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*Disclaimer: I received the Nautilus wines as samples to participate in the Taste Live event.

On Wednesday night I participated in a Taste Live event organized by Creative Furnace and Negotiants USA featuring wines from Nautilus Vineyards.  Based in Marlborough, New Zealand, Nautilus produces 42,000 cases of wine annually.   This year’s vintage marks Nautilus’s 25th.

The Nautilus Taste Live line up. Photo taken by Rob Cordosi

For those unfamiliar with the concept, the Taste Live <www.tastelive.com> format provides an opportunity for a group of wine bloggers throughout the US to taste the same wines and share their tasting notes and thoughts live via Twitter.

We tasted three Nautilus wines as part of the tasting – 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, 2008 Pinot Grigio and 2008 Pinot Noir.

The 2009 Sauvignon Blanc was the first in the tasting line up (at least at our place). I believe the suggested retail is $16.  The group at our house opened this one before the tasting started to pair with the steamed seafood bowl my wife fixed – shrimp, scallops, mussels, corn and kielbasa with butter and Old Bay.  I love how the jalapeno, hints of bell pepper, and citrus worked so well together.  The acidity made this a perfect wine for the hot, humid evening on the deck.

Thoughts from the Twitter gallery…

Holy jalapeno – this #nautiluswine SB is rockin the little green pepper!” ~ @DrinkWhatULike (that’s me)

“Nautilus SB 09 is tasting great. Crisp, fresh, with some groovy tropical layers.” ~ @NegociantsUSA

“As the wine warms a little more, getting some kiwi and more grapefruit to balance the herbal of the SB” ~ RobBralow

“…definitely herbacious. Not getting asparagus tho. Maybe green pepper.” ~ @WineBratSF

Next up in the tasting was the 2008 Pinot Grigio.  $18.99 suggested retail. Although this Nautilus Pinot Grigio was ok, I’ve never been a fan of the grape, and this one did little to change that.  A few notable tweets for the Pinot Grigio:

this pinot gris is an excellent food wine. perfect with light cheeses and smoked meats” ~ @RobBralow

ginger…nutmeg…” ~ @NegociantsUSA

“Spiced pear for me on the nose of the Pinot Gris” ~ @Sonadora

“The 08 Pinot Gris, perfumed pear, lemon, spice and soft toasted notes.” ~ @MyVineSpot

“PG 08 WOW mineral. A bit of light butter, some nice honeydew mellon and then nothing but minerals and sea salt.” ~ @RobBralow

“Looks like #NautilusWine SauvBlanc is the overall white fav amongst the group of tasters.” ~ @DrinkWhatULike

The final wine in the lineup was the 2008 Pinot Noir. $25 Suggested Retail.  Nautilus has 60 acres of Pinot that includes seven different clones.  This is the only red wine that Nautilus produces – about 4,500 cases produced.  This NZ Pinot exhibited a lot of similarities to many of the Pinots I tasted during my trip to the Adelaide Hills region of Australia. By far the overall fan favorite – excellent QPR.

“On the Pinot, I get red fruit, coffee, spice, sweet toasty oak…” ~ @MyVineSpot

Heard from peanut gallery here at The Morgan’s @Nautilus Pinot Noir – ‘cherry cobbler’ ‘hot’ ‘raspberry’ ‘pink peppercorn’ ~ @DrinkWhatULike

“…rich black cherry, Dr Pepper, black raspberry on nose. red zinger – hibiscus, red currant, juicy juicy juicy” ~ @WineBratSF

“(Katy) My fav match is wild duck or venison with a redcurrant sauce. Mmm mmm.” ~ @NautilusEstate

For our group, the Pinot Noir was the overwhelming favorite, with the Sauvignon Blanc trailing in second place.  I’d like to have the Pinot in a lineup during one of our ‘Pork and Pinot’ tastings – would be interesting to see if anyone picked this one out as a NZ Pinot.

As always, Taste Live was a fun, fast-paced, enjoyable event.  Big thanks to Katy, Brett and Clive of Nautilus for participating, Crista from Negotiants USA, and Cailyn at Creative Furnace for pulling this together.  And, a smaller thanks to Rob and Jen for coming over, chatting, eating our food, drinking this wine, and taking photos. 😉

Out on the deck, enjoying food, friends and Nautilus wines... Photo by Rob Cordosi.