Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pompous Twits tasting: "Weird But Wonderful!"

I said I was behind on my posts, but this is ridiculous! I was plowing through my files for materials from some recent tastings and I came across this unposted report on a fun tasting we did for my other wine group, The Pompous Twits (of Hayward, CA and environs).

The theme was "Weird but Wonderful!" and we were encouraged to bring our most unusual bottle -- whether the grape or the nationality or the blend or the name, bring something we haven't seen before.

And the 11 attending Twits responded memorably! Here is my report from February 2005.

Eleven of us gathered at the newly relaunched Rue de Main in Hayward on Saturday February 21st for this new BYOB event. We tasted 17 wines, most of which fit the Weird classification, some of which even arose to the Wonderful category. Here is a summary, as best Mac was able to copy down the names.

First, two introductory "pump primer" champagnes to get us in the right mood. And it worked!

1. Mumm Cuvee Napa Sparkling Pinot Noir - The Pinot added a nice fruity note to this champagne!

2. Frank Variville 1996 Grand Cru Champagne Brut, brought by Dave Hulet. Very nice!

3. Champagne Le Nombre d'Or, L'Aubrey Fil a Jouy-les-Reims - this was Dave's first contribution to the Weird category -and I thought it was pretty wonderful!

4. Kinneskillan 01 Pinot Noire Okanagan, from somewhere in Canada. Oh dear! Very amusingly weird!

5. Volcano Winery Macademia Nut Honey Wine, Hawaii -- really a nice mildly sweet dessert wine. From Canada to Hawaii in two bottles!

6. Domaine de Belliviere - Le Rouge-Gorge-Coteaux du Loir 2002 - a red of unusual grapage. Interesting! Only $20 said Dave!

7. Saint Gregory Mendocino Pinot Meunier 2002 - Nice sweet undercurrent to this one.

8. Creston Vineyards 1995 Pinot Noir Paso Robles. Hmm. Some people liked it!

9. Grgic Plavac Mali 1996 Croatia - made by the same Grngch as here in California, but from a grape that is a precursor to Zin, we're told.

10. Imagery Series, International Imagery Red Table Wine - no year - A blend of wines from around the world. Corked, unfortunately. That could have been fun.

11. Finca Sandoval Manchuela 2002 - A Syrah of some sort from Spain.

12. Topolos Sonoma Alicante Bouschet 1997. A nice light Alicante.

13. Pine Ridge Onyx 99 Napa Rutherford - a Malbec-Merlot-Tannat blend. Not the most common blend in the world -- I'll bet some of you have never (knowingly) even tasted a Tannat!

14. Souzao 1996 from Bonny Doon -- the Portuguese port grape has here been transformed into a table wine -- interesting dense!

15. Tradition (?) Tiara Rhone Reserve diVieux Cardinal - a declassified French vineyard. And for a reason, too!

We finished up with a couple of regular wines to end our most interesting evening:

16. Ridge Pajano Ranch 1997 Zin

17. Retzlaff 2003 Merlot (newly bottled)

A most curious and entertaining evening, I think, and one that should

No comments: