[We want to thank Kathy Webb for the photos and writeup from tonight’s tasting. Kathy’s wine blog can be read at http://wineaugustaga.blogspot.com/ ]

Harriss Cottingham  of Republic National, Upstate Manager for  Constellation Brands
Harriss Cottingham of Republic National, Upstate Manager for Constellation Brands

T here is no better place for wine on a Friday night when Dick and Sally Benjamin of Wine World host a tasting.

Tonight the presenter for the “California Jewels, Plus!” tasting seminar was Harriss Cottingham of Republic National, Upstate Manager for Constellation Brands.

Many of these wines are California classics with high recognition and acclaim.

The “Plus” was the Italian wine: a delightful DOC Prosecco northeastern Italy by Ruffino, which was not only a very festive start, but was an exceptional bargain. It will be the sparkler at my house for the upcoming holidays.

It had a aroma consistent with a more expensive methode champenoise bottle, with pear, apple and biscuit prevailing.

As for the rest, the tasting notes are listed for you.

These events are enjoyable for novices and wine aficionados.
And once you have visited Wine World for any tasting, you’ll know you have joined a family of wine lovers.
Bring a friend. Come on down.

Where: Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta, SC

e-mail: wineworld@wineworldsc.com.
When: Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. 7 pm.
Cost: $15 prepaid. $20 at the door if space is available. Reservations suggested as space will be limited.

Here are the wines being presented :

  1. Prosecco DOC Extra Dry
  2. Franciscan Equilibrium
  3. Hidden Crush Chardonnay
  4. Simi Pinot Noir
  5. Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir
  6. Ravenswood County Series Zinfandel
  7. Ravenswood Big River/Alexander Valley Zinfandel
  8. Hidden Crush Cabernet Sauvignon,
  9. Clos du Bois Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
  10. Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

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Here are the detailed wine notes:
Prosecco DOC Extra Dry | Italy
Since 1877, Ruffino has produced some of the world’s finest Italian wines. Now, we proudly give you Ruffino Prosecco. Perfectly refined, yet incredibly versatile. It’s a wine for… whenever. Made from Glera grapes, this Extra Dry Prosecco, DOC, is fragrant and intensely fruity, with clean notes of apples, pears and citrus. Crisp, clean and delicate, with fine bubbles caressing the palate. Hints of peach and apples, coupled with elegance and balance.–From their Website
FRN_Equilibrium_medFranciscan Equilibrium | Napa Valley, California
The color is pale straw. It has a vibrant fruit-driven bouquet with highlights of bright passion fruit, guava, and white peach, accented with hints of citrus and lime blossom. Floral notes of honeysuckle and jasmine balance the vibrancy of the ripe fruit aromas. It has a clean, crisp opening that gives way to a full, round body on the palate. Nectarine and stone fruits give the wine a fruit-forward profile finishing with floral and citrus notes. The finish lingers and leaves you wanting more.

A blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Muscat.Our Equilibrium white blend is a rich, fun, and unique wine that’s easy to enjoy. The name Equilibrium means “to come together in a state of harmonious balance.” With this in mind, our winemakers crafted a unique expression of artisanal blending. Crisp mouthfeel showing bright floral notes along with refreshing pear and white peach flavors, Equilibrium is an ensemble of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Muscat. The perception of sweetness enables it to pair beautifully with a range of foods, from spicy barbeque to Thai and other Asian cuisines.—Janet Myers, Winemaker–From their Website

Hidden Crush Chardonnay | Central Coast, California
Aromas of lime, lemon blossom, green apple, pineapple and white peach. Bright fruit flavors, rich viscosity, refreshing crisp acidity and lovely lingering flavors. Pairing suggestions: The bright citrus fruit pairs well with delicate, subtle flavors. We recommend fettuccini Alfredo, three-cheese pizza or a Cuban sandwich.–From their Website
Simi Pinot Noir | Sonoma County, California
A luscious, ruby hue with a bright edge, our 2010 Sonoma County Pinot Noir offers aromas of raspberry, cherry, cranberry, gingerbread, sage, violets, and light toast followed by bright and focused red fruit notes of cherry and cranberry, along with gently lifted hints of flora and ginger. The wine is nicely structured, with firm and balanced acidity. The finish of raspberry, along with creamy, toasty oak, lingers. This wine is marvelous when paired with fried chicken, mushroom risotto, barbecued salmon—or something as simple as goat cheese.–From their Website
Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir | Carneros, California
Remarkably fragrant – a Pinot Noir classic, scented with ripe red and black cherry that spills out of the glass, infused with turned earth, spice and vanilla. On the palate it begins with sweet dried cherry and grows into a complex mélange of bright fruity and floral flavors with darker undertones of earth and smoke, presented in a seductively sleek and silky package. Smooth, lingering finish.–From their Website
Ravenswood County Series Zinfandel | Lodi California
Unlike many grapevines that peak at 25 or so years, Zin vines gain life experience as they age for added depth, concentration, and weight. That’s especially true of Zinfandel grown in Sonoma County. With this Zin, flavors of blackberry, black cherry, cinnamon, and vanilla follow fast on the heels of super ripe berry aromas. All in all, a layered wine with succulent center, balanced acids, and tannins that build structure. Gotta have this wine with a hearty meat dishes and vegetable stews.–From their Website
Ravenswood Big River/Alexander Valley Zinfandel | Alexander Valley, California
The 2009 Big River has aromas of ripe fresh plums, baking spice, hints of fennel, oak spiced roasted nuts and dark berries. Bright, ripe mouth-filling flavors and a long, soft, fruit and oak-driven finish help make this wine a deeply concentrated, sappy, satisfying Zinfandel of great purity and depth.–From their Website
Hidden Crush Cabernet Sauvignon, | Central Coast, California
Aromas of cherry and black currant with layers of cedar, spice, coconut and vanilla. A medium-bodied wine with bright fruit flavors of red berries and spices. Pairing suggestions: We recommend red-sauce pasta with sausage, grilled burgers or a cheese steak sandwich.–From their Website
Clos du Bois Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon | Alexander Valley, California

Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon | Napa Valley, California
A classic expression of Napa Valley Cabernet at its best: Remarkably rich and concentrated. Tantalizing entry – almost sweet with blackberry essence, it evolves into a plush, mouth filling compote of black fruit, beautifully integrated with woodsy and mineral notes, mocha, tobacco and clove. For all its volume the delivery is surprisingly fresh and supple, with a long, mocha-infused finish. 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Syrah.–From their Website


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