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Accidental Grand Tasting

February 20, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

You walk on the street (ok, in Geneva). It is Tuesday, middle of the day. You see a wine store which looks appealing from outside. You walk in, start looking around and almost fall down. Well, for two reasons. For one, simply because the store is big, and contains unpredictable amount of stair-steps, some kind of stairs and so on (one pictured here is actually fine, you can at least see it clearly). Another reason – to see such a line up of Gaja and Tenuta dell’Ornellaia? Wow. Didn’t see it yet in any store in the States. But may be then at the prices which you see there, it is not that surprising after all.

So you continue browsing the store, which is called Lavinia in case you are curious, getting ready to leave, as buying anything there is not an option. Then you see a wine tasting going in a middle of the store. With big decanters, including for white wines – that gets very interesting. And then you try the wines, and you have to declare that you attended a grand tasting, because all four wines are outstanding.


The first one, 2009 Domaine Georges Vernay Condrieu, made out of grape called Viognier, was bright, beautiful and assertive. It was “in your face” balanced – one of the most balanced wines I ever had: controlled fruit expression, full body, refreshing acidity – outstanding (Drinkability: 9). The next one, 2008 Philippe Pacalet Puligny-Montrachet, was my first taste ever of wine from Puligny-Montrachet, which considered one of the absolute best areas for white Burgundy wines (made of Chardonnay). This wine was made by Philippe Pacalet, one of the big proponents of the natural wines in France (here is a good blog post about him by Dr. Vino). This wine was totally different from the assertive Condrieu – shy and playful like a child, again with great balance, but completely different fruit profile (leeches, tropical fruits, star fruit), great acidity and asking for food. Again, Drinkability is 9.

And two reds were outstanding. 2008 dell’Ornellaia La Serre Nuove, coming from one of the best producers of Super Tuscan wines, Tenuta dell’Ornellaia in Bolghery in Italy. This wine made out of proprietary blend of red grapes, and while I had Ornellaia wines before, it was the first time for me to try La Serre Nuove – beautiful red fruit expression, full-bodied, extremely balanced – pure pleasure in the glass (Drinkability: 9-). And for the last one, 2006 Château Le Queyroux, La 8ème Merveille, Cotes de Blaye from Bordeaux in France,  – I almost made a mistake of ignoring it (didn’t look appealing enough after tasting the La Serre Nuove) – I’m glad I was convinced to give it a try – big power, full body, again very assertive wine with outstanding balance of fruit, acidity and tannins ( Drinkability: 9-). In case anyone wonders about prices – all the wines were neatly squared between $60 and $100…

That’s all, folks. I’m grateful for the great experience, and I will be on a lookout for more “accidental grand tastings” – and wish you to have many “pleasant accidents” as well.

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  1. September 22, 2011 at 1:32 am
  2. June 21, 2012 at 9:21 pm

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