I have been to wine tastings where the room was so large you needed a Segway to get from one end to the other and its hard to hear questions. One might “hear” “do resuperitdatur og wiggly cadaver on toast?” However foggy the question, the authoritative speaker replies loud and clear to your ear, “Yes, absolutely. Remember that point.”
Huh? I rarely hear the question so how am I to integrate the answer.
Fortunately, that’s not the case at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek’s Wine Chat. The cozy but carefully structured wine tasting is is held every Thursday evening from 6:15pm until 7pm in the cozy Mansion bar and led by Mansion Wine and Beverage Director Michael Flynn.
Flynn has been nominated for The James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Wine Service Award three times and, at his previous gig at Kinkaid’s in Washington D.C., was described as the “Washington D.C.’s best known, best loved sommelier” by The Washingtonian. Last Thursday, there were several wine beginners in attendance and they all enjoyed tasting four wines from southern Rhone.
Jump for the juicy bits.
These wines all use very little oak. Partly as a result of this, they are at their best paired with food, rather than tasted on their own, as we did. They would go well with chicken or oily fish (salmon, halibut, etc.) or scallops.
For the detail-inclined, we tasted:
2006 Copain, Roussanne, James Berry Vineyard, Paso Robles, CA
Winemaker Wells Guthrie used to work in the famed Oakville Grocery store and started making wine without having had any formal training. The results show the power of listening and persistence as he has turned out a Roussanne that has a superb fruit-acid balance.
2006 Tablas Creek, Espirit de Beaucastel Blanc, Estate Grown, Paso Robles, CA.
This winery is owned by a famous southern Rhone winemaking family who established it in order to produce Rhone varieties in California. Michael alluded to how similar this wine is to a white Châteauneuf-du-Pape. At first, I could not see a lot in common as it has a noticable sweetness and, initially, no nose to speak of. However, the next wine provided us a chance to taste a Châteauneuf-du-Pape blanc and, since we were allowed to keep our glasses, taste back and forth. The minerality of the two is very close.
2005 Chapoutier “La Bernardine” Blanc, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France.
Green veg. nose may not be to everyone’s taste. Heavy viscosity detectable in the mouth and complex fruit flavors. My favorite of the tasting.
2006 Vieux Telegraph Blanc, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France.
Closed nose. Flinty flavors.
The Mansion’s Wine Chats are $25 and reservations are not required.