Tasting next week features best of Australian wines
Next Thursday's wine tasting (Feb. 22) at Northwood Country Club will offer the highest rated wines from top to bottom of any tasting held thus far. There are no "low end, work our way up" wines. Anything that will be served could be your choice as the wine of the evening.
The selections will come from "The Wines of Australia." If you are not familiar with what is being accomplished in that country's wine making industry, you absolutely owe it to yourself to sample the six wines that will be tasted.
Two of the six are rated 90 on the accepted 100 point scale currently used to evaluate wine. Another carries an 89 designation. Two others are 88. Only one wine is below that but it is still an 87. Talk about an all-star lineup.
Here are the Australian wines attendees will taste and enjoy as evaluated by the critics of "The Wine Spectator," America's leading wine publication. Four are reds. Two are whites.
TALTARNI PYRENEES-VICTORIA SHIRAZ 1998: "An appealing Shiraz distinctive for the exotic bay leaf and eucalyptus overtones that add dimension to the varietal black cherry and black pepper flavors. Smooth through the finish. Peppery and complex." Vintage evaluation, 90.
ROSEMOUNT COONAWARRA SHOW RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 1998: "An elegant cabernet, supple and generous, offering a lovely mouthful of juicy blackberry and currant swirling through the fine textured finish, shaded with hints of violets and spices." I'll admit to be prejudiced but this is one of my favorite cabernets. It is the top of the Rosemount Cabernets, the best they make. Only 5,000 cases were produced. Vintage evaluation, 90.
LINDEMAN'S PADTHAWAY CHARDONNAY 1998: "Rich and spicy with a definite honey note along with pear and citrus aromas and flavors, balanced to let the flavors linger nicely echoing honey and ripe pear." This is not Lindeman's low-end Chardonnay that is so common in package stores and restaurants. It is a decided up-grade. Vintage evaluation, 88.
McGUIGAN BIN 2000 SHIRAZ 1998: "Bright and focused this jazzy Shiraz is brimming with blueberry, blackberry and spice flavors that enlarge and linger on the yummy finish. Certainly a very good bottle for so reasonable a price. A Best Buy." Vintage evaluation, 89.
TALTARNI SAUVIGNON BLANC 1998: "Bright, harmonious and distinctive with mineral-scented pear and passion fruit flavors lingering on the lively, spicy, peppery finish." Vintage evaluation, 88.
HILL OF CONTENT GRENACHE-SHIRAZ BLEND 1997: "Firm in texture with juicy blackberry and mint aromas and flavors that keep ringing on the finish. Crisp acidity keeps it lively" There were only 2,400 cases of this charming wine produced. Vintage evaluation, 87.
These are remarkable wines that will be wonderful to drink. But part two of any wine tasting is the educational experience, learning about wines that for the most part the taster has never tried before, perhaps never even heard of previously. This tasting will accomplish both goals.
The price of this tasting has been kept to $20. You need not be a member of Northwood to attend. The country club is the host for the evening and they invite any one to attend who wishes. Country club members are of course also invited. You will be able to have dinner at the club following the tasting, whether you are or are not a member. Special arrangements have been made so that non members can pay cash for their dinner but credit cards cannot be accepted.
The tasting will start at 6:30 p.m. Reservations should be made through "Wine Tasting Limited." Your check should be made out to "Wine Tasting" and sent to me at P.O. Box 5223, Meridian, MS 39302, since reservations for the tasting are handled through my office. To make a reservation by telephone, call 482-0930.
We truly believe a tasting of six wines of this quality, top to bottom, has not been offered previously. For wine lovers, or those who would like to be, this is an event not to be missed.
Stan Torgerson, a longtime Meridian resident, has written a wine column for several years.