I usually refrain from just going to any old wine tasting, because I am afraid of only sampling mediocre wines, not that I am so worldly, but I think that most wine tastings are designed for people new to wines and then they can get an overview of some different wines. It appears now that perhaps D.vine fine wines is a step beyond the novices. The first two wines that I tried were in the mid-range of prices that one would expect (sorry Two Buck Chuck). I also heard that they had a couple special evenings of wine tastings that were already sold out, so they must be doing a good job.
The third wine that we tasted that evening was a new varietal and a new DOC for me from Italy, and Century Club potential members take note. The Tenuta Olim Bauda “Isolavilla” Grignolino D’Asti 2015 was unique. Grignolino is one of the oldest varietals native to the Piedmont, and even the name comes from Piedmontese dialect for Grignole which means many seeds or pips. This varietal is so well known there, that it was given its own DOC and is one of the sub regions of Asti. This particular winery uses their sixty-five-year-old vines to make this wine which is aged on the lees for its unique tannins. As you are well aware, I tend to avoid descriptors, but this wine was unknown to me, so I will mention that I tasted some cherry and some pepper, and I think a light chilling of this wine would enhance it even more. I hope that you can discern the color of this wine, as it was a pretty red and on their website, they say “Grignolino is the reddest white wine and the whitest red.”
The fourth wine that was poured, looking at the label, would be a wine that I might have passed on, because it was in the thirty-dollar range with a California AVA and just said Red, not a combination that would ring my bell. The Paring Red 2012 was this wine. The winery is in Beullton, California and is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Those wines almost complete was is affectionately known as the Bordeaux Blend or in the States, if you belong to the society, you may call it a Meritage. Some of the most famous wines in Napa Valley do not use the term Meritage, because they feel that they were doing their own thing way before the society and their marketers drummed up a name. A lot of the wineries just use the term “red” or “red blend” or a similar wording. I guess from the price of the wine, one could presume something better than mediocre and this wine was not mediocre. This wine was aged for twenty-two months in French Oak, of which fifty-five percent was new; so, it is not a hastily made wine. The wine had a nice balance and was unfiltered and unfined and I think that it could even use some cellaring time. So, it just goes to show you that one can’t pass judgement just on the label.
I love that you wrote about Grignolino! It’s one of my favorite recent discoveries. And you’re right, a slight chill does bring out its charms.
Lauren, it is always fun to try something off of the beaten path. Though I have to admit that I am more open minded about wine than about food. LOL – John