After checking out of our fancy pants hotel and waiting for what felt like forever, for the car we were headed south to The Wine Country to prepare for our big tasting with the Beaune Imports winemakers. We got turned around once on the freeway, (freaking sleep deprivation retardation) and got stuck in some wretched traffic but we got to the store with what I thought would have been enough time to chill the wines and type up the tasting sheet…I thought.
So Michael Sullivan had sent a bunch of samples our way to support the tasting and I had planned on using those for the event…the problem was that all of the samples were brand spanking new vintages, stuff we didn’t have just yet…some were not even available yet. I spun it in my tiny brain that we would just focus on the winemakers and style of winemaking and not list the wines we were tasting. Now in theory this seemed like a good idea to me, we would pour the samples, save our stock, (of older vintage wines) and maybe make money on one of these tastings for once, but once I showed Randy what I had in mind the look on his face let me know that there was a flaw in my reasoning. Turns out in my effort to save the store money I forgot to think about the fact that people get kinda pissy when you pour them something then tell them they can’t buy it.
Randy was right of course, and we set about grabbing wines off the shelf, pulling wines out and putting wines in the fridge while Randy redid the tasting sheet. Randy saved my ass and anyone that felt a bit of a hiccup in the beginning of the tasting, my fault, my error in judgment….truly sorry about that.
Once things got rolling the tasting was a massive success. The winemakers loved the interaction with the customers and the good sized crowd that attended seemed to love the wines, the people that made them, the importer that makes the available to us and the store where they got to have such a rare experience. Every time I got near the tasting room I was descended upon, surrounded by grinning faces telling me this was the best tasting we had ever done. Humbling, truly humbling evening for me. I even had a blog reader, Jess from Colorado in attendance, just so happened she had a meeting in LA that week so she was able to go and even ended up being invited and joining another regular reader, Vicki, for dinner…how freaking cool is that?! Was very cool and I even got to introduce Jess to Michael Sullivan, told her to blame him for this mouthy-unafraid-to-speak-her-mind, mess who’s ramblings she reads. Pretty amazing to stand there, listen as these two very cool people said some down-right heart swelling things about yours truly….took all I had not to cover them both with thank you kisses.
My wines of the night were kind of all of them, I already love those wines but I think the ones that really knocked me on my ass were those from Domaine Chandon de Brialles. There was a purity to them that just grabbed me, a finesse and elegance…not unlike Claude, the winemaker…that stopped me in my tracks. Somehow she is able to coax this core of fantastically clean fruit that seems to sachet across your palate and leaves you with the flirtiest little smack on the finish….alluring, her wines were simply alluring. So if I HAD to pick, I would say I was the most intrigued by those but seriously, all the wines were pretty amazing.
Tasted NV Agrapart 7 Cru Blanc de Blancs NV Agrapart Rose Les Demoiselles NV Agrapart Cuvee Terroir 2008 Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Blanc 2008 Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Rouge 2006 Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc 2007 Mas de Daumas Gassac Rouge 2007 Chateau Sainte-Marie Bordeaux Superieur 2008 Chateau Sainte-Marie Entre-Deux-Mers 2006 Domaine Trevallon 2008 Domaine Mouscaillo Limoux Chardonnay 2007 Domaine Mouscaillo Pinot Noir 2007 Roland Schmitt Pinot Blanc 2008 Roland Schmitt Pinot Gris 2206 Roland Schmitt Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergbieten 2006 Chandon de Brialles Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Ile de Vergelesses Blanc 2005 Chandon de Brialles Volnay 1er Cru Les Caillerets 2006 Domaine de Montille Pommard 1er Cru Les Rugiens 2006 Domaine de Montille Volnay 1er Cru Les Taillepieds 2006 Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet Chassagne-Montrachet 2006 Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet Puligny-Montrachet 2006 Deux Montille Meursault Casse Tete
Twenty dollars, this was a twenty dollar tasting and on top of it Michael and the winemakers kept breaking into the boxes of samples and pulling out more things for people to try. Without a doubt one of the best tastings of the year. Did not go off without a hitch but it went and everyone ended up having a great time.
We did all go to dinner, Benley was amazing once again and watching French people with chopsticks was something I will never forget, oh and the magnums, the magnum of Dagueneau, Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet and Agrapart….the bottles of 1998 Trevallon, Failla Syrah, (Yes I dug a domestic Syrah…it was stunningly beautiful on the nose) Alliet Chinon and older vintage Vouvray…the wines were head spinning, the food was sick….sad part of the story, I was sick too. Ended up having to cut out early, I finished dinner and all, I’m no quitter, but the effects of the night before came slamming down on me like a ton of bricks. By the time I made it home three things were clearly apparent; I was going to lose the war with the chest cold I had been fighting since London, I was wrecked by two nights of too much and I was just a part of a really amazing, life changing for some, evening.
If anyone is interested in tasting notes let me know, I would be more than happy to post them but didn't want to muck up an otherwise not wine, wine blog with like tasting notes and junk.