Holiday Wines, at William Cross Wine Merchant

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Holiday Wines, at William Cross Wine Merchant 1

For this week’s Wine and Cheese Friday, we will celebrate with Holiday Wines. This could encompass many types of wine but at William Cross Wine Merchant, http://wmcross.com/, they classified it as the questions most commonly asked during the Holidays. Mainly which wines are good crowd pleasers but also a good “party wine” and here in SF, one that would pair well with oysters or crab?

See the list of wines below:

2013 Domaine de L’Ecu Orthogneiss Muscadet Sevre & Maine
2012 Chappellet Chardonnay Napa Valley
2012 Copain Les Voisins Pinot Noir Anderson Valley
2011 Volver Single Vineyard Tempranillo La Mancha
2012 Textbook Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Quinta do Infantado Reserva Porto

The wine tasting began with the 2013 Domaine de L’Ecu Orthogneiss Muscadet Sevre & Maine, in order to accommodate the Seafood during the holidays tradition around town. This label carries different wines based on the soil where the vineyard is located, in this case, orthogneiss. I noticed melon aromas, a light crisp texture and juicy apples. The wine was a little sharp also, maybe due to the soil flavor? I enjoyed learning that Muscadet is the region where the grapes are grown, not the name of the grape. So much to experience!

The second wine of the evening, a 2012 Chappellet Chardonnay Napa Valley had fruit and butterscotch aromas, caramel flavors and a soft, smooth texture. I really enjoyed this wine so I picked up a bottle for a future Wine and Cheese Friday. It will be interesting to see how it changes when we pair some cheese with it.

The Pinot Noir was next, a 2012 Copain Les Voisins Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, CA. I have heard of this brand so I was excited to be able to taste it. The wine did smell like rich fruit and tasted like spice with a hint of vanilla. It was okay but didn’t have enough flavor for me.

The 2011 Volver Single Vineyard Tempranillo La Mancha, was dubbed the “party wine” due to it’s low acid and big fruit, but that wasn’t what I noticed. I picked up aromas of rocks and slate, which I usually find in Tempranillo, some light fruit and a definite dryness.

The next wine, a 2012 Textbook Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, is produced by a group that has a few labels but this one is from the famed Oakville winemaking area. The flavors I identified in the wine were cherry and spice, but not too dry, and a bit on the lighter side for a Cabernet. I wouldn’t pair it with cheese because it may be too light but it would probably go well with dinner or as a sipping wine.

Quinta do Infantado Reserva Porto finished out the tasting. This wine is a true port from Portugal made with organic grapes in the “ruby port” style. I smelled the fruit and spice aromas, and found the texture to be thick and sweet. Surprisingly there was only some alcohol taste despite the 19.5% alcohol.

Although some of the wines weren’t really for me, I would definitely head back to Wm Cross Wine Merchant for another Wednesday night tasting. There is such a sense of community there and Steven has so much to share about each of the wines. Not to mention that the store is on the way home from work so it’s pretty easy to get to.

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