Friday, September 21, 2007

World Portfolio Tasting-Woburn

Yesterday, I and around fifteen members of the North Shore Winers attended the World Portfolio Wine Tasting at Corporate Wines in Woburn. We were not the only ones present. There were plenty of others who came to this event as well.

There were 51 wines available at the tasting, whites and reds from a variety of countries and regions. The tasting was held in the back of the store, where all of their previous tastings have been. Two walls had tables of wine and the third wall had tables with food. There were platters of several cheeses and crackers, bruschetta, and chicken skewers. They kept replacing the platters all night when they were empty. With so many wines at the tasting, it was good to be able to cleanse your palate with the food.

Corporate wines had an excellent discount as well for the evening. On the purchase of six bottles or more, you received a discount of 25% with either cash or credit card. That is certainly a generous and appealing discount.

The store provided a list of the wines at the tasting though the list was a bit confusing. The wines were listed alphabetically by the winemaker and not broken down by each distributor's table. So, at each table, you had to hunt on the list of the wines you were tasting. The list also did not print the vintages of the wines. The list was the only real complaint I heard concerning the tasting.

Here is my list of my favorite wines from the tasting. Please also note that these are only my personal favorites. There were other good wines at the tasting as well.

2005 Toso-Pascual Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina ($18.25): A powerful wine, full of smoke and spice. One of the best wines of the tasting.

Legon Roble from Ribera del Duero, Spain ($14.25): Smooth, easy-drinking wine with cherry and vanilla flavors.

Whistler GSM from Barossa, Australia ($20.25): Strong, spicy blend of Garnache, Syrah and Mourvedre.

2002 Warwick Three Cape Ladies from South Africa ($28.25): Interesting blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Pinotage.

2005 Chat Mourgues Rouge from De Nimes, France ($20.25): Subtle, Old World red that is similar to Rhone wines.

2003 Kiona Vineyard Lemberger from Red Mountain, Washington ($14.25): An unusual varietal which is a light, easy drinking wine with a touch of spice.

2004 Victor Hugo Opulence from Paso Robles, California ($28.25): Last weekend, I tried the Victor Hugo Hunchback in Waltham and it was one of my favorite wines at the tasting. The Opulence is another favorite. It is a Bordeaux blend with a nice complex melange of fruit and spice. A delicious wine!

Victor Hugo Petite Sirah from Paso Robles, California ($20.25): Another fine effort by this winery. Such a dark, powerful and spicy wine. Give me a big steak! Another of the best wines of the tasting.

Dievole Pinocchio Nero D'Avola from Sicily, Italy ($10.25): A lot of value in an inexpensive wine. A nice expression of this grape. Another of the best wines of the tasting because of its value.

2006 El Seque Monastrell from Alicante, Spain ($12.25): Monastrell is one of my favorite varietals and this wine does the grape much justice. Lots of fruit and character. A very good value wine.

Corporate Wines will be having two more major tastings in the near future. On November 15 will be their Holiday Wine Tasting with over 50 wines. On December 13 will be their Champagne & Sparkling Wine tasting of over 25 wines. Sign up for their mailing list to keep updated on these and other tastings.

Corporate Wines
16A Cummings Park
Woburn, MA
Phone: 781-933-WINE


Anonymous said...

Great tasting: and, I kid you not, my wine list nearly mimics yours. I left with Pinocchio, the Kiona Lemberger (awesome!), the Legon, the Chat Mourgues, and the Opulence. Oh, and two of the 7 Deadly Zin. I also went for the Mas de Gourgonnier red blend--rustic, simple, genuine. I also went in for the Carmel Road Pinot--not usually a Pinot fan but for some reason I really liked this one.

Not sure if I got the right Merlot: one of them was described as "chocolatey" (and it was); my notes had plenty of wine spilled on them, but I *thought* that was the Santa Ema.

Anonymous said...

Two other comments, these about Corporate Wines. Their REAL business is internet sales (where they tack on a mere $40 to the wholesale case cost for those cases over $250: a bargain if you buy in bulk). The retail storefront is...okay. The 25% discount brings the price in line with good online bargains (minus the shipping, of course, so it works out). The real value was the try-before-you-buy tasting; otherwise, they are in line with other local wine shops (and Peter is up-front about that: the storefront is totally a retail operations).

The other bargain they have is in their cheapie racks ("Crap rack," as the owner calls it, "Stuff I wouldn't drink and want to get out of my shop"). And, yes, it is low end: Rabbit Ridge, Firetruck, Goats do Roam--stuff that is generally $9.99 at other shops. Corpwines charges $6/bottle AND you can get the 25% cash discount for six bottles. So, if you lean toward that end of the spectrum, there are SERIOUS bargains to be had.

His other bias--both business and pleasure--is South American wines (which can support a higher mark-up, as they start out cheaper). That doesn't really bother me: South America (as we found--and you yourself gave an Argentinian top marks) can deliver. The complaint was from a competitor, complaining that Peter's prices "weren't REALLY all that great, given what he stocks." I find that stance irrelevant: I care about the wine and the price (ever seeking that sweet spot where quality and value intersect in the pleasure zone!), and not much else.

Thanks again for all your efforts!

Richard A. said...

Thanks for all your comments though please next time leave your name.

As for their cheapie rack, there are some real bargains there. On one of my last visits, they had some Hill & Dale Pinotage which I think is a great wine for the price, usually $9-10. At $6, it is a superb vale.

I definitely agree that South America has some good bargain wines. From Argentina they have some great value Malbec and Bonarda. Chile has some good Merlot and Carmenere. I like Brazilians wines too.