Well, it’s Tuesday again, but at least it’s not Monday! On Tuesdays, Block 7 Wine Company, in the Heights, does a free wine tasting from 6-9PM usually with a different theme each week. This week’s theme is “Under 500 Case Taste” or a tasting of small case production wines from California and Washington. This is more in line with my style than last week’s “Revolutionaries” tasting. No Mr. Kirkwood this time, but whomever the cute girl filling in his place was typed up tasting notes, score! The lady pouring the wine and speaking to us about the wines, the production, how special they were, etc. was much less pretentious than Mr. Kirkwood, but still as insightful. As one Scottish expatriate said, “this is too technical, I know what I like” while I do agree with that, it’s also great to hear history and information on the wines you’re trying and what makes them unique. When I go to Specs or HEB, I usually pick something different, I try not to taste the same wine twice unless it was really freaking awesome. There’s so much on the market, why limit yourself? Anyway, on to the wines of the “Under 500 case taste”! I didn’t get to take a picture of the bottles this time- too many damn people at the free tasting ;)
2009 Hestia, Chenin Blanc, Old Vines, Horse Heaven Hills, Washington – 450 cases
2009 Macauley, Sauvignon Vert, Napa Valley, California, 125 cases
2007 Holdredge, Syrah, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California, 490 cases
2006 Hestia, Syrah, Columbia Valley, Washington, 64 cases
2006 Hestia, Cabernet Yakima Valley, Washington – 180 cases
2005 Macauley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Star vineyard, Napa Valley – 390 cases
So at least this time there were only 2 whites to suffer through! Actually I was very surprised by the flavor of the Sauvignon Vert it smelled fruity but tasted unlike any white wine I’ve had (which may not mean much since I usually avoid whites like the plague). It was very full tasting, with an earthy taste all while still tasting the fruits, which were plantains and peaches, as I was told. This wine, produced by Macauley, is the only white they make, solely because the 2 man production team wanted a chilled, summer wine- my kind of guys!
The Chenin Blanc was eh, but would be a good summer white wine (if you like summer white wine, shit I drink reds anytime!). Next!
The syrahs are more in my comfort zone- my father loves syrah, after Cabernet Sauvignon of course. All of them were very smooth, but to me, there was nothing extraordinary about them. Maybe, just maybe, my palate isn’t sophisticated enough for the subtleties in wine, eh whatever, as the Scottish guy said, “I like what I like” and ultimately that is what I’ll buy.
I did however enjoy the Washington state Cabernet Sauvignon, the Hestia, a 2006 wine out of Yakima Valley. It received 92 points from Wine Enthusiast, and tasted more complex and full-bodied than any of the aforementioned wines. Apparently it combines Cedar, spice and concentrated black fruits. It is composed of grapes solely from the Dineen Vineyard, a cooler climate that allows for longer vine time for the grapes. Snazzy!
The last Cabernet, the Macauley, from the Star Vineyard in Napa Valley in Rutherford. It smells of fruits and chocolate and tastes that way too. It was quite tasty and probably the one I would have purchased, but it was also the most expensive (go figure!) at $73/bottle. While this could be expected since all of these wines were small production, the other wines were pretty reasonably priced anywhere from $19-37.
Overall, this week was better than last week for sure, hopefully it gets even better. It definitely had more of the styles of wine I like which made learning “technical” facts more enjoyable and memorable. Thanks again, Block 7. Maybe next time I’ll stay and have some of that Truffle popcorn.