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 Capri Ristorante – McLean, VA

CONTENT

  1. Presenters
  2. Participants
  3. The wines
  4. Information on the wines
  5. Member’s wines ratings

PRESENTERS: Peter Scherer and Lee Samuelson

TYPE :  Blind

PARTICIPANTS: Juan Luis Colaiacovo, Lee Samuelson,Alfonso Sánchez, Jairo Sanchez, Peter Scherer, Miguel Segovia

TASTING OVERVIEW: The “challenge” of this tasting is to identify the country, region and varieties of these wines.  The wines are:

  1. 2012 Zenato, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
  2. 2012 Altesino, Brunello di Montalcino – 
  3. 2012 Château Cristia, ChâteauneufduPape 
  4. 2010 Château Lagrange, Saint-Julien​ Grand Cru Classé
  5. 2010 Château La Dominique, Saint-Emilion, Grand Cru Classé
  6. 2014 Domaine Chevillon-Chezeaux Nuits Saint Georges, 1er Cru, Les Saint-Geroges

THE MENU

  1. Pâté/terrine de campagne
  2. Hard cheeses, with unsalted crackers
  3. Grilled beef, thinly sliced, on a bed of arugula
  4. Roasted potatoes with rosemary, cannellini beans, roasted asparagus
  5. Dessert and/or coffee

INFORMATION ON THE WINES

(All information obtained and condensed from several Internet articles.)

2012 Zenato Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico

The Wine: Grape Variety: 80% Corvina, 10% Rondinella, 10% Oseleta and Croatina.

Vinification: After the harvest, the grapes are carefully selected, and the healthiest ripest fruit is placed in cases in a well-ventilated room to raisin for 3-4 months. After this period the grapes are pressed, left on the skins for 15-20 days at the temperature of 23°-25°C, and fermented till becoming the delicious wine that Amarone is. The wine is aged in oak barrels for 36 months

Winemaker Notes: Ruby red in color, intoxicating aromas of dried black cherries, cassis, truffles, and chocolate fudge leap out of the glass. The resulting wine is silky, luscious, and complex, with a lingering finish.Decanter:Pronounced mocha chocolate and cherry aromas. Rich, intense and full on the palate with firm tannins and fresh acidity. Long finale.

Vintage rating:92 points Wine Enthusiast

Wine rating:91 points Wine Spectator,91 points Wine Enthusiast,92 points James Suckling

Notes:

  • One of most full-bodied Italian reds, from the Veneto region in Northern Italy, near Venice
  • Made primarily from Corvina grapes (45-90%, same as used for Valpolicella), typically blended with Rondilla (5-30%, imparting floral notes) that are allowed to dry 4-5 months before fermentation to lose water and concentrate sugars (“appassimento”). This results in a very rich, raisiny, tannic wine.
  • Deep garnet color, with complex aromas/tastes of cherry liqueur, plum, figs, tobacco, leather, and subtle presence of cinnamon, clove, peppercorns, chocolate. Very long finish.  “Sweetness” balanced with medium-high acidity and relatively high alcohol level. Typically spend at least two years in oak, which imparts vanilla, toast, spicy notes.
  • Amarone can easily overpower most foods, so careful attention to pairing is needed; for example, pairs well with grilled meats, robust stews. Works well with strong, sharp cheeses.

The Winery: The heart and soul of Zenato lies in the ancient morainic lands of Lugana and Valpolicella, with their mild climate and unrivalled charm, that overlook the Veneto shore of Lake Garda..The vineyards cover 75 hectares in the Zenato estate of S. Cristina in San Benedetto di Lugana, ideal for the Trebbiano di Lugana, and in the Costalunga estate in Valpolicella, the homeland of the famous Amarone Zenato, where the renowned vines Corvina, Rondinella and Oseleta are cultivated.It all began in 1960 when Sergio Zenato, filled with energy and ambition and driven by his deep bond with the territory, tried out new techniques of winemaking and invested in native vines in order to obtain wine of the highest quality.

Read More about the winery here: http://www.zenato.it/en/

2012 Altesino, Brunello di Montalcino 

The Wine: Winemaker Notes: Ruby red, tending to garnet red with aging. A broad, ethereal and compound smell with hints of violet and a pleasant hint of wild berries and vanilla. Dry, warm and velvety, denoting a rich texture and fine breed. Pair with: Roasted red meat, noblegame and medium aged cheese.

Wine Spectator: Cherry, leather and iron notes mark this suave, elegant red. A bit reticent now, but the fruit is fresh and long on the finish. The dense tannins leave a mouthcoating impression, but this opens up beautifully over a few hours. Best from 2021 through 2035.

Vintage rating: 96 points Wine Spectator, 92 points Wine Enthusiast,93 points Robert Parker

Wine rating: 96 points Wine Spectator, 94 points Wine Enthusiast, 93 points Robert Parker, 93 points James Suckling

Notes:

  • One of Italy’s most prestigious and highly age-worthy red wines.
  • Made from 100% Sangiovese. Called “Brunello” locally, because of the slightly brownish cast of the Sangiovese clone used.
  • From warmer and drier southern end of Tuscany, which results in wines that are rich, with intensely dark garnet hue, with characteristic dark cherry flavor of sangiovese, as well as notes of blackberries, strawberries, plums, and non-fruit notes of leather, cedar, spice
  • These big, intense, complex (and expensive) wines are sometimes alluded to as “Chianti on steroids”.
  • Clone used has small grapes with thick skins, which results in bold fruit flavors, and high tannin levels which need to be aged out. Thus aged, by law, for 4 years minimum before release, of which 2 years in oak which imparts vanilla, toast, spicy notes.
  • Full-bodied (yet smooth) tannins and acidity makes it a very food-friendly wine – wonderful pairing with grilled meats (beef, duck, lamb, venison).

The Winery: Brunello di Montalcino: Made from 100% Sangiovese grapes from a specific clone called “Brunello” in the town of Montalcino. Situated in the southwestern part of Tuscany the town of Montalcino sits on a ridge about 400 feet above the Eastern plain. This ridge divides the region into three diverse growing areas. The northeastern part produces wines with brighter fruit, more cherry and high tone notes and somewhat leaner body. The southeastern portion often referred to, as the “Golden Triangle” is the home of Biondi Santi, the family who invented Brunello and championed its production for half a century before anyone else. This region produces wines with rich body, deep ripe cherry to plum fruit with lots of earth and spice. The third portion is the southwesterly facing slope which is the warmest (hence the ripest grapes), consistently producing wines with more breadth and richness. At the turn of this century, there were more than 150 growers who produce the 233,000 cases annually from the 2863 acres inscribed to Brunello.

The (estate overall covers approximately 80 hectares. The vineyards consist of 44 hectares, sub-divided into the “crus” of Altesino, Macina, Castelnuovo dell’Abate (in the district of Velona), Pianezzine and Montosoli (the latter famous for the production of extremely elegant wines). Other than Sangiovese di Montalcino, the majority of the grapes grown (used to make Brunello, Rosso di Montalcino Palazzo Altesi), there is Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (blended with Sangiovese di Montalcino to make Alte d’Altesi and Rosso di Altesino), Trebbiano and Malvasia (for Vin Santo) and Vermentino, Chardonnay and Viognier used to make Bianco di Altesino.

Read more about Altesino here:http://www.altesino.it/eng/azienda.php

ChâteauneufduPape 2012 – Château Cristia 

The Wine: Winemaker Notes:The color reveals distinctive violet highlights. A refined and complex nose showing aromas of violets and fruits of the forest. On the palate a wine that is rich and powerful yet with a perfectly balanced and harmonious structure, and a long aromatic finish. Blend: 70% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre.

The Wine Advocate: Cristia’s 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape is a classic example of this cuvée and offers loads of upfront fruit, texture and richness in its fruity, ripe style. Giving up plenty of darker fruits, old leather and damp herbs, enjoy this medium to full-bodied beauty over the coming 7-8 years.

Vintage rating:92 points Robert Parker, 93 points Wine Spectato, 92 points Wine Enthusiast.

Wine rating:92 points Wine Spectato, 91 points Robert Parker.

Notes:

  • Became the first French Appelation Controlée in 1936.
  • Mainly Grenache (80-85%), blended with Syrah (10-15%), Mourvèdre, Cinsault, etc. In fact, 13+ different grape varieties are authorized, with each contributing its characteristics for color, structure, fragrance, longevity. Grenache contributes fruitiness, Syrah provides color and spice, Mourvèdre adds body.
  • Warm-climate region — the Southern Rhône Valley is hot (!), resulting in ripe, fully-developed flavors, and relatively high alcohol levels. Grenache Noir, the main grape variety, does well in region’s meager dry soils and hot summers with long periods of drought.  Characteristic terroir is a layer of stones (“galets”) which store heat during the day and release it at night, hastening the ripening of grapes. The layer of stones also helps to hold water during dry summer months. Powerful mistral winds protect against vine diseases.
  • Traditionally aged in concrete/steel tanks, but also blended with small amounts of wine vinified in oak (90% / 10%).
  • Intensely-colored wines, full-bodied, wines that are spicy/peppery, with fruity aromas and complex tastes of raspberries, black currants, herbs, tobacco, cedar.
  • While they can be tough and tannic when young, they take on silky characteristics with age, while retaining their spiciness.
  • Spicy, peppery characteristics pair well with roast meats (beef, duck, lamb, venison), stews, cassoulet, spicy foods, hard cheeses.

The Winery: The property of the Grangeon family for many generations, Domaine de Cristia is located in Courthézon, on the eastern sector of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and spreads over 58 hectares. Ninety percent of the terroir is composed of sandy/clay soils planted on the Eastern sector of the appellation (lieu-dit ‘Cristia’). These parcels of Châteauneuf-du-Pape benefit from a cool, fresh north-easterly exposition which allows the grapes and wines to develop supple, elegant tannins.

Read more here: http://www.cristia.com/1.cfm?p=299-home

 2010 Château Lagrange, Saint-Julien​ Grand Cru Classé 

 

The Wine: (Jeanne Cho Lee) This is a well made St Julien with nice palate texture and weight with good depth of fruit. Flavours range from fresh blackberries, spices, cedar and Chinese red dates. The nose is restrained but the palate is generous with a nice length. Tasted in: Bordeaux, France. Maturity: Young.

Vintage rating: 98 points Robert Parker, 99 points Wine Spectator, 98 points Wine Enthusiast.

Wine rating: 92 points Wine Spectator, 93 points Wine Enthusiast, 95 points James Suckling

Notes:

  • Predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon [67%], blended primarily with Merlot [28%] to add fleshiness and help soften aggressive tannins.
  • Cool-climate region, whose relatively northern latitude of the region means that fully ripe-tasting wine is possible only around one year out of three => pay attention to vintage.
  • Left Bank wines tend to be deep in color (garnet, almost opaque), medium-bodied, highly tannic because of small thick-skinned grapes. Tend to have a steely mineral quality rather than being “fruity”, though with aromas/flavors of black cherries, raspberries, bell peppers + non-fruit characteristics such as woody/cedar, tobacco. Typically spend time in oak (~18 months), which imparts vanilla, toast, spicy notes.
  • Low-priced versions are at best everyday quaffers, often with “grassy” taste
  • The fierce tannins require considerable ageing to soften them.
  • Gravelly soil of Left Bank, which drains well, is particularly suitable for Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Full-bodied tannins and acidity makes it a very food-friendly wine – wonderful pairing with grilled meats (beef, duck, lamb, venison), mushroom dishes, hard cheeses

The Winery Taken from Wine Searcher): Chateau Lagrange was classified as a third growth in the 1855 Classification of the Médoc and Graves and is located in Saint-Julien, on the left bank of the river Gironde. Historically, there is evidence that grapes were planted here in the Middle Ages and that, at the time, the proprietors owned the largest wine-producing estate in the Médoc area. It was passed between many well-known wine merchants and families throughout the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries until the current owners, Suntory, purchased the estate in 1983. The plantings at the château are predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, as well as Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Semillon.

The large 182 hectare estate of Chateau Lagrange has 118 hectares under vine in Saint Julien. The vineyard is divided into 102 different parcels. However, the easiest way to think of Chateau Lagrange is by knowing all their vines are dispersed over 2, gently sloping, gravel hillsides, well placed in the west of the St. Julien appellation. At the peak of their vineyards, the hillsides reach up to 24 meters, which puts their vines at the highest elevation in the St. Julien appellation. The vineyard is planted to 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot. The Petit Verdot was added to the vineyards in 1988. Over the years, the vineyard has continued to increase their percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, the average age of the vines is more than 35 years of age. The terroir is gravel, sand and clay soils.There are also parcels with deposits of iron. The vineyard is planted to a vine density of 8,500 vines per hectare. They use optical sorting technology during the harvest.

Read more at:http://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/bordeaux-wine-producer-profiles/bordeaux/st-julien/lagrange/

2010 Château La Dominique, Saint-Emilion, Grand Cru Classé

The Wine: Winemaker Notes: With its deep and shiny color, Chateau La Dominique brings together the generosity of a Saint Emilion and the typicity of a Pomerol. The nose is intense, characterized by seducing aromas of ripe fruits and subtle spicy notes. In most vintages, you will find truffle and licorice notes, complemented by peppery and woody aromas. With a sharp attack, it is fleshy and round, with silky and precise tannins. The finish is long and full and leaves you with a pleasant feeling of bliss. Aimed to be aged in most vintages, but can also be appreciated during its early years.

James Suckling: Polished and rich nose with dark deep fruit and dense minerality. Wonderful pure ripe fruit on the palate with a long layered texture and super velvety tannins.

Vintage rating:94 points Robert Parker, 98 points Wine Spectator,97 points Wine Enthusiast

Wine rating:94 points Wine Spectator,94 points Wine Enthusiast,94 points James Suckling, 93 points Robert Parker

Notes:

  • Predominantly Merlot [80%], blended primarily with Cabernet Franc (adding lightness and notes of pepperiness, tobacco,) and Cabernet Sauvignon (adding tannins, acidity) [20%].
  • Right Bank wines are fruitier, and “softer” (less tannic) and earlier ripening than their Left Bank counterparts, and therefore approachable younger.
  • Cool-climate region, whose relatively northern latitude of the region means that fully ripe-tasting wine is possible only around one year out of three => pay attention to vintage.
  • Intense color, though slightly lighter than Left Bank wines. Aromas/tastes recall black cherry, raspberries, plums, black tea + non-fruit characteristics such as woody, peppery.  Generally less “fruity” than from warm-climate regions.   Typically spend time in oak (~12-18 months), which imparts vanilla, toast, spicy notes.
  • Bordeaux region produces more Merlot than Cabernet Sauvignon; Château Pétrus (primarily Merlot) is the region’s (and often the world’s) most expensive wine.
  • Moderate-priced versions are at best everyday quaffers, often with “vegetal” taste
  • Clay soil of right Bank favorable for Merlot; Cabernet Sauvignon can’t survive there because soil doesn’t drain well.
  • Full-bodied tannins and acidity makes it a very food-friendly wine – wonderful pairing with grilled meats (beef, duck, lamb, venison), mushroom dishes, hard cheeses.

The Winery: These are some of the main features of the winery:

  • Soil: 25% brown clayey soils, 75% ancient sands mixed with gravel on clay subsoils
  • Grape varieties: 81% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Average vine age: 35 years old
  • Plantation density: 7,000 to 9,000 vines/ha
  • Viticultural method: Traditional, natural grass cover every second row depending on vine vigour, works following sustainable agriculture principles
  • Pruning method: single and double Guyot
  • Harvesting: Entirely by hand, for good quality grapes
  • Vinification: Taperedstainless steel temperature controlled tanks
  • Maturation: 70% to 80% in new barrels
  • Yield: 40 hl/ha
  • Average production: 90,000 bottles

Read more here: http://en.chateau-ladominique.com/

2014 Domaine Chevillon-Chezeaux Nuits Saint Georges, 1er Cru – Les Saint Georges

The Wine: (The Wine Mag) The wine comes from what many consider to be the Grand Cru of Nuits Saint-Georges. It is firm and structured with solid tannins over black-cherry fruits. There is a tight streak of acidity that cuts through the wine giving a crisp center to the fine fruit. Drink this wine from 2019.

Vintage rating: 96 points Robert Parker, 95 points Wine Spectator, 90 points Wine Enthusiast.

Wine rating: 93 points Wine Spectator, 93 points Wine Enthusiast.

Notes:

  • Thin-skinned Pinot Noir results in wines that are lighter bodied, lighter in color, and far less tannic than Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, etc.
  • Very recognizable wine because of pale translucent red color.
  • At its best, feels silky or satiny, with flavors of cherries, raspberries, currants. Subtle aging in French oak adds delicate richness and tannin, vanilla notes. (American oak is considered to “muscular” for Pinot Noir).
  • Quality tends to be either very high (and very expensive) or very low (inexpensive), with not much in between.
  • Very sensitive to weather conditions => pay attention to vintage.
  • Cool climate of Burgundy region tends to result in tart fruit notes, herbal flavors, and light body (warm climate Pinot Noirs have aromas/tastes more like sweet raspberry and cherry, with  bolder body and higher alcohol level).
  • Pairs well with chicken, grilled meats, stews like boeuf bourguignon, mushroom dishes, salmon, tuna. Can also pair with richer meats.  NB: Really good Pinot Noir is wasted on most cheeses.

The Winery: The Domaine was created in 1887 by Eugène-François CHEVILLON, who inherited from his father Symphorien CHEVILLON a few parcels of vines. Eugene CHEVILLON succeeded him. In 1946, his two sons, Georges and Maurice, shared the family estate. In 1947, the Domaine Georges CHEVILLON expanded with the acquisition of Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er cru “LES SAINT-GEORGES”. In 1963, his son Michel joined him on the Domaine, which he still operates with his wife Pascale, and in 1988 created Domaine Michel CHEVILLON. In 1999, their daughter Claire moved to the Domaine. Philippe CHEZEAUX, her husband, joined her in 2000 to create the Domaine CHEVILLON-CHEZEAUX which currently operates 8 ha 61 to 75 acres of vines all classified in AOC on 14 different appellations.

Read more here: http://www.chevillon-chezeaux.com/

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