Nevada Wine

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Syrah and other reds

Last night we discussed how to make white wines, from how and when to harvest to bottling. We blind tasted 7 wines last night, three of them Syrahs from different years, and 4 other reds we produce, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Meunier, Merlot, and Lemberger. This was one of our last tastings of Syrah as the grape has been fairly cold-sensitive in the winter and we have had very little production from this grape. This year we pulled out Syrah and replaced it with Tempranillo. While my personal favorite was the Cabernet Sauvignon, the overwhelming favorite of about half the tasters was our 2009 Lemberger! This grape is not only popular with our tasters but it is very productive and one of the most cold tolerant of our vinifera varieties. Its only problem is that it is fairly sensitive to powdery mildew and needs special attention with sulfur sprays. At the end of the tasting we made two blends from the wines, a Cabernet Sauvignon/Lemberger and a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend. Both were outstanding and both blends were better than their individual wines alone!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pinot Meunier Tasting

Last night we had about 20 people attending the class. We started off with an introduction to wine making. This will be part of a continuing series as we head into harvest and wine making season. We followed that with a description of Pinot Meunier (pronounced Pea-no Mooney-eh). Meunier means miller and is named because of the white flour-like dusty sheen caused by the fine white hairs on the leaves of this vine. Pinot Meunier is a red grape mutant of Pinot Noir. It is commonly used in small proportions in Champagne. We blind tasted 100% Pinot Meunier wines from 2005 and 2009 and mixed in a Pinot Noir from 2009. The drought-stressed 2009 Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir were the favorites. They were deep dark red wines with notes of Black Cherry aromas. As usual there was a diversity of opinion and almost every wine was a favorite of one or more persons.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cabernet Sauvignon Tastings

Yesterday Nevada Wine had another blind tasting. Four of the wines were Cabernet Sauvignon and the other two were mystery wines. The tasters had to distinguish which wines had oak and which wines were drought stressed or well watered.

This week, we had five newcomers. Erin Gearty and her friend, Jenny found about the Nevada wine tastings online after searching for yesterday's events.

"We have done some wine tasting in Napa, but we have never done it in Reno," Gearty said. "The wines are really good."

Bernie Fournier just started coming to the wine tastings also.

"My husband brought me," Fournier said. "I really enjoy learning about different wines."

Many of the tasters could pick out which wines had oak because oak masks the fruit aromas in the wine and for many people, this makes the wine taste better. Ron Savinski can also tell the difference between drought stressed wines and well watered wines.

"I can't pick out the fruits or year," Savinski said. "I guess I am not that good yet."

The two mystery wines were Lemberger. The well watered 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon with oak was the favorite wine of the evening because of the wine's aroma and berry flavor. The least favorite wine was the well watered 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon with no oak.

The Cabernet Sauvignons with OAK seemed to be a success this week!