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February 2010

20/40 Charity Wine tasting at the Salt Exchange on Sunday March 21

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This is a big project I have been working on for months and I'm really excited that it's finally come together.  I have organized with four other small wine distributors (Davine, Easterly, SoPo, and Crush) to put on a large focused wine show.  These are some of the other small companies that are driving the explosion in diversity that the Maine wine market is currently undergoing, so having us all together at the same time is going to be an amazing opportunity to talk to us about what's going on in the wine world.  For this format each of us will bring four wines, all Spanish.  That gives us twenty unusual exciting wines: from ultra rare Priorats to rare Basque whites.  Ticket sales will be capped at 70 so that it won't be too crowded and you'll still be able to take your time tasting through everything.  The Salt Exchange will have small nibbles of food out and additional food for sale from the bar.  Tickets will be $40 and all our profits will be donated to the Compass Project: a local non-profit that uses boat building as a hands on skills based approach to build confidence and a sense of responsibility in at risk children.  Additionally 10% of the value of any wine ordered from the Old Port Wine Merchant next store will also be donated to the Compass Project.  Call the Salt Exchange at 207 347 5687 to make reservations

What: Wine Show of 20 Spanish wines; all proceeds going to the Compass Project.

Where: The Salt Exchange on Commercial. 207 347 5687

When: 3-6pm

Cost: $40


Domaine Ragot Givry 2006

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Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir

Background:  Givry is one of the best regarded appellations in the Chalonnaise: the part of Burgundy that's south of the famous Cote d'Or.  The Ragots have been making wine in the Chalonnaise since the middle 100's and at this point own about 8.5 ha.  They try to make the wine in the vineyard, treating the vines well and aggressively limiting the vines production.

Profile:  This Givry is a beautiful clear ruby color.  It's clear enough to easily use as a magnifying glass to read the book in front of me. The aroma of the wine is bright and floral; with aromas of violets, fresh raspberry and some spicy/earthy hints.  The aroma is classic burgundy: polished and inviting.  The wine took a little while to open up, but it's deliciously rich and polished at the same time.  It has a suppleness that I only equate with red Burgundies.  The fruit up front is ripe and mouth filling and has a slight flavor of coffee underneath spicing it up.  I love the texture of the wine.  It's smooth but finishes with these young mouth watering tannins.  I feel like I have one half a found epiphany here with me; the missing counterpart is duck confit.  Finding good red Burgundy is one of the hardest challenges in the wine world.  I think that this wine for approximately $24 is a good value for it's refinement, classic character, and complexity.


Atticus John Cabernet 2007

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Atticus John Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Varietal: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 2% Petite Verdot

Background: This wine is made from juice sourced from a vineyard that prefers not to reveal their true identity.  I'm seeing more of this with the recession.  There just isn't the market for $80 Cabernet that existed in the mid 2000's; so wineries are making wine under cheaper second labels to make some cash without diluting their brand. There are all kinds of rumors as to where this juice is sourced from.  I know it's in St Helena, Napa; everything else is conjecture though.  It is impressively dense ripe cab for the price.

Profile: The wine is a dark inky purple color in the glass; difficult to see anything through.  The aroma is like a dessert menu!  Chocolate, vanilla, licorice, currant, and some stewed black raspberry.  This totally smells like a wine made for a cold dark winter night.

As you would expect it's pretty substantial on the palate.  Plummy/blackcherry fruit starts, then builds into a big mouth filling mid palate with some hints of vanilla and chocolate.  It's got a long finish with tannins that make their presence felt but are still polished and play second fiddle to the dense brooding fruit.  Yeah, this is perfect if you want a big Cab with some texture and polish, to sit and contemplate or brood with on a long night.


10 wines for $10 tasting

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Tuesday of next week I'll be at Back St Bistro in Brunswick, pouring ten wines from my portfolio for only $10.  Plus, if you stick around for dinner after the tasting you'll get $10 off your entrĂ©e!  It's a good deal and a great excuse to get out on a Tuesday night.  The tasting will be from 5-7; feel free to stop by anytime.  If you do want to have dinner afterwards I'd recommend making reservations in advance as the restaurant can get pretty busy as the tasting ends.  Here's a list of the wines I'll have open:

Gustav Gruner Veltliner 2008

Cinquante Cinq Sauvignon Blanc 2007

Jelu Torrontes 2009

Vientos del Sur Viognier 2009

Le Colture Prosecco "Rose Brut" NV

Ermita San Felices Crianza Rioja 2006

Punta Pays Malbec 2008

Bong Bong Shiraz 2008

Chateau la Baume Costieres de Nimes 2007

Trappolini Cenereto Sangiovese IGT 2008

You may not recognize all of them or know what the varietals are, but that's kind of the point, right?  This is a great way to find some new wines you really like without having to spend the approximately $120 it would take to buy a bottle of each of these wines.  And of course with Valentines day coming I had to include the rose Prosecco!