I have never attended anything like the UGC tasting. Quite remarkable considering all of the events I’ve been to, right? So here’s why Wally’s Wine, the event host, was so successful:
Between the two thick tasting books – that could fit in a man’s pants pocket – every winery was listed by region, by page number, and then alphabetized within each region and labels were provided in color for quick reference. The two rooms we tasted in were also separated by region, and alphabetized.
Having single bottles to taste, as opposed to the normal domestic line-up of several varietals from a winery, made things go very quickly. Having Robert Parker, Wine Spectator and James Suckling scores in advance, and 99 percent of those all over 90, made it simpler for guests to not rule out anything, but to taste as much as possible. (The list of the wines, and the scores can be found here: http://evewine101.com/2013/01/10/eve-wine-101-pick-union-des-grands-crus-bordeaux-tasting-at-century-plaza-hotel/)
There was little discussion at the tasting tables (again I think it was partly because all of the wines had been previously scored) keeping the long lines moving fast. This could have been a bad thing, but I think the winery owners and representatives were comfortable with the process. One rep told me that he was serving a 2010 Bordeaux…I told him that he didn’t have to say that. We laughed and then he told me more of what I needed to know: what the blend was.
There was not as much pouring out. Guests lingered over their 90+ point wines for good reason. Most commented that these 2010s had excellent fruit, structure, spice and tannins – in varying degrees – and though we may purchase for our cellars we might also enjoy them sooner over later.
The people I spoke to that attended the pre-event tasting just raved about it. Older vintages and a seated tasting area made for a comfortable and relaxed tasting. And it only revved up their engines for the really big show.
After all that wine I woke up the next morning headache-free. To me it proved the point that the French don’t have to abide by the same laws regarding preservation that we do in the states = less sulfites. Whatever it was, it was a pleasant reminder of time well spent visiting Bordeaux via Wally’s Wine.
More information on the Union de Grands Crus can be found via their website: http://ugcb.net/en/historique
Next up for Wally’s Wine
WINTER TENT EVENT: EVERYTHING IN STOCK IS 20 TO 80% OFF, 2/14 through 2/17 9-5 pm. www.wallyswine.com
Story of my Favorites in Photos