The rosé tasting that we did in May happened to fall on Mother’s Day, so of course I needed to a Father’s Day tasting to not discriminate against the dads, and what better theme than Great Wines for Grilling?!? (plus, we’re always looking for excuses to open up some fun bottles.) All red of course, this being a manly kind of a tasting.
First wine was 2005 Domaine des Rouet Chinon, a lovely lighter Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley. I picked this wine because not everything on the grill is a big hunk of red meat, and the Chinon is light enough to work well with pork, chicken or grilled veggies. Plus it’s low in alcohol (12.5%) and great with a bit of a chill on it, so perfect for a hot summer day. The wine showed well, with classic graphite / violet / raspberry flavors and nice acidity. A good way to start.
Next was Laurel Glen’s 2006 “Reds”, a Zin / Carignane / Petite Sirah blend from Lodi California. Full-bodied and chewy, with a lot of structure and dark brambly fruit. A lot of wine for under $10.
Jip Jip Rocks Shiraz / Cabernet from Australia’s Limestone Coast region (a bit south of Barossa Valley in South Australia; slightly cooler due to its proximity to the coast) was up third. I picked this wine because it tastes like it’s got a touch of residual sugar in it – that slight sweetness gives it a really lush mouthfeel and I think would pick up well on the sweetness found in most barbecue sauces. Very tasty wine, with lots of dark berry fruit, a hint of chocolate, nice tannins from the Cabernet, and a long smooth finish.
Going in a totally different direction, the Novy Cellars 2006 Sonoma County Syrah was smoky, spicy, and meaty, very much like a Northern Rhone but with more fruit. Loads of black pepper, and the smokiness makes it an ideal match for the grill. Joan, a customer and friend who was at the tasting, bought a burger from Rupena’s to have with the different wines, and this Syrah was the perfect pairing for her.
Saving the best for last, I opened up the 2005 Mas d’en Compte Priorat. We’ve had this wine at tastings before but I absolutely love it and thought it’d be a nice father’s day treat. Still a very young wine, so I ran it through the Vinturi aerator and decanted it for a couple of hours before the tasting. A blend of 50% old-vine Grenache, 40% old-vine Carignane, and 10% Cabernet, this wine is stunning – layers and layers of flavors, with incredible complexity and depth. Smooth yet structured, with an incredible finish. Everyone loved it; a great way to end.