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Last Saturday, San Diego Wine Society held its monthly blind tasting and dinner, and once again the wines were extraordinary and the company engaging.  San Diego Wine Society meets once a month over dinner at a local restaurant to taste high-end, international wines. By meeting as a group, everyone gets a generous taste of these very special wines while spreading the cost among all the participants.

The following wines were poured:

1. 2006 PINOTAGE, Delheim, Stellenbosch, South Africa

2. 2006 CARIGNAN, Domaine Piquemal Tradition, Languedoc, France

3. 2007 CORVINA, Cavalchina Santa Lucia, Bardolino, Italy

4. 2001 SHIRAZ, Salomon Estate, Finniss River, South Australia

5. 2008 CABERNET FRANC, Bock Villanyi, Hungary

6. 1997 SANGIOVESE, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

7. 2008 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, Parallel, Estate, Napa Valley, California

8. 2009 BLAUFRAENKISCH, Bock Villanyi, Hungary

9. 1996 NEBBIOLO, Seghesio Barolo, La Villa, Piemonte, Italy

10. 1999 Tokaji Aszu, 5 puttonyos, Hungary

We are fortunate to have as one of our members Katy Daniels Bendel, proprietor of Carpathian Wines, an importer specializing in Hungarian and Eastern European wines, who was able to provide some insight into this newly emerging wine region. Although they have been making wine in Hungary for centuries, and have long been renowned for their Tokaji dessert wine, they are increasingly gaining attention for their red and white still wines. The wines Katy poured were luscious and interesting.

However, the star of the show was Italian–the 1997 Brunello. Svelte and aromatic with floral and coriander notes and vigorous acidity, this was an example of how good a properly-aged, quality wine can be.

Unfortunately, we must end on a sad note

The 1996 Barolo passed away enroute and we had to bury the corpse. It was indeed a star in its prime. I suppose a proper obituary would mention what we were missing:

91-94 points Robert Parker: “The explosive 1996 Barolo Vigneto La Villa offers redolent aromatics of kirsch liqueur, blackberries, soy, toasty new oak, licorice, and dried herbs. The wine is full-bodied, with huge quantities of glycerin, and fabulous concentration as well as richness. There is plenty of tannin and muscle in the finish, so it will benefit from 3-4 years of cellaring.” (08/1999)

It happens with aged wines. One never knows.

If you have a serious interest in wine, I urge you to sign up for this group and attend our dinners—their Meet-up page is here. There is no membership fee.

I hope to see you at a tasting in the future

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