This blind tasting was set up a bit differently than we usually do it. We had 4 wines to try, but we did not taste them alone first. We served all 4 wines with the meal and judged them on how well they went with the food. 3 Noland brothers tasting, Tom, Bob and James with James’ significant other Renee added in for good measure. All food courtesy of the chef, Ruth Noland.
Ratatouille on a rich pastry base
Rioja marinated flank steak (marinade was just mixture of all 4 wines)
Cheese course (cheddar, manchego, goat cheese)
Deep ruby red. Oaky nose with some red fruit undertones. Nice midpalate with smooth juicy red fruit and smoky oak notes. Finish had silky tannins and oaky red plums. Just OK with chorizo soup. Very good with the rioja marinated flank steak which brought out the acidic fruit in the wine. Good match with cheddar cheese.
Deep garnet. Earthy raspberries and cherries. Sharp midpalate with red fruit, smooth tannins and mouth watering acidity. Viscous wine but only a short to medium length finish of acidic red fruit. Good with the chorizo soup as it tended to smooth out the midpalate. Really good with the steak as it calmed down the acidity and brought out the fruit. Nice match with the manchego.
Ruby red. Spicy fruit with earthy undertones and forest floor with some medicinal undertones (I did not get these as much as other tasters did). Nice midpalate of red cherries, black plums and red raspberries with nice acidity. Good medium-long length finish. Very nice match with chorizo soup. Great match with steak as it gives the wine a nice mellow meaty/fruity taste. Probably the best wine match with the cheeses especially the goat cheese and manchego.
Deep ruby red. Funky fruit nose with oaky undertones. Luscious midpalate of nicely balance fruit, mostly red raspberry with some strawberry and cherry, acidity and fine grained tannins. Long finish of red fruit, balanced with acidity and smooth tannins. Delicious and well balanced wine. Probably the best match with chorizo soup. Superb with steak.
Mystery wine, not rioja. Deep purple red. Blueberries and purple plums on the nose. I suspected this was a Grenache based wine because of the blueberries. Big wine with great dark fruit and big but nicely integrated tannins on the midpalate. Great mouth feel. Nice long finish of luscious blackberry fruit and well integrated tannins. Great sipper, probably best sipper of all 5 wines. Really great with steak.
1. Wine D
2. Wine A
3. Wine C
4. Wine B
All wines were very good and the ratings were pretty well unanimous across the board.
Wine A Vina Olabarri Rioja Reserva 13.5% abv 2005, I think but I forgot to note the vintage James’ wine
Wine B Cerro Anon 2005 Rioja Reserva 14% abv Renee’s wine
Wine C Ontanon 2004 Rioja Reserva 13% abv My wine
Wine D 2004 Ondarre Mayor Reserva Rioja 13.5% abv Bob’s wine
Wine E 2005 Via Edetana 14.5% abv Garanacha (Grenache) 33%, Carinena (Carignan) 34%, Garanacha Peluda (hairy variety of Grenache) 33%
Sauternes 2001 Chateau de Philhot Caramel yellow, light nose and lemon acidity on the midpalate. Really nice finish. Served with Crème Catalan Great match.