Tasting Tuesday at Specs Brodie Lane

Another fun time was had by all at Specs’ Tasting Tuesday at the Brodie Lane store this last Tuesday. This time I attended with a friend, which increased my enjoyment enormously — what is it about being alone in a crowd that makes you feel, well, alone in a crowd?

To remind you of what this scene is about: Specs holds this Tasting Tuesday event on the second Tuesday of every month at their Brodie Lane & William Cannon store.  For $10 you get a Reidel tasting glass and you get one ounce pours of 20 different wines that Specs has priced on sale that night only.  The event runs from 5:30 to 8, if I recall correctly.

This month they had some of the same (mostly local) food vendors providing samples, but the Specs deli was also passing hors d’ourves, like duck liver pate on crackers, sushi rolls with krab and wasabi cream sauce, grilled pork tenderloin with lovely apricot goo on french rounds, herbed goat cheese, and chopped duck & raspberry something on crackers. Tasty comestibles; I must say that I’ve purchased food at the deli before and I was very satisfied.

After re-reading my post about last month’s TastyTues, I decided that minimal tasting notes about 20 wines is boring, so I only wrote notes about the few that I was really impressed with:

Blanck Gewurz label

Domaine Paul Blanck Gewurztraminer 2005: Classic gewurtz nose of peach, nectarine, honey and roses. Great heavy texture on the tongue, with a fireball of fruity explosion that is stopped clean by hot rocks minerality and an acidity that sneaks in at the end. Not as strict and austere as other Alsatian wines I’ve had; this wine has some beautiful, generous flesh on its lovely bones. Perfect Thanksgiving wine for me and anyone else you love. Reg. $19.81, sale $17.49

Winemaker Frederick Blanck farms his family’s vineyards with no chemicals and eco-friendly techniques. The family has been making wine in the Alsace since the 19th century. Love this quote from Frederick Blanck that I read at The Wine News: “I don’t understand why someone would pay $30 or $40 for a Chardonnay when you can get grand cru Riesling for $25.”

Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2006: Yes, another New Zealand SB! And there was much rejoicing about the apricot, peach and cat’s pee medley of smells (trust me, it’s a good thing). The palate was crystal clear gooseberry – textbook – this is a powerhouse of a wine, evolving into a refreshing, perfect white grapefruit finish that simply does go on…. Gorgeous. Rg. $18.02, sale $16.41

This is a Marlborough winery, about 12 years old. They make lots more whites and a Pinot Noir, which is also available at Specs. They grow some fruit on 40 acres, and they buy from about 30 different contract growers. Simon Waghorn is the winemaker. Terrence Hughes of Mondosapore really liked last year’s vintage of this wine.

Longview Shiraz/Viognier 2004:
I don’t think it’s legally permissable to ask for more from a wine than this gives. Huge menthol, mulberry and cherry notes are uplifted in a slingshot of floral highlights; the floral character is almost neon, it’s that bright. Serious black fruits and tar on the palate, with rich dark chocolate and sassy pepper. The tannin and acidity are beautifully balanced, and this is one hell of a wine. Reg. $21.56, sale $19.22

Mr. MacGillivrayLongview Vineyards is located in the Adelaide Hills. The owner of the winery, Duncan MacGillivray, was actually the first guy to make an alcoholic Ready To Drink lemonade beverage. You know, like Mike’s Hard Lemonade? Evidently, the first of its kind was Two Dogs Lemon Brew. Huge in the 90s. Who knew? MacGillivray was the first to plant grapes in Macclesfield, which had previously been grazing land, in 1995. More wineries have followed, and this area of the Adelaide Hills might just be one to watch!

9 Mile Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2004: Smashed blackberries and spearmint compote with a dusty undertone. Really stellar menthol character, just what I want from a Southern Australia Cabernet. Tannins were round and the flavors were of ripe plum and mocha. A pleasure to drink as well as sniff. Reg. $17.57, sale $15.51

Boy, it was hard to find more information on this wine! Winemaker is Greg Follett, who seems to make wine at half of the wineries in the Langhorne Creek appelation, include Oddfellows, Lake Breeze (his family’s winery), and Killibinbin. American Estates Wines imports this and other wines from Australia, New Zealand and Spain.

There seemed a lot more people in the store this month; who’s telling everyone about our private little tasting?  Well, do come next month if you haven’t been able to make it yet, but if you wish to avoid crowds, arrive early!

 

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