The Second Floor Wine Tasting Group

September 7, 2003

We gathered at Helen's & Jason place and sampled some fine Pinot Gris from Italy, Oregon and Alsace.

The Wines

  1. 2002 Pinot Grigio "Las Aristocratico" (Trentino, Italy) by Ca' Montini - $12
  2. 2002 Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley, Oregon) by Cooper Mountain - $13
  3. 2000 Pinot Gris "Reserve" (Alsace, France) by Sipp Mack - $14
  4. 2001 Pinot Grigio "Benefizium Porer" (Alto Adige, Italy) by Alois Lageder - $18
  5. 2001 Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley, Oregon) by WillaKenzie Estate - $20
  6. 1997 Pinot Gris "Vieilles Vignes" (Alsace, France) by Domaine Zind-Humbrecht - $45

The People

Jason, Helen, Greg, Jeff, Peter, Mary

The Impressions

Rarely does our group come to a consensus on anything, let alone which wine is the best or worst wine of the pack. However, this day, there was little disagreement about the wine we would rather use as toilet water than for drinking, #5. There wasn't anything particularly terrible about #5. Maybe it was just that it came after #4---the group favorite. Jason compared its flavor to cigarette smoke. Jeff said it reminded him of the "L-street bath house," which, as he realized, may have been due to the fact that there were always people smoking outside. Peter got a corky smell even though... it didn't have a cork. Mary couln't help but compare it to #4. She would only drink it if it were the only wine available at a dinner party. Greg "didn't hate it," but didn't have much good to say either. Helen summed it up: "not as good as #4".

Maybe it was the hatred of #5, or maybe the fact that there were only six of us who ventured out to the Pinot Gris tasting, but we also came to a consensus on our favorite wine. #4 received the esteemed honors of being the top wine of the night. It was "refreshing," "crisp," "citrusy," and "plasticy" (but in a good way) all at once. Greg like it for its subtleness. Mary called it "coalesced"---she felt it was full of flavor, but couldn't put her finger on any in particular. It was one dimensional and many-dimensional at once. Peter likend it to a fine Pouilly-Fuisse. Jeff found lots of subtle flavors. Helen called it "clean, silky, light and pleasant." What wasn't there to like?

#6 narrowly eeked out the second place ribbon. Most of us were astounded that it wasn't a German Riesling! It had fruit, floral and honey flavors and was full and fairly sweet. Some of us thought it would serve well as a desert wine! Helen got a wide range of flavors: molasses, pralines, and ginger. She thought it would go well with a ginger-flavored dish, but thought it too sweet to be balanced. Greg countered saying this wine was quite the balance artist, infusing honey, tropical and tree fruit flavors, without leaning too much toward sweetness or acidity. Mary though it sweet, and would love it as company while reading a book. She thought it was "more intense" than #4. Peter got chlorine and a spiciness. He was surprised that it wasn't a Riesling. Jeff was also suprised that it wasn't from Germany, but much enjoyed the wine's richness and fullness.

Jason was the only one to not rank #2 as the third best wine of the night. He found a distinct Lychee jelly fruit flavor in both the taste and smell, but thought that the wine was overall too light for consideration. Peter thought #2 a great summer wine and enjoyed it's pleasantness and refreshing finish. Jeff found an odd flavor: department store wallpaper glue. He didn't find much else, but thought the wine surpsingly thick and heavy considering how light its color was. Helen loved this wine. She found it sweet & savory and enjoyed the buttery, bubbly mouthfeel. Greg got yeast, melon and flower smells, along with citris, sweet and citris flavors. "Surprising!" Mary thought it light and airy and enjoyed the long aftertaste.

#1 and #3 tied for fourth. They were quite different wines, #1 bearing likeness to #4, with its crisp, citrus flavors. #3 was most like #6, on the sweet side, but not quite to the point of a desert wine. Jason thought #1 to be very well balanced with mineral and lime flavors, but without much bouquet. Peter also liked it; he found a nice yeast taste, along with hints of pineapple and citrus. He also thought it went great with the smoked salmon and revealed herbal flavors. Greg compared #1 to oil---he found it viscous and syrupy. Mary expected a buttery Chardonay from the smell, but was surprised by the taste. She compared it to seltzer water (but with more flavor). Jeff found floral, lemon, aerosol and chemical smells, along with buttery and spicy flavors.

#3 was on the sweeter side. Jason thought it held its balance and compared it to a fine German Spätlese. He enjoyed smells of autumn hay, red grape, lily and plastic. Mary liked the full fragrance and called it acidic. Peter also compared it to Riesling; he thought it bold, vivacious, heavy and sweet. But, he wouldn't buy it. Jeff found peaches, nectarines, apricots and herbs. He also got a zing of effervescence, but thought it too sweet to buy. Helen got "3 million" sweet fruit smells and enjoyed the bold, bright flavors. She compared the wine to "cotton pajamas"---comfortable and enjoyable. Greg wondered whether he might have picked up a Riesling by mistake. He thought it sweet, minerally and honey-tasting.

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Last modified: Sun Dec 5 12:16:22 2004