areas and why wines tasted the way that the do.

Husch Gewurztraminer`09  $14.00
Anderson Valley, CA  This was an interesting "spicy" wine.  It was aromatic, had a substantial taste when I sipped it, but was not sweet.  It was dry.  It was an interesting example of a California Gewurztraminer.  A classic match with Asian food, it smelled like lychee, but the taste was more dry, and prepared to tone down/compliment spicy Asian food.

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett `06 $23.00
Of course, I loved this.  It was rich, sweet and slightly effervescent.  (I guess that the pros would call that a minerality) This was where Wayne explained German naming.  (I wish that I had taken better notes - but I was too busy drinking this wine!) Seriously, I dare you to walk into your corner wine shop and ask for a bottle of "Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett". (if they have it, you won't be disappointed.)

So we had been around the world in white wine.  (Although I was firmly still sipping in Germany)  It was time to enter the bonus round of our class, the reds, where a shipment error can sometimes be in our favor!

Tedeschi Amarone della Valpolicella  `06 $48.00
(30% Corvina, 30% Corvinone, 30% Rondinella, 10% Molinara, Rossignola, Oseleta, Negrara, Dindarella) 15.5% ETOH
From the Veneto.  Wow. This was the first time that I have ever tasted Amarone.  I've read about it, I have friends that love it, but I had never tasted it before.  Dry, smells of fruit and alcohol.Wayne had some great pictures of grapes going through the drying process. He had some great stories about the making and exclusivity of Amarone; being made by using only the "Ears of the bunch" I never thought about the anatomy of a bunch of grapes but from now on, I will.

Elk Cove, Mt Richmond Pinot Noir `09 $45.99
Willamet Valley, Oregon (I'll be there next August!)
Wayne taught us why the Willakenzie soil in the Willamet Valley makes for good wine. (my word for the day... Jory Soil) This was a very light, dry Pinot Noir with very subtle fruit.

Mil Piedras Malbec `08 $9.99
I am a fan of Argentinian Malbec.  Wayne helped me to understand why.  Ripe, big, tannic, this wine was a great example of the region.  It was delicious.  It is the growing region, the sun and the heat that produce thicker skins and more color. What better to have with a luscious Argentinian Steak than a big, bold Argentinian Malbec? And you can't beat the price!

Finally, I have to admit that I sipped and dashed on this wine.  Which was unfortunate, because it came from my favorite region in the world, Piemonte, Italy.  But I was running late for euphoria's Grand Tasting, and I had just done six hours of wine tasting with no lunch... Sorry Wayne, I did not mean to run out on you.

My last wine of the afternoon:
Renato Ratti Barolo Marcenasco `07 DOCG $49.99
This is a celebration wine. A wine that we could easily be drinking 18 years from now. 14.5% ETOH, with deep dark tobacco flavor, and a dark fruit forward.  This wine is all about overwhelming your taste-buds. A classic representation of the area, is it wrong that I just wanted to keep my glass, grab the bottle, kill a wild boar and eat it with fresh truffles in between sips?

Instead, I dashed across the street for the last 15 mins of the Grand Tasting....

A slideshow from all the seminars that day:

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