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Ok, a break from the Peru trip.  This edition of GINI Wine Taste actually happened back in October the 21st.  I “need” to blog this now because we will be having another wine taste this weekend.  My memory is a little hazy on this October wine taste; I was super busy both at work and outside of work in October.  Needless to say, I don’t remember much from the wine we tasted.

This time around we had the lowest turnout; only 7 of us to taste 4 bottles.  Of the 4 bottles, 3 are from the same region, southern Rhône’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and one from Australia.  They were made from similar grape, but the Australian one should be noticeablely different.

Speaking of grapes, that’s where GSM comes in.  Of course it’s different from the GSM in wireless sense that we all know.  G being Grenache, S being Syrah, M being Mourvèdre.  We all know Syrah (or Shiraz), but not so much about the other two.

So what about Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape?  I think I have tried Châteauneuf-du-Pape once, but I don’t remember.  From some website I read, Robert Parker, the well-known wine crtic, said “I probably drink more Southern Rhônes than any other kind of wines because it fits in with our cooking. These are wines that are not oaked. You can drink them young and I appreciate the purity of their fruit. I love grenache.”

From GINI Wine Tas…

Very well, so I guess I’ll try more Southern Rhônes in the future.  There is a little more information on Châteauneuf-du-Pape from LCBO’s Vintage:

For Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 13 is a lucky number. Under its Appellation Contrôlée (AC) rules, up to 13 grape varieties are permitted in its red wine. When the region was officially demarcated in 1935 (incidentially, France’s first AC), the long-established vineyards were chock-a-block with 13 different grape varieties. Rather than insisting that some varieties be uprooted, 10 of the varieties were sanctioned, with a further three added in 1936.

The lucky 13 are Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Counoise, Cinsault, Vaccarèse, Terret Noir, Muscardin, Picpoul, Clairette, Picardan, Bourboulenc and Roussanne. The last five are actually white grapes – the rarer white wines only use these. Today, few wineries actually use all 13 grapes; producers unique combinations of grapes to create wines that reflect their personal style. The only grape that all producers agree upon is Grenache. Winemakers and critics alike believe that Grenache achieves its finest expression in the vineyards of Châteauneuf. Here it can produce not just the sweet fruit for which it is known, but also the concentration that is difficult to achieve in most places in the world. After Grenache, it is Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Syrah that are the most prominent, adding a complex formula of fruit, acid, tannin. The other nine grapes are used as we would use salt and pepper in a favourite dish: as seasoning.

 Here are the three bottles from that area, and one Australian wine we tried:

Domaine de Fontavin 2001
Price: $33
Web Site: http://www.fontavin.com/chateauneuf-du-pape_red_wine.htm

From GINI Wine Tas…

Perrin & Fils Les Sinards 2001
Price: $30
The Perrin Family Weblog: http://www.perrin-et-fils.com/beaucastel/

From GINI Wine Tas…

Domaine de la Solitude 2001
Price: $37
Web Site: http://www.domaine-solitude.com/english/tradition_rouge_2000.html

Wine spectator 93 “Impressive. A sophisticated red, with a modern accent, showing vanilla, mocha, chocolate and smoke, all of which complement nicely the ripe and sweet fruit. Full-bodied, clean and racy. Harmonious finish. Drink now through 2015”

From GINI Wine Tas…

Grant Burge – The Holy Trinity 1999
Price: $35
Web Site: http://www.grantburgewines.com.au/thewines/?wine=24

Wine spectator 91 “Vivid, crisp and juicy, a mouthful of jazzy blackberry, plum, anise and leather aromas and flavors that unfold gracefully and persist into a long finish. Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2008”

From GINI Wine Tas…

The GINI GSM Index

We ranked the bottles 1 to 4, add up the numbers, whichever one has the lowest score is the best.  Here is the list of participants: Aaron, Alex, Andrew, Anson, Kelvin, Kwong C, Vincent W

Bottle #

Vineyard

Region

Pts

Group Rank

My Rank

1

Perrin & Fils Les Sinards 2001

Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône, France

22

4

2

2

Grant Burge – The Holy Trinity 1999

Barossa Valley, Australia

17

2

4

3

Domaine de Fontavin 2001

Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône, France

14

1

1

4

Domaine de la Solitude 2001

Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône, France

17

3

3

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