Saturday, July 23, 2011
More than 30 wineries poured their best while the crowd numbering more than 300 sampled and dined on local delicacies like shrimp and grits and pork belly sliders.
For me, the top varietal continues to be the Viognier.Tarara and Pippin Hill had great Viogniers. Another standout white was Barboursville Vineyards 2010 Vermentino Reserve. This is a grape I haven’s sampled before and it was fragrant and ripe with a touch of minerality – just what was needed on a sweltering hot night.
The heat index was well over 100 and the reception was outside with the wine being poured under a large tent. The heat caused me to focus on the whites – it was just too darn hot for the reds, which was unfortunate.
We were able to tour Monticello and ol’ TJ had a pretty fancy home. Perhaps the nicest feature was the air conditioning. One fellow blogger was commenting how miserably hot it was, how she didn’t want to move and so on. I couldn’t resist. I told her to go inside that they were having a special demonstration of Monticello’s furnace room – perhaps she’d enjoy that!
Friday, July 22, 2011
Sample a wine every five minutes for one hour? Sure, no problem. This is the Wine Bloggers' Conference version of speed dating. It's fast and fun and some great new wines were discovered.
Shindig Vidal Blanc/Riesling 2010, Finger Lakes - All Seneca Lakes grapes. 410 cases. Refreshing taste. Good with Oriental food. *** Available in NYC and DC. Riesling grapes from Anthony Road.
Veritas Sauvignon Blanc 2010 - Monticello AVA in Virginia. ***
Festival Rose 2009, Bordeaux. Château Le Gay. Food friendly. ** Price $13.
Rodney Strong 2008 Russian River Valley Reserve Chardonnay. Okay and buttery. Retails for $35 to $40. Apple and toast. Nice sophisticated Chard. ***1/2
Decibel 2009 Hawkes Bye Sauvignon Blanc. First release. Hotter than Marlborough. Only 1,000 cases. $16. **** Fruit riper.
Afton Mountain 2008 Tete du Cuvee Brut. 50-50 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Great sparkler from VA winery. $30. ****
Llano Estacado Vivana 2009, Texas. Blend of Gerwurz, Riesling, Viognier, and Muscat Canelli. Retail $22.95. Dry. Nice blend. 500 cases. **
Château Morrisette Dry Rose. 100% Chambourcin. Roanoke, VA. * I love Chambourcin, but this missed the mark for me.
Boxwood Winery Rose 2010. Cab Sauvignon and Merlot. All Estate grown. Only produce red wines. Former owners of the Washington Redskins. **
Barboursville Viognier 2009 Reserve. Citrus and lemon peel. Age on the lees. Viognier can take the heat. Refeshing. **1/2
Tabarrini Montefalco Adormando 2008. Ageable and interesting. Trebbiano and Spoletino. Full structured. Cool but I'm not feellng it. **
Michael Shaps Viognier 2008. All wild fermentation and aged in stainless. 200 cases. Retails for $30. ****
|Panelist encorage drinking local|
"I appreciate knowing who has grown the grapes in the wine I'm drinking," said Thompson. He went on to say that you can find outstanding wine in non-classic places and feel the joy of experiencing a local food sensation.
Remy said it is important to make wine that defines the region's character. Virginia winemakers are focusing on their signature grape of Viognier. It's quite good and I'm looking forward to sampling more tonight at the reception at Monticello.
- M. Chapoutier Belleruche Blanc Cotes-du-Rhone 2009 (toledowinesandvines.blogspot.com)
- Niagara Gets Back to Nature With Wild Fermentation (toledowinesandvines.blogspot.com)
- WBC11: Live Wine Blogging - Whites and Rose' (toledowinesandvines.blogspot.com)
serves up Chilean wines
After a quick dip in the pool, we surreptitiously slipped to the “secret” tasting of Chilean wines. For us one of the finest wines of the evening was the 2006 Casa Silva Carmenere (*****). Carmenere is Green Dragon’s new favorite red wine. This was succulent with a bit of spice and a full body. Also making an impression (and just a notch below the Casa Silva) was the Santa Rita Cabernet Sauvignon (****).
|Voga ruled with the most beautiful|
bottles and unique sparking Pinot Grigio.
We slipped out for dinner to Fellini's, about two blocks away, for some soup and salad before jumping into the International Reception.
Notable wines included:
Dourthes Le Grand Cuvee 2009 Sauvignon Blanc (France) ***
Negre Scala Dei 2009 Garnacha (Spain) ***
Vina Zaca 2008 Rioja (Spain) ***
Vina Pomal Rioja (Spain) ***
Voga Sparkling Pinot Grigio (Italy) **1/2
|Bordeaux Superieur anyone?|
Piccini Chianti Classico 2008 Tuscany (Italy) ****
Del Martino El Leon 2007 Carignan (Chile) ***1/2
Grey (Glacier) Single Block 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (Chile) ****
- Trio of White Wines for Cool Summer Sipping (toledowinesandvines.blogspot.com)
- WBC 2011 Or Bust: Wine Bloggers Gather in Charlottesville, Virginia (toledowinesandvines.blogspot.com)
- Finger Lakes Winery Visit: Shaw Vineyard Winery (toledowinesandvines.blogspot.com)
Thursday, July 21, 2011
More than 300 wine bloggers, new media innovators, and wine industry leaders are gathering July 22-24, 2011 in Charlottesville, Virginia for the fourth annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference - the premier conference for new media and the wine industry. This three-day symposium focuses on the unique intersection of wine with the world of new media including blogging, social media, and more.
Toledo Wines and Vines is happy to be part of the event for the second year. The Green Dragon and I will be covering the event and seeking out the best vino from hundreds of bottles being poured.
I want to give a shout-out to the sponsors of the event. They deserve a lot of credit for making the event possible. And since in the midst of the live wine blogging, I might forget to mention them, we’ll give them props right now.
Highlights of the event include an international wine reception, featuring wines from Chile, South Africa, Spain and France (among others), a reception focused on Virginia wines at Monticello, an Other 46 reception presenting wines from states other than California, Washington, Oregon and New York and live wine blogging.
My favorite part of the WBC is the visits to the wineries and vineyards, which includes “back stage” access to the winemakers and their best bottles.
Look for our reports in the days to come…
- Take me to Virginia Wine Country #WBC11 (hvwinegoddess.blogspot.com)
- Let's Play "Stump the Winos"! Welcome 2011 Wine Bloggers! (cvilleuncorked.com)
- Virginia Viognier Tasting (thegoodwineguru.com)
- Mobile Version of Toledo Wines and Vines Now Available (toledowinesandvines.blogspot.com)
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Image of Bott-Geyl via Snooth
Wednesday, July 20
Beer and Wine Cave, 4400 Heatherdowns, (419) 382-6221. 6-9 PM. Creative Wines. $15.
The Andersons, Talmadge Road. Wine Tasting. 6-8 PM. Spanish & other Summer Wines: 1. Gazella Rose, 2. Vinum Chenin Blanc, 3. Domaine du Pouy Cote du Gascon, 4. Martin Codex Albarino, 5. Evodia Garnacha, 6. Tarima Tempranillo, 7. Chehalem Three Vineyards Pinot Noir, 8. Baron de Lay Rioja. Nominal fee per sample.
Beer and Wine Cave, 4400 Heatherdowns, (419) 382-6221. 6-9 PM. Creative Wine. $15.
Corks Wine and Liquor, Promenade Plaza, 27250 Crossroads Pkwy., Rossford – (419) 872-6800. 6-9 PM. Nominal fee per sample.
TREO Wine Bar, 5703 Main St., Sylvania, (419) 882-2266. Wine & Cheese Thursday. Explore the wonderful world of wine and cheese. Try four different wines with a sample platter of the day’s cheese.
Friday, July 22
Aficionado Wine and Cigars, The Shoppes at RiverPlace, 26567 N. Dixie Highway, Suite 135, Perrysburg, (419-873-4444). 5:00 – 8:30 p.m. Moscato Tasting: 1. Ed Hardy Moscato, 2. Villa M Moscato, 3. Montaribaldi Moscato d'Asti, 4. Santero Rose of Moscato. $10 tasting.
Corks Wine and Liquor, Promenade Plaza, 27250 Crossroads Pkwy., Rossford – (419) 872-6800. 6-9 PM. Nominal fee per sample.
Saturday, July 23
Walt Churchill’s Market, 3320 Briarfield. Maumee, (419) 794-4000. 12 Noon – 5:00 PM. Pay by the sample or flight.
Walt Churchill's Market, 26625 Dixie Hwy, Perrysburg, (419) 872-6900. 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Nominal fee per sample or by the flight.
Zinful Wine Bar & Restaurant, (419) 878-9463, 7541 Dutch Road, Waterville. Joyce’s Picks wine flight ~includes appetizer & dessert for 1 . Cost is $15.
AREA WINE BARS
- Tres Belle Wine and Martini Lounge, (419) 874-4555, 3145 Hollister Lane, Perrysburg (Levis Commons).
- Vino 100 Wine Bar & Restaurant, (419) 866-8466, Promenade West, 3355 Briarfield Blvd, Suite C, Maumee.
- Zinful Wine Bar & Restaurant, (419) 878-9463, 7541 Dutch Road, Waterville.
- Grapevines Sprout In Toledo Backyard Vineyard (toledowinesandvines.blogspot.com)
- An Intro into Pinot Noir Wine with Chessman Vineyards Tasting (foodservicewarehouse.com)
- Sebastiani Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2009 Wine Review (NW) (winecask.blogspot.com)
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
A recent “zip trip” through the Finger Lakes provided us the opportunity to make a return visit to Shaw Vineyard’s Seneca Lake tasting room. The small. unpretentious tasting room has an eclectic funkiness and gives visitors an intimate opportunity to sample some outstanding limited production wine.
Our previous visit to Shaw Vineyard was memorable, but for all the wrong reasons. This time it was a pleasurable experience we’re happy to recommend to others.
The tasting room is a simple wood structure that contrasts mightily with some of the temple-like structures erected by some of the larger Finger Lakes wineries. It’s a one-room affair with a central tasting bar and a scattering of colorful, abstract oil paintings.
This visit the tasting room had the most important decoration of all: a friendly and knowledgeable server! I’m typically in a jovial mood when I’m wine tasting in the Finger Lakes and I was given even more reason to smile when we entered the tasting room and I heard the strains of Neil Young from one of my favorite albums, Zuma.
After a quick tasting of an enjoyable Li Bella Pinot Grigio, we turned our focus to the reds. Winemaker Steve Shaw is known for his painstaking attention to detail with his wines. Whenever possible the grapes are worked by hand or with low pressure processes so as to ensure every subtle nuance of the grapes is maintained. He has tried to utilize many of the techniques he observed during travels to Burgundy and Napa while adapting his practices to the cooler climate of the Finger Lakes. The wines also see considerable time in the barrel. We sampled the 2006 vintages of the Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir.
The Finger Lakes area is known for its outstanding Riesling and Cabernet Franc, but not so much for its Pinot Noir. Pinot is a finicky grape that can test the mettle of the best winemaker. Some Finger Lake Pinots are one dimensional: You get the varietal fingerprint, but not the subtleties that can elevate Pinot Noir to the ethereal.
The first swirl and sniff of the Shaw Pinot Noir revealed an unexpected complexity. The wine has smooth tannins with bright cherry flavors with flavors of earthiness and spice.This is a hand-crafted Pinot to savor.
Steve Shaw’s unique approach to winemaking creates some awesome wines and a great stop for you on your next visit to the Finger Lakes.
- Finger Lakes Winery Visit: Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard (toledowinesandvines.blogspot.com)
- Finger Lakes Winery Visit: Lakewood Vineyards (toledowinesandvines.blogspot.com)
- Finger Lakes evaluation crowns Riesling, again (timesunion.com)
Monday, July 18, 2011
Cotes-du-Rhone is one of the world’s most celebrated wine regions, known primarily for their easy drinking reds that offer superb value. This white wine from Michel Chapoutier is a great introduction to the region.
Belleruche Blanc is food friendly wine with a cast of off-Broadway grapes that put on a command performance. It is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Clairette and 20% Bourboulenc.
The wine is pale yellow in color. The aroma is of green apples, citrus and exotic fruit. I found the wine refreshing with crisp acidity balanced with fat flavors of fruit.No oak is used, so the flavors are bright and fresh. The finish has good length.
It’s a serious and enjoyable wine. Refreshing as Sauvignon Blanc, but with an air of intrigue. The price tag is a mere $12.99. Wine from one of the best French wine appellations for less than $13? Absolutely!
The Chapoutier family has been making wine in the Rhone Valley since the 19th century and have been leaders in sustainable winemaking. Another cool aspect of their wine is the label, which is overwritten in Braille so that visually impaired persons can read the name, appellation and other information to enhance their enjoyment.
Full disclosure: This wine was received as a sample.