Friday, November 21, 2008

Spirited Gourmet Grand Tasting

Last weekend, I led a group of the North Shore Winers to a Fall Grand Wine Tasting at The Spirited Gourmet in Belmont. This is an excellent wine store, with a fine look and a very diverse selection of wines. It also sells many types of cheese and other gourmet foods. I knew that this would be a fun tasting with some delicious wines.

There were eleven wine distributors present, with a total of about 50 wines available for tasting. I did not taste all of them but I will list my favorites, by distributor, from those I did taste.

Vineyard Road: Always one of my favorite distributors with a diverse and exciting portfolio.

--2006 Eclipse Merlot, Carneros, CA ($19.99): I loved the smell of this wine, such enticing ripe berries. The taste followed through on the promise of the nose, lush dark plum and blueberry and spice notes. Moderate tannin and a lingering finish. More complex and lush than most other Merlots. One of the best Merlots I have tasted in some time and at an excellent price.
--2006 Chave Cotes du Rhone, France ($24.99): I have enjoyed the past vintages of this wine and the new vintage is also a winner. Smooth with dark berry flavors, vanilla, and black pepper. Complex with a long finish. A top notch Rhone.

Gilbert Distributors:

--2004 Clautiere Mourvedre, Paso Robles, California ($23.99): Only 250 cases of this wine were produced. A meaty wine with a nice smoky, bacon flavor. Ripe plum, cinnamon, and a lingering finish. Delicious!
--2005 Las Perdices Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina ($16.99): A big, bold wine with strong tannins that would go great with a rare roast beef or large slab of prime rib.

Boston Wine:

--2006 Prazo Roriz, Douro, Portugal ($17.99): A wonderfully aromatic wine with lots of lush fruit flavors, in a more traditional style. This is what makes Portuguese wine so enticing. A great wine with or without food.

MS Walker:

--2004 Bennett Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, California ($28.99): A model Napa Cabernet with ripe plum and cassis flavors with vanilla and spicy notes. A touch of smoke and leather with a lingering and satisfying finish. A good price for this complex Cabernet.

United Liquors, Ltd.:

--2005 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, California ($49.99): A biodynamic wine which is a rich, full bodied wine. Moderate tannins, good fruit and spice flavors. Excellent finish, plenty of complexity and well balanced.

Ideal Wine & Spirits:

--2007 St. Peyre Picpoul de Pinet, France ($9.99): This white wine, made from the Picpoul grape, has a fresh citrus and apple smell. It is a very crisp and refreshing wine with touches of green apple and grapefruit. Excellent value wine.
--2006 Campinuovi Sangiovese Montecucco, Italy ($21.99): A biodynamic wine with bright cherry flavors, moderate tannins and good acidity. Delicious and would be great with pasta.

The Spirited Gourmet
448 Common Street
Belmont, MA
Phone: 617-489-WINE

1 comment:

c said...

You mention Malbecs. I just tried an amazing new wine from Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina -- called Belasco de Baquedano Malbec. It's 100-Year Old Vine, but just introduced in the U.S., its website says ( I had the Llama, and there are three others (Swinto, AR Guentota, Rosa rose) all from the same Malbec estate. Have you tried this? What do you think? I was amazed at how low the price is, about $15 for the Llama. Are all Argentine malbecs so excellent?