CTS Wine Ministry 2009 – Overview

Wine Ministry

It was a great week at CTS with a community of friends, some good theological thoughts, and plenty of wine flowing. Thanks to all who participated in the fellowship of the overflowing chalice!

I will post a bit more information and reviews of each of the wines we tasted, but for now here is a listing of the four tastings we shared. Leave a note on this or the other postings to let me know your favorite wines as well as your memories of the week we shared. Check back soon for the wine notes…

Monday, July 6, 2009
Theme: Warming Up the Palates

1 – 2008 Total Depravity Riesling [Ohio/Washington] $priceless
2 – 2007 Clean Slate Riesling Shared by Stephen [Germany] $9.99
3 – 2007 Total Depravity Pinot Noir [Ohio/California] $priceless
4 – 2002 Pillitteri Estates Gamay Noir Family Reserve [Canada] $32.99
5 – 2002 Kacaba Vineyards Meritage [Canada] $36.99

Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Theme: Vertical Tasting of California Rhone Varietals

1 – 2005 Zaca Mesa Syrah [California] $23.00
2 – 2004 Zaca Mesa Syrah [California] $23.00
3 – 2006 Gainey Vineyard Syrah [California] $24.00
4 – 2005 Gainey Vineyard Syrah [California] $24.00
5 – 2004 Gainey Vineyard Syrah Limited Selection [California] $38.00
6 – 2002 Gainey Vineyard Syrah [California] $22.00

Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Theme: The Variety of White Wines – Find One for Your Palate

1 – 2008 Black Mountain Pinot Grigio Shared by Stephen [California] $5.99
2 – 2008 Greenhough Sauvignon Blanc [New Zealand] $15.99
3 – 2007 Shoo Fly Buzz Cut (white blend) Shared by Lisa [Australia] $10.99
4 – 2006 Sonoma Vineyards Chardonnay (unoaked) [California] $14.99
5 – 2007 Newton Chardonnay Napa/Sonoma Counties [California] $18.99
6 – 2007 Domaine Pichot Vouvray Domaine Le Peu de la Moriette [France] $14.99
7 – NV Botter Prosecco Vino Spumante [Italy] $14.99
8 – 2008 Ceretto I Vignaioli Santo Stefano Moscato d’Asti [Italy] $24.99

Bonus Wine:
9 – 2008 Project Happiness Chardonnay Shared by Bryan [California] $5.99

Preview of Thursday’s blending seminar:
10 – 2003 Clos du Bois Marlstone (Bordeaux style blend) [California] $39.99

Thursday, July 9, 2009
Theme: Bordeaux-Style Blending Seminar

1 – 2008 Total Depravity Riesling [Ohio/Washington] $priceless
2 – 2008 Muga Rioja Rose [Spain] $12.99
3 – 2005 Celler de Capçanes Montsant Mas Donis Barrica Shared by ??? [Spain] $12.99
4 – 2006 Domaine “la Garrigue” Côtes du Rhône [France] $15.99
5 – 2007 Layer Cake Primitivo Zinfandel Shared by Lisa [Italy] $13.99
6 – 2006 Santa Rita Merlot Reserva Shared by ??? [Chile] $9.99

Samples of Bordeaux-Style Blends from Around the World
7 – 2001 Rosemount Traditional [Australia] $29.99
8 – 2001 Creekside Laura’s Blend Meritage [Canada] $18.99
9 – 2002 Chateau Peyre-Lebade (Rothchild) Bordeaux Haut-Medoc [France] $24.99
10 – 2006 Steltzner Claret [California] $16.99

Blending Wines (components of Bordeaux/Meritage):
11 – 2007 Dry Creek Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (barrel sample) [California] $23.00 (prerelease)
12 – 2007 Dry Creek Vineyards Merlot (barrel sample) [California] $19.00 (prerelease)
13 – 2007 Dry Creek Vineyards Cabernet Franc (barrel sample) [California] not sold retail
14 – 2007 Dry Creek Vineyards Malbec (barrel sample) [California] not sold retail
15 – 2007 Dry Creek Vineyards Petit Verdot (barrel sample) [California] not sold retail

Prize Wine & Finale Tasting:
16 – 2001 Le Sillage de Malartic Bordeaux Pessac-Léognan [France] $29.99

Extra – Just for Fun
17 – NV Riondo Prosecco (with a sliced strawberry in the glass!) [Italy] $12.99

2004 Bodegas Montecillo Rioja Crianza

2004 Bodegas Montecillo Rioja Crianza
Spain, La Rioja, Rioja

Wine Rating: 87

Uncorked: 2008.07.06
Wine Ministry – CTS DMin Happy Hour
Week 1, Sunday, Wine No. 2
Shared by Lisa R.

Rioja is probably Spain’s signature wine. Rioja is characterized by its long aging in oak barrels. The Crianzas are the youngest of the Riojas, reflecting the flavors and style of their bigger reserve and gran reserve siblings, but without the structure and depth of the long barrel aging. What results is a vibrant and easy-drinking wine with plenty of fruit, spice, and earthiness.

The Montecillo is typical of Crianzas. Its color is bright garnet with an effusive bouquet of ripe berries and sweet oak. In the mouth there is lots of flavor – cherries, cranberries, and roasted peppers. The oak flavors are somewhat muted and it finishes with soft tannins that are almost musty. Nice layers of flavor and lots of wine for the money. Will go well with pizza, roasted meats, and grilled veggies.


$9.99 widely available

2004 Celler de Capçanes Montsant Mas Donís Barrica

2004 Celler de Capçanes Montsant Mas Donís Barrica
Spain, Catalunya, Tarragona, Montsant

Wine Rating: 90

Uncorked: 2008.07.05
Wine Ministry – CTS DMin Happy Hour
Week 1, Saturday, Wine No. 4
Shared by Paul C.

This is a wine we simply did not have the time to appreciate. It should have been decanted for at least a couple of hours, but we drank it right from the bottle. My goodness this is a spectacular wine.

The nose is a bit spicy with dark fruit aromas – ripe plums and blackberries. It had a bit of earthiness, almost portabella mushrooms. The mouth is huge and silky. Big berry flavors and dark fruit. It has a big flavor bump in the middle of the palate with emerging minerality and soil. The finish is long and dry with moderate tannins. The wine is almost chewy, and would certainly have opened up even more flavors had we decanted. It’s a great value for this much flavor.

$11.99 widely available

2006 Las Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha Calatayud

2006 Las Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha Calatayud
Spain, Aragón, Calatayud

Rating: 92

Uncorked: 2008.07.01
Wine Ministry – CTS DMin Happy Hour
Week 1, Tuesday, Wine No. 4

Provided by Paul C.

We finished off this second evening of wine tasting with a winner. All of the wines have been good tonight, but this is a great closer. Like the relief pitcher at the end of an exciting game, this wine comes on strong and focused.

Interestingly, Garnacha is the Spanish version of the Rhone varietal Granache. But the Spanish embolden the soft and fruity grape and make something very different from the subtle, textured Rhones.

The grapes for this wine are from 70-100 year old vines grown at high altitude in the rocky mountains of Aragon. This imparts particularly concentrated flavors in the wine. It’s as though you can smell the mountains and the earthy soil along with dark, ripe berries and spice. In the mouth it is enormous. It is thick, peppery, and tight at the initial taste, then opens up with explosive bursts of ripe black cherries, plum, and currants. The fruit flavors are followed by undertones of cedar, spice, and mushroomy soil. For some, the hefty tannins and alcohol heat (14.5%) at the finish might be too much. Decanting the wine for at least an hour will help, as will letting it live in the bottle for the next 3-5 years.

This wine is an excellent value at less than $10.

$9.99 widely available

2006 Torremoron Tempranillo Ribera del Duero

2006 Torremoron Tempranillo Ribera del Duero
Spain, Castilla y León, Ribera del Duero

Rating: 91

Uncorked: 2008.07.01
Wine Ministry – CTS DMin Happy Hour
Week 1, Tuesday, Wine No. 3

It has been said that Tempranillo, the big and bold Spanish wine, could make a bullfighter out of you with its daring flavors. Whether or not we will be waving a red flag while wearing colorful tights, I can say that this is a bargain wine with an enormous mouthful of flavor for a very small investment. And drinking it is safer than dodging an angry bovine.

The nose is pretty big with wild berries, cherries, and spice. The mouth is awash with vibrant, concentrated flavors of cherry, plum, and berries. There are subtle loamy and leather flavors near the long, soft finish. I like the structure of this wine, it’s ripe flavors, and it’s youthful exuberance. This would go great with grilled meat, burgers, or even beef stew. It will soften and improve a bit with 3-5 years in the bottle.

$10.79 widely available

2007 Senorio de Barahonda Yecla Carro Tinto Bellum

2007 Senorio de Barahonda Yecla Carro Tinto Bellum
Spain, Murcia, Yecla

Rating: 89

Uncorked: 2008.07.01
Wine Ministry – CTS DMin Happy Hour
Week 1, Tuesday, Wine No. 2

This is an unoaked Spanish blend of:
50% Monastrel (aka Mouvedre)
20% Tempranillo
20% Syrah
10% Merlot

This wine is a great bargain for less than $10. It is big, bold, and brash. Decanting will help it stretch its legs a bit – very tight right out of the bottle. As it opened up the nose was full of ripe fruit, cassis, blueberry, peppery spices, and some woodiness – almost like fresh pencil shavings. Multiple layers of deep flavors for a wine of this youth and price: ripe, sweet fruit, mocha, cedar, and smoke. This wine has no hard edges and surprising balance for its youth and its bold 13.5% alcohol. It is an extraordinary value for a wine with this much going on.

$9.99 widely available

2005 Bodegas Ada Navarra Red Guitar Tempranillo-Garnacha

Red Guitar - bottle

2005 Bodegas Ada Navarra Red Guitar Tempranillo-Garnacha – Spain, Navarra

Wine Rating:  86

Ok, I’m not a “label shopper,” chosing my wine by the attractiveness of the label, but this bottle has got a VERY COOL label!  Of course, I am a guitar player…

This is a good, simple wine to drink while I’m cooking… Pretty dark ruby color. Cherry and dark berries on the nose. In the mouth it was bright, slightly fruity, and finished with soft tannins. Nothing extraordinary, but tasty and decent value.  It’s widely available.

$9.99  Heinens Fine Foods