Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New House Wine

Last week we had the 2007 Wilde Irish Pub house wine tasting. One night for white wine and one for red. I had a previous engagement to celebrate Portuguese days in Tartu with the lovely Portuguese ambassador and several Estonian luminaries so I did not arrive until the official part of the tasting was over. 14 ladies and 5 lucky gentleman seemed slightly the worse for wear after tasting a few of the worst wines imaginable and also some quite decent ones. As it was a blind tasting we waited until the end to reveal the labels. We are forced to put a public taste warning on Hardys Bin 141 2006 as it was unanimously agreed as one of the worst wines ever tasted but on the upside the group was very impressed Missiones De Rengo Reserve Chardonnay 2006 and Caldora Trebiano d Abruzzo 2006 which won the category.

The red wine tasting was a more impressive affair held in the Saksekamber and attended by a mixed group of nearly 30 tasters. We dont believe in being too snobby about wine so in addition to 2 sommeliers, we had engineers, jazz musicians, Swedish businessmen, Estonian Politicians, lawyers, philosophers, translators, bakers, cooks, domestic godesses and even a fraternity president in attendance.
We tasted the current house wine first, the lovely Cono Sur Torconal Cabernet Sauvignon imported by Valior, which was excellent. It started with some decent but unremarkable wines until we hit number 5 which 30 people agreed smelled like animal poo. I will not name the wine publicly for fear of retribution from the distributor or wine maker. There was one wine pale and watery which turned out to be a German Pinot Noir but the wines were unremarkable until the 11th. Out of the last 6 wines, 5 were received quite well. The wine that was not was once again Hardys which I recognized from the previous year. The Vinchio Viglio Barbera, Rey de Los Andes Cabernet Sauvignon, and Golden Kahn Shiraz were all remarkable for the price but the overall winner was Rooiberg Cabernet-Merlot. Soft and supple with decent structure and good upfront fruit flavor. Any of these wines would be a good buy if you see them at the shop.
Overall we drank too much talked a bit and laughed a lot and hopefully the result is a wine we can be proud of.
Rob Dunbar

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