9/26/2011

Quick Sip: Keswick Vineyards 2009 RSV Viognier


Hello Friends,

Dennis Horton, owner of Horton Vineyards, introduced Viognier to Virginia and his prized 1993 vintage garnered national attention. Horton’s early success with the exquisite northern Rhone variety encouraged local growers to plant Viognier and producers to bottle it as a single varietal wine. Nearly two decades later, the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office designated Viognier as the state’s signature grape. Good move from a marketing perspective because there are some delicious local examples being produced to support the designation. That being said, there’s not a uniform regional /distinctive style and quality is inconsistent across the board. One winemaker that consistently produces good results with Viognier is South African winemaker Stephen Barnard. One of my first, and tasty I might add, experiences with Stephen’s Viognier came by way of a bottle of Rappahannock Cellar’s 2005 Reserve. This wine would go on to win the Virginia 2006 Governor’s Cup from over a field of 200 entries and Stephen would take his talents to Keswick Vineyards. From the 2005 selection to current, I haven’t missed a vintage. Today’s ‘Quick Sip,’ the Keswick Vineyard's 2009 Reserve Viognier, is also a Virginia Governor Cup gold medal winner. One might say that Mr. Barnard has the "Midas touch" with Viognier.

Keswick Vineyards 2009 Reserve Viognier


Keswick makes a few different styles of Viognier ranging from crisp and dry to a scrumptious dessert wine. The Keswick Vineyards 2009 Reserve Viognier, clear lemon yellow in color, offers scents of apricot, lightly spiced pear and melon, with notes of nutmeg and baking spice. This wine is smooth and round on the palate, with a moderately viscous texture that's framed with good acidity and finishing with touches of pear and sweet spice. The Keswick Vineyards 2009 Reserve Viognier clocks in at 14.1% ABV and the suggested retail price is $24.95. This wine is a delight to sip on its own and a good match for grilled chicken or pork loin. If you are interested in Keswick’s Viognier wines and other selections and are not local, visit their website below – they are able to ship to a number of US states. 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!

CLICK HERE to visist Keswick Vineyard's website.

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9/19/2011

Soave, Anyone?

Hello Friends,

As many sports fans enjoyed beer and wings to kick off the NFL season, I was cheering on my favorite team(s) with seared scallops and a bottle of Soave[SWAH-veh]. This delicious food and wine pairing would prove to be a touchdown over the course of the evening for me – and besides, I’m not much of a beer drinker at all. Like Grüner Veltliner, Arneis, [dry] Furmint, and a number of other alternative white wines, Soave flies under the radar of most wine consumers. And that’s a shame, because Soave wines are (generally) dry, crisp, appealing, and versatile enough to be served as an aperitif or an accompaniment to a wide variety of foods. Soave is named after the region, not the grape, in the Veneto region of northeast Italy. It’s by far the most popular and famous white wine of the Veneto region. Soave wines are made primarily from the Garganega grape variety, which is widely planted in the Veneto region, but can have amounts of Trebbiano, Pinot Bianco, or Chardonnay blended in, so long as the final wine consists of a minimum of 70% Garganega (DOC law).
Soave, Anyone?


I typically keep a bottle of Soave in my bi-weekly rotation and just recently had the opportunity to sample both the Re Midas 2009 Soave and Latium Morini 2009 Soave. Both wines are 100% Garganega and are well-balanced, refreshing, palate-pleasing, and food-friendly. Overall, well-made Soave can offer a wide spectrum of aromas ranging from vibrant tree fruit to tart citrus and stone fruit scents heightened by floral and shy honey nuances. On the palate, Soave is generally soft, rounded, and fruity with slightly nutty (almond) overtones and light refreshing acidity ending in a clean and pleasant finish. Additionally, Soave is very wallet/purse friendly (well under $20), which has significant influence over the average consumer. The one issue I’ve found with Soave is availability. I’ve introduced a number of people to Soave and have found that while most people have heard of it, many had never actually tried it due to lack of availability in their local wine shops. That being said, Soave has re-emerged and is making a push into the U.S. market. The next time you visit your local wine shop ask the sales associate for a bottle of Soave. I’ve enjoyed these wines spring thru summer and I’m sure Soave will be among the number of wines on the Thanksgiving Day table this fall. I would like to thank Alessandro Boga for the opportunity. This reemphasizes what I already knew – Soave can be surprisingly delicious and it won’t break the bank to figure that out. 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!
CLICK HERE to learn more about the wines of Soave.

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9/12/2011

Biltmore Reserve 2010 Viognier [North Carolina]


Hello Friends,

Viognier hails from the northern Rhone region of France, where at its best, produces the wonderfully aromatic, nicely textured, and complex wines of Condrieu. Unfortunately, these wines are hard to find and tend to be priced between $50 and $100. There was a period, in the mid-1960’s, when Viognier was near extinction with approximately 100 acres (and shrinking) all planted in Condrieu. Small amounts of Viognier reached the U.S. (California) by the early 1980’s. It was a group of California winemakers, known as the Rhone Rangers, who played a pivotal role in the growth and increased popularity of Viognier in the States. Today, good quality Viognier is grown and produced in a number of U.S. states including California, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, Georgia, Texas, Colorado, and last but not least, North Carolina. I’m probably missing several states, but fortunately for me, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy Viognier from each state listed.

Biltmore Reserve 2010 Viognier


Today’s wine selection comes from the Biltmore Estate Winery, located in the mountains of western North Carolina. The Biltmore Estate Winery has over ninety-four acres of vines planted to European grape varieties. The historic Biltmore House, its landscaped gardens, and winery are one of the most popular and visited attractions in the country. For this reason, the winery augments their production by sourcing fruit from growing partners throughout the U.S. to meet demand. That being said, the Biltmore Reserve 2010 Viognier is North Carolina grown and pretty tasty. In the glass, the wine displays a light golden straw color. The swirl and sniff reveal inviting scents of Asian pear, honeysuckle, and tropical nuances. These aromas carry through on the palate and are balanced by vibrant fruit flavors, a fleshy texture, and refreshing, food-friendly acidity, ending in a pleasing, medium-length finish. The Biltmore Reserve 2010 Viognier clocks in at 13.0% ABV and the suggested retail price is $18.99. I just took a look, and if you visit the Biltmore Estate Winery website you can get this wine for a very reasonable $13.59. This wine sips nicely on its own and has the ability to pair well with a wide variety of foods. To visit the Biltmore Estate Winery website click on the link below. 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! Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample.

CLICK HERE to visit Biltmore Estate Winery website.

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9/06/2011

A Social Media Conversation: #CabernetDay Recap


Hello Friends,

Last Thursday I got together with a few friends (here in person) and thousands of wine lovers around the world (via social media outlets) to celebrate the Cabernet grape. The event, hosted by brand strategist Rick Bakas, follows last year’s hugely successful inaugural #CabernetDay event. This day-long, interactive event is a conversation via social media to promote Cabernet with wine lovers from all over the globe. Some tasters poured Cabernet Franc -- and I was personally glad to see Chinon represented, while others enjoyed a Cabernet based blend. However, the wine that was tweeted and poured the most was Cabernet Sauvignon. That’s not surprising, as Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most popular and celebrated grapes in the world and is often referred to as the “King of Red Wine Grapes.”
#CabernetDay Lineup


While grown all over the world, Cabernet Sauvignon has thrived on the Left Bank of Bordeaux for centuries. Cabernet Sauvignon also grows particularly well in California’s Napa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is produced in a wide variety of styles, but its greatest gift is its potential to make well-structured, long-lived, alluring, and highly complex wines. You would never believe it’s an offspring of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc – a discovery made by researchers at UC Davis in the late 90s. The five wines we uncorked were all California Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Two were from the Napa Valley; two came from the Alexander Valley AVA within Sonoma, and last but not least, was a 1997 Quatro from Sonoma County. The Flora Springs (Napa Valley) 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon was the overall crowd-pleaser, the Sequoia Grove (Napa Valley) 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon offered the most inviting and charming aromas, and the Pellegrini (Alexander Valley) 2007 Cloverdale Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon displayed the best overall structure. The Lancaster Estate (Alexander Valley) 2006 Sophia's Cuvée [86% Cab Sauv 14% Merlot], in my opinion, is still a teenager, but opened nicely over time. I hope to revisit this wine again in a year or so. The 1997 Quatro, at fourteen years old, had a youthful appearance but was spiraling downward on the nose and palate. In fairness, this wine was likely meant to be consumed a few years after bottling as opposed to fourteen years later. However, from time to time we have come across some surprises so we always try to include a bottle with some age on it in our tastings. I’ve included my tweets below on the four wines we enjoyed. Our tasting order went from top to bottom – in retrospect, the Lancaster should have been last. My thanks to Rick Bakas from St. Supery Vineyards for organizing this event – it was great fun! By the way ... did you know September is California wine month? Click here for details.

@FloraSprings 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon: Well balanced and harmonious, w/ aromas of dark cherry, perfumed boysenberry, and cocoa undertones w/ a pleasing velvety finish. #CabernetDay #wine

@SequoiaGrove 07 Cab Sauv : Inviting, complex aromas of dark and purple stone fruit w/ a touch of mocha. Firms up at the mid-palate, w/ tannic strength on the finish #CabernetDay #wine

@LancasterEstate 06 Sophia's Cuvée [86% Cab Sauv 14% Merlot]: Silky mouth-feel, yet bold structure, dark fruit profile with touches of cedar and herb. Finishes with drying, robust tannins #CabernetDay

@PellegriniWines 07 Cloverdale Ranch Cab Sauv: Dark cherry, red currant, firm structure, nutmeg w/ a touch of toast and vanilla in the finish #CabernetDay #wine

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 Flora Spring's website.

CLICK HERE to visit Sequoia Grove's website.

CLICK HERE to visit Pellegrini's website.

CLICK HERE to visit Lancaster's website.

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

My Vine Spot

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Happy Sipping Friends - Tell your friends about the blog and thanks for your support and kind emails !

Dezel's My Vine Spot © 2006-2011. All rights reserved.





Dezel's My Vine Spot © 2006-2014. All rights reserved.