The Wine Talk Experience : Part 2

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1. Monte de Peceguina ‘Tinto’ – Alentejo, Portugal

2. De Bortoli ‘Family Selection’ Cabernet Merlot – South Australia

3. Finca Las Moras, ‘Pacha Mama’ Organic Malbec – Mendoza Argentina 2011

4. Monte de Peceguina ‘Rosé’ – Alentejo, Portugal

5. Arthur Metz Pinot Gris, Alsace, France

6. Monte de Peceguina ‘Branco’ – Alentejo, Portugal

There’s a lot to discover about wines and I’ll need more than a 2 hour presentation by Wine Talk’s Sommelier, David Stephan to even post a review about the 6 wines we experienced during David’s Wine Talk in a way which will make sense to wine connoisseurs. I will review the wines from a laywoman’s perspective so please excuse me if I am not using the appropriate wine terms to describe the flavours and textures.

With so many wines from all over the world, a Sommelier’s understanding of the wines has to be incredibly comprehensive and I was amazed at David’s extensive knowledge. He could tell us about which part of Portugal was suitable for which type of wines and the sugar content of the wine was different depending on whether it came from north or south of Portugal. My head was spinning a little bit (not from the consumption of the wines, I insist!) from the amount of information David was sharing with us. If I had even a little iota of knowledge about wines, perhaps I’d been better able to digest all the useful information but my head was reeling because everything was so new to me. Still, better late than never to learn more about wines! It’s never too late to learn more about anything, gaining knowledge is what makes our lives richer.

So let’s begin with the 6 bottles of wine (image above) which were in the very first Wine Talk case. In his notes accompanying the case, David explained that “this case contains mostly popular and friendly wines to get us started”. There are 2 white wines and 4 reds. As I have zero knowledge about the wines, I have to rely mainly on David’s notes on the 6 bottles selected. I don’t have a high alcohol tolerance so I asked David to pour me less than what he poured for the others and even then, it was a bit too much for me and since I had another event to attend after this presentation, I couldn’t appear the least bit intoxicated (although there are many occasions which have warranted drowning my sorrows in wine).

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1-6 same as image above

Monte de Peceguina ‘Tinto’ – Alentejo, Portugal RM85.90

35% Aragonês, 30% Alicante Bouschet, 15% Touriga Nacional, 10% Syrah, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon

Monte de Peceguina is a collection of wines from the Herdade de Malhadinha Nova estate, based in the Alentejo region in South Portugal. The owners of the estate are the Soares Family who built a Top-of-the-Art winery in 2003 after planting their 1st vines in 2000. Combining modern & traditional techniques in the winery, they focus mostly on local, traditional grapes, used to the extreme conditions (Alentejo is one of the hottest and driest regions in Europe) while maintaining a good level of freshness and acidity.

This wine has fruity aromas, with refreshing notes of berries, plums and red ripe fruits. Goes well with roasted beef, grilled lamb chops or a nice cheese platter. To me, this was the most fruity of the wines and I agree with David’s notes that it is full-bodied and yes I do know that “full-bodied” in relation to wines means rich and aroma/flavour intense.

De Bortoli ‘Family Selection’ Cabernet Merlot – South Australia RM60.60

50% Cabernet, 50% Merlot

Created in 1928 by Italian immigrants Vittorio and Giuseppina De Bortoli, the domain is now led by the 3rd generation of descendants. This is also a fruity wine with sweet fragrant aromas of blackberries with underlying mint and hints of milk chocolate oak. Pair it with grilled steaks and pepper sauce.

I found this wine too heavy for my taste. Perhaps if I truly knew how to appreciate wines, I wouldn’t have found it too heavy but I wasn’t the only one with this opinion as another lady guest also thought the same of this wine. I doubt I am using the right terminology but I found it the most dense of the 6 wines.

Finca Las Moras, ‘Pacha Mama’ Organic Malbec – Mendoza Argentina 2011 RM65

100% Malbec

Finca Las Moras is the pioneer winery in the production of high-end wines in San Juan since the vineyard conversion in 1993. The name originates from the blackberry bushes present in the estates located in the three main valleys of San Juan. The blackberries are called “moras” in Spanish. Malbec grapes come originally from the Bordeaux region and were imported to Argentina in the mid-19th century. Malbec is now a secondary grape in Bordeaux but has thrived in Argentina to become the national iconic red grape variety. The Pacha Mama series comes from organically grown grapes, which means that they have never come in contact with herbicides or pesticides. A good match with grilled steaks, duck breast or rich meat stews.

For me, this was a much more palatable wine than De Bortoli ‘Family Selection’ Cabernet Merlot from South Australia. It didn’t have as fruity an aroma/taste as Monte de Peceguina ‘Tinto’ – Alentejo, Portugal though.

Monte de Peceguina ‘Rosé’ – Alentejo, Portugal RM76.30

Touriga Nacional, Aragonês, Tinta Miuda

From the same estate as Monte de Peceguina ‘Tinto’ – Alentejo, Portugal. The Rose cuvée is a blend of popular, local varieties with red fruit aromas. Has a beautiful rose colour and is the least opaque of the red wines featured here. Best matched with a BBQ selection, light meat dishes.

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Selection of meats to accompany the wines

Arthur Metz Pinot Gris, Alsace, France RM74.30

100% Pinot Gris

Maison Arthur Metz has been based since 1904 in the Village of Marlenheim, in the northern entrance of the famous ‘Route Des Vins’, which follow the Alsace wine regions from North to South. Since its creation, they have been one pf the major promoters of the wines from this majestic region across the world. Alsace, situated in the North-East side of France, across the border from Germany, produces mainly white wines due to the cooler climate, less sun exposure but also very dry conditions.

Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are exactly the same grapes but present different characteristics. Pinot Grigio are picked up earlier and offer crisp, light and fresh wines. Pinot Gris on the other hand is left to mature longer on the vines and displays richer, fruitier and more concentrated flavours. This wine displays classic peach and apricot flavours with a touch of honey and minerality. Enjoy it with dishes in cream sauce, either fish or white meats or try it with slightly spicy dishes.

Of the 6 wines we experienced, this was by far my favourite and the 2 lady guests I spoke to after the presentation also declared that it was their favourite. I never thought I would wax lyrical or enthuse over a wine but this one was so good I drank every drop, seriously. It was smooth, not so dry and tasted just as good when it was warm as when it was chilled. My goodness, if it wasn’t for the fact that I felt so bad about not being able to finish the rest of the wines in my glasses, I’d have asked for seconds. If ever I have occasion to drown my sorrows, this would be my “vin du jour“. Ahahaha!!

Monte de Peceguina ‘Branco’ – Alentejo, Portugal RM76.30

From the same estate as Monte de Peceguina ‘Tinto’ and Monte de Peceguina ‘Rosé’. This white wine is a classic blend of local varieties and has citrus, peach, apricot and floral notes. Enjoy it with roasted prawns, rich fishes or grilled white meats.

This self-confessed Wine Philistine preferred the other white wine. However, I am sure someone who likes great acidity in their wines would find this one very palatable.

Well I hope you have enjoyed this wine journey with me as much as I enjoyed gaining some knowledge from David Stephan who is like the walking wikipedia of all things related to wine. For more information on Wine Talk, do check out their website. Excusez-moi again for not being able to review this as a true wine connoisseur would have.

 

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