Tag Archives: merlot

Out of Town: A Day Exploring Temecula’s Wine Country

Last year, I finally took advantage of the opportunity to visit Temecula’s Wine Country. With iPods loaded with crazy throwback tunes, playlists roaring and near perfect weather, my friends and I hit the open road on our way through the hills to Temecula. What was I expecting upon arriving? To be honest, I had no idea. I had been to Stone Brewing Company the previous year so the scenery I was looking for was similar to that. Desert hillsides lined with sparse greenery, palm trees and a lot of rocky soil. As we approached the "Welcome to Temecula" sign, we drove past gorgeous housing communities and neighborhoods, which had me scratching my head. Okay... so, where is wine country? [...]

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Great Frogs Winery; Maryland Wine, NOT from concentrate

Maryland wine. Say it.. "Maryland wine." Most people shudder or follow up with “oh, hell no”. I was one of those people to be quite honest. The only wine I had encountered from Maryland was produced concentrate or grapes from outside of the state or had enough sugar to make a diabetic quiver. After long overdue plans had finally solidified with our good friends Katey and Dan, they had made arrangements for a tour and tasting (appointment required) at Great Frogs Winery of Annapolis. We were very open to the experience as, quite frankly, we could have had a root beer tasting and had a good time.

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Dog and Oyster Vineyards; Revisiting a Southern Beach Escape

My first visit to Dog and Oyster was about 3 years ago when the property first began welcoming visitors in their beach cottage style tasting room. For years before the tasting room, the property itself attracted visitors to the 6 room and 10 cottage Hope and Glory Inn. With the Inn’s addition of 6 acres of Vinifera and French American Hybrid vines (Vidal Blanc, Chardonel, Merlot, and Charmbourcin), the Dog and Oyster Vineyard began to take shape. Originally prevented, due to local regulations, from posting a large sign for visitors to come across in their travels through the town of Irvington, they installed two giant corkscrews as artistic pieces that would attract visitors. These pieces stand nearly 25-30 feet high on either side of the gravel driveway leading you through the vineyard site to the tasting room. As you pull into the road and veer to the right into the tasting room …

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Saude Creek Vineyards; The new youngsters of the South (AmericanWineryGuide)

The STORY “The privately-owned vineyard bears about 22 acres on property and includes Vidal Blanc, Chardonnay, Petit Verdot and Chambourcin. The seven nearby off-site acres contain Merlot and Chardonel. As you pull into the property through the front gates, you follow the vineyard-lined roadway towards the enormous, dark wood-sided tasting and production facility. To the left is a covered production area with crush pad, and to the right is a gorgeous wrap-around covered patio that stretches all the way around the tasting room. The patio is lined with wooden Adirondack chairs and side tables. As you glance out into the vineyards, there are countless acres of vines – many newly planted and enclosed in greenhouses. Peering off of the back patio, the steep hillside is lined with countless additional acres and, to the right side, a fire pit with more Adirondacks surrounded the pit. The site is stunning.” (Read More) …

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Lovingston Winery; A Virginia Pinotage, again, Pinotage (AmericanWineryGuide)

The HISTORY “After browsing through the last couple editions of Wine Enthusiast, I came across multiple Virginia wineries posting 87+ point rated wines. I also noticed an unfamiliar name with several wines that ranged from 89 to 91 points, including a Pinotage. A Pinotage? In Virginia? In the United States, there are maybe 60 acres of Pinotage grown total, and 2 of those 60 just so happened to be planted at Lovingston Winery in Lovingston, Virginia (just south of Charlottesville). After reading about their wines, I made it a point to visit this winery on my next trip, and this past weekend seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so. After grabbing a quick bite to eat in downtown Charlottesville, we made the trek down Route 29 and onto state road 653. Just about a mile up the road, on our left, was the vineyard entrance to Lovingston Winery. Up …

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Quick Pour: Cameron Hughes Lot 383 2011 Meritage IGP Pays D’Oc

Producer: Cameron Hughes Region: Languedoc-Roussillon – Pays d’Oc (France) Price: $15 Vintage: 2011 Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon 63%, Merlot 19%, Malbec 18% ABV: 13.5% Virginia Pour House Notes: Cassis, peat  and leather in the nose. Dark fruit flavors lead to toasty tobacco and mocha undertones that are carried away by smoke and jammy black fruit with fine and well balanced tannins that coat the palate and lead to the medium length. Producer: Cameron Hughes Region: Languedoc-Roussillon – Pays d’Oc (France) Price: $15 Vintage: 2011 Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon 63%, Merlot 19%, Malbec 18% ABV: 13.5% Virginia Pour House Notes: Cassis, peat  and leather in the nose. Dark fruit flavors lead to toasty tobacco and mocha undertones that are carried away by smoke and jammy black fruit with fine and well balanced tannins that coat the palate and lead to the medium length. Quick Pour: Cameron Hughes Lot 383 2011 Meritage IGP Pays D’Oc Quick …

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Storybook Mountain Vineyards; One of Napa’s (and the world’s) best Zinfandel Producers (AmericanWineryGuide)

Another vineyard review from our recent trip to Napa/Sonoma/Paso Robles a month ago. This vineyard was hands down one of the highlights of our trip, and has been listed as one of the world’s top Zinfandel producers for over ten years by some highly noted Wine publications. Please enjoy this AmericanWineryGuide.com contribution! HISTORY “The original estate was purchased in 1883 by Adam Grimm. Mr. Grimm’s family had grown wine in Germany, and he began planting Zinfandel on some of the 405 acres of land sitting just above Calistoga. His brother Jacob would later join him and assist in directing laborers to dig the three wine caves about 100 feet deep into the mountainside and establish Grimm’s Vineyard and WineVault. Nearly 20 years, the brothers decided to go in separate directions with Adam moving to San Francisco, and Jacob producing “sacramental and medicinal” wines. The property was subsequently abandoned and finally …

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Revisiting Ingleside Vineyards; A Stay at the Ingleside Rental Property & Oysterfest

A couple of weekends ago, Jaymie and I headed out to the Northern Neck and  Ingleside Vineyards to enjoy their Oyster Crawl event and to stay at one of the Ingleside Plantation properties, specifically the Pointe. We arrived at Ingleside just after noon and quickly headed inside the tasting room, just past the Denson and Sewansecott oyster folks and crowds of people enjoying the warm, inviting courtyard. As we entered in, we recognized the familiar smiling faces and immediately got the ball rolling on a tasting. We started off our tasting with the 2012 Albarino ($19.95), which boasted some apricot and lemongrass aromas to prime your palate for what is about to come. Bright acidity lays out the framework of apricot and citrus notes that  explode on the palate with a light, zesty finish. Moving onto the next white, we get a try of the 2012 Chardonnay ($15.96). It offers …

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Quick Pour: Sunset Hills Sunset Red Blend; A Vertical of the 2010 & 2011

Producer: Sunset Hills Vineyards Region: Shenandoah AVA, Middleburg AVA, Virginia, United States Price: $28 Vintage: 2011 Varietals: 39% Petit Verdot, 36% Cabernet Franc,  21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, Estate Vineyard #1 , Estate Vineyard #2, Estate Vineyard #3, Maggie Malick Vineyard; (13% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: Pepper, raspberry, and rose petal notes greet the nose, while juicy fruit forward flavors of strawberry, cherry, and wild berry jam across the tastebuds with very tuned down tannins (faintly present), and a short, stunted finish with very light notes of oak and floral notes craving for some last minute attention. Average.   Producer: Sunset Hills Vineyards Region: Middleburg AVA, Virginia, United States Price: $28 Vintage: 2010 Varietals: 62% Cabernet Franc (Berry Hill Vineyard & Benevino Vineyard), 17% Nebbiolo (Berry Hill Vineyard), 12% Merlot (Sunset Hills Vineyard), 9% Petit Verdot (Waterford Vineyard) ; (13.5% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: Rich chocolate notes enveloped by light tobacco notes …

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Quick Pour: Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages 2005

Producer: Chateau St. Jean Region: Sonoma County AVA, California, United States Price: $64.99 Vintage: 2005 Varietals: Cinq Cépages (“Five Varieties”) is a Bordeaux-style blend consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon (77%), Merlot (9%), Cabernet Franc (7%), Malbec (4%), and Petit Verdot (3%). Each component is aged separately for two years in small French oak barrels (47% new) before blending. Once the wine is assembled, it spends six months in the bottle before release.(14% ABV) Virginia Pour House Notes: Complex and layered with plenty to decipher on the nose as it tosses around powdered dark chocolate, raspberry and star anise followed by notes of smoldering oak and forest brush. The flavor profile is smooth and concentrated with fruit forward qualities to start showing cassis, wild berries, and dark cherry that tapers mid palate but is reinforced by notes of white pepper, spice, cumin, with warming, neat, and balanced tannins on the seemingly endless finish. A gorgeous …

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