3/29/2011

Quick Sip: Glen Manor Vineyards 2005 Petit Verdot


Hello Friends,

Today’s “Quick Sip” is the Glen Manor Vineyard’s 2005 Petit Verdot. Petit Verdot is one of the five red grape varieties currently used to make red Bordeaux and is rarely made into a varietal wine. Petit Verdot is used as a bit player in Bordeaux for adding namely color and structure as well as some flavor and aroma components to Bordeaux blends. In Virginia, Petit Verdot has found some success as a single varietal wine and admirers of the variety awe over its deep inky color and ability to produce a wine with size, structure, and oomph - especially since Cabernet Franc is not that wine, though some producers push it to be. In the vineyard, Petit Verdot ripens very late, but local growers don’t seem to experience problems ripening the variety as they do in Bordeaux. Virginia Petit Verdot wines generally have one thing in common; a lovely dark color. Anything beyond that, style and quality included, can be fairly inconsistent from producer to producer. Some examples are balanced and bold, others surprisingly friendly and bright, and many can boast appealing aromatics, while others are somewhat neutral and dull on the palate. The latter heightens the argument that Petit Verdot makes for a better blending agent than stand-alone wine. Every now and then in my Virginia wine experience, you open that one bottle at the right time that unveils the potential of what can be grown and produced here.

Glen Manor 2005 Petit Verdot


I recently had one of those wines; a 2005 Petit Verdot from Glen Manor Vineyards. Glen Manor Vineyards is owned and operated by wine-grower or vigneron as he calls himself, Jeff White. Jeff worked as a cellar-rat and grew wine grapes for Jim Law, owner and operator of Linen Vineyards from 1993 through 2005. Many local wine lovers, both in and out of the business, regard Linden Vineyards as the top producer of quality wine in the state, bar none. If fine wine is made in the vineyard, then Jeff's fruit, for a period, assisted in building Linden's good reputation. Glen Manor’s 2005 (100%) Petit Verdot is a stand-out wine, displaying a rich, deep, purple opaque color followed by bold aromas of luscious dark fruit, smoke, blueberry, and spice with hints of stewed prunes and anise. The palate is mouth-coating, alluring and muscular, yet balanced, with an assertive structure, firm but integrated tannins, ripe and round fruit, and a dry and lasting finish. What stands-out for me in this Petit Verdot is its richness, depth of flavor (intensity) and character, complexity, and overall completeness. This wine clocks in at 14.5% ABV, has a real cork enclosure, and unfortunately, is no longer available at the tasting room. This is when a friend with a few bottles in the cellar pays off! The current vintage of Glen Manor Vineyard’s Petit Verdot retails for $29, and if it is anything like the 2005, is a good buy. For those of you not familiar; Glen Manor Vineyards is located in Front Royal, Virginia, and is a fourth-generation family-owned and operated farm winery specializing in estate-grown wines. In my humble opinion, Jeff White’s mountain-slope site is producing some of the nicest wines in the state today. Get out and try some if you haven’t already!

Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come!

CLICK HERE to visit Glen Manor Vineyard's website.

CLICK HERE to follow Glen Manor Vineyards on Twitter.

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3/22/2011

Taste-Live with Planet Bordeaux


Hello Friends,

This past Friday, I joined an online cast of enthusiastic wine bloggers and participated in the Planet Bordeaux Twitter Taste-Live event. This event was organized by Michael Wangbickler of Balzac Communications and Marketing as part of a marketing campaign to get the word out about good affordable Bordeaux AOC and Bordeaux Supérieur AOC wines. Bordeaux, arguably the world’s most famous wine region, produces a large quantity of wine, in particular, high quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot based wines. Outside the top-tier and more expensive classified growths are a generous number of value-priced, good-quality wines that are enjoyable upon release and capable of improving with age. These wines, in my humble opinion, are the most overlooked by American consumers. Why is this – especially since the majority of these wines, as seen in this tasting, hit the under $20 sweet spot? I think a big reason goes back to a recent blog post of mine titled, “Are you hooked on varietal labels?’ Many U.S. consumers find comfort in what they know, and just about everyone knows Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec, right? These are all Bordeaux red wine grape varieties and the grape's name is not typically spelled out on the front label of French wine. As a general rule of thumb, anything from the left bank will be Cabernet Sauvignon-based, while right bank wines are Merlot-based and usually more fruit-forward, softer, and approachable than their left bank counterparts. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Bordeaux white wines that are crafted using [namely] Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. These refreshing whites can be found at very good price points and are some of my favorites to sip during spring and summer months.

The Planet Bordeaux Lineup


If you haven’t introduced a few value-priced, everyday Bordeaux wines into your weekly, even bi-weekly, rotation yet, think outside the box from your normal selection, and give this prestigious wine region a try. For the average wine consumer, a small investment can sometimes yield big rewards in the glass! Below are my notes from the five diverse Bordeaux Supérieur AOC wines we tasted. All of these wines were 13.5% ABV or less, priced between $13 and $16, and ranged from decent to very good in terms of quality. Do you want to learn more about Bordeaux, the region many wine connoisseurs consider to be the birthplace of today’s wine culture? I recommend a visit to Planet Bordeaux’s website where you’ll find all sorts of good information about the region as well information on where you can find the wines.

1) La Butte du Château La Gatte 2006 (100% Old Vine Merlot) – Well balanced with supple tannins, moderate acidity, and bright notes of cherry and strawberry accented by earthy tones.
Website: http://www.chateaulagatte.com/

2) Château de Lugagnac 2008 (50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon) - Blackberry and black cherry fruit with toasty oak, subtle smoke, and herbal notes with a viscous palate and dusty tannins with a dash of dry cocoa on the lingering finish.
Website: http://www.chateaudelugagnac.com/

3) Château de Terrefort-Quancard 2008 (64% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon) – Palate is restrained in its fruit with firm tannins and (subtle) aromas of leather, fresh mushrooms, cedar, and forest floor that extends to the palate with drying tannins and spice on the medium length finish.
Website: http://www.chevalquancard.com/

4) Château de Parenchère Cuvée Raphaêl 2007 (60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot) – Moderately complex nose of currant, dark cherry and coffee beans mixed with potting soil, a minty component and smoked meat. This medium-bodied wine offers a round mouth-feel with well integrated tannins and a spicy lingering finish.
Website: http://www.parenchere.com/

5) Château Penin Tradition 2009 (90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc) – Fruit forward, easy-drinking wine that has hints of leafiness and greenness upfront developing into delicate tart cherries and soft raspberry flavors with a dusting of black pepper on the medium length finish.
Website: http://www.chateaupenin.com/

Many thanks to Michael Wangbickler for setting this Twitter tasting up and the above named producers for sharing their passion with the wine blogging community. Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come!

CLICK HERE to visit Planet Bordeaux's website.

CLICK HERE to follow Planet Bordeaux on Twitter.

CLICK HERE to add Planet Bordeaux as a friend on Facebook.

CLICK HERE to go to Balzac Communications and Marketing website.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

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3/14/2011

Think outside the box

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Hello Friends,

In the wine world, to think outside the box is to drink outside the box. And no, I’m not referring to box wines, but wine selection – be it bottle or box. I’ve discovered from talking to people when I visit wine shops and wineries that many people play it safe when selecting a wine. Some people stay within the big six (Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir) and others get wrapped around the style of a wine and rarely divert. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but I will repeat it again, “We’re living in the golden age of wine.” Wine is being produced all over our great globe and the selection is mind-blowing. In the wine world, there is always something new to taste and new to learn. So why limit yourself, right? Every now and then, it’s good to try something altogether different. This doesn’t mean that your way of doing things is wrong; it just means you’re not afraid to swirl, sniff, and sip something different than what you’re accustomed to. Variety, so they say, is the spice of life.

2008 Château Meyger Furmint (Dry)

Do I practice what I preach? Sure I do. My “Think outside the box” pick for today is a 2008 Château Meyger Furmint (Dry) from Hungary. Many people, myself included, associate Hungary solely with sweet wines – most notably, the famed, golden, delicious Tokaji Aszú wines. Now, if you have never had a Tokaji Aszú, try one as your “Think outside the box” wine for dessert! One of the key white-wine grape varieties in Tokay’s sweet wine is Furmint. Furmint is susceptible to noble rot, which yields flavorful and concentrated berries, so it’s an ideal candidate for complex dessert wines. To a lesser degree, Furmint is also vinified into a dry wine, which is what I have selected for this post. The 2008 Château Meyger Furmint is refreshing and bright with delicate floral, golden apple, white fruit, and subtle (metallic) mineral aromas. It drinks nicely on its own, yet the food-friendly acidity allows it to pair well with a wide variety of dishes. This wine clocks in at a very moderate 9.5% ABV and retails for about $11. I plan to add a few of the dry, refreshing, and reasonably-priced white wines of Hungary to my shopping list to enjoy this spring and summer. The next time you visit your local wine shop or tasting room, think outside the box and try something totally new – at least to you. Drop me an e-mail, tweet me, share a comment, or hit me up on Facebook, and let me know what you found and how you enjoyed it. Cheers!

Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come!

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!


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3/12/2011

Must See Television: Virginia Wine TV

Hello Friends,

Forget about reality television shows, my friend and fellow wine blogger, Todd Godbout, of Wine Compass blog, has started a new series called Virginia Wine TV to help support and promote the wines and wineries of Virginia . Over the years, Todd has done a great job blogging about this burgeoning wine region and I look forward to keeping an eye on his latest endeavor, which will cover many facets of the Virginia wine industry. Below you’ll find a short Virginia Wine TV montage of the many wineries operating here. Be sure to visit the links at the end of this post and subscribe to Virginia Wine TV for updates. If you're having trouble bringing up the video CLICK HERE. Cheers!
Virginia Wine TV 



Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come!

CLICK HERE to visit the Virginia Wine TV website.

CLICK HERE to visit the Virginia wine TV YouTube Channel.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

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3/08/2011

Quick Sip: Substance 2009 Cabernet Franc

Hello Friends,

Today’s “Quick Sip” is the Substance 2009 Cabernet Franc. Substance is the result of a joint venture in Walla Walla, WA, between Waters Winery and Gramercy Cellars, with the objective of producing good quality, affordable wines that showcase the regional character of Washington State. The Substance 2009 Cabernet Franc was crafted from fruit grown in the Walla Walla Valley AVA (American Viticultural AVA). The Walla Walla Valley AVA is a sub-appellation of the larger Columbia Valley AVA and extends partly into the northeastern corner of Oregon. This up-and-coming wine region has earned a well-deserved reputation for producing high quality red wines, especially Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Substance 2009 Cabernet Franc


The Substance 2009 Cabernet Franc comes from an area in the Walla Walla Valley AVA known as the “Rocks,” which is gaining a name for itself for producing distinctive terroir-driven wines. What is interesting is that the “Rocks” is on the Oregon side of the state line. Despite what side of the state line the fruit comes from, this is a pretty tasty Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Franc wine. The Cabernet Franc leans heavily towards an Old World style with subtle cherry and raspberry fruit aromas that co-mingle with herbal and mineral overtones. The palate is medium-bodied and balanced with tart berry and subtle earthy flavors and a smidgen of leafy and mild mocha notes with a medium-length finish. The good folks at Substance characterize this Cabernet Franc as a “restrained’ wine and they are right on the money - it’s supple, balanced, and all about moderation. The Substance 2009 Cabernet Franc retails for $20, has a real cork enclosure, and clocks in at 13.5% ABV. This wine sips nicely on its own and will pair well with a wide variety of foods ranging from pork and roasted lamb to veggie pizza.

** Local Twist ** Cabernet Franc is in the top three in grape production and acreage in Virginia, and is as important a varietal wine as it is a blending variety. Some of the best local examples are easy drinking and bright with red berry fruit, violets, and herbal nuances both on the nose and on the palate. Style and quality differ from tasting room to tasting room, but if you haven’t tried a Virginia Cabernet Franc yet, then get out and enjoy a few.

Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come!

CLICK HERE to visit the Substance Winery website. (A MUST VISIT !!!!!)

CLICK HERE to follow Substance Winery on Twitter.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!


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3/02/2011

Quick Sip: Tarara Winery 2008 Nevaeh Red


Hello Friends,

Today’s “Quick Sip” is the Tarara Winery 2008 Nevaeh Red. Nevaeh is Tarara’s estate vineyard, which is managed by grape-grower and owner of 8 Chains North, Ben Renshaw. The 2008 Nevaeh Red is one of three single-vineyard designated wines produced by Tarara’s winemaker, Jordan Harris, to showcase the site-specific character and distinct personality of an individual site. For the purist, single vineyard wines are by far the best expression of what wine connoisseurs refer to as “terroir.” Simply put, terroir is the combination of soil, slope, climate, and many other factors that influence the fruit which will eventually produce the wine. The 2008 Nevaeh Red is not scheduled for release until fall, but let’s un-screw the cap and see where the wine is now in its maturation process.

Tarara Winery 2008 Nevaeh Red


The 2008 Nevaeh Red is a blend consisting of 71% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 6% Cabernet Franc. The wine was aged in new Virginia oak barrels for 18 months and fermented on indigenous yeast. In the glass, the 2008 Nevaeh Red displays a lovely deep ruby color with purple hues. This wine is young and a bit tightly-knit, but over a short period of decanting it continued to expand and reveal its charm. The swirl and sniff boasts red and black berry fruit aromas with streaks of spice, cocoa, faint toasty notes, and subtle floral hints that suggest violets. The palate is mouth-coating with pleasant fruit, supple, yet firm tannins, moderate acidity, and a savory character that’s complimented by a long, mildly tannic, lingering finish. This youthful wine has nice framework and is full of potential – especially for those who are patient. I was not! The 2008 Nevaeh Red retails for $40.00, has a screw-cap enclosure, and clocks in at 14.0% ABV. Other single vineyard wines due to be released this spring by Tarara Winery include a 2009 Nevaeh White blend and a 2009 Honah Lee Vineyard Viognier. Be sure to check Tarara’s website for other offerings and events, as well as wine club information.

Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come!

CLICK HERE to visit the Tarara Winery website.

CLICK HERE to follow Tarara Winery on Twitter.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

My Vine Spot

  • Please Click Here to vote Dezel's My Vine Spot as your favorite wine blog - You can vote 1x per day!
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Happy Sipping Friends - Tell your friends about the blog and thanks for your support and kind emails !

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