Ideas for a basic Immer tasting
I just started reading "Great Wine Made Simple" by Andrea Immer. I've gone through the first tasting of whites. I used a 2003 Kendall Jackson Vitner's Reserve for the Chardonnay, a 2003 J Lohr for the Riesling, and a 2003 Silverado for the Sauvignon Blanc. I was amazed at how I could pick out specific flavors inherent in these wines simply by tasting the 3 next to eachother. I had never been able to place many specifics in wines that I had enjoyed. It was a great treat to be able to pull out different characteristics that I had not been able to enjoy before reading Andrea Immmer's book.
I'm going to try round 2 with reds and I would love some recommendations. I am looking for less expensive wines($7-15) that capture the essence of each varietal (pinot noir, merlot, and cabernet sauvignon). I am interested in pulling out the basics of each wine, rather than concentrating on more complex nuances. Those, I hope, will come in later tastings.
Sounds like a very fun and education project! You might consider a Hogue cellars or Columbia Crest merlot. WA is known for its merlot and these two are budget producers do a reasonable job of capturing the spirit of merlot. I haven't had it in awhile but Castle Rock pinot might be a good choice. It's a CA pinot. On the whole, pinots give you less for your money that cabs/merlots so if you are unimpressed don't think you don't like pinot. Amavi (a small WA producer) makes a fantastic cab at about $18. Columbia Crest and Hogue might also be worth a shot, are much cheaper and more widgely available. Good luck!
If they've been shipped properly, Veneto wines are good for comparing cabernet or merlot as they're traditionally very straightforward expressions of the fruit. For pinot, same goes for New Zealand. Sam's has these:
Montagner Cabernet Sauvignon Veneto 2005
Montagner Merlot D.O.C. Lison Pramaggiore 2005
Te Hira Pinot Noir Martinborough 2004
If possible try to taste at least once this wines. Red. Wine
Cims de porrera; Espill; Solanes (from Priorat) R.W.
Muga; Nuestra Señora de Remelluri;Solar de Libano;Solar de Samaniego (from Rioja) R.W.
Vega Sicilia; Pago de los Capellanes (Ribera del Duero)R.W.
Martin Codax; Murgans (Rias Baixas "labariño) White W.