04.24.2013 Wine Reviews: Fireside Winery, Boordy Vineyards, and Garfield Estates

Hello Friends,

I know you would never believe this, but I uncork or unscrew a new wine adventure just about every day. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine blogger, and someone who thoroughly appreciates and enjoys the liquid expression of a place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence, I often tell people that wine is one of the most intriguing beverages in the world. It’s a hobby where there is always something new to taste and learn as well as great people to meet in real life or via those wonderful social media portals called Facebook and Twitter.

Fireside Vignoles, Chips, and Fresh Salsa

Below are a few of my recent sips accompanied by my tasting notes and a picture I snapped of each bottle. All three of these wines are from lesser-known US regions (Iowa, Maryland, and Colorado) and are reasonably priced. These are all relatively small producers so if you don’t live near or around them, visit their websites and get to know them a little better. Maybe even seek out their wines to share family and friends. I’m always surprising people with good quality wines from states like Virginia, Texas, North Carolina, etc. Variety, so they say, is the spice of life, so keep an open mind and an open palate and enjoy the experience. Drink well, my friends!

Fireside Winery 2011 ‘Iowa’ Vignoles 

1) Fireside Winery 2011 ‘Iowa’ Vignoles (SRP $12): Vignoles is a cold hardy variety that can be found throughout the Midwestern US. If memory serves me correctly, however, my first experience with Vignoles was when I visited the Finger Lakes, NY, several years ago. Jean Francois Ravat created this variety in 1930 by crossing Seibel 6905 and Pinot de Corton. His intent of making a ‘Burgundian- style’ white wine may not have panned out. But, the grape does produce a fairly bright wine with a generous amount of tropical fruit components whose high acidity tends to benefit from a kiss of residual sugar. This lightly sweet and juicy example from Fireside Winery, is 100% Iowa grown and offers tropical aromas and flavors with (freshly grilled) pineapple leading the way accompanied by hints of orange blossom and tangerine with good acid-sugar balance and a short-medium fruity finish. Overall, this is a simple yet satisfying wine that’s perfect for poolside or patio sipping this spring and summer. As you can tell from the picture, I enjoyed a glass with chips and fresh salsa while sitting out back bird watching. Click here to find this wine. 

Boordy Vineyards Landmark Series 2010 Chardonnay 

2) Boordy Vineyards' Landmark Series 2010 Chardonnay (SRP $13.99): This Chardonnay comes from Maryland’s first commercial winery -- established in 1945. For the money, my guests and I found this to be a pretty tasty wine – especially for the targeted style which was achievable in a warm year like 2010. The aromas and flavors lean tropical (pineapple, melon) with bright notes of citrus peel and lemon zest. The flavors are balanced by good supporting acidity over a medium weight frame with toasty oak accents and a light dusting of brown spice that persists throughout. Besides enjoying a glass with friends, I also paired a generous splash with salmon balls (which worked out nicely). I recently visited this producer as part of the 2013 Drink Local Wine conference and the whites and reds I tasted through were nice to very good. Be sure to add them to your ‘got to visit’ list if you’re in the area. Click here to find this wine. 

Garfield Estates 2009 Syrah 

3) Garfield Estates Vineyard and Winery 2009 Syrah (SRP $17): This is a small producer in Palisade, Colorado (Grand Valley AVA; about 4 hours west of Denver), that I had a chance to visit for the Drink Local Wine Colorado Wine conference last year. For me, this wine brings out niceties found in both cool-climate and warm-climate Syrah (and I personally enjoy both). It’s medium-bodied and smooth textured with a nice brightness about it. A pleasant red fruit entry leads to purple and blackberry fruit flavors alongside black pepper, delicate earthy tones and subtle gamy notes. The pepper and gaminess persists through to the savory medium-length finish. One thing that I know it pairs well with is rabbit! You see -- two days before the conference I enjoyed a bottle of this wine at Row 14 Bistro & Wine Bar (great food BTW) in downtown Denver with good company and a seriously delicious (local) rabbit dish. Overall, this is a nice wine at a fair price point with a built-in (and agreeable) food-partnering brightness (acidity) that I find in many Colorado red and white wines. Click here to find this wine. 

Image of my visit to Boordy Vineyards (Barrel Room)

My Vine Spot

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