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This week’s podcast on Merlot and The Connoisseurs’ Classic & Auction; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/11/04/wine-guy-mike-for-november-4th/
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Last week’s podcast Wines From the Veneto Wine Region Of Italy; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/10/28/wine-guy-mike-for-october-28/
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Recent week’s podcast The Great Wines of Tuscany, Part 2 Italian Wine Series; http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/10/14/wine-guy-mike-for-october-14/
Recent podcast; Understanding the Italian Wine Label Part 1 http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/09/09/wine-guy-mike-for-september-9/
Recent podcast; What You Need To Know About Wine http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/07/15/wine-guy-mike-for-july-15/
Recent podcast; (full length conversation) with Maximilian Riedel, CEO Riedel Crystal of America http://trail1033.podbean.com/2012/06/24/wine-guy-mike-for-june-24/
NBC Montana Today TV Segment; Perfect Patio Wines and food pairing; http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Mike-Tornatore-8-7-12/-/14594602/15999458/-/67a5ri/-/index.html
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Sleep City Missoula www.SleepCity.com
Liquid Planet “Best of Beverage” and a great place to WineGuyMike show wines for the lowest price. Located in the heart of downtown Missoula.
Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.
Good Sunday morning and welcome to the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©. This week I’m talking a little bit about this and a little bit about that, just mixing things up. Each year there is a very important benefit event that occurs in Missoula, Montana, the Connoisseurs’ Classic & Auction. This year’s benefit marks the sixth annual star-studded event, and when I say star-studded I’m talking about the beverage lineup. Attendees travel from around the United States to attend this event and when you see the beverage tasting list below you’ll understand why.
I also have a short commentary on one of my favorite grape varietals, Merlot. Yes the much maligned varietal is making a comeback and I will be sharing my thoughts about this classic underdog that is beginning to trend in the hands of very good winemakers. In the spirit of the upcoming Presidential election, I’m WineGuyMike and I approve this message.
This year’s Connoisseurs’ Classic & Auction will be held November 9, 2012 at the Sister Rita Mudd Activity Center in Missoula, MT. Ticket prices are $175 for those of us who will be imbibing but for designated drivers or attendees not consuming alcohol, ticket prices will be $40. Purchase tickets by calling Child Care Resources at 406.728.6446 or online at; http://www.childcareresources.org/cca
This annual benefit for Child Care Resources, a nonprofit dedicated to helping kids, fosters their growth into successful adults by enriching the learning environment of their crucial early developmental years. Proceeds from this event fund CCR’s Hand Up Scholarship, which helps families with otherwise unmet child care needs. This is a great organization and benefit event that I support each year.
The Connoisseurs’ Classic & Auction is hosted by my friends Kevin Head and Charlie Brown, both experts and connoisseurs’ of wine and Scotch. Both of these men work diligently throughout the year assembling the star-studded line up of beverages and with the assistance of the staff at Child Care Resources present an amazing array of treasures for the live and silent auction.
This year’s Connoisseurs’ Classic wine tasting list:
•Paul Hobbs, Nico Cobos, 2006, Blend
•Chris Ringland, Premier Three River, 2002, Shiraz
•Chris Ringland, F.U., 2004, Shiraz
•Tenuta De Biserno Bolgheria, Coronato, 2005, Blend
•1996 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Falletto Di Serra Lunga, Nebbiolo, 1996, Nebbiolo
•Hill Family Estate, Double Barrell, 2005, Cab Sav.
•Penefold Grange, 2004, Shiraz
•Molly Dooker, Velvet Glove, 2009, Shiraz
•Schramsberg, Blanc de Noirs, 1998, sparkling
•Spottswoode, Cabernet, 2008
•Aldelsheim, Bryans Creek, 2008, Pinot Noir
•Lokoya, Howell Mountain vineyard, 2007, Cab Sav.
•Colgin, Proprietary Red Estate, 2005, red blend
•Sassicaia Proprietary Red Estate, Tenuta San Guido, 2005, Red Blend
•Harlan Estates, Bond De Vecina, 2006, Red Blend
•Achaval Ferrer, Finca Altamira la Consulta, 2009, Malbec
•Turley, Petite Syrah, 2005
•Trespass Vineyards, Cabernet Franc, 2009
•Drew Family Cellars, Weir Vineyard, 2009, Pinot Noir
•Guidalberto, 2006 Blend
•Salanquez 2003, Priorat
•Y Rousseau, Milady, 2009 Chardonnay
This year’s Connoisseurs’ Classic Scotch tasting list:
•Aberfeldy, Single Cask, Cask# 3698, 14 year
•Ardbeg 1990, Cask# 86, 16 year
•Arran 1997 Single Cask, Cask# 719
•BenRiach, 30 year
•Bowmore Oloroso, Black 1964, 42 year
•Bunnahabhain, Douglas Laing, 34 year
•Brora, 32 year
•Glenallachie 1972 Directors’ Cut 40-year-old
•Glendronach Grandeur 31-year-old
•Glenfarclas, 40 year
•GlenGloyne, Cask # 354, 24 year
•Glen Moray 1991, 16 Year
•Highland Park Thor, 16 year
•Nikki Single Cask, Coffee, 12 year
•Of Probably Speyside, Douglas Laing, 40 year
•Spirit of Unity 2011, Numerous, Blend
•Springbank 1970, Signatory, 37 year
•Strathisla, Gordon and MacPhail, 30 year
•Wemyss Malt 1990, Mocha Spice, Blend
In August of this year I hosted two of the most charming guests that I have had on one of my WineGuyMike radio shows, Julia McIlvaine and John Colella http://wp.me/p2JY6W-Ny . Both of these actors starred in the lead roles of “Sideways The Play”. Yes that Sideways, the movie that literally sent merlot wine sales spiraling downward globally, -2%, and lifted the global sales of pinot noir to the heavens with an increase in sales of 16%.
For the savvy wine consumer this smacks of opportunity, great merlot winemakers didn’t quit making merlot throughout the world just because a movie had tremendous physiological impact on the wine industry worldwide. What this did mean is that poorly made merlot that would no longer sell was purged from the market place.
Merlot is a classic wine varietal that is medium-bodied, very expressive of its terroir that it is exposed to and grown in. The merlot grape is very fruit forward and truly express’s nuances of red or dark fruits depending on where it is grown, and how it is made. The merlot varietal is used as a primary blending grape in Bordeaux wine where it has gained its notoriety worldwide.
Merlot is a very fruit forward grape that is very soft with supple mouth-feel texture. As a Bordeaux blend this exquisite wine is excellent to drink alone or as an amazing companion to a wide variety of foods. California winemakers are also learning to blend this classic grape too, and I emphasize the word learning. While they have long produced merlot as a single varietal wine they are now blending with other varietals such as syrah, cabernet franc, and cabernet sauvignon. There are some very good wines being produced but they are centuries behind the winemakers of Bordeaux and the special touch they have in producing classic Bordeaux wines of incredible quality.
Merlot is making a comeback and you will see more on the shelves of your favorite wine store. This morning I leave you with two very nice wines that are of exceptional quality, one a blend from Napa Valley and a single vineyard 100% organic merlot from the Columbia Valley of Washington State. Please enjoy both of these luscious wines from Whitehall Lane and Hedges Estates.
Be sure to visit Liquid Planet, “The Best of Beverage”, in the heart of downtown Missoula, a great selection of wines and wonderful wine shopping experience.
The wines reviewed today all receive the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval™
From my table to yours,