Back With A New Grape

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR firm for the brand.

Still alive over here in Wannabe Wino land. Though clearly it’s been a while. Sleep deprivation and an infant really cuts into my blogging (and wine tasting time). So I’ll pop in today to introduce you to a new grape from a wine from a new to me wine region. I got the chance to taste the 2012 Vinkara Winery Narince Reserve. Narince is a native grape to Turkey where this wine is made. Grab this one to add a check mark to your Century Club application! (If you’re here in the DC area, there are several local wine stores where you find this, including MacArthur Beverages and in June, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits.) The wine has a real cork and clocks in at 13.5% alcohol by volume.

Four takeaways:

1.) It sort of smells like a chardonnay.

2.) Continuing to try to relate this to more familiar wines, it tastes and feels a little like a viognier on the palate, particularly on the finish where it is a bit viscous.

3.) The winery produces a regular and a reserve Narince. I tasted the regular at a lunch and it’s a great spring wine and an easy on the purse price at around $16.

4.) Grab the whole line of wines from Vinkara and add several native Turkey grapes to your list of wines tried.

On the nose I found lemon, apple, slight vanilla and a tropical note. In the mouth I got lemon, pear, and apricot. It had good acidity through the mid palate and was viscous on the finish.

 

 

Chardonnay with a Cause

Mr. Wannabe Wino has been taking my photos for me…

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

I have a soft spot for wine with a cause, I must admit. And this one comes with the face of a particularly cute puppy adopted by the family that makes the wine. The wine also bears his name, Baron Cooper.  I’ve written about wines with a cause several times over the years and am also happy to discover additional bottles. Tonight I tried the 2013 Baron Cooper Chardonnay from Santa Rose, which retails for $24, clocks in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, and sports a plastic closure.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) The flavors on this Chardonnay took me straight to fall: apple, spice, nuts and pie.

2.) 5% of the sales from all Baron Cooper wines go to Best Friends Animal Society in honor of Baron Cooper, an organization dedicated to no-kill animal shelters.

3.) The wine displayed great acidity on the finish, holding together the toast and oak nicely.

4.) I’m going to start recommending wines for your Thanksgiving early, and this will be among the ones I would be happy to put on my table.

On the nose of the wine I found apple, oak, pear, spice, pie, and nuts. In the mouth I got pear, apple, toast, and spice. The body was lighter than I expected from the nose and the acidity supported the wine through a refreshing finish.

Chardonnay with a Cause

Mr. Wannabe Wino has been taking my photos for me…

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

I have a soft spot for wine with a cause, I must admit. And this one comes with the face of a particularly cute puppy adopted by the family that makes the wine. The wine also bears his name, Baron Cooper.  I’ve written about wines with a cause several times over the years and am also happy to discover additional bottles. Tonight I tried the 2013 Baron Cooper Chardonnay from Santa Rose, which retails for $24, clocks in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, and sports a plastic closure.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) The flavors on this Chardonnay took me straight to fall: apple, spice, nuts and pie.

2.) 5% of the sales from all Baron Cooper wines go to Best Friends Animal Society in honor of Baron Cooper, an organization dedicated to no-kill animal shelters.

3.) The wine displayed great acidity on the finish, holding together the toast and oak nicely.

4.) I’m going to start recommending wines for your Thanksgiving early, and this will be among the ones I would be happy to put on my table.

On the nose of the wine I found apple, oak, pear, spice, pie, and nuts. In the mouth I got pear, apple, toast, and spice. The body was lighter than I expected from the nose and the acidity supported the wine through a refreshing finish.

2011 Reserve Le Cigare Blanc

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

When I want something interesting and unique to taste from my basement, it’s easy to turn to a wine from Bonny Doon. Randall Graham’s wines are nothing if not unique.  The 2011 Reserve Le Cigare Blanc is no exception. It’s a blend of Grenache Blanc and Roussane, heavier on the Grenache Blanc. The wine has a screw cap, retails for $28, and clocks in at 12.5% alcohol by volume.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) Don’t get it too cold or you will mute the nose and palate and miss out on how interesting it is.

2.) I could not get my nose out of my glass when I poured this wine and Matt got to taste more than his fair share.

3.) Even with the Roussanne, which usually adds heft and sometimes a bit of an oily quality to a wine, the Cigare Blanc has surprising acid on the palate.

4.) I suppose you could pair this with something, but really I just enjoyed sipping this as it warmed.
On the nose I got honey, honeysuckle, herbs, and caramel apple. In the mouth I found kiwi, green apple, and pear. The fruit on the palate trended towards being quite tart with lots of acid.

*Disclaimer: I received these wines as sample to participate in a live Twitter tasting.

A few weeks ago, four rieslings from the Finger Lakes arrived so I could do a live tasting. Fun! I’m particularly excited to try more wines from this region since the 2015 Wine Blogger Conference will be held. I’ve signed up for my hotel room and need to get on booking my actual conference attendance! Back to the wines. We’ll start with one of my favorites of the bunch, though frankly, it was quite hard to choose. The 2013 Heron Hill Winery Dry Riesling sported a screw cap and 12% alcohol by volume. (Which is apparently really important to my blog according to a recently released study on wine blogs…)

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) One thing all four wines in this tasting had in common was great acidity.

2.) The wine stood up very well on its own, but would also work really well with food with a bit of spice and heft – I kept imagining chorizo with this.

3.) Our weather was still quite warm in DC in late September at this tasting and I found the wine quite refreshing for the heat.

4.) I’m hoping all the wines at the upcoming wine blogger conference will be as tasty as this one!

On the nose I found orange flowers, honey and green apple. In the mouth I got lime, stones, stone fruit, and peach. Overall the wine had acidity to carry it through and balance out some sweeter fruit flavors.

 

 

 

Dreaming of Seafood

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR firm for the brand.

I ate a lot of seafood this summer. Between Portugal and Maine my late July and early August were all about seafood. So I had seafood on the brain when I plucked the 2012 The Clambake Chardonnay from my sample roulette. Perhaps it was the lobster on the label that drew me to the bottle. I don’t know what it retails for, as I can’t find anywhere to buy it online…but I’m guessing maybe $14 or so?

Four takeaways from this wine:

 

1.) I often tend to reach for a slightly oaky Chardonnay to go with my shellfish and lobstah. This wine showed none of that, but was a great foil for the rich lobster meat and butter.

2.) Since I think it retails at a fairly reasonable price, this would actually be a great clambake wine for a crowd.

3.) Here in the DC area, we actually tend to do crabfests around this time of year and it would work really well for that as well.

4.) Fresh and fruity, this is a fun summer wine.

On the nose I got melon, lime, apple, and lemon. Overall it displayed a bright fruit nose. On the palate I found apple, yellow apple, lemon rind, and tropical notes. The wine had good acidity and bit into butter quite well.

 

 

Spring into Spring

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks associated with Rueda.

Even though our weather has continued to be fairly terrible, I’m pretending it’s spring and being drawn heavily to the white wines. I went digging in the basement and came back out with the 2012 Yllera Verdejo.  I’m a Verdejo fan as an alternate white wine. I generally find it refreshing and tasty. The Yllera retails for around $14 and has a real cork closure. The bottle got recycled before I could write down the alcohol content.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) I was almost expecting this wine to be on the sweeter side based on the nose.

2.) Pass me a glass to enjoy in the sun on the porch please.

3.) I’d serve this with grilled trout.

4.) The Yllera would be an easy summer crowd pleaser at the price point of $14.

On the nose I got lemon grass, tangerine, melon, flowers, and an overall sweet aroma. In the mouth I found oranges, lime, and melon.  The wine was surprisingly tart to me based on the sweet nose. Overall I found it quite citrusy and refreshing.

 

 

 

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