David L. Kahn Wine Tasting Club
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Wine Tasting Summary

#13 Sparkling Wine pdf Nov 16, 2002
Year Producer, Selection From Variety Price * Score +
NV Nino Franco, Rustico Italy Prosecco $11.20 92
NV Martini & Rossi, Asti Spumante Italy Moscato D'Asti $9.00 86
NV Moet & Chandon, Nectar Imperial Epernay, France ??? $31.20 83
NV Tosti, Spumante Brut Italy Pinot Grigio $7.20 81
NV Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Reims, France Pinot Noir, Chardonnay $33.00 77
2000 Yerevan, Ararat, Dry Sparkling Wine Armenia ??? $8.00 67
We poured these sparkling wines in pairs, just like our Champagne tasting a year ago, to ensure that we had time to taste each one while it was still reasonably cold and bubbly. This tasting featured a greater variety of wine styles, including three different varietals from Italy. Veuve Clicquot, our highest-rated Champagne from last year's tasting, was included for comparison.
The first pair happened to include the Nino Franco and the Yerevan, which provided quite a contrast. The Nino Franco (which hadn't yet been identified) was pale, delicate and seemed to be a 'perfect' champagne. Several of us assumed that this had to be the Veuve Clicquot. The Yerevan was a deep amber color, with an aroma of raisins and a much harsher flavor which some of us considered 'off'. As the tasting proceeded, all the rest of the samples were delicious, though none unseated our early favorite. The Tosti was felt by some of us to be better after eating cheese. The Martini & Rossi was clearly the sweetest in the group, and several of us identified it accurately. Once again, we were surprised by the results. The Nino Franco is an excellent sparkling wine at a great price. The relatively poor showing of the Veuve Clicquot is less surprising given the context, since sweeter wines tend to receive a higher rating when contrasted with dryer wines.
* The Price reflects the club discount for non-sale wines purchased at Kappy's Liquors in Sudbury and Wine Cellars of Silene in Waltham. Any purchases at the club price must be coordinated through me.
+ The Score represents the average rating of the group at this tasting, on a scale from 50 to 100. We each assign a value of 0-4 for appearance, 0-6 for aroma, 0-6 for flavor and 0-4 for our overall impression resulting in a total score from 0-20. These are averaged, the result is multiplied by 2.5 and then 50 is added. The resulting 50-100 scale is the same range used by Wine Spectator though their process may be different.