–submitted by Mike Wilson
On Sunday April 24th, in the late, wonderful Spring afternoon, 17 Rotary Wine Fellowshippers met at Steve and Meryl Mixtacki’s home for a Brown Bag Blind Tasting of 12 wines selected by Steve Mixtacki.
The first round was of three whites; a 2014 Moscofilero from Greece (a wine we tried at the last wine fellowship at Table Wine), a 2014 Vernaccia from Italy and a 2014 New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. The costs of these were similar at about $15, and the Vernaccia was the most popular among the tasters.
The second round of bagged wines were Chardonnays with a broad price difference, with two at ~$9 and one $33. The grand Winner was the Hess Select at $9.
The next round was a red wine presentation of Spanish Wines. Two were Rioja’s and the other a Priorat, and these regions represent the only regional DO’s with quality (i.e. DOCa) as classified by Spain. Both represent regional blends with Rioja’s having ~60% Tempranillo with additional Garnacha, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. The Priorat has more Garnacha but no Tempranillo but with the other wines also. We tried a 2009 Rioja Crianza (1 year in oak) at $20 and a 2009 Reserva (at least one year in oak and another year in oak or in the bottle) at $28. Incidentally there is a Gran Reserva with at least 2 years in oak and 3 years in bottle before release. The Priorat which is from the Catalonia region was a 2008 example at $30. These wines were very good and represent some of the best from Spain. All were very nice with no clear winner as I recall.
Lastly we tried 3 very different red wines – a 2013 Catena Malbec from Argentina ($15), a 2010 Napa Watermark Cabernet Sauvignon of great quality, and a 2013 Unti Zinfandel from California (~$30). The most impressive was the Watermark with ~2/3 of the group preferring that wine. Unfortunately this is not available for purchase locally.
Photo 1: Maria & Jim Fitzpatrick; Photo 2: Mary Janet & Karl Wellensiek; Photo 3: Jennifer & Bob Winding
All in all, a very impressive tasting, with some very clear winners, and some of these at reasonable cost.
Pictured here from left: Ginny Yuska, Mike Wilson & Patty Wilson