Multiple Continents of Tastings

I figure since you can’t easily travel the world (time, money, etc), why not just grab a bottle of wine to check it out.  So, the past few weeks I’ve explored most of the world.  Between the Georgian wine I posted about recently (have some new bottles to be opened soon…) I have also checked out the following great vinos…

1) Chateau St. Jean, Pinot Noir, CA — (though this is Sonoma, think of Napa and support the locals by buying a bottle of Napa wine.  They’ve had aftershocks after the big quake on Sunday.) Amazing, amazing CA Pinot — cherry and some leather.  Was enjoyed with salmon.

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2)  Phebus, Malbec (Reserve), Mendoza, Argentina.  Very nice.  Berries, some chocolate.  Can find it for about $10.

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3) Klein Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa.  Light, pineapple, peach and grass notes.  Great for enjoying on a sunny afternoon or with fish or salad.  And, screwtop for easy access.  About $12.

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4) Pfeffingen Weilberg Riesling, Germany. (Note: that site doesn’t stay in English the whole time)  Nice and dry!  Some stone fruit, various other amazing mineral flavors.  Paired it with a pea and garlic gazpacho with grilled chicken.  Perfect!  It’s been in my wine rack for awhile so not sure the cost, but online I’m finding about $30.

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Man’s Best Friend

I get a call from a friend the other night telling me she has to put her 10-year old black lab down today.  Slam!  Not what I was expecting, or wanting, to hear.  Needed to go over to see her, and him (the dog), man’s best friend, one last time.  My friend picked up some wine to honor him — LAB.  It’s a winery in Portugal and they have 2 blends, a red and a white, both screw tops.  The red was fruity and had a bit of spice to it.  The white was crisp and citrusy.  And, both under $10.  I would give you a link to the site but it’s under construction.  We enjoyed this while playing with the black lab one more night.  May man’s best friend rest in peace.

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Georgia on my Mind

When you read the title, is this the first thing that pops into your head?

Well, Ray Charles, while you’re thinking about a lady, I am exploring the world.  Some people equate Georgia to peaches.  Last night I equated it to grapes.  And I’m talking about jumping across the Atlantic to a new country and trying some very unique new wine, not just simple fruit.

First, we likely know where the state of GA is but can we pinpoint the country?  Crash course:

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Until a few weeks ago I had never heard of Georgian wine.  Apparently, Georgia is about the oldest wine region in the world.  It’s where the world’s first grapevines were cultivated, oh, some 8,000 years ago.  But who’s counting?  They have about half a dozen key wine regions in the country.

Last night my first sampling form the country was Teliani Valley Saperavi.  It was about $10 bottle from Total Wine in VA.  The nose has leather and smoke.  When drinking it, medium body, with some light fruit notes.  Just very, very unique.  For ten bucks, totally worth it.  There were several others at the store, about $5 more, so will have to check them out.

If you’ve had Georgian wine(s), please share your thoughts!  Would love to hear what you think about them.

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Italian Find

I will admit, I lean hard towards new world wines.  I have no problem with others but don’t seek them out.  Had some friends over recently who brought a nice Italian vino and wow, that is what reminded me I need to remember where wine started.  We enjoyed Savuto Odoardi, which is a blend of Gaglioppo, Greco Nero, Nerello Cappuccio, Magliocco Canino and Sangiovese.  Just great tastes all around, and it didn’t even breathe much.  Looking online, retails for $13-$18, depending on where you live.

 

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Wine Class #2

Had my second wine class the other day and learned more about that great beverage.  There was interesting info about labeling and the differences between Old and New World wines.  Think about when you buy a bottle of French vs. a bottle of California wine.  Which label is easier to read — ignoring any potential language barriers?

For Old World, they must (still and will likely always) include:

-Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)
-Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)
-Color (red, rose, white)
-Sweetness (dry, medium-dry, medium-sweet, sweet)

For New World, simple:

-brand name
-grape varietal(s)
-geographical areas (Sonoma, Western Cape South Africa)

After that we discussed the background and intricacies of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and of course had to sample some.  This week we tasted 8 wines (2 were not of the aforementioned varietals):

Chardonnay

#1 2012 Sylvaine & Alain Norman La Roche Vineuse
Macon – Burgundy, France

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#2  2011 Butternut Chardonnay
California

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#3 2012 Hendry Unoaked
Napa Valley, California

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Pinot Noir

#4 2011 Domaine Bernard Moreau et Fils Bourgogne Rouge
Burgundy, France

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#5 2011 Baileyana Firepeak
Edna Valley, California

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#6 2009 Maude
Central Otago, New Zealand (this is the most southern wine area in the world)

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Gamay

#7 2011 Chateau du Basty Regnie
Beaujolais, France

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Pinotage

#8 2012 Ken Forrester Petit Pinotage
Stellenbosch, South Africa

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