I asked Charles for his opinion of tonight’s wines and he told me that the La Griveliere Cotes du Rhone Rouge “was very genuine. Not too aggressive. It is what this wine should be. It will be a good with food.” In contrast to the genuine nature of the Cotes du Rhone the Pessimist was “pushing in a direction and not” letting the wine or grapes speak for itself.
I’d have to agree. The Cotes du Rhone is an Old World wine. From a New World wine perspective the Pessimist is all that California cabs often aim for, squeezing every ounce of flavor and pushing it up a notch. This wine is one of those bold ripe fruit wines that makes it a good stand alone or with food. It has a nice earthiness that keeps it from being too over the top. Reasonably priced at $13.99.
I also asked Melissa for her opinion on the evening. Her favorite was the Washington Hills Riesling. This is a late harvest riesling which is typically sweeter than many rieslings. The later harvest concentrates the sugars. Although the tasting notes didn’t mention it I found it had tastes of sweet honeysuckle.
Next up at Wine World will be their First Friday tasting Feb. 7th.
Where: Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta, SC
When: Thursday, January 16, 2014, 5 to 8pm
Cost: $5 fee—$3 rebate with your purchase of one bottle of featured wine
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Here are the wines presented (click to see more):
- Esporao Alandra Branco 2012
- Haut Marin Gros Manseng 2012
- Washington Hills Riesling LH
- La Griveliere Cotes du Rhone Rouge
- Feudo Zirtari 2010
- The Pessimist Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Here are the detailed wine notes:
Esporao Alandra Branco 2012 |Alentejo, Portugal
This bright delight offers sensations of citrus, apple and notes of peach. Floral and fruity with touch of herbal interest. Produced from sustainably-grown Portuguese grape varieties including Arinto, Vaz and Perrum, using stainless steel. Dry with a refreshing, finish. A great food wine. Seafood, salads. Portuguese Kale & Potato soup. Herbed Chicken thighs with green olive tampenade.
Winery Website: Esporao
Haut Marin Gros Manseng 2012 | Gascogne, France
This not-so-well-known grape from Gascony (SW France) gives one of our favorite white wines. Its aromas and flavors are flowery and slightly lemony with a refreshing crispness. Medium body. Lingering finish. Aperitif. Very food-friendly. Goes with everything. Broiled fish fillet. Chicken picatta. Pork loin with Mediterranean herbs. Sautéed sea scallops in a white wine and butter sauce. Vidalia Onion Gratin with thyme & Parmesan.
Washington Hills Riesling LH | Columbia Valley, Washington State
Fragrant aromas & delicious flavors of peaches with hints of navel oranges, melon & honey lead to a pleasing finish that shows rich fruit sweetness and nice balance that keeps the finish refreshing. A beautiful medium sweet wine that a terrific good value. Enjoy by itself or with lightly sweet desserts. Will also match well with spicy-hot dishes. Orange chicken with ginger.
Winery Website: Washington Hills
La Griveliere Cotes du Rhone Rouge | Rhone Valley, France
Aromas of ripe fruits ( blackberry, cherry, rasberry) and spices with hints of vanilla. Grenache 80%, Syrah 10%, Carignan 5%, Mourvedre 5%. Mild tannins and long finish. High marks from Wine Spectator. Grilled meats & sausages. Lentil soup with Andouille sausage. Chili & BBQ. Sausage & Gruyere-stuffed mushrooms. (“Grive” is the French name for the Thrush bird, which are plentiful in the Rhone—and eager to devour ripe grapes in the vineyards.)
Feudo Zirtari 2010 | Sicily
55% Nero d’Avola & 45% Syrah. Lush, ripe dark fruit aromas & flavors in this blend of 55% Nero D’Avola and 45% Syrah. Hints of spice and vanilla and earthy notes. Round mouth feel and smooth finish. Excellent value. A wonderful companion to cold weather dishes. Pastas with rich tomato-meat sauce. Braised lamb shanks. Steaks & burgers. Pizza. Beef stew with vegetables. Robust cheeses.
The Pessimist Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 | California
This very dark Cab Sauv offers earthy, meaty aromas with rich dark fruit and a slight herbal note. Full ripe flavors of dark currants & blackberries with light notes of black pepper and green peppers. (5% Syrah) Medium firm tannins. Another outstanding food wine. Braised lamb shanks. Venison roasts. Steaks & burgers. Aged Gouda cheese.
Winery: Daou Vineyards