On Tuesday, I stopped by Salem Wine Imports for their usual Tuesday evening wine tasting. Eric, the owner, had a mixed selection of wines, from all over the world. There was a good crowd of tasters and it was an enjoyable evening, as usual.
First on the tasting was the 2007 Max Ferdinand Richter Estate Riesling ($14.99) from the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region of Germany. The grapes for this wine are of at least Kabinett/Spätlese quality and it has been vinified simply as Qualitätswein, to give consistency from one vintage to the next. Coming in at a low alcohol content of 9.5%, the wine has a light gold color and a strong citrus aroma. On the palate, there is a touch of sweetness with flavors of orange and peach. It has a nice acidity and probably would be a good pairing with spicy Asian cuisine.
This was followed by another Riesling, the 2005 Karl Erbes Riesling Spatlese ($18.99) which only has an alcohol content of 8%. This was a deeper gold color than the previous wine. It was also aromatic but with more floral and spice notes than fruit. On the palate, it is a richer, more full bodied wine. It is dry with just a tinge of sweetness. I taste more apricot, melon and herbs in this Riesling. Probably another wine that would go well with spicy Asian cuisine.
From Riesling to Rose, we next tried the 2007 Chateau Revelette Rose ($15.99) from the Provence region of France. This Rose is a blend of 50% Syrah, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Grenache. It also has an alcohol content of 13.5%. It has a pale salmon color with a light nose of strawberries. It is a very dry wine with subtle red fruit flavors and a touch of spice. It has a moderatly long finish and seems a very typical Provence Rose. I enjoyed it and definitely would like sipping them outside during a warm summer day.
I was not as happy with the next wine, the 2007 A to Z Rose ($14.99) from Oregon. Generally I have enjoyed the wines of A to Z, so I was hoping for a good Rose here. The Rose is made from Sangiovese and has an alcohol content of 13.5%. It is a darker pink color than the previous Rose and had rather a closed nose. I could not smell much. On the palate, there was some red fruit flavors, a bit of watermelon and strawberry but the finish was rather bitter, more than just tart. That bitterness ruined the wine for me and I am not sure if it was just an off bottle or not.
Moving a bit south, the next wine was the 2006 Z52 Lodi Zinfandel ($14.99). For a Zin, this is a lightweight with an alcohol content of only 14.5% but it still is an amazing little wine for the price. Dark red in color, you get a very spicy nose and that spice shines through on the palate as well. There are also some nice dark red fruit flavors, ripe plum and blackberry. It is not too tannic and would definitely make a good food wine, from BBQ to a hearty pasta dish. An excellent value wine.
We ended the evening with the 2007 Lini Lambrusco Bianco “Labrusca” ($16.99) from Italy. I have had red Lambrusco before but never a white one so this was a treat. I loved the nose on this wine, such vibrant fruit. On the palate, it is frizzante, so just a mild carbonation. It has a bit of a yeasty taste with some subtle citrus fruit notes. It almost reminded me more of a Proscecco than the red Lambrusco I am used to. Though it was ok, it was not really my type of wine. I think I would enjoy their red Lambrusco much more.
FYI: Keep September 25 open on your calendar. Salem Wine Exports will be holding their first "Salem Wine Expo" on that date. The event will be held across the street from the store in the Lyceum Restaurant, thus allowing for much more space. They hope to get winemakers, importers and maybe an owner or two, to be at this event. There should be upwards of 100 wines available from all around the world. There will be some grazing food plus some light entertainment. There is a charge for this event, either $20 prepay or $25 at the door.
When I receive more details on this event, I will post them.
Salem Wine Imports
32 Church St.