Epoch Moments
January 23, 2014 | Epoch Moments | Epoch Moments

Personal Tasting Group

Johnson, Mark

Hi everyone,
We had a really good tasting last week featuring Grenache (and GSM’s with a minimum of 70% Grenache).  These were definitely upper crust Grenache wines ranging in price from $38.00 up to $70.00 (not including the “through the roof” price of the Sine Qua Non).  There were some surprises though, so read on…
The tasting group was 10 people and we had only 12 wines, quite small by our usual standards.  But overall the quality was excellent.  In fact I gave a rare “perfect 10” points to one wine.
After the usual pre-tasting food fest of ribs, chili, savory quiche, cheeses and more we bagged and decanted all the bottles and then got busy tasting all 12 wines.  We then took a break and fortified ourselves for a retaste round by having zesty bison chili, and braised short ribs with baby potatoes and pearl onions.
But on to the results:
The big winner was the 2010 Epoch “Sensibility” a GSM blend. To be fair to the other wines a GSM blend definitely gets a leg up vs.  100% Grenache.  In fact, last Saturday a few of us attended blending trials at Nicora Winery.  It was amazing how just 5-10% added Syrah altered the Grenache, almost overtaking it.
Below is a list of the wines that were brought, and their BIG Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator scores.  Not all lived up to the lofty scores...Next is the Group scores and then my personal score sheet with slightly different rankings.
Mark Johnson – 2010 Booker “Ripper” Grenache (WA 97+), plus 2010 Law“Beguiling” Grenache (WA 92)
Kent Keating – 2011Nicora “Euphoric” Grenache
Ed Keay – 2010 Torrin “Maven” GSM (WA 95+)
Paul Fridrich – 2009 McPrice Myers “L’Ange Rouge” Grenache (WA 95)
Rob Hunter – 2010 Herman Story “Late Bloomer”
Charles Clark – 2010 Epoch “Sensibility” GSM (WS 94)
Mike Walsh – 2010 Epoch “Veracity” GSM (WA 94 /WS 94)
Richard Stanton – 2010 Villa Creek “Gathers No Moss” Grenache (WA 94), plus 2011 Booker “Ripper” Grenache (WA 96+)
Leah Coles – 2009 Sine Qua Non “Upside Down” Grenache
Steve Grossman – 2011 Herman Story “On the Road" Grenache (WA 93)
= 10
This was the Group vote for the Top 5:
1 – 2010 Epoch “Sensibility” GSM
2 – 2009 McPrice Myers “L’Ange Rouge”
3 – 2010 Epoch “Veracity” GSM
4 – 2009 Sine Qua Non “Upside Down”
5 – 2010 Law Estate “Beguiling”
This was my personal vote for the Top 5. See attached sheet for notes and scores on all wines tasted.
1 – 2010 Epoch “Sensibility” GSM
2 – 2010 Epoch “Veracity” GSM
3 – 2009 McPrice Myers “L’Ange Rouge”
4 – 2010 Law Estate “Beguiling”
5 – 2009 Sine Qua Non “Upside Down”
As you can see not a lot different than the group rankings.
Note on the Nicora Grenache description: We think it was a bad bottle, as it tasted oxidized which is very odd for a new wine. I have also tasted this same wine/same vintage about 3 months ago and it was very good.



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