Here’s an early note to let you know that if you and yours need a break from the Holiday mayhem, we’ll still be having our Last Sunday Wine Tasting here at Feast. A brief background: about two years ago, I went into a little restaurant in Tempe called Caffé Boa for lunch, and I looked at the wine list. An eyebrow went up. I looked some more. The other went up. If I’d had more eyebrows, they’d all have been up by the time I finished reading, and what’s more, they had tiny pours available for a wine geek like me. Caffé Boa’s list was like a trip through a Slovenian wine shop, and I was smitten. I called them when I got home to find out who imported the wines, and surprise! It was them. It turns out Jay and Christine Wisniewski not only own the restaurant, but Empty Glass Importers as well. As much as I loved the wines for their Eastern European terroir, Jay pointed out to me their commitment to organic and biodynamic wines, and we sweet-talked him into coming to Tucson this weekend to educate us. As per usual, the tasting is $25, the wines are served with tasty snacks, and you’ll probably need to call us to reserve a spot. 326-9363. Hope you can join us.
2011 Burja Cantine del Indie Pinot Sivi “Popolus,” Vipava Valley, Slovenia (Blaufränkisch/Malvasia/Riesling/Refosco)
Sivi Pinot Populus means “Pinot for The People!” Nose of sun ripened apricot, kumquat and citrus
zest with an almond tarte finish. Luscious mouthfeel with briny seashell minerality.
2009 Batič Pinot Gris “Ramato,” Vipava Valley, Slovenia
91 Points Wine & Spirits Magazine: “…the color is a rosé tawny, the grape flavors edging toward red as well, with a hint of cranberry and tangerine. This is austerely dry, a meaty, full-bodied, flinty white.”
2009 Geyrhof Zweigelt “Ried Richtern,” Kremstal, Austria
Zweigelt’s parents are Blaufränkisch and Sankt Laurant. Quality examples show Pinot Noir-like elegance from the Sankt Laurent and blue spicy fruit from the Blaufränkisch. The 2009 Reid Richtern from Geyerhof is an energetic almost exotic rendition from a mainly white wine region. Planted to deteriorating primary rock on the most exposed site near Obufucha, it possess surprisingly boisterous fruit for what is still quite a cool locale. Couple this fruit with its peppery tartness and savory depth it will pair with a broad spectrum of foods.
2009 Bibich “R6” Riserva, N. Dalmatia, Croatia ( Babić, Plavina, Lasin)
The lithe, mineral R6 typically has a freshness uncommon to the reds from the more famous growing areas in Southern Dalmatia. A roughly equal blend of native red varieties Babich, Plavina, and Lasin co-fermented and aged 12 months in oak. It is consistently about 13% alcohol. The dry low yielding 09 vintage produced a more extracted longer lived version. While young it gently rumbles with aromas of cooked red fruits, tobacco and Mediterranean herbs. In time this will blossom into a perfume to match its full, harmonious, lightly savage structure.
2008 Miloš Plavac Mali, Peljesac, Croatia
Longevity is synonymous with the Miloš name. Collectors of his wines are still enjoying the youthful 94’ Plavac. Frano’s eloquent description of the 2008, “This wine is a pure reflection of variety and terroir from which it comes. It is typical for the Pelješac peninsula and our style of wine. It has a very thick aromatic profile with dark fruit, minerals, herbal notes with sage domination. Deep and slow to open. The flavor is rich and concentrated, balanced with soft natural tannins. Elegant and long living.” To that could be added that Miloš Plavac displays a distinctive note of black tea on the nose, and on the palate a savory saltiness that make it spectacular with a wide range of cuisine.
2011 J. C. Garnier “Les Tailles,” Saint Lambert du Lattay, Maine et Loire (Chenin/ Gamay/Grolleau/Pineaud’Aunis/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon)
Blackberry and cherry notes, rhubarb, potting soil, capsicum nose. Slight natural Kambucha mouthfeel with vanilla frosting and crushed granite finish.