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WTN - Cool and funky and under $20


RobInAustin
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I led a wine tasting dinner the other night for five couples, and thought I would share some of the evenings highlights. The theme was "under $20 and really cool", I added the twist that all the wines I selected were "off the beaten track" to show the guests that exploring can be fun.

1st flight:

Elena Walch Pinot Bianco 2002: Clean,light and crisp, with a pleasant balance of apple, herb and mineral, more Austrian in style than its Italian origin would imply. Nice with the prosciutto and melon.

Quinta dos Roques Encruzado 2000: An unheard of Portuguese white varietal, totally under the radar, and yet totally COOL. Imagine a slightly oily mouth feel and slight "gout de petrol" combined with layers of minerality, dense green fruit and the same long herbal/thyme finish as a good cru White Burg of twice the price. Crowd fave and mine too! Stood up to pesto stuffed cherry tomatos well.

2nd:

Theo Minges Gleisweiler Holle Riesling Kabinett 2002 My personal favorite of the flight. Everything you expect from bone dry German Riesling, that great contradiction of light and clean on the nose and palate, combined with the elegant dance of layers of mineral, flint, fruit and acid.

Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Kabinett 2002 The crowd favorite. Much like the Minges, but with a noticeable and pleasant apricot toned sweetness from some residual sugar. was perfect with the Pad Thai.

3rd:

Muga Rioja Reserva 1999 I love everything Jorge Ordonez touches and this is no exception. Feels light on the palate, but serves up a hefty dollop of leather, clean smoke and dark black fruits with a gentle clean finish. Smooooth as a baby's bottom to boot.

Domaine de l'Oratoire St. Martin Cairanne, 2001 About as perfect a Cotes du Rhone as you can ask for and beats the pants of more expensive Rhones too. Enticing nose of classic Rhone, woodsmoke, beef, new leather and spice, and delivers it all on the palate. Dense, dark red, chew, beefy and spicy, but all elegant balance and finesse and supple tannins that never overpower. My personal fave, was perfect with the seared Beef tenderloin sandwiches with fresh horseradish.

Trentadue Petite Syrah 2001 The crowd fave of this flight. All new world brashness and style. Rich fresh berry fruit and woody tannins, all up in your face. A fun big wine.

Cheers!

Rob

"When I lived in Paris, and champagne was relatively cheap, I always enjoyed a half-bottle in the middle of the morning and another half-bottle at six or so in the evening. It did me a tremendous amount of good." - Gerald Hamilton.
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Elena Walch Pinot Bianco 2002: Clean,light and crisp, with a pleasant balance of apple, herb and mineral, more Austrian in style than its Italian origin would imply. Nice with the prosciutto and melon.

Very nice wine, but as these vineyards are a lot closer to Austria than Rome or even Milan for that matter, the Austrian style is easy to understand.

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First,

Craig, I knew that about the Elena Walch, I was mentioning it for people who might not know.

As for the prices, here in Texas all of these wines are over $10. Virtually all are $15-20 each, sorry to dash your hopes.

"When I lived in Paris, and champagne was relatively cheap, I always enjoyed a half-bottle in the middle of the morning and another half-bottle at six or so in the evening. It did me a tremendous amount of good." - Gerald Hamilton.
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Muga Rioja Reserva 1999 I love everything Jorge Ordonez touches and this is no exception. Feels light on the palate, but serves up a hefty dollop of leather, clean smoke and dark black fruits with a gentle clean finish.  Smooooth as a baby's bottom to boot.

I second this. The Muja Rioja Reserva is a great deal - but more importantly it is sooo delicious!

I just ventured into the wine forum and I'm very glad to have found it... :biggrin:

I will definitely check out the other wines you tasted; thanks for posting your results

(edited for bad spelling.)

Edited by LittleWing (log)

Eat.Drink.DC.

...dining in the district...

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what's for lunch.

- Orson Welles

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I second this.  The Muja Rioja Reserva is a great deal - but more importantly it is sooo delicious!

I just ventured into the wine forum and I'm very glad to have found it... :biggrin:

I will definitely check out the other wines you tasted; thanks for posting your results

(edited for bad spelling.)

Welcome!

Jump on in. Thanks for your response. Let me know what you think of the others.

"When I lived in Paris, and champagne was relatively cheap, I always enjoyed a half-bottle in the middle of the morning and another half-bottle at six or so in the evening. It did me a tremendous amount of good." - Gerald Hamilton.
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