Taste Live event on 8/6/09, featured Robert Oatley Australian wines: 2008 Pinot Grigio, 2008 Rose of Sangiovese and 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot. Eight of us gathered to taste and pair these wines. Our ninth guest served in the ever so important role of observer.
The Robert Oatley Pinot Grigio is a very pale wine with nice clarity and reflection. The nose on this Pinot Grigio is intense and fruity. There is juicy over ripe pear, tart green apple, grapefruit, touch of lemon peel and slate. We enjoyed this wine well chilled. Although it was a cool summer evening in Seattle, we could really see this as being a great warm hot weather wine.The fruit was well balanced with a refreshing acidity. We paired it some peppery fried chicken and it was wonderful. The spices of the chicken were great complement to this wine. We also had an egg salad with spinach and feta that others really enjoyed. An egg allergy prevented me from joining in but I am sure one of the other tasters will chime in.
This is a melon colored dry rose with a fresh strawberry and a tart rhubarb nose. Some at the table picked up fresh tomato on the nose and palate. When we first poured it, we served it too cool. The flavors were subtle and the wine felt flat, even with the moderate acidity. We had paired it with a tomato basil salad and the flavors and the acid were so similar that the pairing neither enhanced nor detracted from each other. Some really enjoyed this rose but it was pretty neutral for me. I didn’t strongly dislike but I didn’t really like it either. We read in the later Taste Live tweets that it was better once it opened up. We tried some more tonight at a warmer temperature and it was much more aromatic. The acid was better balanced with some nice strawberry flavors. Ed and and I appreciated this rose more tonight but we agreed that we were going to purchase a Sangiovese rose, we would grab a bottle of Washington State Barnard Griffin Rose of Sangiovese instead.
The last official Taste Live Robert Oatley wine was 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot blend, roughly 50-50. This was fruit forward cab blend with very soft tannins. The acid was low to moderate and combined with the low tannins, we wondered about the ability of this wine to age. On the other hand, this is the perfect wine to pick up on your way home from dinner. It is a quality wine that you can confidently present as a hostess gift.
We paired this Cab blend with a variety of dishes. We tried it with a marinated skirt steak, grilled vegetables with a balsamic vinaigrette with fresh basil and a cherry compote over goat cheese. We really loved this wine with the grilled eggplant. The smokiness and a touch of bitterness of the eggplant was great with the Cabernet blend. It brought out some pleasing smoky flavors in the wine and more complexity. Some felt that the wine didn’t have enough tannic structure to balance the richness of this marinated meat but others enjoyed it. This was a group that liked to debate!
Since it this is a Washington wine blog, we feel honor bound to allow our tasting quests to enjoy some Washington wines as well. We welcomed guests with some Eaton Hill Winery Orange Muscat. We finished our tasting event with a lovely Gewurztraminer ice wine from our August 09 featured winery, Rio Vista.
Disclaimer: The Robert Oatley wines for this tasting were provided to us as samples for the purpose of participating in this Taste Live event. The two Washington wines were purchased by us for comparison purposes.