I usually put in our posts for the Wine World First Friday tastings “Ready to relax a bit? It’s First Friday.” Tonight it was time to relax, if for at least a few minutes. We are having a big yard sale Saturday and I’ve been a haulin’ and a pricin’.

Not having a California wine at a tasting is not that usual but no California wine and having a wine from North Carolina at a tasting is.

France, Spain, Argentina, Germany and Yadkin Valley, North Carolina. That’s a interesting tasting tour.

I asked several tasters what they liked the best and almost all said “the last two wines. Nice reds.” I agreed. My favorite was the Shelton Cabernet Franc. I usually don’t like a Cab Franc because they are too dry for my palate. To me this wine had an unusual mouthfeel in that it was seemed to alternate between feeling lush then dry during the same sip as the wine swirled in your mouth. I guess you can say it was balanced!

Then later I realized this wine was from just up the road. I’ve driven through the “Yadkin Valley” many times on the way to and from Virginia. (Adding Valley to the name makes is sound more like wine country). I would have tried the region’s wines sooner if they hadn’t built a wine industry in a dry county. I remember stopping and seeing the winery signs and couldn’t buy any (now that I don’t drive to Virginia that much they are no longer dry). This is a wine I would love to try with a nice steak. And at $11.99 very reasonable.

Another comment I heard was “and the Rosé was good.” The Penya Rosé was a nice wine that had a bit of an acidic bite but nice flavors of a red wine. This is a really nice Summer wine.

And I have to mention the Yllum Chardonnay. No oak here and I agree with the tasting notes “Ripe pear, apple, melon and citrus with notes of minerality in the aromas and flavors. Crisp, lingering finish.” This is one nice Summer sipper as well.

Okay, tasting’s over. I got to stick price tags on old paperback books. Cheers.

Where: Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta, SC
803-279-9522

When: Friday, May 4, 2012, 5 to 8 pm
Cost: $5, with rebate on the purchase of 1 bottle of the featured wines.

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

  1. Graffigna Centenario Pinot Grigio Reserve 2011
  2. Yllum Chardonnay Reserve 2010
  3. Oppenheimer Krötenbrunner Spätlese 2009
  4. Penya Rosé 2011
  5. Shelton Cabernet Franc 2007
  6. Ateca Honoro Vera Garnacha 2010

Here are the detailed wine notes:
Graffigna Centenario Pinot Grigio Reserve 2011
Pale straw color, with silver hues. Aromas of white flowers and just a hint of citrus peel; apple and pear flavors. Refreshing and balanced, with citrus notes and a crisp finish. Try it with white fish, shellfish, chicken, pork, salads, Asian cuisine. Aperitif: fun sipping wine. Camembert, goat & sheep cheeses.
From: San Juan, Argentina
Winery: Graffigna
Year: 2011

Yllum Chardonnay Reserve 2010
Wine World’s White Wine of the Month for May. A terrific, unoaked Chard. Ripe pear, apple, melon and citrus with notes of minerality in the
aromas and flavors. Crisp, lingering finish. Delicious with seafood, pork loin, chicken, salads, creamy dishes and light fare.
From: Mendoza, Argentina
Winery: Yllum
Year: 2010

Oppenheimer Krötenbrunner Spätlese 2009
Late-harvest Riesling of exceptionally good quality for a bargain price. Enticing floral aromas lead to rich, ripe fruit flavors. Its late-harvest light sweetness is well-balanced by a pleasant, refreshing acidity. Aperitif. A fine match for a wide variety of dishes: Asian cuisine, spicy lighter
dishes, salads with a fruit element.
From: Reinhessen, Germany
Winery: Schnitzius Müller
Year: 2009

Penya Rosé 2011
An excellent blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah. This appealing dry rosé displays subtle floral and herbal aromas; red berry, raspberry fruit flavors; and a full texture. (Six to eight hours of skin contact.) A fine match for many foods! Tampenades, Provencale-style dishes, tempura
seafood and vegetables, sausages, grilled peppercorn tuna steaks, salads, picnic fare. Manchego Cheese.
From: French Catalonia (Roussillon), France
Winery: Penya
Year: 2011

Shelton Cabernet Franc 2007
May Red Wine of the Month. Filled with rich black fruit flavors, this wine shows the spicy, peppery aspect of Cab Franc. An outstanding vintage; a multi-award winner. A visit to the handsome Shelton Winery in Dobson, NC (near Mt Airy) is a fun excursion. This Cab Franc is an excellent pairing for beef, pork, game, lamb and spicy dishes. Steaks. Burgers. Pesto Pasta.

From: Yadkin Valley, North Carolina
Winery: Shelton Vineyards
Year: 2007

Ateca Honoro Vera Garnacha 2010
This fruit-filled Grenache is lush, robust, bold and full-bodied. Aromas and flavors of sage, thyme, black berries and dark cherries. Its exuberant flavors are enhanced and rounded by a brief time in French oak (2 months). From the highly respected Juan Gil Family Estates portfolio. (88 pts from Jay Miller of The Wine Advocate.) Steaks. Grilled meats. Burgers. Lamb. Robust cheeses.
From: Calatayud, Spain
Winery: Bodegas Ateca
Year: 2010

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