Tasters line up at the Red Table
Tasters line up at the Red Table

I have to admit I was really excited about the last wine of the evening, the Ravenswod Besieged. Almost 20 years ago I found the Ravenswood winery near Sonoma while on my first visit to California wine country. I did a tasting and I loved the wines. But over the years I’ve purchased their wines and was actually disappointed at times. This nice red blend of old vine varietals reminded me of that visit so many years ago. I will need to add this one to my cellar.
But I wasn’t the only one who was impressed. Another taster, Lamar, told me “it was fantastic.” He added that he really liked the Le Campuget Costieres de Nimes Rouge as well.
It was a nice crowd Thursday night for this monthly event. Nice whites and a Rosé that could be considered for the upcoming Thanksgiving season.

The Cantabria Rioja was one of those nice mineraly wines you’d expect from Spain.

And the cheeses were very ncw: Cablanca (made from fresh 100% pure goat’s milk. It has a hint of characteristic goat milk tang, but due to the ripening process it is milder and sweeter than traditional goat milk cheeses. Cablanca has a creamy texture and well-balanced flavor), Saga Classic Blue Brie (a triple-cream, soft-ripened blue-veined cheese) and Mediterranean Herb (earthy olives, sweet basil, sun dried tomatoes and spicy garlic give this cheese the power to transport you to the Mediterranean as you eat it. It is an exciting and savory cheese with distinct and complex flavors.) The Cablanca and the Mediterranean Herb are from Orange Windmill. These cheese notes are from their various websites.
Looking forward to the First Friday tasting on November 1st.
Where: Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta, SC

When: Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 5 to 8pm
Cost: $5 fee—$3 rebate with  your purchase of  one bottle of featured wine

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

  1. Chateau Croix des Gentils Blanc 2011
  2. Val de Salis Viognier 2011
  3. Le Campuget Costieres de Nimes Rosé 2012
  4. Le Campuget Costieres de Nimes Rouge 2012
  5. Bodegas Sierra Cantabria Rioja 2011
  6. Ravenswood Besieged 2012

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Here are the detailed wine notes:
Chateau Croix des Gentils Blanc 2011 | Bordeaux, France
This beautiful white Bordeaux is a classic blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon. Fresh nose of aromatic citrus, honey, and white flowers. Bright fruit flavors with hints of minerality and white peach. Long, crisp, refreshing finish. Seafood, chicken with lemon and herbs.
Winery: Chateau Croix des Gentils

Val de Salis Viognier 2011 | VdP d’Oc, France
A gorgeous white. Spicy aromas of peach and honeysuckle. Lively, very smooth flavors of white peach with a hint of mineral and a long creamy finish with a tangy acidity. One of our long-time favorites. Very nice as an aperitif.  Great match with lobster, scallops  or a creamy clam chowder. Chicken dishes. Sushi, spicy tuna roll. Pumpkin pasta. Salads. Roast turkey.
Winery: Val de Salis

Le Campuget Costieres de Nimes Rosé 2012 | Rhône Valley, France
This dry rosé is  a tasty blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache Its color is intensely pink. It shows an aromatic bouquet of raspberry and strawberry. Flavors emphasize red fruit. The finish is long and leaves a hint of red fruitiness. Beautifully balanced it is a great match for fall picnics or barbeque. A fine Thanksgiving wine, versatile and food- friendly.
Winery: Le Campuget Costieres de Nimes

Le Campuget Costieres de Nimes Rouge 2012 | Rhône Valley, France
The red Campuget is made with 92% Syrah and 8% Viognier.  This unoaked red. with its dark fruit flavors of blackberry and black plums, hints of black pepper and black olives (the Syrah) and a faint perfumy floral touch (the Viognier) it is a wonderful example of the wines from this area. It goes beautifully with grilled meats and tomato-sauced pasta dishes. (It is very common in the Rhone to mix a small portion of Viognier, a white skinned grape, in with Syrah in order to balance out the wine,  perk up the flavors & to help draw out the Syrah flavors. Grilled meats:
beef, lamb, venison. Cured meats. BBQ. Eggplant casserole. Black Olive Tapanade. Gruyere Cheese.
Winery: Le Campuget Costieres de Nimes

Bodegas Sierra Cantabria Rioja 2011 | Rioja, Spain
Elegant aromas of blackberry, smoky cherry and raspberry. Cherry and dark berry flavors with a hints of black pepper, cedar & spice.  Smooth texture. Well-structured and balanced showing appealing fruit in the finish. Traditional style Rioja with a modern touch. Pair with leg of lamb, pork loin. Paella. Orzo with Chorizo Sausage & Herbs.  Manchego cheese.
Winery: Bodegas Sierra Cantabria

Ravenswood Besieged 2012 | Sonoma
A “limited” release red blend from Joel Peterson, founder of Ravenswood (1976) and iconic winemaker. It is his personal blend of several California “Heritage” varietals from a number of Old Vine vineyards: 35% Carignane, 20% Petite Sirah, 18% Zinfandel, 13% Mourvedre, 9% Alicante Bouschet, and 5% Barbera.  Dark, rich, full aromass & flavors excite the senses with impressions of ripe blackberry, black cherry, plum, cardamon, flowing into a delicious, smooth, pleasing finish.   We think this is a very impressive wine and a terrific good value. There’s a limited amount available. Fun for Halloween. And if you want some for the holidays, don’t wait—it may be gone by then. The winery’s description on the back label refers to Jerry’s story about his first vintage and his choice of name for his winery. “Under a threatening sky, BESIEGED by rain clouds, lightning glinting in the hills, winemaker Joel Peterson worked alone to collect grapes destined for one of his debut wines. As he worked, ravens laughed from above, but instead of being harbingers of doom, they brought him good fortune, becoming the totem for his winery — Ravenswood.
Winery: Ravenswood


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