Sally Benjamin at the first table
Sally Benjamin at the first table

I had a great time at Wine World‘s First Friday Tasting. I enjoyed talking to several tasters, some I met for the first time, some I’ve met at previous tastings. One thing I have to say about the people who come to the Wine World tastings, they are there to learn about new wines not just to drink wine.  They spend time looking at the tasting notes and chatting with others about what they were sampling.

Friday night the Pennywise Sauvignon Blanc and the Robertson Gewürztraminer was a big part of the first table discussion. The Pennywise was one of the lightest Sauvignon Blanch I think I’ve had yet with some nice crispness. A great summer sipper. The Robertson (I do wish Dick Benjamin was there to help them learn how to pronounce Gewürztraminer) is one of the sweetest Gewürztraminer I’ve ever had. The late harvest I suspect is the reason why this one has more sweetness than usual. This would make a great dessert wine but not so sweet that it would nicely pair with the recommended pairing of chicken, turkey or spicy Asian food.

The reds where very nice.  The Le Grand Noir GSM was a beautiful blend. Typically earthy or minerally like many French wines but not so much that the flavors of ripe berries can’t come through. The Hey Mambo has all sorts of interesting things going on. This is a very nice sipper.

The Lote 44 Malbec was a nice drier wine to finish with.  I was lucky enough to get a small piece of steak that I  paired with it and it was delicious.  This would be an excellent wine for an evening of summer grilling. 

Next tasting is their Third Thursday tasting on Thursday, May 15, 2014, 5-8PM.

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

When: Friday, May 2, 2014, 5 to 8 pm
Cost: $5, with rebate on the purchase of 1 bottle of the featured wines.

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

  1. Pennywise Sauvignon Blanc 2012
  2. Thomas Henry Chardonnay 2013
  3. Robertson Gewürztraminer Late Harvest 2011
  4. Le Grand Noir Black Sheep GSM 2011
  5. Lote 44 Malbec 2012
  6. Hey Mambo Sultry Red 2011

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Here are the detailed wine notes:
Pennywise Sauvignon Blanc 2012 | California
A bright & refreshing Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of melon, pineapple & pear. Flavors of pink grapefruit, pineapple& lemongrass. Notes of citrus & minerality & a slight creaminess in the texture. Great for seafood. Grilled shrimp. Roast chicken. Summer salads. Goes very well with Greek & Mexican dishes. Marries beautifully with garlic and with tomato sauces.Tangy cheeses. (Another great wine from “The Other Guys” started by siblings of Don Sebastiani. Winery Website: The Others Guys

Thomas Henry Chardonnay 2013 | Sonoma, California
Exceptional value. This is a beautiful Chardonnay, fresh and bright with a creamy texture and a touch of very nice oak. Pear, apple and pineapple notes with hints of butter & spice. Another winner from Tom Meadowcroft who named his “value” line for his father. Seafood. Dishes with light cream sauce. Crab cakes. Camembert. Winery Website: Thomas Henry

Robertson Gewürztraminer Late Harvest 2011 | South Africa
Sumptuous honeysuckle and rose petals in the bouquet. Rich and smooth. Beautifully balanced sugar and acid given added interest by a touch of honeyed botrytis, an earthy complexity, and nuances of exotic spice. Complements chicken, turkey, seafood and curry. Excellent with Asian spicy dishes. A splendid dessert wine. Winery Website: Robertson

Le Grand Noir Black Sheep GSM 2011 | Languedoc-Roussillon, France
This GSM is a sensational blend of 60% Grenache, 35% Shiraz, and 5% Mourvedre offering intense aromas of licorice, cocoa and spice. Rich and complex with soft tannins, it pairs well with grilled meats, lamb, cheese, roasted vegetables or barbecue. Gouda with Mediterranean Herbs.
The makers want to have fun with the name: “the Great Black.” Black Sheep, that is But this is a wine any family would be proud of.

Bodega Cuarto Dominio Lote 44 Malbec 2012 | Mendoza, Argentina
Very dark, concentrated, ripe fruit aromas & flavors, especially blackberry, mulberry and plum. Exuberant fruit, round texture, integrated tannins and smooth finish make for a popular pleaser. The grapes were specially selected from Cuarto Dominigo’s high-altitude vineyards of the Uco Valley in Mendoza.

Hey Mambo Sultry Red 2011 | California
Another fun, delicious wines from The Other Guysgroup. A dense red blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zin and other grapes. It’s full of ripe fruit. Aromas of dark raspberries and blackberries with notes of spice. Flavors follow through adding sensations of pomegranate, plum and boysenberry and vanilla. A big favorite. Burgers, steaks. Roasted chicken. Meatloaf with mushrooms. Grilled sausages. Aged Gouda. Winery Website: The Others Guys


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