Tuesday, November 25, 2014

WineStudio: Willamette Valley Chardonnays (Week III)

The Importance of Being a Willamette Valley Chardonnay
#WineStudio Tuesdays 6:00pm – 7:00pm PDT

When you think of the Willamette Valley (it's Willamette, dammit!), you probably think of world-class Pinot Noir, and you wouldn't be wrong. With 11,053 acres planted, fabulous Pinots come out every vintage, year after year. But the Valley has a lighter side as well, with over 3,400 acres of white grape varietals planted, 684 of which are Chardonnay. Yes, Chardonnay. The November WineStudio gets into the Chardonnay renaissance in Oregon, specifically the Willamette Valley, citing terroir, sustainability, biodynamics, philosophy, adventure and the future of Oregon Chardonnay.

Omero Cellars Chardonnay

The week's wines were from Omero Cellars. Established in 2009, a small family owned vineyard and winery, Omero Cellars' estate vineyard is comprised of 26 acres located in the heart of the Ribbon Ridge AVA - the smallest American Viticultural Area in Oregon at only 3.5 miles long and 1.75 miles wide.
"The goal with every vintage has been and will be to understand the textures, flavors, scents and behaviors of the fruit that we farm and through minimal intervention, allow the wines to express their sense of place while maintaining elegance and balance."
Tasting Notes:
2012 Willamette Valley - Aged 10 months in French oak; white flower, apricot, and spice aromas; flavor profile follows along with aromas with an added minerality; 13.1% ABV; cork closure; 275 cases produced; SRP $38.
2012 Extended Elevage - Aged 16 months; green apple, stone fruit, and cedar (?) aromas; apple, citrus, spice, and subtle yeast flavors; rich mouthfeel; 12.5% ABV; cork closure; 75 cases produced; SRP $58. Wineries suggested pairing is dark chocolate goat cheese truffles and rosemary sea salt.
PROTOCOL #WineStudio presents an online twitter-based educational program where we engage our brains and palates! It’s part instruction and tasting, with discussions on producers, varieties, tourism, terroir, regional culture, food matching and what all this means to us as imbibers.

Wines were provided for tasting purposes - all opinions are my own.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

WineStudio: Willamette Valley Chardonnays (Week II)

The Importance of Being a Willamette Valley Chardonnay
#WineStudio Tuesdays 6:00pm – 7:00pm PDT

When you think of the Willamette Valley (it's Willamette, dammit!), you probably think of world-class Pinot Noir, and you wouldn't be wrong. With 11,053 acres planted, fabulous Pinots come out every vintage, year after year. But the Valley has a lighter side as well, with over 3,400 acres of white grape varietals planted, 684 of which are Chardonnay. Yes, Chardonnay. The November WineStudio gets into the Chardonnay renaissance in Oregon, specifically the Willamette Valley, citing terroir, sustainability, biodynamics, philosophy, adventure and the future of Oregon Chardonnay.

#WineStudio Oregon Chardonnays

Week 2 brought J.K. Carriere, as well as Matello Wines and Goodfellow Family Cellars, both helmed by proprietor and winemaker Marcus Goodfellow (clearly a man with a sense of humor: Matello (rhymes with cello) is an Italian word meaning "little fool").

Tasting Notes:
J.K. Carriere 2012 Lucidité Willamette Valley Chardonnay:  100% whole cluster pressed; barrel aged on its lees for 18 months in older French oak barrels; pale gold color; apple, citrus, and mineral aromas; green apple, pear, spice, citrus and stone flavors; 13.5% ABV; cork closure; 220 cases produced; SRP $32. I agree with Jim Prosser's quote on this wine: “A surfboard of ripe getting rolled by a wave of acid!”
Goodfellow Family 2012 Whistling Ridge Vineyards Chardonnay: Aged for 20 months in 100% French oak, 50% new; apple, pear, and spice aromas; apple, pear, stone fruit, citrus and spice flavors;    14.1% ABV; 80 cases produced; SRP $36.
Matello Wines 2012 Durant Vineyards Chardonnay: Sourced from non-irrigated vineyards; aged 15 months in French oak, 30% new; pale gold color; stone fruit, citrus, mineral, and sweet honey aromas; stone fruit, green apple, spice and stone flavors; 13.5% ABV; 150 cases produced; SRP $29.
Another week of highly tasty Chardonnays from Oregon. Pinot Noir, watch out.

PROTOCOL #WineStudio presents an online twitter-based educational program where we engage our brains and palates! It’s part instruction and tasting, with discussions on producers, varieties, tourism, terroir, regional culture, food matching and what all this means to us as imbibers.

Wines were provided for tasting purposes - all opinions are my own.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What Do You Know About English Wine?

If you're like me, absolutely nothing. I think of England as cold, damp, and more fit for sheep than grapevines. With climate change, education, and improvements in winegrowing, however, things have changed in a big way. There are now over 400 vineyards in England and Wales covering some 3,500 acres and producing sparkling and still wines. The English Wine Producers website lists 21 white varietals and 7 reds, mostly hybrids, but also including the ubiquitous Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Beginners Guide to UK Wine

This infographic, created by Warner Leisure Hotels, contains a map of the UK’s most notable vineyards, as well as some fun and exciting facts about the English Wine Industry. It's a nice basic intro and should certainly whet every one's appetite to taste English wine.

Now I just need someone to send me some samples to taste... :)

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tempranillo Day with Lodi Wine

Tempranillo Day: A celebration of the Tempranillo grape
with all its regional synonyms. Open a bottle of Tempranillo, 
enjoy the fun, and share your experience online with the hashtags
#TempranilloDay or #Tempranillo.

Tempranillo Day with Lodi Wine

We got a headstart last week on today's Tempranillo Day by conducting a tasting of Tempranillo wines from Lodi. In 2013, there were 900 tons of Tempranillo harvested in Lodi. Lodi continues to amaze me with their never-ending supply of unique and fabulous wines - literally, is there a grape they can't vinify well? Another great virtual tasting sipping and chatting with other aficionados through the Charles Communications Brandlive channel and Twitter.

Tasting Notes:

2012 Riaza Wines Hunter's Oak Vineyard Tempranillo:
12 year old vines; aged 19 months in American and French oak; light ruby color; pomegranate, smoke, and spice aromas; boysenberry, raspberry, dried cherry and tobacco flavors; medium bodied; slight tannins; 14.6% ABV; cork closure; 97 cases produced; SRP $26.
2012 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo:
90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano grapes from 12 year old vines from 2 vineyards, Liberty Oaks and Las Cerezas, certified Green for Sustainable Winegrowing Practices; boysenberry, raspberry, cassis and floral aromas; plum, dark berry, earth/forest, baking spice, and pomegranate flavors, truly a savory wine; light bodied but luscious and balanced; 13.5% ABV; cork closure; 685 cases produced; SRP $23.
2010 Harney Lane Winery Tempranillo:
Hand picked; aged over 18 months in mixed origin oak barrels; nice ruby color; dried herb, earth, wood, and dark fruit aromas; plum, leather, tobacco, and mineral flavors, another very savory wine; 15% ABV; cork closure; 719 cases produced; SRP $25.
2012 McCay Cellars "Lot 13 Vineyard" Tempranillo:
Grapes from the 25 year old Kirschenman Vineyard; violet, tart cherry, nut, and spice aromas; native yeast fermentation; plum, strawberry, herb and spice flavors; 14.3% ABV; cork closure; 179 cases produced; SRP $28.
2012 m2 Wines Tormenta Tempranillo:
Grapes sourced from Kirschenman Vineyard; tank fermented; aged 14 months in 15% new french oak with medium toast; dark cherry, earth, spice and subtle floral aromas; dark plum, raspberry, and vanilla flavors into a cocoa finish; a savory and luscious wine that tastes more expensive than it is, great QPR; 15% ABV; cork closure; 295 cases produced; SRP $22.
While Tempranillo might be better known as a grape in other areas of the world, you cannot go wrong with any of these offerings from Lodi winemakers. Any of these would make you happy today or any other day you choose Tempranillo.

Charles Communications Associates is an independent creative marketing firm that employs traditional public relations and new media strategies to assist companies, organizations and non-profits in the creation, development and marketing of interesting and compelling brands. Recognized as one of the most effective PR firms in the wine industry, we have an exceptional track record of promoting products in the gourmet, natural and organic food and beverage categories, from wine and tea to top shelf spirits and luxury goods. We consider ourselves fortunate to work with clients who share our philosophy of social responsibility in work and everyday life.

Wines provided for tasting purposes - all opinions are my own.

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