Monday, October 31, 2022

A Wonder-Fall Wine Tasting

A quartet of wines to greet the changing colors of Autumn.

Bubbly Albariño

My tastings with friend Arthur Barham always have a few surprises. During my recent visit, Arthur greeted me with a first for me: sparkling Albariño. The wine was the 2020 “Octopus” from Carboniste, a California winery specializing in unique sparkling wines.

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Octopus is made with grapes grown on Andrus Island in the Sacramento River Delta. The grapes are pressed whole-cluster and four months on the lees.

The pressure and fizz of the Octopus are closer to Prosecco than Champagne. It’s sealed with a crown cap and is fresh and fun once opened. There are notes of green apple and kiwi with a flavor that is more pronounced than any other Albariño only 2% of California vineyards are planted with Albariño.

Sauvignon Blanc From Chile

We then uncorked the Brisandes 2021 Sauvignon Blanc from Colchagua, Chile. The winery is part of the far-flung Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) winemaking dynasty. I bought a number of bottles for our daughter’s birthday and had a couple left over. This wine is intriguing to me because it has a different flavor profile than Sauv Blancs from New Zealand or California.

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The acidity is dialed down and while the grassy notes are present, there is a beautiful salinity along with lime and herbal flavors. Perfect for seafood and also (and I later found out) for a vegan ceviche with cauliflower steaks (and chimichurri sauce) and Chilean rice. This dish was prepared by my vegan chef daughter.

A French Crus Bourgeois

The reds were rolled out by Arthur. First, we sampled the elegant 2018 Château La Valière from Médoc. This is a Crus Bourgeois bottling. This quality level stands just below the Cru Classé but is recognized for its quality all over the world.

This is a Bordeaux blend with Cabernet Sauvignon playing the lead role with plentiful Merlot. Silky smooth with fine tannins, it has a medium body with blackberry and currant flavors and juicy cherry. It’s a refined wine purchased at a steal from WTSO.

Silky Cabernet Sauvignon

Ending with a velvet punch, Arthur popped open the 2020 Annabella Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Annabella (we’re on a first-name basis now) is rich and powerful with blueberry notes and whiffs of leather. The layers include chocolate and hints of spice. This wine eases to a persistent finish with a touch of vanilla.

Thanks to Arthur for sharing his hospitality and his wine.

1 comment:

fifa23coins said...

This is really Wonder-Fall! I love the Annabella Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.