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Enjoying Wine and Beer in the Augusta GA area

Sommelier Tasting-Vineyard-June 16-17

Sommelier Eric Crane at the Vineyard on Friday


Sommelier Eric Crane stopped by Friday afternoon to educate some very lucky tasters as these were great wines from California and Argentina. The average cost of these wines were almost $30. All where captivating. Well worth the $12 tasting fee.
There are 221Master Sommeliers in the world. Eric Crane is vying for spots on that exclusive list. Eric, an Advanced Sommelier, is a Georgia native and Director of Training and Business Development for Empire Distributors. He has achieved the title of Certified Wine Educator from the Society of Wine Educators and the title of Advanced Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Eric also serves on the Board of Directors for the Guild of Sommeliers.

As Empire’s Director of Training, Eric regularly teaches classes on wine and spirits to his company as well as to the public. Actually, he’ll talk about this stuff to pretty much anyone who will listen. His spare time finds him enjoying his family and with his nose in either a book or a glass of wine.

He was shared his knowledge on some great wines from the Hess Collection, a winery he enjoys visiting.

All the wines were excellent. I found myself really liking the Hess Select Treo Winemaker’s Blend and the Hess Collection 19 Block Mt Veeder . These are some great blends.

These wines are all ranked 90 to 94 points!

As usual John did a great job with the nibbles.
Where: Vineyard Wine Market (map), 4414 Evans to Lock Road, Evans, GA. (706) 922-9463

When: Friday, June 9, 2017, 5-7 PM and Saturday, Jine 10, 2017, 5-7 PM.
Cost: $12

Here are the wines to be presented (click to see more):

  1. Colome Torrontes
  2. Hess Collection Napa Chardonnay
  3. Colome Estate Malbec
  4. Hess Select Treo Winemaker’s Blend
  5. Hess Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon
  6. Hess Collection 19 Block Mt Veeder
  7. Hess Collection Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon


Here are the detailed wine notes:
Colome Torrontes | Mendoza, Argentina
James Suckling gave this 92 points.
Torrontés is the white icon grape of Argentina and it reaches its maximum splendor in the north of Argentina. The special microclimate of the Calchaquí Valley brings great thermal amplitude and higher solar exposure; thus, grapes develop unique aromas and a great freshness and excellent acidity.
Colomé Torrontés is a delicate, elegant and distinguished interpretation of this variety, with floral notes of roses combined with citrus aromas and a spicy hint, making it ideal to match with ethnical food, such as mexican, peruvian and seafood. –From their Website
Cost: $15.99

Hess Collection Napa Chardonnay |
Wine Enthusiast gave this 90 points.
“The Su’skol vineyard is carefully farmed to emphasize fruit with wonderful acidity and balance. Crisp and clean our Chardonnay showcases the moderate temperatures influenced by nearby San Pablo Bay. The multiple clones display an aromatic musqué, resulting in aromas and flavors of apple, white pear and a slight touch of tropical fruits, accented by aromas of honeysuckle. We ferment only a small portion in new French Oak, and allow just a portion (28%) to undergo secondary fermentation, showcasing fruit and a round, rich mouthfeel from bâttonage over several weeks. It is a wonderful on its own, with appetizers, or as an integral part of nearly any menu.” – Dave Guffy, Director of Winemaking.
“This wine pairs well with poached or grilled seafood, shrimp or crab with spicy aioli, baby greens tossed in citrus honey vinaigrette, avocados, fruit salsa, shaved fennel, tangerines and triple crème cheeses.” – Chad Hendrickson, Executive Chef. –From their Website
Cost: $19.99

Colome Estate Malbec |
Wine Spectator gave this 92 points.
This wine has given the greatest satisfaction and recognition to the winery. The grapes come from our own farms: Colomé, La Brava, and el Arenal (Payogasta) harvested in late March and early April. This wine is a Malbec from different heights. All the wine goes through an aging process for 15 months in French oak barrels, 20% new and 80% used. It is a muscular and succulent version of the Malbec, but elegant and delicate. –From their Website
Cost: $22.99

Hess Select Treo Winemaker’s Blend |
Decanter give this 90 points.
“There’s a touch of sweetness from the ripe, dark fruit, accented by a decidedly big impression of bing cherries and ripe plums. The tannins are purposefully softer and easy drinking, making it a wine that gets invited outside to the barbecue in the summer and inside to accompany pot roast, meatloaf or chicken Marsala in the fall. The wine is built for easy drinking pleasure right now.” – Dave Guffy, Director of Winemaking.
Grilled flank steak, salmon, mushrooms or a hamburger with blue cheese are my favorite pairings in the summer. Cured meats and aged cheeses like a gouda or dry jack make a tasty meat and cheese platter. –From their Website
Cost: $16.99

Hess Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon | North Coast, California
Wine Enthusiast gave this 91 points.
”The Allomi vineyard lies in the rolling hills of northeastern Napa Valley, where the combination of long, warm growing seasons with well-drained soils create the optimal ripening conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon. The 210-acre vineyard is focused into 35 unique growing blocks with six different Cabernet clones that add diversity of flavors and complexity to the wine. Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon offers distinct notes of vanilla and oak spice with red fruit flavors set off by flavors of currant and blackberry with integrated tannins and a round, plush mouthfeel.” – Dave Guffy, Director of Winemaking.
“Earthy flavors enhance the fruit flavors in this wine, especially with foods such as herb roasted chicken, grilled pork, caramelized onions, eggplant, sautéed greens, roasted potatoes or vegetables and aged Jack and Gouda cheese.” – Chad Hendrickson, Executive Chef. –From their Website
Cost: $29.99

Hess Collection 19 Block Mt Veeder | North Coast, California
The Wine Advocate gave this 93 points.This Cuvée is crafted with mountain Malbec, Syrah and some of our favorite Cabernet Sauvignon blocks, resulting in a singular, distinctive expression of Mount Veeder. The Malbec brings notes of blueberry, black licorice and chocolate, while the Syrah and Cabernet feature red fruits alongside black currant and wild raspberry. A bit of oak spice, vanilla and clove wander in the background. The tannins here are soft and very approachable. The19 Block Mountain Cuvée is a wine built to enjoy right now, or explore it a bit further down the road as it gains even greater complexity. – Dave Guffy, Director of Winemaking.

“The layers of flavor in this wine pair well with complex foods, including braised or grilled meats like lamb, pork or duck; spring or sweet onions; earthy flavors such as mushrooms, eggplant and fennel; harder cheeses with salt crystals such as Bravo Farms Silver Mountain or Beecher’s Flagship Reserve.” – Chad Hendrickson, Executive Chef. –From their Website
Cost: $39.99

Hess Collection Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon | North Coast, California
The Wine Advocate gave this 94 points.

Grown on our Veeder Hills Vineyard, the traditional red fruit aromas and flavors of the dominant Cabernet Sauvignon are led by bright cherry and wild mountain raspberry with the addition of Malbec offering blueberry joined by notes of vanilla, cassis, creamy chocolate caramel and oak spice. ─ Dave Guffy, Director of Winemaking
“The layers of flavor in this wine pair well with complex foods, including braised or grilled meats like lamb, pork or duck; spring or sweet onions; earthy flavors such as mushrooms, eggplant and fennel; harder cheeses with salt crystals such as Bravo Farms Silver Mountain or Beecher’s Flagship Reserve.” – Chad Hendrickson, Executive Chef. –From their Website
Cost: $59.99

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