Thursday, January 29, 2009

Boston Wine Expo, Day Two

On Sunday, I started out the day at 11 with the Wine Lib crew, helping them set up before the "scrum" of consumer hours. I had another chance to run off and try some more wines before 1PM and I started off with Ashley who was representing Westport Rivers Vineyards (check out their Rkatsiteli and Sparking Riesling- good stuff). We started off with a recommendation from Justin of the Wine Library to hit up the Terra Mater table. Really good wines from Chile, ranging from a Sauvignon blanc to a Zinfindel. Some of the reserve Cabernet sauvignon and Merlot was okay, but the Zinfindel was a standout in my eyes. According to their representative, this winery was the first to plant Zinfindel in the country. Really great fruit, light oak influence, made for a nice wine. Unsure of the price point, but I think it was in the low teens.

Then Ashley and I hit up the Boony Doon table; we even got to keep a crystal that they use for the biodynamic winemaking (I would not touch the bull horns). We got to taste most of their product line, including: 2007 Ca' del Solo Albariño, 2007 Ca' del Solo Muscat, 2007 Le Cigare blanc, 2007 Vin gris de Cigare, 2005 Ca' del Solo Sangiovese, 2005 Syrah Le Pousseur, 2005 Le Cigare Volant, and the 2007 Le Vol des Anges. It was too bad Randall Grahm wasn't there, but we got to meet Bradley Martin. It was great to see different varietals like Muscat, Albariño, Granache blanc, Roussane, Sangiovese, etc being tried out in California. I have to say, I think the Muscat was my favorite; I'm partial to that grape. The Albariño was definitely solid, but lacking some of that razor sharp acidity.

To continue on Rhône varietals, I visited the fabulous Châteauneuf-du-Pape table and I was blown away. All the wines were barrel samples from 2007, unless otherwise noted. I was unaware of that when I began tasting and this seemed even more amazing after I realized the truth of it. After tasting many barrel samples and fermenting wine while interning in Bordeaux, you can't miss the harsh taste or the overriding oak flavors; these wines, however, were showing like something you'd buy in the liquor store. Let me get on my high horse and yell:

"You need to get some 2007 CdP!!!!!"

Okay, I got that out of my system. And now you know.

Onto the wines. I started off with the 2008 Domaine Lafond Lirac blanc and 2007 Domaine Lafond rouge, recommended by Matt from the Wine Lib. Excellent recommendation. The white had amazing freshness and mouthfeel (50% Grenache blanc, 30% Roussane, 20% Viognier) and the red was a serious blockbuster of a wine (65% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 5% Mouvèdre). It was good to drink on its own, but I'd love to have some BBQ with it. The Pierre Usselio & Fils wines were showing well, my favorite being the 2007 Cuvée de Mon Aïeul. From Bosquet des Papes, my favorite was the 2007 A la Gloire de Mon Grand-Père (98% Grenache and 2% Clairette/Cinsault). This was just a fabulous wine, with good tannic structure and some nice fruit. The granddaughter took over winemaking at the estate, hence the name- to the glory of my grandfather.

The wines that stole the show were from Domaine Boisson which is a Côtes-du-Rhône Villages. The winemaker, Bruno Boisson, was the person pouring and I got to chat with him. He and his brother are in charge of the winemaking at the winery, which is a 25 hectare property in Cairanne. All of the wines were great, both the whites and the reds. The standout red was the 2007 Clos de la Brussère which had great fruit and earth tones to it (60% Grenache, 30% Mouvèdre, 10% Carignan). Simply a lovely balance. And you have to remember once again that these were all barrel samples!

So there it was, the Boston Wine Expo. Excellent wines, excellent peeps. And quite the fabulous weekend.

Oh yeah, and we gave away about 3,000 bags over the weekend for Wine Library!

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