Portugal & Eastern Europe, WSET Lvl 3 Part 2 Week 3

Poor Austria, getting lumped in with Eastern Europe I bet they wouldn't like that too much lol. That being said the wines this week, well Tokaji Amazing, Acid! Yes More Please. But Oh Grüner Veltliner, when compared to Riesling; Was at a Loimer Tasting with Rieslings and Gruner, the Riesling wins better balance, more acid. Gruner is interesting but I think the lack of acid for me personally just doesnt win me over all the way, the wines are good that for sure.

Here are this Weeks Notes

WSET LEVEL 3 PART 2 WEEK 3 PORTUGAL + EASTERN EUROPE - Downtown Vancouver [AI School] (7/20/2010)
  • N.V. Borges Vinho Verde Gatão - Portugal, Minho, Vinho Verde
    Clear, Pale- Lemon Green, some Petillance

    A: Clean, Med- Intensity, Youthful
    Mineral, Green Apple, Citrus

    T: Dry, High+ Acid, low alc, med- body, med- finish, med intensity
    Frizzante, green apple, grapey

    Conc: Simple, Inexpensive, does its job (83 pts.)
  • 2007 Quinta do Crasto Douro Reserva Old Vines - Portugal, Douro
    Clear, Med+ Purple, showing prominent legs

    A: Clean, Pronounced Nose, Developing
    Oak[Vanilla/Coffee Grounds], Dark fruit, Meaty/Spice, Chcolate, Lots of Mineral

    T: Dry, Med+ Acid, Med+ Tannin, Full Body, Med+ Intensity, Long Finish, Med+ Alc
    Oak, Coffee, Dark Fruit [Cherry] Dark Chocolate

    Conc: Very Good, Needs time to develop, even just tasting it about 1.5hr later in Class it started to open and soften (89 pts.)
  • 2008 Erich Salomon/Undhof Grüner Veltliner - Austria, Niederösterreich, Kremstal
    Clear, Pale Lemon green, going to water rim, mod legs

    A: Clean, Med Intensity
    Mineral, Spicey Raddish, Citrus, Pear, Lime Zest, Savoury

    T: Dry, Med Acid, med+ alc, med+ body, med intensity, med finish
    'oily', lime, lots of pear juice like fruit cocktail

    Conc: the nose was better then the taste. Good Drink Now (86 pts.)
  • 2003 Chateau Dereszla Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos - Hungary, Hegyalja, Tokaji
    Clean, Med Lemon
    A: Clean, Med+ Intensity
    Marmalade, Botrytis notes of Spice, Lanolin, Dried Papaya, Dried Mango

    T: Sweet, High Acid, med- alc, full body, med+ intensity, long finish
    Marmalade, Luscious, Tropical, Citrusy Lemon Candy, Orange Crush

    Conc: Exceptional, crazy high acid (91 pts.)
  • 2007 Boutari Naoussa - Greece, Macedonia, Naoussa
    Clear, Med+ Garnet

    A: Med Intensity
    Savoury, Clean mineral, Cedar/Graphite, Sweet Spice

    T: Dry, med+ acid, high tannin, med body, med+ intensity, med finish
    Dark Chocolate (80% Cocoa), Cherry/Cranberry/Strawberry Mix

    Conc: Not to shabby (84 pts.)
  • N.V. Tsantali Retsína - Greece, Attica
    First time having Retsina was scared of all the horror stories

    Med Lemon Pee Yellow
    A: Pronounced nose
    Lemon, Pine Neddles, Pine-sol
    T: Dry, Low- Acid, Med- body, Med- Alc, Short Finish[A Good Thing], Med- Intensity
    Lemon, Rosemarry

    Conc: Overall not as bad as I was expecting on the palate the pine is not crazy overpowering but it is there (82 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker

THE 100-POINT RATING SCALE (Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate describes this in more detail.)
• Extraordinary (96-100 points)
• Outstanding (90-95)
• Very Good to Excellent (85-89)
• Good (80-84)
• Average (75-79)
• Below average (70-74)
• Avoid (50-70)

Spain, WSET Lvl 3 Part 2 Week 2

Off to Spain, and Yes I want to go there for Vacation, one because of the awesome canaadian dollar, and spain has been hurt a bit in the whole euro mess, with bad employment numbers so that should make it cheaper, but the most important reason is the wine! maybe the sun? Music? Gaudy artwork? ahh soo many reasons.

Well here are some from around the country, the Priorat was a disappointment I have had better even from the same vintage. The Jumilla is well I dont want to say this but Oaky Deliciousness, it is plain and simple not a food wine really a party wine yeah I mean it is 15% Alc.  but the R. Lopez de Heredia is amazing, Just so Elegant and Development just beautiful, to think that "modern" winemaking IE Oaky Fruit bombs took over the region such a shame.

WSET LEVEL 3 PART 2 WEEK 2 SPAIN - Downtown Vancouver [AI School] (7/13/2010)
Spain this week, no Bubbles, that will have its own week, same with Sherry
  • 2008 Martín Códax Albariño Rías Baixas Burgáns - Spain, Galicia, Rías Baixas
    Clear, Pale+ Lemon moving to a watery Rim, with moderate legs

    A: Clean, Med+ Intensity, Youthful
    Green Fruit[Apple], Opening to Peach, Floral, Citrus, Savoury/Mineral

    T: Dry, Med+ Acid, Med Body, med Alc, Med+ Intensity, Med+ Finish
    Lemon, Apple, 'Creamy Peaches', Floral, Kiwi

    Conclusion: Very good wine, mid priced, ready to drink can keep for a couple years (89 pts.)
  • 2008 Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Blanco - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
    Clear, Med Lemon, Going out to a pale watery rim, showing significant legs
    A: Clean, Med to Med+ Intensity, develping
    Mineral[very clean], savoury, light apple, little animal/lanolin, "floral" more dried tho

    T: Dry, Med Acid, Med+ Body, Med+ Alc, Med Intensity, Long Finish
    Apple/Pear, Citrus/lime, Mineral

    Conc: I enjoyed this a lot, teacher not as much drinking well now (88 pts.)
  • 2007 Miguel Torres Priorat Salmos - Spain, Catalunya, Priorat
    Clear, Med+ Ruby, Showing Signicant Legs [15% Alc]
    A: Clean, Med+ Intensity, develping
    Savoury/Mineral. Cherry[Dark], Spice [Sarsaparilla], Tar

    T: Dry, Med Acid, Med Tannin, Med to Full Body, Med Intensity, Med Finish, HIgh Alc
    Creamy Oak, Cherry[Dark], Spice

    Conc: Awkward finish, might do better with age potential is there but for tonight there were better that's for sure (86 pts.)
  • 2007 Bodegas Juan Gil Monastrell Jumilla (Silver Label) - Spain, Murcia, Jumilla
    Clear, Deep Ruby, Going to a Med Ruby Rim, showing med+ legs
    A: Clean, Med+ Intensity, Starting to develop
    Mineral, Oak/Sweet Vanilla, Blackberry, Cherry, Cinnamon Spice, Coffee/Mocha

    T: Dry, Med- Acid, Med Tannin, Full Body, High Alc, Med Intensity, Med+ Finish
    Cherry, Blackberry, Cola, COLA!, Spice[Sweetness], Woody/Tobacco, Plum

    Conc: This is the "the bottle of the night party wine" so big and massive and ripe and so darn delicious that it will win you over. (88 pts.)
  • 2006 Bodegas Alejandro Fernández Ribera del Duero Tinto Pesquera Crianza - Spain, Castilla y León, Ribera del Duero
    Clear, Deep Purple going to a med Ruby Rim, showing legs
    A: Clean, Med+ Intensity starting to develop
    Cedar, Twigs, BLackberry, Mineral, Grain/cereal, opening up in the glass with Cucumbers/watermelon

    T: Dry, Med+ Acid, Med+ Tannin, Med+ Body, Med+ Alc, Med Intensity, Med Finish
    Red fruit, Tart, Sour Cherry/Dusty Tannin, Cukes/Watermelon

    Conc: good wine, simple on the palate, nose shows promise (88 pts.)
  • 2001 R. López de Heredia Rioja Reserva Viña Tondonia - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
    Clear, Med Garnet moving to a wide rim

    A: Clean, Med+ Intensity, Developed
    Spice Box, Warm/Candy, Dried Sour Cherry, Savoury, Tar, Whole Wheat grain/toast, Licorice

    T: Dry, Med+ Acid, Med Tannin, Med Body, med Alc, Med+ Intensity, Long Finish
    Sour Cherry, Savoury/mineral, Licorice, Dried Flowers

    Conc: Absolutely Gorgeous, this is where its at

    Side Note: Teacher picked up a lot of oak notes not me tho (93 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker

THE 100-POINT RATING SCALE (Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate describes this in more detail.)
• Extraordinary (96-100 points)
• Outstanding (90-95)
• Very Good to Excellent (85-89)
• Good (80-84)
• Average (75-79)
• Below average (70-74)
• Avoid (50-70)

Germany, WSET Lvl 3 Part 2 Week 1

Oh Germany, Oh Rieslings, the one wine I was about to say I do not have in my cellar, then realized I bought a bottle from Trisaetum Vineyard in Oregon last week, but other then that nope none. I enjoy riesling but for me its a momemt thing, I like Auslese ripness myself as long as it has good acidity.

Tasting wines from Germany is what makes me go and this is why I like, and why I do not like them, on one side we have what gave it a bad name in the first place, uninteresting wines, high yield etc etc.  Then comes the Riesling and sometimes almost to much Residual Sugar, then the Dry Riesling which I think works better in Alsace or Austria then in Germany.

WSET LEVEL 3 PART 2 WEEK 1 GERMANY - Downtown Vancouver [AI School] (7/6/2010)
  • 2009 St. Ursula Niersteiner Gutes Domtal Kabinett 'Golden Oktober' - Germany, Rheinhessen
    Clear, Pale Lemon/Bronze
    A: Clean, Med Intensity, Youthful
    Green Fruit/Apples, Mineral/Savoury, Hazelnut Shells/Skin

    T: med dry sweet, low+ acid, low alc, med body, med intensity, med finish. Apples [Juice/Red/Ripe/Mushy], Hazelnut Skins again

    Conc: Acceptable, Drink Now, Mushy No Balance (79 pts.)
  • 2007 Selbach-Oster Weissburgunder - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Clear, Pale Gold, going to a watery rim
    A: Clean, Med Intensity, youthful
    Mineral, Citrus, Tropical/Mango

    T: Dry, Med Acid, Med+ alc, med- body, med intensity, med+ finish
    Chinese Dessert Style Creamy Mango Puddy [milk]

    Conc: Good, Enjoyable drink now, (83 pts.)
  • 2007 Bischöfliche Weingüter Trier Ayler Kupp Riesling Spätlese - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Clear, Med- Lemon/Green, mod legs evident

    A: Clean, Med Intensity, Develping
    Petrol, Citrus/Lime, Green Apples

    T: Med Sweet, Med+ acid, low+ alc, med- body, med intensity, long finish. Tropical/Mango, Green Apple/Lime that old juice drink, peach/petrol/papaya

    Conc: Very Good, Ready to drink but can develop further with age 2-5 easily (90 pts.)
  • 2007 Domdechant Werner Hochheimer Domdechaney Riesling Spätlese - Germany, Rheingau
    Clear, Med Lemon, going to a watery rim

    A: Clean, Med Intensity, youthful
    A Sprite play, syrupy lemon/lime, mineral

    T: med- sweet, high acid, med alc, med+ body, med intensity, med+ length. Lime, Ripe Green Apples, Richness/Peach

    Conc: Very good, ready to drink can develop further, good balance of fruit/acid/sweetness (89 pts.)
  • 2008 Schloss Reinhartshausen Riesling trocken - Germany, Rheingau
    Clear, Pale Lemon showing significante legs

    A: Clean, Med+ Intensity, Developing
    Citrus[almost powdery vitamin/redbull], mineral, lanolin qual.

    T: Dry, Med+ Alc, Med Alc, Med- body, med intensity, med+ finish. Citrus, Lemon Juice Fresh Squeezed, not as harsh tho. Green Apple Finish/Chalky

    Conc: Acceptable, I did not enjoy this others did in the class, found it a touch out of balance. Drink now IMO (81 pts.)
  • 2008 Black Tower Dornfelder Pinot Noir - Germany, Pfalz
    Clear, Med- Ruby, to a med pale ruby rim

    A: Clean, Med Intensity, Developing
    Vanilla/oak, stewed cherry, mineral, meaty, spice

    T: Dry, Med Acid, Low Tannin, Med Alc, Med Intensity, Med- Body, Cherry/Rhubarb stewed

    Conc: on the nose reminds me of a Valpolicella. Good Drink Now for sure (85 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker

THE 100-POINT RATING SCALE (Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate describes this in more detail.)
• Extraordinary (96-100 points)
• Outstanding (90-95)
• Very Good to Excellent (85-89)
• Good (80-84)
• Average (75-79)
• Below average (70-74)
• Avoid (50-70)

Idea for Upcoming Dinner

Format Informal [Free For All].  My brother is a finishing carpenter aka makes finished products, kitchens, table, you know the fancy stuff that you can see.  Well he has a "collection" of wood. I asked him for some wood for smoking, he says you want Bubinga Wood. I said yes, even before knowing how it would turn out, I mean one its a hard wood so thats good, but since I showed my brother smoking with a BBQ on the island last year he has tried it with salmon and bubinga his quote "yes it tastes awesome with salmon its a real sweet smelling wood." Done! with fatty spring salmon it should hold the smoke nicely too

Cherry/Turnip Compote [Bay Leaf, Anise, Vinegar, Soy sauce]
Curry Stew [Garlic, Tomatoes, Zucc]
Spring Salmon
Lightly Smoked [Bubinga Wood] while being slowly Grilled/BBQ
Green Salad
Lemon/Tarragon Vingrette, Beets, Ash Goat Cheese
mixed veg [No Idea Yet ]
S/V Potato Salad, Yogurt, Mustard Seed Vinegrette, Chives, Dill, Shallots
Sausage?, Mushrooms, Fresh Herbs
Almond [Mocha Cake?]

Cayuse Vineyard Visit/Tour

June 29th, the day we visited Cayuse Vineyards for a tour.

We, being a group of Canadians plus one American on a Bio Dynamic Workshop setup by John of Marquis Wine Cellars and Brad Cooper who works for Township 7 and has his own label now Black Cloud, a Pinot Noir label. Philippe Armenier led the workshop which started a day before at Hedges Vineyard, but that is a post for another day.

The first thing that stands out is the Terrior,"galets roules", and here is a direct quote from the website "Experts on the terroir of Cayuse vineyards describe vine roots snaking through an accumulation of cobblestones of varying sizes, a layer hundreds of feet thick in places. This soil, called “Freewater very cobbly loam,” sits atop 10,000 feet or more of pure basalt"  And the wines, they do show power, and with the wine making skill finese. I remember scoffing at the Grenache based wine that he made, thinking Grenache in Walla Walla, then you enter Walla Walla its like the Okanagan but warmer less water to cool it, and then his vineyard with the stones of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, then you taste the wine, God Only Knows, and you connect it instantly.

I will talk a about Biodynamic farming methods later from what I gathered from the trip, but to answer one question, my mom asked me when I came back, did the wines taste different.  I sat there for a bit thinking on it, did they taste different? Well they were amazingly good, was it Biodynmaic or the care to detail in everything, the use of no pesticides, the low yields? Also what about his Terrior its unreal maybe the explains it but for me Biodynmaic must be working, I mean if the Christophe notices the difference in the health of his vines then yes it is working!

Without further ado here are some vineyard pictures and tasting notes

CAYUSE VINEYARDS, BIODYNMAIC WORKSHOP - Cayuse Vineyards, Walla Walla (6/29/2010)
This was the 2nd Day of the work shop with Philippe Armenier, we visited Christophe at Cayuse for a tour, tasting and lunch. Must say the wines were amazing defintly worth the wait list. No Accident why it sells out, just good juice
  • 2007 Cayuse Grenache God Only Knows - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
    C: Med Intensity
    A: Med+ Intensity
    Fruit Ripe, Red Fruit [Twizzler]

    T: Dry, Med Acid, Med- Tannin, Red Fruit, Spice, Creamy Texture

    Fantastic Wine I think of the 6 this was my Favourite.
    As Christophe said this is as close as he is going to get to making a Pinot (93 pts.)
  • 2008 Cayuse Syrah Cailloux Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
    Had the 07 for Dinner the night before this was even better!

    A: Med+ Intensity
    Meat, Spice, Fat
    T: Sweet Tannins, still young and tight but oh so good

    Would love to see this in a couple of years at least! (92 pts.)
  • 2008 Cayuse Tempranillo Impulsivo En Chamberlin Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
    C: Opaque Purple/Ruby/Black

    A: Dark Blackberry, had been open for 24hrs
    T: Opened nicely have "awesome" down for notes. A Very Dark Wine, Dense still a baby (91 pts.)
  • 2008 Cayuse Flying Pig - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
    2nd Fav wine of the Day

    Spice, Meat, Fat, Good Cab Franc Qualities, Stems/Graphite. Red fruit on the palate. Gorgeous Texture (92 pts.)
  • 2008 Cayuse Syrah Bionic Frog - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
    Med Intensity
    Clean Precise, Pure Beautiful Fruit

    Still a baby but the Focus and Purity on this is amazing (92 pts.)
  • 2008 Cayuse Cabernet Sauvignon Widowmaker En Chamberlin Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
    my least fav of the 6 which isn't to say it was bad

    med+ ruby
    Good clean fruit, a nice sweet cassis, body was more med, and good acid. Did not dig this as much as the others but it still was good (90 pts.)
Biodynamic for the win
Posted from CellarTracker
THE 100-POINT RATING SCALE (Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate describes this in more detail.)
• Extraordinary (96-100 points)
• Outstanding (90-95)
• Very Good to Excellent (85-89)
• Good (80-84)
• Average (75-79)
• Below average (70-74)
• Avoid (50-70)

6days 2139km Later

Was on a 6 Day Wine Vacation, well it what I told the Canadian Border guard coming back and he didnt get me to pay the extra duty on the extra 3 bottles I brought back [only allowed 2 bottles, after that its about 117% Tax on the rest]

2136km [ 1327mi] in 6 Days
Vancouver > Seattle > Issaquah > Yakima > Kenniwick[aka TriCities] > Walla Walla > Portland > Mcminnville[Willamette Valley Wine Country] > Oregon Coast > Eugene > Home

BioDynamic workshop
wine dinner in Eugene
now on to transcribing all my notes, and going through over 700 pictures argh so many