TASTING: Wente Vineyards, Wine and Music

On Thursday, August 1st, Karl Wente hosted an interesting Wine and Music tasting, with his friend Shannon Koehler.

Besides being a fifth-generation winemaker, Karl is an avid musician. Karl started on saxophone, gravitated to electric guitar, and plays acoustic guitar now. The name of his band is Front Porch, reflecting the fact that several musicians drift in and out; he also plays with other musicians including Wolf Hamlin. Shannon (percussion, vocals, harmonica) is a member of the Stone Foxes band, which has been together playing blues rock for five years.

Each summer, Wente sponsors the Front Porch Music Series in support of emerging talent, with three performances on the property featuring local up-and-coming bands. (This series is in addition to their concerts featuring headliners such as Foreigner and Earth, Wind and Fire.) Karl’s family has also established the Wente Foundation for Arts Education, whose focus includes “putting instruments in kids’ hands.”

Acknowledging the unusual nature of the evening’s pairings, wine with music, Karl said, “One of the things I really love to do is think about the structure of a wine and the structure of a song. We know that your mood affects how you get music. Listening to music affects your mood, drinking wine affects your mood. Music is good for the soul, wine is good for the soul.”

Our first wine was the 2011 Louis Mel Sauvignon Blanc, from Wente’s Livermore Valley vineyards. Karl paired this with Brown Bird, scheduled to play at the Front Porch festival on August 31st. Karl said, “Like Brown Bird, this wine just makes you want to move your head. It has a percussion influence. Crisp acidity, liveliness; music of the world. Sauvignon Blanc is a staple in Bordeaux, South Africa, California, New Zealand, worldwide.” Stainless steel fermented to ensure the fruitiness was retained, this is indeed a round, rich, fruity Sauvignon Blanc.

Web notes: “A French emigrant, Louis Mel traveled the western United States in the 1870s seeking a place to make wines to rival the great French Crus. He found the ideal home in the Livermore Valley. Acquiring Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon cuttings from the Marquis de Lur-Saluces, owner of the famed Chateau Y’quem, he planted them in his vineyards. The Wente family acquired the Louis Mel estate in the 1930s, where the descendants of these vines, located in the southern Livermore Valley, live in gravel and loam soils similar to the terroir of their native Bordeaux.” Karl would pair this with raw Northwest oysters.

The second wine was 2012 Eric’s Chardonnay, a small-lot wine also from Livermore Valley grapes. Eric is Karl’s Dad, and recently several members of the family enjoyed a Chardonnay Challenge and produced several different styles of wine. Eric’s style is “naked,” with stainless steel fermentation, no lees, no malolactic fermentation. Karl said, “It really was made in the Sauvignon Blanc style. Just back to the grapes.” Shannon said, “Wow, smooth!” and the two commented on the apple, pear, citrus, and apricot notes.

Karl paired the Wheeland Brothers (August 3rd performance) with this wine: “It has some pep to it, but it isn’t this huge thing. The other was more peppy, but this has more structure, is more grounded. It has substance behind it, but it doesn’t go too far. My family has a long history of Chardonnay, and 75% of the Chardonnay planted in California has genetic roots from vines that came onto my family’s property in 1912.”

Wente makes several different styles of Chardonnay including the Morning Fog (lean crispness plus some richness), Riva Ridge (more new barrels, with a bigger, richer style), then the Nth Degree, which is the biggest of all, offering a crème brulee structure. Karl would pair this with “a goat cheese dip with crunch, with acidity to cut through it.”

Our third wine was the 2012 Riverbank Riesling, Monterey County. Blended with 20% Gewürztraminer, this was a delightful wine with tangerine, floral, honey, and grapefruit flavors. Karl said, “There’s a tiny bit of residual sugar there, balanced with acidity. It’s smooth and round with some floral intensity.” Shannon’s first response: “Oh, that’s like honey.” and Karl responded, “But with acidity. It cleans the palate.” This is a surprisingly full-bodied and viscous Riesling. Because Karl feels this wine is smooth, alluring, but with a depth to it, he pairs this one with The Kin, scheduled to play on August 31.

Web notes: “The Arroyo Seco Appellation is defined by a unique geological feature called the Arroyo Seco Cone. Composed of soils, water sources, and wind streams that differentiate it from the Salinas Valley and the Monterey Appellation, it was created over eons by the flow of the Arroyo Seco as it spills down from the Santa Lucia Mountains. This funnel-shaped region appears at the edge of steep slopes where the river has cut a deep ravine, forming an imposing riverbank. On the southern edge of this ravine, Riesling flourishes in the deep rocky soils. The grapes were cold fermented in stainless steel. Fermentation at lower temperatures highlights the natural fruit flavors in the grapes. The wine did not go through malolactic fermentation, helping to retain its crisp acidity.” Production: 15,000 cases. Karl would pair this with homemade sausage and pasta.

The tasting finished with the 2010 Sandstone Merlot. Karl commented on the “harmonies just kicking through, the male/female voice, just bringing it all together. I chose the Sandstone Merlot because of the great structure behind it. You don’t think about the drums and bass and rhythm necessarily, but they’re all there,” and he paired this wine with the band The Lone Bellow, scheduled to play August 31. This wine was just delicious. It spent 18 months in oak barrel (no new barrels); it had plenty of big fruit and spice. It’s big enough for beef, delicate enough for salmon.

Web notes: “The grapes for our Sandstone Merlot come from a gently sloping formation of hills running along the southeastern corner of the historic Livermore Valley. With warm days, cool nights, well-drained sandstone soils, and incoming breezes from the San Francisco Bay, the Wente family’s hillside vineyard is an ideal place to grow outstanding Merlot. Each vineyard was harvested and fermented separately in upright stainless steel fermenters. Rack and return, which is the process of draining all of the free-run juice off the cap and then returning the free-run juice back over the top of the fermenter, was performed twice daily. This method increases the color and tannin extractions and improves mouthfeel through the integration of oxygen. This wine was aged for 16 months in American, French, Eastern European, and neutral oak.”

WEB: Watch the video at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/36707707
http://www.WenteVineyards.com

Samples received for review.

Posted in Art and Music, California, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Tastings | 1 Comment

RECOMMENDED: Primal Roots 2011 White Blend, California. 13% ABV, around $10.

Primal Roots has made a tasty white blend consisting of 50% Viognier, 20% French Colombard, 15% Riesling, and 15% Gewürztraminer. We enjoyed the contrast of its Sauvignon Blanc-like acidity, and its somewhat sweet, Moscato-like floral notes. A hint of cinnamon and lychee added to its charm. It was the perfect summer sipper during our weekend at the beach; it’s definitely off the beaten path and would pair well with seafood.

LABEL: Sensual and beautiful wines rooted in the art of winemaking. This intriguing fusion of wine begins with Viognier, French Colombard, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, which is artfully blended to create a mouthwatering, sensual wine. The sweet floral aroma of honeysuckle leads to crisp and refreshing flavors of peach, apricot and lychee that are truly captivating.

WINERY NOTES: The harvest year 2011 proved to be of high quality among the white varietals. The growing season was mild, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and steadily. Most of the blend, 70%, is from the North Valley, and majority of the balance is from Central Coast. Both areas provided grapes that had developed concentrated flavors and were true to variety.

The Viognier makes up 50 of the blend and provides honeysuckle, peach, and apricot as well as a creamy texture. The French Colombard adds the bright and crisp acidity. It also contributes a hint of spice to the blend. Riesling lends a very floral orange blossom note, which balances well with the fruit. Gewürztraminer is known for its lychee and spicy characters. This variety adds complexity to the final blend, making it a truly sensual and captivating wine.

The fruit is harvested at optimal ripeness, when the flavors and acids are in balance. The fruit is crushed and pressed as soon as it arrives to the winery. We clarify juice so there are no more than 2% solids. It is kept at a cool temperature throughout fermentation,
55-60°F, which retains much of the volatile aromas. After fermentation is complete, the juice is racked to assist in clarification. It does not go through malolactic fermentation and is not aged on oak. This blend is made to be bright, fruity, mouthwatering, and sensual.

WEB: www.PrimalRootsWines.com Not much is happening there, but if you search for “Primal Roots” and “Constellation” you will be able to find more information.

Posted in California, Colombard, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Viognier | Leave a comment

RECOMMENDED SUMMER WINES: The White Knight

A division of The Other Guys wine group (Sebastiani family), The White Knight brand’s motto is “Saving the world from the tyranny of Chardonnay!” Cute.

After their initial offering of an impressive Viognier, the Knights have expanded into Riesling, Moscato, and Pinot Grigio as well. Like all the TOG wines, these are good, classic representations available at reasonable prices ($10-15 each). This week, I tried all four.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: 2011 MOSCATO.

Moscato, like Riesling, is often derided as “too sweet” and “a beginner’s wine.” While swill versions of both varieties are certainly made, a good Moscato is just enchanting. This is one of them.

The White Knight 2011 Moscato (50% Muscat of Alexandria, 27% Muscat Canelli, 20% Pinot Grigio, 3% Orange Muscat; 93% California, 5% Lodi, 2% Clarksburg, 13.3% ABV) is beautiful. Intensely aromatic, it is piquant and slightly sweet, exhibits lychee and roses on the nose and palate with honey emerging later, and shows a surprising little nip of minerality in the finish. This is just fine to drink by itself; the winemakers agree with me, suggesting that we enjoy it “as an aperitif, [or] with whole prawns split in half, marinated in Thai spices, charbroiled and served over a bed of mixed greens with a chili dressing.” 2,000 cases produced.

The winemaker notes, “Our Moscato is a blend of Muscat Canelli, Muscat Alexander, a touch of Orange Muscat and a medium helping of Pinot Grigio. Both varietals were grown in various appellations along the California coastline and central valley, where Muscat varietals thrive. The wines were arrested mid fermentation to leave residual sugar from the grapes, which we believe this is among purest expressions of the Muscat varietal,” hence the lack of cloying sweetness. (I would love, however, to be The Other Guys’ sweet but uncloying editor.)

RECOMMENDED: 2012 PINOT GRIGIO.

The 2012 Pinot Grigio (80% Pinot Grigio, 20% Vermentino; Lodi, 11.5% ABV) is very pleasant. Pale straw-green with apple, honeysuckle, and a little vanilla and citrus on the nose. Hints of baking spices, melon, and a slice of lemon. This is a good solid wine that is soft and mouth-filling with good weight; it would pair well with food. The winemakers suggest “Roasted Chicken, crushed fingerling potatoes, torpedo onions, and wild mushroom sauce. Or try a tasty summer alternative – grilled Halibut with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette and a side of BBQ’d asparagus.” 2,850 cases produced.

RECOMMENDED: 2010 RIESLING.

This one is also sturdy and good. I reviewed the 2010 in June 2012 (click here to read the review), so it was interesting to revisit it a year later. It has held up well, and although it’s a little deeper in color than it was, it has no flaws whatsoever and is softer and rounder than it was a year ago. I am a fan of screwcap closures, which typically allow a longer lifespan with more neutral aging than corks can sustain.

Winemaker’s notes: “Lake County, located just north of Napa, has been growing premium wines since the mid 19th century. This diverse appellation exhibits many soil types including sandy loam, serpentine; iron red volcanic soils; gray-weathered, cinder ash and silt blends; and deep alluvial soils located at the base of dormant volcano Mount Konocti. The Lake County growing climate is strongly influenced by Clear Lake, the largest natural lake in California.”

RECOMMENDED: 2011 VIOGNIER.

With 5,400 cases produced and 13.5% ABV, once again The White Knight has produced a Viognier (90% Viognier, 6% Chardonnay, 4% Muscat Alexandria; 96% Clarksburg, 4% California) with velvet gloves that still pack a punch. This wine makes me think, and I like that.

I reviewed the 2008 (click here to read the review) and it’s very interesting to have the privilege of sampling subsequent vintages. My impression of this is similar: to describe it quickly, its first impression is a mashup of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. It isn’t as tart, puckering, and cat-peeish/asparagusy as Sauvignon Blanc (although it’s close), and it isn’t as fruity as the Chardonnay. The 2011 Viognier has a citrus edge, crisp acidity, and a mineral component. It is more austere than the 2008, and like a dominatrix, it demands that you either take it seriously or walk away.

The winemaker notes, “Surrounded by the cooling waterways of the Sacramento River Delta and San Francisco Bay, the Clarksburg Winegrowing Appellation is fast earning a reputation for growing lovely Viognier grapes. Its deep sandy loam and clay soils and naturally high water table provide uncommonly rich ground to grow in. Wilson Vineyards has consistently delivered us high quality Viognier. Mostly tank fermented for crispy freshness, with a hint of French Oak for deep richness, we know you’ll enjoy this wine again and again. A dab of Chardonnay was added to give this wine some additional mouthfeel and the Muscat adds some stone fruit and beautiful aromatics.” They suggest pairing this wine “with stuffed pasta and a light lemon cream sauce, peach stuffed chicken breast over a bed of spinach with toasted hazelnuts, or margarita pizza.”

LABEL. They vary, but they all close with “Never follow the conventional path of wine, develop your own love and tastes. Be the Chess player, not the Chess piece.”

I agree!

OVERALL. My pick of the litter was the Moscato, but any of these may leave their shoes under my bed any time.

WEB: www.TOGwines.com

Samples received for review.

Posted in California, Chardonnay, Moscato/Muscat, Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris), Riesling, Viognier | Leave a comment

RECOMMENDED/HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Madroña Riesling

2010 Madroña Riesling. El Dorado. 13.5% ABV. About $14. Pretty color; soft gold. Gentle nose; green apple and citrus. Honeysuckle, “petrol,” a hint of yeast, and minerals on the palate. Soft, round, and slightly creamy; gentle acidity. I would pair this with Tom Ka Gai.

2010 Madroña Dry Riesling. 13.5% ABV. About $14. Soft golden. Balanced, citrus. Perfect summer wine.

LABEL (for both of the above): Situated at 3,000 feet in the El Dorado appellation of the Sierra Foothills, Madroña’s hillside vineyards offer ideal growing conditions for the wide range of classic wine grape varieties we harvest. Years of growing grapes on this land have led us to a deep understanding of which varietals will thrive in the varied microclimates of this exceptional place. Each wine we produce exhibits a distinct character that comes from the perfect marriage of family, terroir and tradition. Our Hillside Collection wines are estate-grown varietals, perfect for everyday meals and special occasions. Madrona Riesling is fresh yet inherently complex, balancing both fruit and spice.

2008 Madroña Late Harvest Riesling, dessert wine. 11.5% ABV. 375ml, $24. 30% Brix, 10.4% residual sugar. Mid- to deep gold. A light-handed touch again on the nose and impression of acidity. The wine’s intensity comes from long hang-time and its dehydration from “Noble Rot” (see label notes, below). This is like drinking wild local honey, yet it is balanced and it is not “too sweet.” Enchanting and highly recommended. 127 cases made; this is produced only one out of every five years on average, depending on certain weather conditions.

LABEL: A richly concentrated dessert Riesling produced from botrytis-affected grapes.

Madroña is a family-run vineyard that was planted in 1972 by Dick and Leslie Bush, in the halcyon days just before California’s emergence as a leader in the wine world. Their son Paul, one of their four children, has been winemaker since 2002, with Hugh Chappelle serving as consulting winemaker since 2003. Paul’s wife, Maggie, serves as Madroña’s General Manager. Another son, David Bush, has been in charge of the associated 40-acre Sumu-Kaw parcel since its purchase in 1991. A graduate of UC Davis with a degree in meteorology, he is a consultant in the field of air quality monitoring. His wife, Sheila, is actively involved in the farming and management of the Sumu-Kaw vineyard.

WEB: www.madronavineyards.com

Samples received for review.

Posted in California, Riesling | 1 Comment

New Branding: Pennywise (and an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon)

I don’t normally pay much attention to labels. (Kind of a contradiction, as I’m an artist and publication designer/editor.)

However, the Pennywise redesign caught my attention in a big way. The previous Pennywise label was okay. Reminiscent of a postage stamp in style and size, the wine’s vintage was “stamped” onto the labels, which were consistent across the brand save for differences in color.

Enter the new label featuring San Francisco’s historic U.S. Mint. The label looks like a stock certificate; although there’s a nod to the old penny with a dim image of it, the new label drips with the impression of strength and something valuable.

And that’s as it should be. The Pennywise wines, like the other offerings from The Other Guys, are solid, classic wines available at reasonable prices and with some fun attached to them. (Check out the Plungerhead for an example of their sense of humor.)

So how was this Cabernet Sauvignon? Excellent! 15,000 cases were produced of this 76% Cabernet Sauvignon/17% Sirah/7% Merlot. The grapes were sourced 44% from Northern Interior Valley, 42% from Paso Robles, and 14% from Lodi.

With a deep color, the wine’s complexity is explained by the blend. Sirah brought in delicious aromas and high notes. This Cab isn’t as jammy and thickly textured as many of the California big boys are. I get French oak, a hint of anise on the back of the palate, bing cherries, and a little bit of pipe tobacco. 13.5% ABV, $8.98 and up. An extreme bargain at this price.

WEB: www.togwines.com/wines/pennywise/

Sample received for review.

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Merlot, News, Syrah/Shiraz | 2 Comments

American Swallow-Tailed Kite

This post has nothing to do with wine, but everything to do with life. Today, as usual, I’m working in my home office—an added-on room with windows on three sides—and rejoicing in the beautiful weather and the views of the farm where I live. My two horses (pasture ornaments these days) are grazing contentedly, and a summer thunderstorm is rolling in.

About a year ago, I noticed a beautiful hunting bird—a pair of them—swooping and soaring along the distant back fenceline. The bird had a wingspan like an eagle, a short white head like a hawk or an owl, and a graceful swallowtail that it used for steering. Ever the Google wonk, I learned it was a Swallow-Tailed Kite.

I have enjoyed watching their adventures during all these months, and have gratefully watched their population grow. However, this week has brought a tremendous gift: for the first time, I’ve been able to see them up close. They have started swooping past my office windows!

With light undersides, they are even more beautiful close up. The bird’s duality is amazing: the body, coloring, and, for all I know, the temperament (they mainly eat bugs), resembles a dove, yet they wear the cloak of a large hunting bird.

Earlier this afternoon, at least 18 of them were here, taking turns perching in a nearby tree and then swooping into their soaring ballet. Dozens of times, one or two of them flew inches from my window—and with each experience of them just 10 feet away, I felt a joyful thrill of goose-bumps from the top of my head down to my toes. Just breathtaking.

A friend tells me these birds are harbingers of good fortune. I believe it with all my heart. May you, too, experience the joys of summer and the blessings of good fortune.

Posted in Art and Music, Travel | 2 Comments

Mother’s Day, Wine, Joy, Life and Death

Happy Mother’s Day. Random thoughts:

Why do I always weep when my college-age children leave to go back to college? I’m turning into my mother!

My Mom died on 3/3/07. In a strange synchronicity, 3307 was the house number of the first house where we lived in Arlington, Virginia. We moved there from an apartment, which I also remember, when I was two, and moved to Warrenton, Virginia when I was five or six.

My Mom played and taught piano. Her musicality was passed on to me, and in turn to my own children. My oldest daughter, a terrific soprano, is studying vocal performance at University of Central Florida, my oldest son is studying guitar performance at Florida State University, my youngest daughter is a massively gifted alto who is studying vocal performance and musical theatre in high school, and my youngest son enters middle school this fall and will be singing in the best middle-school choir in the area.

The first of five children, I remember family dinners as well as dinner parties when we were allowed to taste wines, which my parents called “Burgundy” or “Chablis.” That was in the ’60s and ’70s, when jug wines and Riunite-type wines were best-sellers before the emergence of California as a serious player in the world of fine wine-making.

A lot of fishing happened in my family. Dad often made a pilgrimage to Michigan to go trout or salmon fishing. Family vacations were to the wild, wonderful Outer Banks of North Carolina, where we kids would dig in the sand and play in the ocean waves while Dad went surf fishing. This was many years before “Jaws” scared the shit out of me and made it impossible for me to joyfully frolic in the ocean any more. I was literally dragged to see the film when I was in college by a guy who had seen it five times. That should have been a clue.

For the first time, this year my thoughts about Mother’s Day are not so much about my own late Mom, but about myself as Mom to my children, and also the concept of mothering myself. Sure, I’m a Mom, daughter, granddaughter, sister, lover, friend, and a community leader of sorts through the magazine I publish.

But the theme of this year has been about finding ways simply to be joyful; to grow as a person; to do what I want to do, such as travel; to stop doing what I don’t want to do; and to figure out how to achieve short-term goals including living oceanfront half the time (when the two youngest kiddos aren’t at home with me).

I finally figured out that life just keeps expanding, and all we have to do is simply keep picking new things to do in the Eternal Now. Ya might as well pick good and fun things to do. Children, love, trips, the ocean, house concerts, good wine, friends, doing a good job in all the things I do—these have become the most important components of my life.

I think Mom would approve. Play on, Mom—play on!

Posted in California, Family | Leave a comment

GOOD! Recuerdo 2012 Torrontés, La Rioja, Argentina. 13% ABV, $12

COLOR: Clear, pale straw-green.

NOSE: Roses, yeast rolls, stone fruit.

TASTE: Roses, salt, stone, minerals. Dry with crisp acidity. Suggested pairing: oysters on the half shell.

LABEL: Memoriesrecuerdosare timeless. With more than 300 days of sun each year, the Argentine landscape, at the foot of the Andes Mountains, is the sentinel of our memories. The Torrontés comes from a dramatic desert vineyard located at 3,298 feet above sea level in the north of Argentina. Created by The Vines of Mendoza with acclaimed consulting winemaker, Santiago Achával, Torrontés is a crisp, dry and intensely aromatic white wine that captures the fundamental qualities of high altitude terroir.

WEB: www.RecuerdoWines.com

FOOTNOTE: In an interesting form of real estate development, 3- to 10-acre parcels are being offered by The Vines of Mendoza in a 900-acre area in Uco Valley at the foot of the Andes mountains. The mini-vineyards are professionally managed; owners, whether present or not, produce wine with winemaker Santiago Achával. Click here for information.

Sample received for review.

Posted in Argentina, Torrontes | Leave a comment

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: 2011 Cave des Vins de Bourgueil Lieu-dit Beauregard, Bourgueil, Cabernet Franc. 12.5% ABV, around $10.

This wine is so stinkin’ delicious, I am heading to the wine shop later today to pick up their remaining stash. It’s the most exciting red wine I’ve had in a long time. It has the soaring high notes typical of a good Cabernet Franc, with alto floral notes, and depth from a foundation of black cherry and truffles.

The Cave is a cooperative that was founded in 1931; the Bourgueil AOC was approved in 1937.

WEB: http://cavedebourgueil.com/

The rest of this write-up is courtesy William Gladstone Imports:

Unlike most of the wine produced in France’s Loire River Valley, Bourgueil is red. Made from 100% Cabernet Franc, this wine is from vineyards in a small valley in Restigné, known as Beauregard, which used to belong to the St Martin’s church. The vineyards face south for maximum sun exposure. Top soils are alluvial flint and gravel which capture warmth and help ripening, while deep clay sub soils, allow the 40 year old vine roots to extend, drawing in minerals and nourishment. Grapes are completely de-stemmed and fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks to bring out the bright fruit character. 

Tasting note: Deep ruby-red. Very expressive, complex bouquet, featuring fresh fruit aromas (blackberry) with hints of violet, bitter chocolate and coffee. It starts out full-bodied and soft on the palate, following through with jammy red-berry fruit.

Food & Wine Pairing: Grilled or roasted red meats, game, flavorful roast poultry (e.g. turkey with cranberry sauce).

Posted in Cabernet Franc, France | Leave a comment

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: 2011 Domaine du Tariquet “Classic” white blend (45% Ugni Blanc, 35% Colombard, 10% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Gros Manseng), Côtes de Gascogne. 11.5% ABV, available for as little as $6.95 online.

APPEARANCE: Pale gold.

AROMA: Linden, citrus.

TASTE: Pear, apple, honey, lychee, grapefruit. Very faint Sauvignon Blanc edge is evident. Tart and refreshing, dry, yet with a round sweetness. Minerals, lemon. Good silky mouthfeel. Among the most intriguing wines I’ve tasted in a while.

LABEL: Serve chilled. A very refreshing wine to be enjoyed at any time as an aperitif, with charcuterie, fish and shellfish. Magnificent intensity for a dry fruity wine with floral and citrus aromas and a lovely touch of exotic fruit.

WEB NOTES:

The grapes come from the Bas-Armagnac and Gascony region of southwest France, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Garonne River. Grown, produced and bottled by Domaine du Tariquet.

“In the past, all that mattered was the wine making process but over the years, we have gradually learned to make wine that is an honest expression of the vineyard.”–Yves Grassa, winemaker.

ANOTHER REVIEW:

87 points Wine Enthusiast: “Celebrating 100 years of the domaine this year, Tariquet’s range of wines begins with this classic white. This has a crisp fruitiness, with a floral character and flavors of green plum, pear and a hint of pineapple. It’s delicious and ready to drink. Screwcap. Alcohol 11.5%. (Oct 2012)”

WEB: http://www.tariquet.com/

Sample received for review.

Posted in Colombard, France, Gros Manseng, Ugni Blanc, White Blend | 1 Comment