We Have a Winner Folks

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Matthiasson Family Vineyards

First off, I must tell you, that as I drank this wine, all I could think was that this was easily one of the best white wines I’ve had in recent memory. It kicked all sorts of ass and I loved it.  The wine is the 2007 Matthiasson Napa Valley White Wine.  It’s a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Ribolla Gialla, and Semillon.  The wine has a real cork closure, clocks in at 13.3% alcohol by volume, and retails for $35. Matthiasson is a small family winery California, with a very small production of just over 500 cases of wine.  The Napa Valley White had a production of 220 cases.  I intend to visit with the Matthiassons on my next CA trip, so I will have a full report on their operations then.  For now, a review of their most excellent white wine.

I will admit that I didn’t look at the blend for the wine before I started smelling it.  Right away I said to Matt, this smells like lightly oaked Sauvignon Blanc. So then I had to run and look it up, and I was right, it is oaked and Sauvignon Blanc is one of the grapes in the blend!  On the nose I found lemon, cream, vanilla, apple, pineapple, ginger, and figs. A delicious nose, it left me eager to taste the wine in my glass.  In the mouth I got flavors of pineapple, lemon, racy citrus, pear, meyer lemon, fig, spice, and melon.

At this points, my notes turned into “this is really good.” And “just delicious” as well as “YUMMY.” In the mouth, I didn’t get even a hint of the oak I smelled on the nose.  The wine had a great mouthfeel, probably nicely rounded by the addition of the Semillon. I found the wine to be crisp and intriguing in the mouth.  I highly recommend this wine.

A Different Kind of Wine

*Disclaimer: I received this bottle of wine from Bottlenotes as part of a sample pack.

Several months ago (okay, perhaps more like 6 months ago) a PR firm for the wine club and online wine store Bottlenotes contacted me and asked if I would like to participate in a blogger trial of their online wine club. They gave me a credit which I could use to join any of their many clubs for a few months. After perusing the options, I chose the Dinner Party Club for 3 months, 2 bottles at a time. Though I must admit, I was sorely tempted by the Little Black Dress Club, I was curious about a wine club geared toward women and touted by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow!

The concept behind the Dinner Party Club is just that, a dinner party worth of wines in a box. Though I would guess to get the full experience you would have to go for a larger shipment than the 2 bottle one, since that would give you the whole meal!

I had to ship the club to my parents’ house, since at the time (not sure if that’s changed) Bottlenotes could not ship to Virginia. The shipments arrived like clockwork on my parents’ doorstep and I was eager to collect them over Christmas as I had been reading the emails with what the shipments contained for months.

My second shipment brought a bottle of white and a bottle of red. The white, which I will review here, was a 2006 Amehlo, which can be purchased for $14.50 and the red a Cabernet Sauvignon that I have yet to taste.

The Amehlo comes from Alain Moueix in Stellenbosch, South Africa. It clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume and was a blend of 63% Sauvignon Blanc and 37% Semillon grapes. Because I was curious, and the label told me, Amehlo means “the eye” and represents the leopards that live by the vineyard.

On the nose of the wine I found pineapple butter. It was neither pineapple or butter, but what I would imagine a spread made in apple butter style but with pineapple instead would smell like. I also got pear, pastry cream (the kind of custard like stuff in eclairs) and an almost minty/herbal aroma. The nose was dominated by tropical flavors. The nose was unlike any other wine I’ve smelled. In the mouth I found lemon cream, tropical fruit, and a bit of a grassy flavor. The wine was crisp with a really light mouth feel that I didn’t expect after the nose. The flavors were clean.

The wine was very different overall. I’ve never had a blend of these two grapes before, so I like that it got me to try something I likely would never have picked up in the store. We drank this on it’s own, which was great, but I think it would do well with a light white fish dish or with cheese and crackers!

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