GETTING MY TASTING LEGS IN SHAPE: A LITTLE MORNING MEETING WITH ED CHALUPA AND CHUCK ANDREAE OF PRESTIGE WINE AND SPIRITS, AND AN INDOCTRINATION INTO THE FINE ART OF CONTROL BRANDS

2013-01-25 11.04.57 2013-01-25 11.05.06

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Yesterday, M. and I met up with old friend and regional manager for Prestige Wine & Spirits Group Ed Chalupa (yo quiero Taco Bell) and his boss Chuck Andreae for a look at an international selection of wines:

Lagosta Vinho Verde DOC NV.  Grade=Okay.  Mineral, lime and quince notes; a simplistic, clean-drinking white wine.

Cavi a Noitre Vinho Verde DOC NV.  Grade=Good.  More lemon and lime notes than the Lagosta, this drinks a little richer but still shows decent acidity.

Astoria Prosecco “Lounge” DOC NV.  Grade=Very Good.  Key lime mousse and notes of flint, acacia, thyme and starfruit.  It’s a nice, light-bodied sparkler with soft effervescence.

OKO Pinot Grigio Veneto 2011.  Grade=Okay.  Some light notes of lemon chiffon, key lime pie, acacia, peach skin and cucumber.  A bit sweet on the finish.

Astoria Pinot Grigio “Alisia” delle Venezie 2011.  Grade=Good.  Some white flower, mineral, quince and chayote notes, it’s a step up from the OKO, but still Pinot Grigio.

Bisquertt Family Vineyards Petirrojo Sauvignon Blanc Colchagua Valley 2011.  Grade=Okay.  Interesting SB with hints of sour lemon, mustard greens and mineral notes, leading into grapefruit, tomato vine, and dried herbs characters.  Very green on the end.

Bisquertt Family Vineyards Petirrojo Chardonnay Colchagua Valley 2012.  Grade=Good.  Lemon, tangerine and green apple characters, this is just a nice, clean-drinking Chardonnay, unencumbered by oak.

Bisquertt Family Vineyards Petirrojo Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley 2011.  Grade=Very Good.  Light-to-medium-bodied Cab with elements of dried herbs, Bing cherries, tobacco, cocoa and earth.

Gionelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC 2008.  Grade=Very Good.  Prunes, cherries, light brown spices and dried herbs are displayed in this grapey/plumy red.

ReLeaf Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot-Shiraz Western Cape 2010.  Grade=Very Good.  Dry tannins displaying spicy red fruits, tobacco leaf, licorice and plums.  Nice acidity makes this a great value.

OKO Malbec Mendoza 2011.  Grade=Outstanding.  Juicy plum and blackberry notes are buoyed with dark fruits, chocolate and spices.  Medium-bodied with supple tannins.

San Felipe Malbec Mendoza 2011.  Grade=Very Good.  Juicy plums and red fruits, some cedar smoke and anise undertones, this Malbec drinks more like a Cab.

Michel Picard Mercurey 1er Cru Voarick 2009.  Grade=Meh.  Cherries, cinnamon and white pepper mired in rose petals and garrigue notes – there seems to be a streak of scallions running through to the finish.  Pretty vegetal, a big disappointment.

Catedral Dao Reserva 2008.  Grade=Outstanding.  Black cherry pie, graham cracker, dried herbs, oak spices and violets; Zinfandel drinkers will dig this.

Magna Carta Alentejo Reserva 2009.  Grade=Outstanding.  Ripe, spicy red, blue and bramble fruits, cocoa, mint and a hint of graham cracker, this is pretty impressive.

Maura Basto Douro Reserva DOC 2009.  Grade=Amazing.  My favorite of the bunch; this full-bodied red will please those Ridge fans out there with its display of chocolate-covered blackberries, blueberry pie, spices and black pepper.

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