Leigh and Rudy
Leigh and Rudy

I usually hit Wine World’s First Friday tasting around 5:30. I was a bit late tonight. I arrived at 6:15 and Wine World was packed. By the time I left around 7:15 they were still arriving. What a nice tasting.

There was some old favorites. The first wine La Graviere has been featured at several of Wine World’s tasting. The 2012 vintage is really nice. This wine is nice and crisp without being too acidic. The tasting notes say it has an almost silky finish and I would agree.

I was glad to see the MontGras Carmenere Reserva on the list tonight. This is my favorite Carmenere. But I had to admit this was the first chance I have had to try the 2012. This vintage is much darker than previous. That might just be because its brand new and the others had more time to age. They were decanting this before pouring. Dark, rich flavors. The oak is very apparent. There is almost a smoky flavor. I would like to try this vintage with a nice steak.

The most popular red from what I gathered tonight was the Fess Parker Frontier Red. This red blend has always been a popular wine at tastings. I won’t bother with describing this one and let the tasting notes below do that. I would have liked another glass of this.

One pleasant surprise of the evening was Leigh Dye. One of the co-owners of Wine World was in town visiting. He is currently living in Northern England where he co-owns and operates a pub. He said it was a dream job. Each day he pours up some fine local brews the old fashion way… with a hand pump. He said the winters haven’t been so kind, especially when you have 60-70 mph winds and rain that comes in horizontally. On the flip side the long summer days last year were fantastic. He said he had the best tan ever in his life.

It was great to see Leigh. I also want to thank Rudy, who took my camera and walked around taking some of these shots as I talked with some friends.

Next tasting up will be Third Thursday on February, 20, 2014.
Where: Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta, SC

When: Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, 5 to 8 pm
Cost: $5, with rebate on the purchase of 1 bottle of the featured wines.

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

  1. La Graviere 2012
  2. Le Cirque Rosé 2011
  3. Covey Run, Gewurztraminer 2012
  4. MontGras Carmenere Reserva 2012
  5. Altos Las Hormigas Malbec 2011
  6. Fess Parker Frontier Red Lot 131

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Here are the detailed wine notes:
Château La Graviere 2012 | Entre-Deux-Mers, Bordeaux, France
Entre-Deux-Mers is one of our favorite sources of great-value, crisp whites and  La Gravière is one of our favorites. A traditional blend of Sauvignon Blanc with some added Semillon to provide body and a hint of honeysuckle character. Aromas of lemon and grass lead through to an almost silky finish. Aperitif. A great match with seafood, chicken, turkey, pork dishes.  Asparagus with Parmesan cheese. Goat cheeses.

Le Cirque Rosé 2011 | Côtes Catalanes, France
Intensely colored, with great spicy strawberry, watermelon aromas with hints of sage. Crisp and dry and refreshing. Old Vines (average 50 years old). Blend of 50% Grenache. 40% Mourvedre, 10% Grenache Gris. A superb value. Super on its own, yet is also a wonderful food wine, very versatile. Enjoy with chicken, pork, with charcuterie, seafood, salads.
Winery: Les Vignerons de Tautavel Vingrau

Covey Run, Gewurztraminer 2012 | Columbia Valley, Washington State
A medium-sweet Gewurztraminer with excellent varietal character. Floral and aromatic, with impressions of lychee, rose, and pear, and filled with youthful fruit. Pair this Gewurz with spicy foods and Asian cuisine: it cools the heat of the food and complements the intense and exotic flavors. General Tso’s chicken. Indian Curries. An amazing good value.
Winery: Covey Run

MontGras Carmenere Reserva 2012 |Colchagua Valley, Chile
Intense, dark plum, blackberry, bosenberry blueberry aromas and flavors with well-integrated toasty oak and hints of spice. Big fruit, yet well-balanced. Soft tannins and a smooth, lingering finish. Carmenere was traditionally a grape of Bordeaux, France, but has now become the “signature” red grape of Chile, where growing conditions are ideal for the late-ripening Carmenere. A rich wine and a wonderful good value. Steaks, burgers, lamb, big flavorful meat dishes.  Hearty eggplant and mushroom dishes.  Pot roast. Flavorful cheeses. Aged Gouda.

Altos Las Hormigas Malbec 2011 | Mendoza, Argentina
An extraordinary Malbec, full-bodied and easy drinking. Big aromas of plum, blackberries and soft hints of vanilla lead to wonderful, concentrated black-fruit flavors.  Balanced with well-integrated oak. Rich and silky.  (“Hormigas” means “ants,” which refers to the many ant colonies in the Altos vineyards.)  Pairs well with roasted or grilled meats, hearty pastas, and flavorful cheeses.  Beef steaks & Chimichurri sauce.
Beef empanadas. DaVinci Gouda.

Fess Parker Frontier Red Lot 131 | Santa Barbara County, California
Lush dark fruit aromas of black cherry, blackberry, dark raspberry and black pepper. Sage, smoke, leather and vanilla notes also appear in the bouquet. Flavors of cranberry, black cherry and red currant combine with hints of smoke and dark chocolate. A velvety texture and a round, soft finish. It’s a blend of Syrah, Merlot, Grenache and other grapes. Steaks, burgers. Burger with blue cheese. Venison. Chili! BBQ! intense and exotic flavors. General Tso’s chicken. Indian Curries. An amazing good value.


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