CITYPEEK Wine Tasting Report-July 2010-Husic, el Cota Rioja

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CITYPEEK Wine-lovers blog- By popular demand-here is a recap of some recent wines sampled and loved at some recent outings by self-taught, chief sipper, CITYPEEK Patti. First please note, wine choice is a seasonal sport--my palette changes with seasons with heavier wines like big Cabernet and Shiraz' saved for colder months and lighter like whites fair better for the hot summer.  Champagne you ask? Always in season!

And for the season we have enjoyed sampling a newer taste for us--ROSE starting with El Cote de Rioja Rosada 2009-Spanish wine, Frederick Wildman & Sons distributor. This delicious bright pink wine with a 50-50% blend of Grenache and Tempranillo has a fresh, fruity smell of red berries like strawberry and raspberry, but dry to the palette. I enjoyed this rose on a hot summer night over a light meal of sushi. It truly sprouted my new rose passion and, best of all, sells for about $10/bottle.  We also have enjoyed the 'oaky' El Cote de Rioja Blanco 2008 of the Rioja region which is 100% Viura grape. Also pairs terrifically with seafood, fish, antipasto. Also $10/bottle suggested price.

While hanging out at VINO ROSINA in HARBOR East with pals, MARTHA AMEREIHN & Education Executive BONNIE COPLAND, I was suggested to try the Sancerre Rouge 2009 which Bonnie adored in another vintage (2007, I believe) visit the week prior. I was pleasantly delighted to see a familiar wine server face behind the bar in Monica, formally of CINGHIALE. She served up some wonderful choices which also included a big, bold Cabernet Signorrelo's 'Edge' (better saved for a cold night by the fire) while we shared beets salad with goat cheese and a house special hummos and crusty bread platter prepared by JESSE SANDLIN of TOP CHEF 2009.

"I had the Sunkist spinach salad with cherries and fresh peaches which was to die for," exclams Ms. Amereihn.

But one of the months best tasting activities was a private winemaker tasting at FLEMING'S PRIME STEAKHOUSE & WINE BAR with NAPA VALLEY WINE MAKERS, & Ohio-born Frank and his California-bred wife Julie HUSIK. While their twin boys played video games happily, in a private dining room of FLEMING'S in HARBOR EAST we sampled the HUSIC wines of  NAPA's STAG'S LEAP District.

This special VIP  from both Fleming's and Roy's Hawaiian Fusion. The one-night event featured a collaborative cuisine tasting dinner by Fleming's Chef Partner Eric Littlejohn & Operating Partner Richard Haskell and Roy's Chef Partner Rey Eugenio. Each course prepared by both master chefs, and specially selected wine pairings from the award-winning Husic Vineyards provided by the Rich Lowitz of The Cult Wine Group who distributes some spectacular 'boutique wines' in the Maryland-DC region. I specifically attended a special pre-dinner tasting on this Friday night.

We were first greeted by the Husics and handed an intensely crisp of "oaky" chardonnay-HUSIC, Chardonnay Napa Valley, 2007 & 2008. It was paired with with seared tuna and spicy sauce.

But it was the next group- the vertical tasting and the Palm Terrace, best served with a hearty meat like lamb or filet, that knocked our socks off. The Husic vineyards are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, with a tiny amount of Petit Verdot for blending. The vineyards go from approximately 900 feet on the hillside, to the Valley Floor. Some of the vineyards are planted in the “official boundary” of the Stags Leap District, and the remaining vineyards lie above the “line” of the appellation. It took four years to reach a mature crop, so the first year harvested and crushed by Julie and Frank was in the fall of 2001. Then fun went in this selection: HUSIC, Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Dos Palmas, 2005, 2006 & 2007   
HUSIC, Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Palm Terrace, 2005 --oh-la la-what a rare treat-a simple, focused red wine that we definitely want to try again. But be careful, the 14.5% alcohol content can get you every time.

Cheers for now!

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