Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wine Boyz - The Grenache Edition

I always look forward to our little Wine Boyz gatherings - where we round up a gang for the evening and we taste a series of wines on a double blind basis. Whoever plays host that night decides on the "flavour du jour" and everyone brings along a bottle, in a brown paper bag, to fit the theme. While tasting the wines, we neither know what the wine is, nor who brought it. We try the wines both with and without food and are ultimately cajoled into ranking them - top choice through least - before the night is out.

The revealing of who liked or disliked what wines is always a great part of the evening - especially when the overall favourites are revealed. We all just sit there praying that we brought one of the favoured drops.

I'm afraid, however, that this is going to have to be one of those "Colour Me Bad" posts. In the time since the actual tasting and my writing this, I've misplaced all my notes from the evening - including my preferences and the overall rankings. The best I can do now is add the wines to The List and let you know that Boo's and my wines, naturally, were among the favourites.


Skipper assumed the host's mantle and he decided that Grenache and Grenache blends (so long as the "G" figured prominently in the mix) was the chosen path. We'd tried a Grenache tasting years ago and it was one of the most popular evenings that we could remember. Skipper wanted to see if a different set of wines would be as popular with a different "gang of pour." We had some Wine Boyz virgins joining us and there was a fair bit of "what the heck is Grenache anyhow?" before the actual evening. The fact that you find it called Garnacha, almost as often as not, on local shelves wouldn't have helped. I 'm pretty sure they'll have a good chance of remembering what it is now.

There were no restrictions on where the wines could come from tonight - and, after the reveal, I was intrigued by the sources: four Spanish, two French and two Aussies. I truly regret that, for the moment, I can't even say whether there were any preferences by region - personal or overall.

1162. 2007 Conde Valdemar Garnacha (Rioja D.O.C. - Spain)

1163. 2010 Bodegas Artazu - Artazuri Garnacha (Navarra D.O. - Spain)

1164. 2008 Malondro Besllum (Montsant D.O. - Spain)
- 50 Garnacha 50 Cariñena

1165. 2007 Torres Gran Sangre de Toro (Catalunya D.O.C. - Spain)
-60 Garnacha 25 Cariñena 15 Syrah

In retrospect, it's interesting that there were twice as many Spanish wines as there were French or Aussie. Since I'm usually the one picking wine for dinner and outings, a big part of the fun for me is seeing what wines other people choose. It's not too often that I'm familiar with them.

1166. 2007 Domaine Vieux Lazaret - Châteauneuf-du-Pape (AOC Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France)
- Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre & Syrah

1167. 2010 Perrin Réserve Côtes du Rhône (AOC Côtes du Rhône - France)

I was glad to see that there was a Châteauneuf-du-Poof, as my sister refers to them when around us, brought to the table. It's just appropriate given the crowd.

1168. 2007 d'Arenberg The Custodian Grenache (McLaren Vale - Australia)

1169. 2010 Rosemount Grenache Shiraz (South Eastern Australia)
- 55 Grenanche 45 Shiraz

I'm kicking myself about the lost notes because Boo and I brought the d'Arenberg as one of our wines. It was one of the wineries that we visited when we visited McLaren Vale a couple months back. I'd love to know how it stacked up against the others - and what we thought of it when tasting it blind.

The fact that there's a picture of me with Elzee and the Conde Valdemar has me wondering if that was the favourite of the evening. That bottle also happens to be on the "end" of the bottle line-up (down below); so, there's always a chance that they'd been lined up in order of favourite to least for the shot. Or, that could have been just too organized and thought out - after polishing off the better part of eight bottles.

In any event, we obviously enjoyed Skipper's hospitality and the wines since the evening carried on for hours. Should I ever find the notes, while cleaning, I can always revise the post and give the rightful winner its due taste in the sun. I'll just have to be more organized when it comes to our next edition. Hopefully, that'll be sooner than later.

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