Sunday, March 23, 2008

Winecellar of Silene: Easter Tasting

It was a fine sunny day yesterday though there was still a bit of a chill. During my travels, I stopped by the Winecellar of Silene to attend their weekly Saturday wine tasting. Every Saturday, from 1-5pm, they hold a free wine tasting. This week's theme was Easter wines.

The Winecellar is easily located just off Rt.128, set in a small shopping center. They even have their own parking spots just for customers of the store. Dennis Duckworth of the Winecellar was manning the tasting table and I had an enjoyable chat with him while tasting the wines. He was both personable and knowledgeable. They have a tasting room separate from the rest of the store so you do not feel as crowded. There were about 10-12 wines available for tasting though I only tasted seven of them.

My favorites of the tasting included:

2006 Espelt Corali Rose ($11) from the Emporda DOC of Spain. This wine is made of 100% Garnacha. This Rose is more in the style of a French Rose, a bit drier and much less sweet than a California Rose. It has a light strawberry flavor and would be a treat during the summer. A good value wine from a less well known region of Spain.

2005 Vietti Langhe Nebbiolo Perbacco ($20) is made in a winery that is in the middle of Italy's Barolo region. And this wine does bring to mind a Barolo, though much less expensive and more approachable now. It has plenty of good dark berry flavors with nice spice tones. It also has a decently long finish as well as some complexity. A very good buy at this price. And it should pair well with food.

2005 Bloom Red Petals ($10) is from the Mosel region of Germany and is made from Dornfelder, a new grape to me. Dornfelder is a cross between Helfensteiner and Heroldrebe, which are themselves crossings. Dornfelder is a juicy fruited grape intended for short to medium length wines. England also grows Dornfelder. The Red Petals was a fruity, sweet red wine. It would make a good summer wine, for sitting out in the backyard while grilling. Its sweet taste would also likely appeal to those who are not big fans of drier wines.

Dow's Crusted Porto ($30) was bottled in 1999 and contains different vintages. I was not familiar with the term "crusted." It seems that "crusted" is a tiny group of Ports which were named because of the crust of sediment that forms in the bottle. Because of the sediment, it should be decanted. Crusted Port is meant to be a less expensive alternative to Vintage Ports. This Crusted Port spent 2-3 years in oak. It had a typical Port nose and a very nice taste, a good balance of sweetness vs dryness. There was no bitterness in the taste as you get in some younger Ports. It is certainly a Port you would enjoy after dinner, while relaxing with or without dessert. I am very particular on what Ports I like, and this definitely pleased me.

If you would like to stop by the Winecellar of Silene you will have an excellent opportunity soon as on April 12, from 1-4pm, they will be holding their SpringFest 2008. This will be a free wine tasting of over 25 American wines. I will be leading a group of the North Shore Winers to this event so maybe I will see you there.

Winecellar of Silene
475 Winter Street
Waltham, MA
Phone: 781-890-2121

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