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Rhone v. Rhone Rangers

Posted June 29, 2016

[Admin's note: many thanks to Bigred for providing this recap, and for providing it in a very timely fashion. The delay in posting it is all mine.]

On Saturday June 4th, nine PAWineTalk members and guests gathered at Biba in Beaver, PA, for a tasting hosted by Bigred. As in the past, the venue worked quite well for our group.

Wines1
Wines2
Wines3

The theme pitted Rhone wines vs. Rhone Rangers, in blind format. As luck would have it, of the 12 wines that constituted the main tasting, 6 wines represented the Rhone, and 6 were Rhone Rangers; a perfect balance.

The evening kicked off with an Albariño as a starter (thanks to Isabelle) that was a nice complement to the strawberry & cheese appetizer.

As the main tasting got underway, we began with the whites. Where possible, wines were distributed in pairs, and ample glasses were supplied by the restaurant which made for an easy execution. The first white was poured without incident; however, as our host poured the second wine, a gasp was heard across the table when the white wine turned out to be red! Sabotage?? No, just a miscue with the hand off between participant (withholding name) and host during the early part of the evening where the wines were arranged for the blind tasting. In hindsight, Isabelle's observation that the concealed bottle was unusually heavy for a white prior to pouring should have been a tipoff.

Nevertheless, upon pouring the next white wine, a few taunting comments were heard coming from acorelli's direction of the table as the host attempted to recover & get things back on track.

As the tasting progressed, multiple entrees were served as the group progressed from white to red, complementing the pasta carbonara, copper salmon, and ribeye.

The complete listing of wines tasted is as follows:

Starter

Whites

  1. 2009 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc Beeswax Vineyard
  2. 2009 M. Chapoutier St. Joseph Blanc Les Granits
  3. 2012 Domaine Les Cantates Vin de Savoie Chignin-Bergeron

Reds

  1. 2011 McPrice Myers Altas Vinas
  2. 2010 Curtis Heritage Cuvée
  3. 2011 Chapelle St. Theodoric Châteauneuf-du-Pape le Grand Pin
  4. 2010 Clos du Joncuas Gigondas
  5. 2007 Saxum Broken Stones
  6. 2009 Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes
  7. 2010 Torrin The Banshee
  8. 2009 Domaine du Colombier Crozes-Hermitage Cuvée Gaby
  9. 2007 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Volant

Dessert

To add a little fun, participants were asked to distinguish between Rhone and Rhone Ranger wines while tasting blind. Top honors for this accomplishment went to both Isabelle and Acorelli, each guessing 9 of the 12 correctly.

In the end, a Ranger took top honors for the evening: wine #12, Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant received seven first place votes. Wines #2, 8 and 10 tied for second with four votes each.

To cap off the evening, an ice wine was served with not one, but two desserts! Not a soul was wanting for food by the end of this tasting.

All in all, a fun and insightful evening.



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Comments


1. acorelli - July 1, 2016 1:03PM

Thanks for organizing, bigred! Berto's St Joseph Les Granits was for me the highlight of a very good evening.

2. bigred - July 4, 2016 4:15PM

Some nice surprises in this tasting. Fun doing blind from time to time. I am always learning something with these tastings. Finally, a clink of the glass to our late friend rarffa, for which this was his final tasting.

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