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Last night I (@DrinkWhatULike) participated in my first Twitter Taste Live event (now called Taste Live), which featured the wines of Robert Oatley Vineyards.  Although Twitter was not fully cooperating because of the Denial of Service attack yesterday, I managed to stay updated by switching between the HelloVino live stream, Twitter desktop, and the Taste Live stream.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, the Taste Live format provides an opportunity for a large group of wine enthusiasts, throughout the world (although most appeared to be here in the States), to taste the same wines and share their tasting notes and thoughts on the wines via Twitter

My first Taste Live event was definitely an interesting and fast-paced experience – tasting, reading everyone else’s tasting notes and thoughts on the TasteLive stream, Tweeting my own tasting notes and trying to keep up with the HelloVino video stream.   

The Taste Live event provided a great chance to interact virtually with a handful of other bloggers who participated in the event – fellow first time Taste Live participant, @PullingTheCork, along with @1WineDude and the guys at @HelloVino via their live stream, and a handful of other tasters. 

On to the tasting… Bob Oatley has a 40-year history of producing wines in Australia.  The Robert Oatley wine company is based in the Mudgee region of Australia, situated 160 miles northwest of Sydney.  The Oatley estate spans seven vineyards, totaling 1,200 acres.  Mudgee is derived from the Aboriginal meaning for the region, ‘The Nest in the Hills.’

The Taste Live event began with the Robert Oatley 2008 Pinot Grigio.  $18/bottle.  13.5% alcohol.  Made from 100% Pinot Grigio from South Australia.  Stelvin Lux screw cap closure (excellent closures).  My wife made crab cakes to pair with this wine, which seemed to bring out a white grape juice component.


Crab cakes with Robert Oatley 2008 Pinot Grigio

Crab cakes with Robert Oatley 2008 Pinot Grigio

Real-time Pinot Grigio tasting notes I posted to Twitter:

Oatley PG Tweet Pic

Given the heavy lemon and unripe grapefruit on the palate, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about the Pinot Grigio.

The next wine in the line up was the Robert Oatley 2008 Rose of Sangiovese.  $18/Bottle.  13% alcohol.  Made from 100% Sangiovese grapes from the Mudgee region.  Stelvin Lux screw cap closure.   Initially, I picked up strawberry, cherry and orange spritz that led to cherry and herb flavors in the mouth.  Dry.  I came back to this Rose as the tasting continued and each time the wine showed a different side.  That initial cherry and orange spritz aroma evolved in to watermelon and strawberry Jolly Rancher candy with gobs of strawberry in the mouth.  Also an interesting basil flavor in the mouth as well.

Oatley RedThe final wine of the Taste Live tasting was the Robert Oatley 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot blend.  This is a blend of 51% Cabernet and 49% Merlot.  A very reasonable $20/bottle.  13% alcohol.  I decanted this wine for about two hours before the tasting began.  On the nose I found pungent leather and smoke (like mesquite charcoal smoke) along with loads of baked dark berries.  The moderate tannins worked well with the leather, currant, earth and prune in the mouth.  As the wine opened up, more dark fruits were revealed.  For me, this was definitely the highlight of the tasting – love the nose and how it changed over the course of an hour.   * I retasted this wine tonight just before posting this – rather than the leather and smoke dominating, I picked up that same baked fruit along with mint and an oregano component. 

A big thank you to Craig Drollett and the rest of the team at Bin Ends Wine for hosting the Taste Live event.  Be sure to join the next Taste Live event on August 13th – Around the World in 80 Sips with Bottlenotes.

 *Disclaimer: I received each of the three Robert Oatley wines as samples from Bin Ends Wine as part of the Taste Live event.