Every Friday in September Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Austin and San Antonio is hosting comparative wine tasting sessions called “Bottle Wars” as part of their “Month of Discovery.” Every September, Flemings revises its wine list of 100 wines by the glass and this is a fun way of introducing some of the new choices.
Beautiful wife and I attended the “Pinot Smackdown” on September 7th and had a lot of fun comparing eight wines. Here is my score sheet:
- Round One: Garnet, Monterey County, 2010 ($54) vs. A to Z Wineworks, Oregon, 2010 ($51)
The winner: A to Z by a hair. It’s an easy-drinking, light style Pinot that would be good on a summer picnic.
- Round Two: Three Saints, Santa Maria Valley, 2009 ($60) vs. MacMurray, Sonoma Coast/Russian River Valley, 2009 ($56)
The winner: Draw. I liked the earthy nose and bold strawberry flavor of the Three Saints, but the oak was overly prominent. The MacMurray had stewed strawberry, raspberry and balsamic vinegar flavors, but none of the earthiness of the Three Saints.
- Round Three: Cambria, Santa Maria Valley Julia’s Vineyard, 2010 ($69) vs. Migration by Duckhorn, Anderson Valley 2009 ($69)
The winner: Cambria had a big cherry nose and forest scents, light fruity flavors and earthiness. It was true to the Pinot Noir character
- Round Four: Belle Glos, Monterey-Santa Barbara-Sonoma Counties Meiomi, 2011 ($60) vs. Saint Clair, Marlborough New Zealand, 2010 ($48)
The winner: Saint Clair. It has a funky scent with hints of burnt rubber, but had distinct acidity and pleasant strawberry flavor.
My overall favorite was the Cambria from the Central Coast. I’d buy that again. I enjoyed the format, but whined to myself that I would prefer more Oregon Pinot and some Burgudy from France, but that’s because I’m a snot. The event was attended by wine aficionados and new comers alike. If you are just getting started in wine tasting, this is a fun, no-pressure way to do it.
Bottle Wars are held 5:30- 7:00 pm each Friday this month. Flemings serves light hors d’oeuvres and pairs eight to ten wines in each competition for $25 per person. Here is the schedule for the month.
Disclosure: Beautiful Wife and I were provided complimentary tickets to this event.