Last night Pulling The Cork (@pullingthecork for the Twitterati) participated in Taste Live for the first time. You could say we effectively lost our Taste Live virginity to Robert Oatley Wines. I will admit to a degree of skepticism about tasting using Twitter but this worked and it is a lot of fun. The basic premise is that people from all over the world can join together tasting the same wine and share their thoughts about the wine in the same Twitter stream using the Taste Live hashtag of #TTL.
Does all that jargon freak you out and make you think you are reading Cantonese? It can be a bit overwhelming for sure but trust me it is pretty cool, easy to use and you should give it a shot. In addition to the various tweets on the wines in the stream the good people at Hellovino did a live stream from Camp 4 Wine Cafe in Modesto and the entire mixed media approached really worked. Great job!
We tasted three wines from Robert Oatley and the festivities got under way at 8:30 EST (5:30 PST and, I don't know CST- figure it out for those of you in the middle). We started with the Pinot Grigio and here are my down and dirty tasting notes and scores (see Tasting Notes & Scores - How & Why) for all three wines from my lowest to highest (least favorite to most favorite):
*Please note, I received these wines as samples specifically for the Taste Live event.
2008 Pinot Grigio, South Australia - Could not find suggested retail or case production numbers
Composition: 100% Pinot Grigio
Region: Currency Creek, South Australia
Barrel Ageing: None
Closure: Screw Cap-Stelvin Lux
The nose was blowing some sauternes like elements behind grapefruit zest, star fruit and spice. A light mouthfeel with super zingy acidity that almost had me drooling gave up a palate of more grapefruit zest, granny smith apples, some tropical fruits and white pepper. A rather short finish with tropical fruit and white pepper lingering. The pepper was an interesting and nice compliment to the bright fruits. I thought it a bit thin compared to other PG's I have had recently and I did not find it to be varietally correct. It gave off more of a Sauvignon Blanc profile than a Pinot Grigio profile to me. Someone in the stream said there is 5% Riesling in the wine but I didn't find that on Oatley's website as it says it's 100% PG. Oddly, after the wine warmed in the glass to the mid to upper 60 degree range it started to give off an aroma of armpit body odor. To be fair, it was awfully warm at that point but it was something I have not experienced before. 50+4+11+15+5=85 pts.
2008 Rosé of Sangiovese, Mudgee, Australia - Suggested Retail $18.00 - 3,100 cases
Composition: 100% Sangiovese
Region: 100% Mudgee, New South Wales
Barrel Ageing: None
RS: 0.30g/100mL Dry
Closure: Screw Cap - Stelvin Lux
The nose was rather muted at first and I couldn't get much from it except a hint of fresh strawberries and herbs I couldn't make out. I was tasting it at what should be an ideal temperature of 48 degrees so I don't think that muted the aroma. As it warmed above 50 degrees (used the trusty static fish thermometer I recommended in our post on wine temps) the nose came out to play with soil covered strawberries, herbs, vanilla and rose petals. The palate was strawberry creme, pound cake and thyme sprigs. Refreshing acidity in balance with the flavors. Again, a bit of a short finish but strawberry shortcake, thyme and minerality left behind. I am not a big Rosé drinker but this might make me think twice about that. It is actually quite good. 50+5+11+17+6=89 pts.
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, Mudgee - Suggested Retail $20.00 - 5,600 cases
Composition: 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 49% Merlot
Region: 100% Mudgee, New South Wales
Barrel Aging: 12 months in French Oak Barrels
Closure: Screw Cap – Stelvin Lux
Without question this was the wine of the night for me. Decanted for 2 hours before the tasting though I snuck a peak taste on the pop and pour into the decanter. This wine is EXACTLY why I recommend decanting big young red wines - see our post on that here. On the sneak taste it was very tight and all wound up like a 5 year old on a sugar rush - very little being revealed. 2 hours of decanting made this wine sing. The nose had a bit of Bordeaux fertile soil/barnyard funk I enjoy (some don't but I love it) with black cherries, blackberry, oak and smoke. Actually quite interesting as I have never experienced that Bordeaux funk trait in an Aussie Cabernet blend before. On the palate it was a medium edging toward full mouthfeel of lush black cherries, plum, baking spice, vanilla and old leather. A wee bit tannic still but mostly in balance with good acidity. A moderate to long finish of dark fruit, vanilla and smoke was pleasing. It had some Bordeaux characteristics that I like though I am going to stop way short of saying it is on the same level as good Bordeaux. A really good wine for the price though I don't think it is going to be something you can keep around for more than 5 years as it just doesn't seem to have enough structure for long term ageing. 50+5+12+17+6=90 pts.
As the tasting started to draw to a close I was asked by a few people to take a pic of me drinking the Cabernet Merlot (which became known as the Caberlot in the tweet stream) directly from the decanter.
I obliged and lest you think I did so as a result of drinking too much wine I was spitting most of the night and only began to drink AFTER Taste Live was over.
Thanks to all the new friends we made last night and thanks to Craig Drollet from Bin Ends Wine(@bindendswine for the Twitterati) the innovator and brain behind Taste Live. Also, special thanks to the guys at Hellovino (@hellovino and @calebsexton on Twitter) - can't wait for you to come by and taste that Grange and deliver the 3 Decanter Salute!
We will definitely do Taste Live again - good times!