I normally don’t like starting an article on a somber note, but I couldn’t think of a better way to introducing today’s entry by talking about two of my principles: First, I believe wine is meant to be shared (I’m not a huge fan of people who are all about being snobby, exclusive, and cliquish). Second, I really think that the concept of succession is beneficial to both an organisation and the individual belonging to the group.
(The latter part sounds like it was lifted out of some human resources manual, and at this point, I’m grateful for any reader that’s still sticking around and waiting for me to get to a point… Sorry!)
I guess this is my runabout way of introducing Jean Park to our readers. I first met Jean about a year ago while I was helping out in the Enderun Colleges WSET program. She struck me as someone incredibly sharp, eloquent, slightly geeky, and with an amazing passion for all things wine.
In other words, a perfect fit for 2shotsandapint. Hmm…
A few months later, I ran into her in a wine event. I asked her if she wanted to work the room with me, and she happily obliged.
During a break, we got to talking about how tickets to wine events tend to be pretty steep for a student budget, and that it was beginning to be difficult for her to attend… It was a shame because she saw events as a great venue for learning.
That’s when I got to thinking… My sister/assistant (and self-proclaimed “schedule b*tch”) has been having a hard time trying to include “this thing called a vacation” into my schedule, let alone juggle all my multiple appointments/events/classes/sudden health scare (which meant more appointments, this time the medical kind). I also thought, I have been toying with the idea of having a succession plan for the blog for quite some time… Jean certainly has the qualifications for it, being a WSET1 awardee (which she got from Enderun).
I tossed the idea to Jean, and after a few emails (plus working out some formalities), Jean decided to join the 2shots team while she’s in Manila, attending some of the events I couldn’t go to.
Her first assignment was this year’s Toast to Trade 2019. I’ve always been a huge fan of the yearly event held by Wine Warehouse (last year’s was particularly epic!) because it’s casual (read: not intimidating), and is a great way to learn about different wines from a number of regions.
Here is a list of some of Jean’s favourites:
Campillo Gran Reserva 1994 Rioja, (Estate Bottled*)
Jean: “This particular wine first caught my interest as it was the oldest bottle of wine I have seen and tried (it’s older than I am**). In addition, despite its age, the wine still looked very youthful (medium ruby). Another interesting tidbit about the wine is that only 129,972 of it were ever bottled. On the nose, it has characters f some oak, vanilla, dried red fruit (cherries), with earthy, dried flowers and some baking spice. Tertiary characteristics were present in the form of leathery notes on the palate, as well as the same fruit characteristics I got on the nose. The tannin and acidity were well-balanced and was very pleasant to drink.”
Artemis by Stag Leap Wine Cellars 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)
Jean: “I was first introduced to Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars last year (Toast to Trade 2018) when I was stationed to the both right next to it. However, I was not able to try any of the wines until almost a year later. I greatly enjoyed Artemis and Hands of Time (their second wine for the show), but I found Artemis to be more to my liking. Artemis also has an interesting origin, as the wine was named after the Greek goddess of the hunt, reflecting the ‘hunt’ for the best grapes, which were then used to make the wine. The wine smelled of oak, baking spices, and peppery aromas, with notes of black cherries, vanilla, and hints of red fruits. It has medium tannin and acidity, with flavors of black fruits.”
Barolo 2013 by Mauro Molino (Piedmont)
Jean: “I’ve always enjoyed how Barolo is on the nose. The appearance may look like a light (style) red wine, but it has amazing, gripping tannins and acidity. Combined with flavor characteristics of baking spices, dried red fruit, and a savory aftertaste, it was particularly enjoyable for myself – especially as I watched my friends have Barolo for the first time. I also enjoyed the notes of tobacco, prunes, red fruits, spice, and hints of leather.”
Dr. Loosen Bernkasteler Lay, Riesling Kabinett (Mosel)
Jean: “As someone who does not enjoy sweet wines, I found the off-dry nature of the Kabinett to be just right. The high acidity of the wine, coupled with the refreshing hints of minerality, balanced out the sweetness and made the wine very refreshing. On the nose, the wine was very fruit forward with notes of green apple, lime, stone fruits, and the iconic smell of petrol***. Aside from what I’ve mentioned, it also has flavours of honey, lemon juice, and white flowers.”
Silverado Chardonnay 2017 (Carneros)
Jean: “When I think of California Chardonnay, I usually think of something with heavy oak influences, ripe and even jammy tropical fruits. This Chardonnay, on the other hand, has more subtle fruit flavours and more bready and mineral characteristics to it. On the nose, it’s yeasty and almost bready, with lemon, green apples, oak, and hints of peaches and pears. It has high acidity and bready characteristics with refreshing lemon flavours on the palate.”
Brokenwood Semillion 2018 (Hunter Valley)
Jean: “The Brand Ambassador of Brokenwood described the wine as high acid, refreshing, with fruity characters of lemon and green apple… He also mentioned that it was a wine that people would either like or hate. I found this wine, with its high levels of acidity and refreshing lemon juice and grapefruit characteristics, to be very enjoyable because of its simplicity and straightforward character.
Cum Laude Banfi Toscana 2014
Jean: “This Sueprtuscan**** by Castello Banfi is both complex and enjoyable. The notes I found were varied and, as the wine became increasingly aerated, changed from fruits (black and red fruits) and pepper to earthy, vegetable characters, and even dark chocolate. On the palate, it showed soft tannins and flavors of mushrooms and leather. It also tasted somewhat savory.”
For those who want to be like Jean and start being a professional wino, WSET classes are being offered through the Enderun Extension/The Study (or hey, one can go the full shebang and get a Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management from Enderun Colleges, where WSET is incorporated in the curriculum). Enderun Extension/The Study is located in The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center (people may inquire via +632-6553609, +63917-3237662, or firstname.lastname@example.org). Enderun Colleges is located in 1100 Campus Avenue, McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig (people may inquire via +632-8565000, or email@example.com).
…Or hey, we’ll probably see you in the next Toast to Trade. 😉 Cheers!
*Estate Bottled wines must come from the winery’s own vineyards. Both vineyards and winery must be in the geographical area specified on the label (source: The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson and Julia Harding)
**God I feel old… For perspective, I graduated elementary school at 1995.
***People who encounter “petrol” on tasting notes for the first time tend to be taken aback by the term. Personally, I liken it more to the smell of a freshly opened can of tennis balls as opposed to gasoline.
****Supertuscan is an unofficial classification used on stonking wines from Tuscany that, under the EU labeling laws, would normally be marked as Vino da Tavola, or Table Wine.
Very, very special thanks to Mr. Brett Tolhurst and Gerald Holgado of Wine Warehouse
Wines featured in this article are available in the Wine Depot store near you. Lazy wine enthusiasts (like me!), can also order wines through their site.
All photos courtesy of Jean Park