Last Friday I hosted a blind tasting at pH Wine Merchant. I chose three old world red wines all under $100. I picked the 2011 Claud Dugat Bourgogne Rouge, the 2013 Le Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf du Pape, and the 2010 Foradori Granato. The bottles were passed among experienced palates and wine aficionados; and each wine was tasting great.
Everyone was able to guess that the first wine was from Burgundy, but most of them thought this bottle was village level and from a different vintage. The 2011 Dugat Bourgogne Rouge was juicy and full of ripe, red fruit – very unlike the 2011 vintage. Although 2011 was not the best year for Burgundy, when you have an amazing producer like Claud Dugat on the label you can trust that the wine will be exceed your expectations.
The second wine was slightly tricky in that the Le Vieux Donjon CDP seemed to have a heavier presence of Syrah than your average CDP or Southern Rhone. Most Southern Rhone wines are made with a majority of Grenache, a rich wine with red berry flavors. The dark fruit and smoky element on the palate led tasters to guess the wine was from Northern Rhone, which is dominated by Syrah. Still, they guessed it was young and from the Rhone valley.
The third one, Foradori’s 2010 Granato, was just as difficult to identify as I had guessed it would be. I chose this wine because the wine isn’t something many people have heard of and, therefore, wouldn’t request upon entering pH Wine Merchant. The 2010 Foradori Granato is 100% Teraldego from the Alto Adige region of Italy, in the central-northern part of the country. Teraldego is tannic, chalky, and rich with dark, dark fruit on the palate. This deep, dark purple wine is wonderfully balanced and velvety; and while tastes great now, it will taste even better with age. The group got the right country on this wine, but they could not identify the rare grape variety or region from which it hailed from. Despite their inexperience with Teraldego, the tasters loved the wine and ordered a number of bottles to take with them.
It was a successful wine tasting in that the individuals got to try new and interesting wines, as well as discover wines they would buy in the future. I had a fun time trying the wines myself!