Monday, October 5, 2015

Blind Tasted and Tested...

The first supper where Bingham Family Vineyards wines are served in San Antonio was for my dear friends, the taste makers for San Antonio or as they like to be called; The Varsity Squad. In attendance; Dr. Gary Penny, Dr. Deborah Strus, Lisa Elliott, Tony Cherone, Veronique Cecilia Barretto (full time Sommelier for Pedernales Cellars, Wine Consultant for Folc Restaurant and 'part time' Wine Snob), Gloria Baretto and Ramon Baretto. All experienced wine enthusiasts and foodies.

I gathered them to blind taste the wines from Bingham Family Vineyards against counterpart wines from famous and popular producers from other regions of the world. Not a uncommon practice for wineries and wine professionals to engage in to asses the quality and perceived value of their wines in the glass. And, I will admit more than a little nerve racking when it is your wines being judged.  I did my best to be fearless and put in very serious competition from the 'counterpart wines.'

There were five pairs of wines tasted blind. We tasted each pair and discussed and voted on a preference as we went. The reveal was at the end after all the wines were tasted. Below are my tasting notes for each wine and then a summery of how the group felt.
The group picked Caymus blind and once revealed some recanted their choice, there seems to be love/hate reputation for the Conundrum wines. Blind the Short Rows was thought to be a Riesling or Gewurztraminer. Revealed the group could see the potential for sweet white drinkers, the target audience, all in attendance being dry wine lovers. Short Rows provides an excellent value and held it's own against a popular wine that is more expensive.
The group tied these two up in votes, they are very comparable. I expected the wines to be wildly different with one being a single variety and the other a blend, but I was wrong and very pleasantly surprised. The Cloudbust shows that Bingham Family Vineyards is not only delivering quality but value too! The challenge Texas wineries need to overcome, and we have done it!
The group picked the Orin Swift unanimously. It is the best rose I have tasted this year; it is amazing!  I was tasting blind also and I was SURE it was the Sunset Rose. The two roses are very similar and both are excellent.  Orin Swift is the hottest brand going; the same team who make the Locations wines, the "TX" blend that partnered with Kim McPherson and the bottles FLEW off the shelf! 
The group picked the Turnrow by one vote, everyone loved the floral aromas and found the wine complex and delicious. The Spanish wine was very good and had that old oak note that some liked and some not so much.
The group picked the Dugout by two votes, they loved the complexity and oak notes. The Beringer Knights Valley was the most different; some thought it was a Malbec. Curiously Beringer seems to have change it's style to be less Napa Cab like. Why?  The Dugout taste like the Knights Valley did ten years ago; it is berry nice.

Overall assessment; three winners out of five selections were made for the Bingham wines. In one instance the wine was out of place in flavor profile or price point, and that was the Beringer Knights Valley. I am very encouraged to witness the value (quality and price) that we are offering. The tasters were very excited on the reveal of the Bingham wines and to be the first in San Antonio to try the wines. It was a very warm and enthusiastic reception. I need you to start spreading the word that the Bingham wines are coming to San Antonio, Austin, the Hill Country and surrounding areas! And look for your opportunity to taste them yourself...

My next posts will cover my journey in more detail...
Watch this blog for notice of consumer events and tasting opportunities we will have for you!
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In the Dallas/Ft. Worth area we have a Tasting Room you can visit:
620 S Main St., Grapevine, Texas  |   phone (682) 651-8668

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