The Asheville School of Wine presents The Asheville Wine Focus Group the first Wednesday of every month. Check out the winners of the tasting this month:
Bryan Hendershot of Mims stepped out of the wine comfort zone presenting lesser known varietals or varietals done in a different style than is standard operating for a crowd. It worked.
The Group really liked all four wines for various reasons. When making decisions, in addition to versatility and being well crafted, price to quality ratio is also a consideration.
The Pala Cannonau from Sardegna was a less fruity more structured version than you generally encounter. The Group determined that this wine needs food and as we discovered a little air. After we tasted all four wines, we came back around to the Cannonau and those that were not fans on the first taste, appreciated the wine with the changes the air brought. Bryan explained that different wines call for different amounts of air and temperature.
And the Remo Farina Ripasso! We really liked the fact that this bottle was not heavy on the raisin taste. Some of the Group said they have hesitated to try Ripasso and certainly Amarone because the raisin taste smothers the bottle and not in a good way. If you like Amarone and find it out of your price range, Bryan suggested a Ripasso as an alternative. This full bodied, full flavored bottle at $23 is well worth it.
And now the winners!
Copertino is a blend of 95% Negroamaro and 5% Malvasia. This is where price to quality ratio was a factor. It is very unusual to find a bottle of wine that CAN be aged, that HAS been aged and successfully aged for 10 years for only $16.99.
The wine is rustic yet soft with flavors of black berries and earth. A robust wine, Copertino is always aged 2 years prior to release becoming refined and elegant with the aging. Serve at 65 degrees. Copertino has the WOW factor. You can enjoy this wine by the glass at Nightbell and Cucina 24 in Asheville.
Terlano Muller Thurgau was a close second. Muller Thurgau IS the varietal. You can see how it might have suffered securing placement in the American market. The German grape Blaufrankish is called Franconia in Italy. Same taste on the palate but easier on the ear! Just a thought. Made in Northern Italy, Alto Adige, the wine is German in style.
Pale yellow in the glass with aromatic tropical fruits on the nose, the wine is medium bodied on the palate with flavors of mango and peach balanced with a crisp acidity. The Group agreed with James Suckling who awarded 91 Points! We thought this wine was perfect to enjoy without food but would make a take out bowl of fried rice from Gan Shan Station sing! And you have time. Bryan tells us that this wine could go another 10 years in the bottle.
Other wines from Mims that you may know include "Shop Favorites" such as Pentimento and the Maz Caz wines from Michele d'Aprix as well as Flor de Montgo organic Tempranillo.
Join us for Asheville Wine Focus Group on May 2nd when Derek Rubio of Skyland Distributing will be our host.