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Taste Like a Sommelier Series--Oregon and Washington State Wines - Printable Version

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- wondersofwine - 05-29-2008 01:57 PM

At Zely and Ritz Restaurant in Raleigh on May 28th, led by Nancy Agasi.
We followed the usual format of the series by tasting three white grape varieties blind and trying to identify the variety followed by the first course, seeing how it paired with the three wines. Then we tasted three reds and tried to identify the variety, followed by second course. Then dessert--all for $50.

I was only about half correct in identifying the varieties. Of the three whites I thought the first was Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc (it was Pinot Gris), correctly identified the second as Riesling, and got the third as Chardonnay but thought it had some oak treatment when it didn't. With the reds, the second one was my only correct identification.

The first wine was 2007 Elk Cove Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon. It was pale and transparent without viscosity. I found apple on the nose and possibly pear. Others named kumquat and grapefruit. On the palate it was slightly chewy, refreshing with some acid. 13% alcohol

Wine #2 was 2006 Waterbrook Riesling, Columbia Valley, Washington. Transparent and leggy on the glass. I wasn't getting much nose from it but others were saying flowery. Mouth-filling, chewy, has some residual sugar and tasted to me like a late harvest (but wasn't.) This was my favorite wine of the night and at $14 a bottle, a real bargain. I ordered two bottles for later pickup.

Wine #3 was 2007 A-Z Chardonnay. (Washington State? I didn't see the bottle label on this one.) I picked up fig on the nose. Others named kumquat, pear and quince (quince sounded right to Nancy and to me once someone named it.) I thought I also smelled some oak since it had more aroma than I usually credit Chardonnay as having. However, the label apparently said no wood.
The lady next to me correctly judged it to be an non-oaked Chardonnay.

I like all three white wines. The Pinot Gris and the Chardonnay went best with the first course (a delicious oyster stew with kohlrabi, onions and local potatoes) (the restaurant has a tie-in with organic Coon Rock Farms.)

Will post in two parts as I need to get back to work.


- wondersofwine - 05-29-2008 06:06 PM

It's asking for my password which I may not remember correctly. This is a test posting before I put in several paragraphs perhaps in vain.

Yay! It worked!

[This message has been edited by wondersofwine (edited 05-29-2008).]