Sunday, April 10, 2011


As reported in NRS, HILS recently sponsored an evening of wine tasting hosted by hot-shot stem cell biologist George Daley.  I had heard him complain at past dinners that the wine selection was inadequate, and the word on the street is that his lab's retreat involved some fantastic vintages from his private collection.  Thus, I was quite hopeful that he would be bringing some impressive bottles from his cellar.  Alas, neither Château Pétrus nor Domaine de la Romanée-Conti were forthcoming.  Since the event was hosted at the Harvard Faculty Club, apparently there were rules against the bringing of wine not purchased therein.  However, it was nevertheless an enjoyable event where the basics of wine tasting were explored via four flights of two wines each.  A list of the wines tasted and a few of my tasting notes follow in the order in which they were presented:

  1. Dry Creek Fumé Blanc 2009
    Nose: green coffee, apricots and melon
    Palate: citrus, dried apricots, raw cane sugar, a touch hot
  2. Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc 2010
    N: grapefruit, green pepper
    P: green apple, slate, very bright and crisp
  3. Domaine Talmard Mâcon-Chardonnay 2009
    N: lemon, brioche, honey
    P: toast, caramel, lemon, chalky
  4. Marcel Martin Vouvray Le Droissy 2008
    N: grassy, very subdued
    P: very sweet, grape candy, pear
  5. Guigal Côtes du Rhône 2007
    N: cedar, black pepper, humidor
    P: peppery, currant, blackberry, candied orange
  6. Campo Viejo Rioja 2006
    N: tobacco, barn, leather
    P: cherry, smoky, berries, vanilla
  7. Echelon Vineyard Merlot 2008
    N: blackberry, violets, prunes
    P: late-harvest berries, more subtle tannins
  8. Montes Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009
    N: tobacco, toast
    P: cocoa, cigar, quite structured
Of course, these impressions are simply my own observations and obviously will not be shared by all.  There seemed to be a good mix of Old and New World wines, but I would have to say that I would have liked to see some more lesser known varietals and regions.  An Argentine Torrontés or a Barolo Nebbiolo would have been more interesting.  Though I suppose that for a general audience with varied backgrounds, establishing the basics would be more prudent.

Additionally, all the wines presented here were quite drinkable and, from my understanding, quite affordable, given retail values between $10-15.  As such, it was a useful exploration of good wines that are not out of reach given a graduate student's stipend.  Nonetheless, next time, perhaps Professor Daley could be urged to part with a bottle of some Premier Grand Cru that I am sure grace his cellar.  Until then, tasting a 1982 Château Lafite Rothschild is but a pipe dream.

No comments:

Post a Comment