Vinexpo in Chicago! I tried wines from all over France, Spain, Portugal, and Germany. I regret not trying some wine from Algeria, Hungary, and Israel.
Speaking with the producer of Colombelle and seeing that the Colombelle will be available in a box (!) next year. You can keep the wine open for almost two months! There is no air in there so it stays good. I saw a lot of box wines, so I think these are going to start becoming respectable now that the wine in the box is decent.
All of the people from Gascogny: Tariquet and Producteurs Plaimont (the Colombelle people). I love those delicious, easy drinking white wines. The people were a pleasure to talk to and very friendly. I will proudly drink and promote their wines.
I had a wonderful tasting from (this is a mouthful):
Weingut Carl August Immich-Batterieberg
Carl poured the wines and they were incredible:
2003 Rothschiefer (“Red Slate”) Riesling Trocken
2003 Blauschiefer (“Blue Slate”) Riesling
2003 Batterieberg Riesling Trocken
2003 Kabinett Riesling
2003 Batterieberg Riesling Spatlese
2003 Batterieberg Rielsing Auslese
All were impressive, but the last (a half-bottle) was an incredible sweet dessert wine.
MOST MOUTH-SEARING TANNINS
They came from a grape called tannat from Gascogny. The Colombelle person warned me about it, but I still couldn’t believe it. She said it would be good with something like duck confit, food w/ a lot of fat. The fat would soften the tannins and the tannins would cut through the fat. She said it was a rustic, traditional wine and I’m glad I tried it.
MOST EXPENSIVE WINE (NON-WHITE BURGUNDY)
2000 E. Guigal Chateau d’Ampuis Cote Rotie
E. Guigal is pretty much the name in Cote-Rotie. This wine comes from 6 hillside vineyards: 3 on the Cote Blonde, 3 on the Cote Brune.
I think the rep said it would be about 100 bucks.
At 2:30 there was a Burgundy tasting that you had to preregister for. I got there right when it opened with one strategy: drink all the premier and grand cru white Burgundy that I could. It got crazy packed, so I’m glad I had this strategy. I drank some unbelievable wines, with incredible richness, complexity, elegance, and a finish that lingered. Here are a few:
1999 Miche Picard Chassagne-Montrachet “Devant le Chateau”
2000 Louis Jadot Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
2001 Domaine Michelot Puligny-Montrachet
And a trio of Mersault form Michelot:
2002 Mersault “Clos Saint Felix” Monopole
2001 Mersault Narvaux
2001 Mersault Genervrieres Premier Cru
It was truly a pleasure.
Delicious white wines from the Rueda in Spain. I had a Verdejo (Cuatro Rayas), a Sauv Blanc (Azumbre), and a Palacio de Vivero (blend of Verdejo and Viura). They were great, really distinctive and refreshing. I also must note the stunning Spanish woman pouring the wines, which had nothing to do with my positive review of the wines.
MOST UNIQUE WINE
An apple ice wine, made from apples instead of grapes. I spoke with the guy who makes it and he said it was too cold to grow grapes, so he used apples. It takes 15 pounds of apples to make one bottle. It was incredibly sweet and delicious.
GREAT AUSTRIAN DESSERT WINES
I was at a so-so Austrian wine tasting, but at the end I has two incredible dessert wines:
Hafner Weine House of Hafner Ice Wine Pinot Noir Rose Neusiedlersee
Nittnaus Trockenbeerenauslese Premium (CH, WB) Neusiedlersee
Neusiedlersee is an area right by a lake, so it gets the right humidity and mist to make great sweet dessert wines.