Tasting Notes with Jim Beauregard: End-of-summer beer, wine selectionsBy JIM BEAUREGARD August 28. 2018 10:54PM
Has everybody had enough tequila? Good. I didn’t want you to forget that I also write about beer and wine, so we are finishing the month off with some tasting notes so you have an idea of what’s out there.
Piraat Belgian Ale, 11.2-oz. bottle, $4.49. This one is a Belgian Dubbel, so lighter in color. It’s also 10.5% alcohol. I have written about it before. When making a beer, the brewer should be shooting for consistency, and they have achieved that here. The hops intensity is high. It has a classic Belgian head in the glass. It is dry, of medium bitterness, acidity and alcohol. The body is medium and the texture is medium as well. Hops, citrus, lemon. Loads of flavor and very refreshing on a warm summer day.
In Germany, the Oktoberfest celebrations tend to start the end of September, so it’s time to start thinking about Oktoberfest beers. Let’s start with a solid brewery, Sierra Nevada, 2018 Oktoberfest. Sierra Nevada has partnered with Weihenstephaner of Germany for what they call an “American take on the classic German Oktoberfest.” Medium-size head that diminishes a bit. Amber beer, with a rich malty nose that has some hops lingering in the background. The palate immediately delivers the mulch, with rich flavors of caramel, pensive toast, some roast notes and some hops acidity. It is dry, of medium–plus and the flavor stays with you right through very long finish. It is perfect for that transition from summer to fall.
Domaine Les Pins Bourgueil 2016 Cabernet Franc. $14.99 Harvest Market. Cabernet Franc is one of the grapes that go into a traditional Bordeaux blend. Increasingly in recent years it has taken on a life of its own as a single varietal. And this is a very good thing as it stands very well on its own. This is a deep red wine, purple with hints of ruby just out at the rim. Its nose is clean and of medium intensity. The tendons are medium–plus, and the alcohol, at 13% is medium and in a harmonious relationship. The body is of medium weight on the palate, and the flavor intensity is pretty intense, with both primary and secondary flavors, delivering black currant, blackberry, red plum and black plum as well as some vanilla drawn from the oak barrel. When I was taking wine classes, one of the challenges students faced was to imagine a customer coming into your wine shop and asking for a type of wine you didn’t have. If, for instance, someone was looking for a Cabernet Sauvignon and you were fresh out, you might recommend a Cabernet Franc instead, as there is some crossover in the flavors and it is generally a fairly full-bodied wine.
Villa Sparina Barbera del Monferato DOC, 2015, 13.5% alcohol by volume, $18.95, Angela’s Pasta and Cheese Shop, Manchester. I have picked it up before and enjoyed it. At the moment, it has a deep intensity and purple color. The nose brings blackberry and red berry, and on the palate it is dry and of medium-plus acidity, with medium tannin and medium alcohol. There is medium weight to the body and medium–plus flavor intensity that includes blackberries, red plums and black plums, as well as some cedar notes. Delicious.
Contact wine and beer writer Jim Beauregard at email@example.com.