Wine SIG: Wines of Uncertainty
November 16, 2015 at the home of Rene Matthew
Coordinated by Victoria Green
Review by Sean Timberlake

We all have that stray bottle, hanging around. Perhaps bought impulsively while traveling years ago, or a gift, or perhaps aged too long. The contents of every bottle are somewhat unknown, but these are downright uncertain.

So nine Food Society members gathered to dispel any lingering mysteries over their respective bottle. Prices were researched and revealed after the tasting.

Il Mimo 2014 Italian Rose. Gift
> Dry, acidic
> Strawberry-cherry nose
> 12% alcohol
> Good with grilled foods, summer sipping
> $ 10.99

VINTJS 2013 Mendocino Gewurtztraminer. Purchase, Trader Joe’s
> Light straw color
> Rosy, honey-jasmine nose
> Dry on palate, little finish
> Drinkable enough
> $5.99

Benchmark 1998 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Purchase @ winery 2000
> Inky, garnet color
> Leather, spice nose
> Rich, silky on palate
> Tannins flat from age
> Still drinkable
> $21.99 original price

Subterranean Cellars Satin Doll 2012 Carneros Pinot Noir. Purchase @ Berkeley home winery
> Bright, ruby color
> Cherry, barnyard-funk nose
> Soft, balanced dark fruit on palate
> Well constructed, thoughtful
> $8.00 plus bottling labor

Candor Merlot, Central Coast, Lot 5, blend 2011/2012. Gift
> Plummy, dark color
> Rich dark fruit, luxurious on palate
> Velvety finish
> “Contemplative wine” though would it age well
> $38 price felt a fair value

South African Cape Classics Braai 2014, blend 70% Shiraz, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Grenache. Purchase
> Deep red color
> Smokey nose
> Juicy palate, long, spicy finish
> Complements summer grill, meats
> Needs time to breathe or on the rack
> $20

William Fevre Maipo Valley Carmenere, Chile, 2011. Plonk Wine Club selection
> Deep color
> Notes of petrol, green pepper on the nose
> Tannins rose and fell on the palate, fruit ripened on the finish
> Enjoy with steak, meats
> “Good value”
> $19

Benovia Winery, Russian River, Zinfandel, 2011. Purchase @ winery
> Deep red color, good clarity
> Classically fruity nose
> Light body, high acidity on the palate
> “More like a pinot noir than a zin” with 15.8% ABV
> Sausage, duck or something a fatty for the acidity to cut through
> Price not remembered

Covenant Wines, Red C Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006. Purchase @ winery
> Deep red color
> Peppery, well structured on the palate
> A kosher wine that “is a good wine that happens to be kosher”
> Price not remembered

The winning wines:

1st Candor Merlot
2nd Sub Cellars Satin Doll
3rd Covenant Cabernet

The group felt this was a great way to sample unknown wines in a receptive environment and would certainly do it again.

The tasting was followed by a sumptuous potluck.

See you again in February!
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