Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday, December 12th, 2013 - Holiday TWITs Languedoc Wines - hosted by Mr. Matt and Ms. Abbie

Thursday, December 12th, 2013 - Holiday TWITs Party featuring: Languedoc Wines
hosted by Mr. Matt and Ms. Abbie

Languedoc is a region in Southern France known for some delicious wines!  Considered France's "best value" wine region, and the winemakers there are known for innovative qualities.  The name of the region comes from the language of Occitan (Ox-see-tan). Oc is Occitan for "yes".  The Langue d'Oc (language of Oc).  It is often called "Languedoc-Roussillon" also.

The first appelation in Languedoc was Fitou.  Later in 1985 came Corbieres, Minervois, Coteaux du Languedoc, etc.

Main grape varietals found in Languedoc: Carignan, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsaut (red); Maccabéo, Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Picpoul, Clairette (white).

Random trivia #1 that Ms Abbie wanted to mention:  One of my favorite movies is Brotherhood of the Wolf (Le Pacte Des Loups) which is based on the Legend of the Beast of Gevaudan.  Gevaudan would have been located in what is now the Languedoc region.  (The gouvernement of Languedoc was created in the middle of the 16th century. In addition to Languedoc proper, it also included the three small provinces of GévaudanVelay, and Vivarais (in its entirety), these three provinces being to the northeast of Languedoc.)

Random trivia #2 that Ms Abbie wanted to mention:  The Languedoc region actually helped to introduce us to Le Caveau.  Our first visit to the shop, I was looking to find a French wine that I had tried at The Sound Table restaurant.  It was a Domaine de Nizas Coteaux du Languedoc wine, I do not remember the vintage.  Eric, the owner of Le Caveau, did not have the particular wine I was looking for, but he had a similar wine from the same appellation, it was a Chateau de Lancyre Pic St Loup.  Thus, I bought my very first bottle from Le Caveau Fine Wines.  'Twas the beginning of a very long and, shall I say, prosperous wine-lationship.

TWITs need to bring:   $20/person cash or check to cover the cost of the wines.  The wines will be provided for you, similar to the Bordeaux tasting we did a few months ago.

Map of Languedoc, provided by

The Languedoc-Roussillon area is home to numerous grape varieties, including many international varieties like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon blanc, and Chardonnay. The traditional Rhône grapes of Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah, and Viognier are also prominent.
Chardonnay is a major white grape, used in the Vin de Pays d'Oc and the sparkling Crémant de Limoux. Others include Chenin blanc and Mauzac, which is also the principal grape in the sparkling Blanquette de Limoux. The sweet fortified wines of the Muscat de Frontignan and Muscat de St-Jean Minervois regions are made with the Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains grapes. In the Muscat de Rivesaltes AOC, fortified wines are made from Muscat of Alexandria grapes.
Among the reds, Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvedre are major grapes of the Corbières, Faugères, Fitou, and Minervois AOCs. Cinsault is also commonly used in rosé production along with Lladoner Pelut, Picpoul noir, Terret noir, and Grenache. Grenache is also the main grape used in the fortified wines of the Banyuls and Rivesaltes region. Some of the oldest vines in France are Carignan grapes. Winemakers often use carbonic maceration to soften the tannins.
Other varieties that can be found include Roussanne, Marsanne, Vermentino, Bourboulenc, Clairette blanche, Grenache blanc, Grenache gris, Picpoul, Maccabéo, and Rolle.

Tasting Notes:
1) 2012 Chateau La Tour de Beraud, Costieres de Nimes Blanc
$13.99 @ Le Caveau Fine Wine
13.5% alcohol Varietals: Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne
Tasting Notes: Its flavors are equally juicy (yellow plum) and floral (honeysuckle). It develops lively mineral notes in mouth along with litchi, rose and grapefruit flavours. Best served at 9° with seafood and fish. A perfect companion to red mullet with olive oil.
History of the Chateau:  Tour de Béraud is named after the old fire tower from XIth century built in order to prevent invasions from the sea (Aigues Mortes).
This tower is located on the southern slopes of the plateau.  Owners:  Francois & Anne Collard.  The estate lies in the historically important area between Nîmes, Arles and Avignon. The vineyards are planted on terraced slopes, with clay and pebble soils which were deposited in the area as glaciers moved through the continent during the quaternary period. This specific terroir gives freshness and balance to the wines whilst the sunny climate of the Languedoc ripens the grapes to perfection. Traditional ageing in tanks preserves the natural fruitiness and fine, pure length.

2) 2011 Domaine D’Auphilac “Lou Maset” Coteaux du Languedoc - Montpeyroux
$15.99 @ Le Caveau Fine Wine - from Kermit Lynch
12.5% alcohol Varietals:  30% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 10% Syrah, 10% Alicante Bouschet, 10% Aramon
Tasting Notes: 2011 Lou Maset is a mouth-wateringly fresh, fruity wine; great as an every day drink. Blended mostly from Grenache and Cinsault. Good length with silky tannins in the mouth, it finishes spicy. Thoroughly seductive.
Information:  Traditional vintification in stanless steel lasts for 10-15 days, then ages for 6 months in barrel.  “Lou Maset” roughly signify “Le petit Mas”(or "small Mas" in English), the “Mas” being the traditional name of the old countryside houses scattered in the landscape of Languedoc and Provence.
Three generations of Fadats have farmed the large, eighteen-hectare lieu-dit known as Aupilhac, in the village of Montpeyroux, across the river Hérault from Daumas Gassac and Grange des Pères. While the Fadats have farmed this land since the nineteenth century, and the vineyards date even farther back to the time of the Romans, it was not until 1989 that the current member of the Fadat family, Sylvain Fadat, finally registered the domaine as a vigneron indépendant.  Aupilhac is a special parcel for many reasons. It sits at a high altitude, nestled below the ruins of the village’s château, at almost 1200 feet above sea level on terraced land with southwest sun exposure. The soils are rich in prehistoric oyster fossils, which lend an incredible length and minerality to the wines. Sylvain is not one to shy away from hard work. In a volcanic amphitheatre comprised of marine fossils and raw limestone, called Cocalières, he has done what few vignerons dare to do nowadays: he’s planted a vineyard on steep, extremely rocky terrain, and terraced the land himself. This is not only an enormous financial investment, but back-breaking work. This was the work done many centuries ago by the founders of France’s great terroirs such as Savennières and Cornas, planting the best and most promising parcels irrespective of time and money.
Sylvain has also elected to have his fruit certified as organic in Europe, a mandatory three-year conversion process. For him, this is a choice both of conscience and pragmatism. He works the soil vigorously by plowing regularly. This forces the roots to dig deeper and deeper in the soil in search of cooler, humid subsoil, which protects the vines from drought and sun. Ultimately, his rationale centers on helping achieve a natural balance. In his words, “We believe that work in the vineyards has far more influence on a wine's quality than what we do in the cellar.”  What happens in the cellars is equally compelling. Domaine d’Aupilhac’s wines find a terrific balance of ripe fruit and silky tannins, power and grace. When aged, these wines achieve a complexity rarely found in wines sold for many times the price, while their wildness and intensity makes them equally appealing young.

3) 2010 Domaine Olivier Pithon “Mon P’tit Pithon Rouge”, VDP des Cotes Catalanes
$ 19.99 @ Le Caveau Fine Wine – from Integrity Wines
13 % alcohol Varietals:  90% Grenache Noir, 10$ Syrah
Tasting Notes:  The simple pleasures of the life, to enjoy good food, to drink, to laugh summarize this P’tit Pithon.  A fruity wine, nicely rounded, and a lot of fun. Ruby color, fruity nose, nice round palate, open 1 hour before serving.
Information:  This exciting 9-hectare domaine is situated adjacent to the great Domaine Gauby in the village of Calce in the Roussillon region of the Languedoc. Olivier Pithon is originally from a wine making family from Anjou in the Loire and after spending some time in Bordeaux decided to settle in Calce in 2000 after being introduced to Gerard Gauby by his brother, Jo, a wine maker from Layon. The vines are grown strictly according to biodynamic principles and they are superb – elegant, complex reds; delicate, floral whites.
Olivier has one main driving force for his work. “I’ve had only one desire: to give everything to my vines so that then they give it back in their grapes and in my wine. You must be proud and put your guts, your sweat, your love, your desires, your joy and your dreams into your wine.” This is the spirit along with the unique terroir of Domain Olivier Pithon that give his wines their quality and uniqueness.  The Soil: Schist, Marl, Calcerous-Clay; White Grape Varieties: Maccabéo, Grey and White Grenache; Red Grape Varieties: Carignan, Black Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre.   The climate is Mediterranean, with hot dry summers, rainy winters, and moderate springs and autumns. With influence from the Tramontane wind, the local, gentler version of the Mistral blows from the north-west. It is dry, cold and often violent, carrying air from polar regions. In summer it brings clear blue skies and relief from the heat. In winter it just brings cold air.  Certified Organic by AB in 2002 and certified biodynamic by Biodyvin in 2010, Olivier is passionate about respect for the land. His commitment to the living farm is evident in everything he does in the vineyard and in the cellar.

4) 2009 Mont Tauch Domaine St. Roch, Fitou
$19.99 @ Winestyles in Baldwin Park, Orlando Florida
13.5% alcohol Varietals: 50% Grenache, 30% Carignan, 20% Syrah
Tasting Notes: Harvested manually, this terroir produces a wine full of character full bodied with powerful tannins.  The ageing confers a plentitude which expresses delicate aromas of vanilla and small red berries with light notes of venison and wood.  A wine that is well mastered.  complex and a bit earthy, with notes of bright red fruit and good acidity. “A gentle yet complex blend that offers ripe red and blue berry notes with hints of smoke.  Soft tannins, easy to drink.  This Fitou is the ideal accompaniment of roasted or grilled meats, dishes in sauce, and strong cheeses.” – Michel Marty, winemaker.
Information:  Set in the Languedoc’s dramatic landscape of picturesque hills and Cathar castles, Mont Tauch is one of France’s leading cooperatives, based in the heart of the Fitou appellation in Southern France.  Fitou was the first red wine in Languedoc to be recognized as a wine of quality and obtain AOC status in 1948.  Located in the foothills of Corbieres, these hillsides are the perfect setting for Carignan and Grenache, which have been grown with sustainable methods for the past ten years.  Vinification:  traditional, destalking, crushing 20-25 days, ageing for 60% in barrels. 

5) 2011 Domaine La Tour Vieille Puig Ambeille Collioure
$26.99 @ Le Caveau Fine Wine – from Kermit Lynch
14.5% alcohol Varietals:  70% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache
Tasting Notes:  The grapes undergo pump-overs and all punch-downs are by foot. Wine is bottled 10 to 18 months after fermentation.  This is a wine with rich aromas of ripe fruit and spices. The palate is powerful and enveloping structure with silky tannins. We can serve this wine with red or pink meat such as veal or the Catalan Pyrenees lamb.
Information:  The vibrant little seaport town of Collioure is nestled on the Mediterranean coast, just north of the Spanish border, in the area known as French Catalonia. In 1981, Vincent Cantié and Christine Campadieu took over two small, family-owned domaines where they had grown up, in Collioure and Banyuls, respectively. Together, they farm vineyards planted on steep, schist terraces overlooking the sea, where they are constantly exposed to the fierce and wily wind known as “La Tramontagne.” This constant wind not only ensures naturally low yields, but also keeps the grapes free of mildew with little need for pesticides or copper sulfate. Their vineyards are so steep that cultivation must be by hand, and extensive irrigation canals and walls (all made from the schist rock) are their only prevention against soil erosion, although there is almost no soil left to recede! These canals snake down the hillsides, separating the parcels. At harvest, the grapes are carried up and down the mountain in baskets. This method of farming, while extremely challenging, preserves the traditions of their ancestors. Such ideals have inspired two documentaries, Wine From the Heart by Yasha Aginsky (2002), and a short film sponsored by Project NOÉ for the defense of the European viticultural heritage.  Though the majority of the Tour Vieille holdings are planted with Grenache Noir, they also work with Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc, Macabeo, Syrah, and Carignan. They have several single vineyard bottlings of Collioure, and several cuvées of Banyuls, from Christine’s family’s holdings. Banyuls, neighbor of Collioure, sits only two kilometers from the Spanish border; it is famous for its fortified wines. Tour Vieille also produces a wide range of practically extinct late harvest and extended elevage white and red wines, the ultimate meditation wines at the end of a meal. The heart, soul, and hard work that go into crafting these wines make their labor of love all the more delicious.

6) 2009 La Reserve d’O, Coteaux du Languedoc, Terrasses de Larzac
$22.99 @ Le Caveau Fine Wine
15 % alcohol Varietals:  50% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 10% Cinsault
Tasting Notes:  Opulent, with notes of dried fruits, spice and warm earth. Evolving, ripe and savory. A wine with character. Blackberry, thyme.  The nose shows rich, ripe blackberries and chestnuts with lots of sweet but not jammy fruit.  On the palate it's supple with a nice mouth-filling structure, yet elegant at the same time.
Information:  Marie Chauffray – La Reserve d’ O - At La Reserve d’O, biodynamic winemaker Marie Chauffray’s high-altitude vineyards—surrounded by the garrigue (shrubby bush land) overlooking the Herault Valley in the Terrasses du Larzac AOC —are a virtual nature reserve with big blue lizards, snakes, scorpions and all sorts of other creatures. She planted blackberry bushes and thyme, and her red blends (made from syrah, grenache and cinsault) reflect the flavors of the terroir.  After 10 years of searching for her own vineyards, Marie Chauffray, with her husband Frederic found their unique property and have dedicated themselves to biodynamic viticulture. The 10 ha estate is certified organic (Ecocert) and biodynamic (Demeter). The vineyard is situated 400 m above sea level, is located on terraces of limestone pebbles, on very dry soils and high winds with vine 30+ years of age. Being imported for the first time into the US, Maria won a Silver Medal at Millesime Bio 2010 for the La Reserve d’ O.  The grapes are picked by hand early in the morning to preserve their freshness and flavor. They are then transferred by gravity into stainless steel tanks. Fermentation takes place with natural yeast, and some pumping (pigeages) to extract the soft color and tannins. After four weeks of soaking, the grapes are gently pressed. They use a minimum of sulfur ‘only at bottling’, no enzymes or other additives, natural yeasts and don’t filter or fine. The wines of Marie and Frederic are intense and expressive wines, full bodied and full of personality. Powerful yet elegant.

7) 2010 Chateau Bousquette Mas de Huppes, Saint Chinian
$ 14.99 @ Le Caveau Fine Wine – from Integrity Wines
13.5% alcohol Varietals:  60% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 10% Carignan, 10% Mourvèdre 
Tasting Notes:  Nice dark red with dark hints, fragrance of black currant very ripe, coffee, liquorice and bay. In the mouth the wine is balanced and fleshy, finishing with spicy notes on fine tannins. Open half an hour before drinking.  This wine will pair with grilled, roasted or braised red meat, game. Enjoy with Barbeque in the spring and braised lamb shank in the winter.
Information:  Until 1789 (the onset of the French Revolution) the Domaine of Bousquette belonged to the Abbey of Fontcaude. After the Revolution and the expropriation of the Church properties it was then acquired by Sieur Moustelou of Cessenon.  He was the first of a long succession of wine-makers. The family Fabre-Ginoulhac owned the property until 1996; but already in 1972 they began to follow the principles of the “Nature and Progress” approach to vine cultivation. Since then the Domaine has been certified organic by Ecocert.  In 1996, Eric and Isabelle Perret, a Swiss couple, fell in love with the area and the vineyard and purchased it. They too were totally convinced of the great value of “biological” farming and since they took over Chateau Bousquette, they have continually restructured and improved all aspects of the property – always aiming at producing even better biologically grown wines.
The Bousquette Philosophy is simple: “Let the Earth bring forth the best it can give, without artificial stimulation, while respecting Nature and the health and well-being of those who consume her. Get the help of the light, the warmth of the sun and the stimulation of the wind to produce healthy grapes and wines which give both well-being and great pleasure.”
Producing Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault on clay, limestone soils, the vineyards of Chateau Bousquette are situated on the flanks of a valley, above the Orb river and the town of Cessenon, 15 km north/west of the City of Beziers in the South of France, Saint-Chinian AOC. The family’s 25 hectares of vines are surrounded by the “Garrigue” wilderness, which greatly helps to keep the vines within the norms of biological cultivation. The vineyards are located between 100 and 150 m above sea level and the vines are pruned according to traditional methods (called “en cordon de Royat”) and Guyot.  The average age of the wines 30-35 years. Grape harvesting by hand and by machine. The Perrets use traditional minimalist vinification methods with careful temperature control.

8) 2010 Chateau d’Oupia Minervois
$13.99 @ Le Caveau Fine Wine – from Louis Dressner
13% alcohol Varietals: 50% Carignan, 40% Syrah, 10% Grenache
Tasting Notes:  Red-violet in colour with aromas of wild berries and damp leaves. Pleasantly tart flavours of cranberry, red currant and blackberry comprised the light to medium body, whilst pink peppercorn and traces of warm summer earth lingered between each sip. Straightforward and easy drinking, this is a fantastic value and a pleasant companion at the table.
Information:  Vibrant, rustic, charming, with an elegant undercurrent, I adore Languedoc wines. Minervois is an appellation in the western region of the Languedoc; archaeological evidence shows that winemaking in the area dates back to pre-Roman times. Today the appellation is seeing an increase in quality and is garnering worldwide praise for their expressive wines. In 1860 the Iché family purchased Château d’Oupia, which had been established since the 12th century. In 1969 André Iché renovated the vineyards and cellar, he was one of the first winemakers in the Languedoc to break away from the local co-op and bottle his own wine. He focused on quality over quantity and played a significant role in propelling the region forward from being known for bulk wines to terroir driven bottles filled with distinct character. After his death in 2007, his daughter Marie-Pierre runs the estate in the same tradition as her father, crafting down to earth “honest wine that tastes of place”. The Minervois was sourced from old vine vineyards 50+ years in age.
*Notes from “”

9) 2010 Zelige-Caravent “Velvet” Coteaux du Languedoc-Pic St Loup
$34.99 @ Le Caveau Fine Wine
14 % alcohol Varietals:  100% Syrah,
Tasting Notes:  Gobs of dark berry fruit and black olives on the palate. Opens with an unusual velvety nose. Soft palate but not heavy or greasy, enhanced by a fine bitterness and nice finish.  Decant 1 hour before service to 17-18 ° C. Powerful and elegant red.
Information:  After a career in graphic arts with a printing company that specializes in the structures and in the communication-labels are also super-Luc Michel took over 3 ha grandfather Jules on the land of Gravettes Corconne in Pic St Loup. This land is specific to Corconne and constitutes angular gravel from gelifraction by Jurassic limestone (cliff Massif Coutach) during glacial periods. These limestone chips were colluvionnés as an alluvial fan. The silty clay and red earth of a variable depth of 80 cm to more than 5 meters determines the usable water reserves. This is an extremely conducive to grape ripening quality terroir. Low useful water reserve and deep rooting of the vines allows a very small but steady supply of the plant. Luc and  Marie Michel of Zélige-Caravent began in 1999 with three hectare of vines in Chemin de la Gravette  a small village in the Languedoc, at the foot of the Cèvennes. Today the domaine comprises 15 hectare, made up of 25 different plots, and offers a wide range of different grape varieties native to the Languedoc: Aramon, Alicante, Cinsault, Carignan, Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah. Old olive trees, dry stone walls and woods surround the old vines, which are planted with a density of 8000 vines/hectare. The deep, poor soil consists of limestone that has been fragmented into tiny pieces over the years.  In the vineyard, all vines are pruned by hand, the rows are tilled by horse and all treatments are organic. In the cellar, only indigenous yeasts are used, manual pressing and no treatments other than sulfur at a level lower or equal to 30mg/liter at bottling. The assemblage of each wine changes every year. The estate is now certified biodynamic by Demeter.
Zelige = Moroccan ceramic tile
Caravent = Caravanserai - a roadside inn along the silk/spice route

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November 14th, 2013 - Cabernet Franc - hosted by Ms Marilyn

November 14th, 2013 - Cabernet Franc - hosted by Ms Marilyn

Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone - as in the Loire's Chinon. In addition to being used in blends and produced as a varietal in Canada, and the United States it is made into ice wine there.
  Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, making a bright pale red wine and contributing finesse and a peppery perfume to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on growing region and style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, bell pepper, and cassis, sometimes even violets.
  Records of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux go back to the end of the 18th century; it was planted in Loire long before that. DNA analysis indicates Cabernet Franc is one of two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, a cross between it and Sauvignon blanc.  Cabernet Franc - Wikipedia link.

Varietal Notes from the tasting:  Predominately French, one of the top 10 grapes, varies in aromas of bell pepper, cinnamon, cigar box, coffee, cranberry, tea, vanilla, dusty, smoky, earth, damp, soil, herbaceous, lavender, leather, musk, pipe, etc.

TWITs Tasting Notes:
Welcome Wine 1) Wolf Mountain Instinct, Dahlonega, Georgia  ~ $30 at the winery
Welcome Wine 2) 2007 McKenzie-Mueller Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley - $18.00 @ Vino Venue
unfiltered, estate bottled.  14.9% alcohol

1) 2007 Revolver Wine Company, The Fury, Cabernet Franc - $50 retail or $35 club member price from Page Wine Cellars (Brian Page) - 14.6% alcohol
higher alcohol, big vanilla, mocha, smoky tobacco,
big, heavy, coffee, clove, light but deepens as you drink it, soft tannins, elegant, guessing Napa, dark fruits, damsons (tart plum), "Antonio Banderas as John Wayne"

2) 2006 Beaucanon Estates Cabernet Franc Loius Cuvee, Napa Valley - $24.99 at Jackie's (on Johnson Ferry Rd) 14.9% alcohol
perfumey, perm solution, smells like alcohol, green bell pepper, tart, acidic, hot on the finish, tannic, grippy, cold climate, mountains or French Terroir, peppery, fiesty wine, "angry Latin woman spicy", "stamping her foot" spicy, "Penelope Cruz after a break-up", acid reflux in a glass

3) 2009 Guilliams Vineyards Cabernet Franc Spring Mountain, Napa ~ $35-40 (purchased through Le Caveau via the Big Boat Wine Tasting Event)
14.3 % alcohol
light citrusy nose, lavender, grape-ish, smoky, berries, barnyard smell, slightly bitter, French Oak, earthy, tobacco, "this is French", wet stone, mossy, fresh green bell pepper, smooth, tarter finish, very primavera, garden veggies, grass clippings, "makes me want pizza", "angry French guy complaining about his food, "has to come from Le Caveau"
*** At the end of the blind tasting we voted on our favorites, and THIS wine won! ***

4) 2010 Monticello Vineyards Cabernet Franc - $38 from the winery
14.2% alcohol
***our fellow TWIT member Leslie works at this winery! ***
dirt, earth, peat, strong alcohol, woody, vanilla, Gamay-like, creamy vanilla, slightly sweeter, "candy in a past life", mellow-guy, Dave from Homewood, "he's mellow but he's cheating on his wife a little bit", a bite in the end, needs to breathe some more.

5) 2008 Domaine de la Chevalarie Bourgueil Galichets, Loire Valley Cabernet Franc - $29 @ Le Caveau
13% alcohol
sweeter, no burn so far, mellow, less oak, if any oak it's French oak, maybe strawberries, toasted almonds, "it's noon somewhere", tea, pair with dessert, disappointing palate, needs to open up more,

6) 2010 Columbia Crest Cabernet Franc Blend - $12 @ Publix50% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
creamy, mushroom, big nose, dark chocolate, fruity palate, also has an androngenous finish, too thin, "actuary wine, no conversation"

Saturday, October 19, 2013

October 19th, 2013 - TWITs Georgia Mountain Winery Bus Tour

October 19th, 2013 - TWITs Georgia Mountain Winery Bus Tour

The TWITs had an absolute blast tasting wines in the North Georgia Mountains.  Even though it was chilly and bit overcast, we embraced the Autumn weather and wined on!

Photo Gallery

Our first stop was Monteluce.  If you've never been to Monteluce, you are in for a treat.  The entire countryside reminds me of Tuscany. The views and buildings are just beautiful!  Our bartender was John Hammond, a very humorous, sassy, guy.  He had served us last year as well, and it was a pleasure to see him again. I did the Red Wine tasting for $16 and split it with a friend.
Overall, I think Monteluce's wines are an improvement this year over last year.  I also recommend they stop using the tiny tasting glasses, the wines taste TOTALLY different and BETTER in a larger wine glass.  Request one if you go there for a tasting.  All the Monteluce wines were between 12-13% alcohol.

1) 2011 Montaluce Risata  $5 glass/$19 bottle
(Blend of Monteluce grapes:  Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Seyval Blanc, Vidal Blanc, Merlot, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec)
Monteluce's tasting notes:  "This off-dry Rose is made from all 9 varietals we grow.  It is the perfect example of a Georgia Rose with its raspberry and cherry flavors along with a zesty, spicy undertone of citrus, melon, and white pepper.  Pair with Idiazabal Cheese or our Garden Beets."
TWITs tasting notes:  Risata means "Laughter" in Italian. could not gather a nose for this one, no aromas to me, light simple rose.

2) 2012 Monteluce Super Georgian $7 glass/$27 bottle
26% Merlot, 20% Sangiovese, 18% Cabernet Franc, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Malbec, and 8% Petit Verdot
Monteluce's tasting notes:  "Monteluce Estate grown red grapes co-fermented create this luscious wine with fresh red cherry and dark chocolate flavors.  Pair with Drunken Goat cheese or the Rabbit Duo."
TWITs tasting notes:  was able to gather some nose, but it was not very fragrant.  The palate is very very very fruit forward.  Almost too much for me.

3) 2009 Monteluce Baleno $5 glass/$12 bottle
100% Merlot,
Monteluce's tasting notes:  "Candied cherry on the nose, Medium bodied with a rustic finish.  This is a wine made for food.  Pair with Pimento Cheese "
TWITs tasting notes:  Baleno means "Lightning, glitter, sparkle, or glow" in Italian.  This wine had a funky nose, I felt it might benefit from aerating or decanting.  The palate was much more pleasant, but ended abruptly in a thin finish.  I would try this one again at a later date perhaps?

4) 2009 Monteluce Tramonto $6 glass/$17 bottle
Monteluce's tasting notes:  "A Bordeaux style blend named for the beautiful North Georgia Sunset.  Medium on the palate with flavors of red berries and faint smell of cigar box. Pair with Crater Lake Blue Cheese"
TWITs tasting notes:  Tramonto means "sunset" in Italian.  faint mushroom, cedar on the nose, more promising palate, very light red wine (to me), but MUCH better than the previous ones.

5) NV Monteluce La Stella $9 glass/$35 bottle
60% French grown & 40% Georgia grown (varietal specifics weren't listed)
Monteluce's tasting notes:  "The Georgia grown Merlot, was aged in oak barrels for 6 months before blending with French grown Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon.  This very balanced wine has earthy tones of dried mushrooms, black currant, cherry, and whiffs of old leather on the nose.  Pair with Painted hills Short Rib."
TWITs tasting notes:  Beautiful nose on this one, lots of leather and mushroom.  This was my favorite Red of the entire flight.  I considered buying a bottle but thought it was a bit overpriced for the quality.

The next stop was Wolf Mountain Vineyards.  Wolf Mountain seems to be higher up and has another spectacular view of the countryside.  Their tasting room and restaurant are built into the mountain, so you have amazing panoramic views on 3 different levels of decks/balconies.
Our bartender at Wolf Mountain was Blake Stevens.  He was super sweet and even poured a little "heavier" for us, since we split our tastings again. We got the Reserve Tasting Flight for $20 (shared with a friend).
Blake informed us the red grapes are grown at Wolf Mountain, but the white grapes are from Frogtown.

1) Blanc de Blancs Brut - $10 glass/ $25.95 bottle / 200 cases produced
Wolf Mountain tasting notes:  "A light bread flavor was imparted by aging en tirage (on the yeast) for almost a year.  This combined with hints of citrus, spice notes, and crisp acidity makes this our signature style sparkling wine."
TWITs notes:  I liked this wine, it was light, crisp, dry, I would say a good "breakfast" wine.

2) Vintner's Reserve Brut Rose - $10 glass/ $27.95 bottle / 100 cases produced
Blend of Chardonnay & Claret grapes (Malbec, Tannat)
Wolf Mountain tasting notes:  "Made by adding a small amount of our Reserve Claret to the dosage in order to produce a beautiful light salmon color. This adds more complexity and red berry flavors, without overwhelming the delicate citrus flavors and crisp acidity."
TWITs notes:  Lovely Rose, nice and crisp, dry, just how I like it.

3) Blanc de Syrah Brut - $10 glass/ $29.95 bottle / 200 cases produced
Wolf Mountain tasting notes:  "A one of a kind in North America, our Blanc de Syrah Brut is made from Estate grown and whole cluster pressed Syrah.  It offers complex raspberry and strawberry flavors building to a dry crisp finish. "
TWITs notes:  I felt this one tasted a bit sweeter than the others, and seemed "off" somehow.  not thrilled.

4) Sparkling Demi-Sec- $10 glass/ $25.95 bottle / 100 cases produced
Wolf Mountain tasting notes:  "A medium-dry sparkling wine designed to bring out the delicate fruit flavors of the Chardonnay grapes.  The addition of sweetness softens the acidity and smooths out the finish. "
TWITs notes:  Much better than the last wine, a good compromise if you like a slightly sweeter sparkling wine.

5) Plentitude- $8 glass/ $21.95 bottle / 650 cases produced
Chardonnay & Viognier
Wolf Mountain tasting notes:  "French for "All the best" Plentitude is a blend of Chardonnay and Viognier.  Aged in stainless steel to preserve its acidity, it expresses beautiful citrus and grapefruit notes with a crisp refreshing finish. "
TWITs notes:  It smells like fresh picked green grapes, and while it's not unpleasant, I feel it needs a food pairing to be fully appreciated.

6) Chanteloup- $8 glass/ $25.95 bottle / 375 cases produced
Chardonnay & Viognier
Wolf Mountain tasting notes:  "French for "Song of the Wolf", Chanteloup is a full-bodied Oak aged blend of Chardonnay and Viognier.  Chanteloup offers notes of melon and apricots with a softer finish "
TWITs notes:  Better than Plentitude, definitely get the melon and apricots on the nose, the oak is Kentucky oak, I think the TWITs quote of the day was "Their heart is in the right place" - Jackie

7) Private Reserve Chardonnay- $10 glass/ $32.95 bottle / 100 cases produced
Wolf Mountain tasting notes:  "We broke tradition blending varietals to bottle this small lot of Chardonnay. Barrel fermented and aged 11 months in New American Oak, this wine exhibits rich melon and banana notes with a buttery oak finish"
TWITs notes:  Reminds me of a California Chardonnay, it is good, but I'm not a Chardonnay fan in general.

8) Howling Wolf Red - $10 glass/ $27.95 bottle / 470 cases produced
70% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon
Wolf Mountain tasting notes:  " A non-vintage blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, these varieties are aged for 18-20 months in New American Oak barrels, offering notes of raspberry and strawberry jam with richer oak tannins on the finish."
TWITs notes:  There we go, finally a good decent red!  Nice nose, nice palate, love the finish.  Good, I love it, I really really wish they had more than ONE Red wine on their tasting sheet, but they said they ran out of the other red wines, unless you were in their wine club.  

9) there was an option to try the Delicieux (Delightful) - their port-style dessert wine, but I don't care for Port so I re-tasted the Howling Wolf Red.

Then we went to Frogtown Cellars.  Frogtown has a bit more casual atmosphere than the first two wineries we visited, but their wines are definitely a force to be reckoned with.  Hands DOWN Frogtown has the best red wines we tasted!  Frogtown was packed, as it was still harvest for them.  I had visited before, but this was by far the busiest I have ever seen them.  I didn't even have a chance to get the name of our bartender, it was too hectic.  They have bowls of Goldfish crackers that you can nibble while tasting. Yum!  Also, for some odd reason the entire lobby was humming with fruit flies.  We were constantly waving the flies away.  I believe we made a joke that "where's the frogs? they should be eating these flies like crazy" This is not the norm for Frogtown.  They told me it was just this way due to the harvest.  It was better if we got our tasting glass and some wine, then we went out on their back deck to admire the view.  Much fewer flies outside. Then we had to go inside to get a pour of the next wine, and so on.  However, it was a very nice day and we had fun looking out on the vineyards.  I did the All Red Wine Tasting for $15.

1) 2010 Frogtown Sangiovese - $8.50/glass, $20.99/bottle
12.5% alcohol.  90% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet
TWITs notes:  earthy, tart, lovely nose, rich palate, big and bold, spicy as it opens up.

2) 2009 Frogtown Reserve Sangiovese - $12/glass, $28.99/bottle
TWITs notes: funky, dirty, I LOVE it!

3) Frogtown Applause FSO (First Standing Ovation, means their first time making it) - $8.50/glass, $21.99/bottle
TWITs notes: this one was okay, but not as wonderful as the first 2 wines.

4) 2008 Frogtown Cabernet Franc - $10.00/glass, $29.99/bottle
TWITs notes: absolutely delicious

5) 2009 Frogtown Propaganda - $12.00/glass, $33.99/bottle
TWITs notes: even better

6) 2009 Frogtown Personality - $8.00/glass, $19.99/bottle
TWITs notes: yummy!

7) 2008 Frogtown Norton - $12.00/glass, $28.00/bottle
TWITs notes: WOW AMAZING, we bought 2 bottles of this.

Last we had very brief stop at Cavender Creek.

Our driver was the lovely Nevolia from Georgia Wine Tours.

We had 7 attendees and we rode in a large comfy van for this trip.  After the tour, we had dinner at Season's 52.  Yummy!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sept 19, 2013 - Holiday Dinner Wine Pairings - hosted by Ms Kim and Mr.Alan

Sept 19, 2013 - Holiday Dinner Wine Pairings - hosted by Ms. Kim and Mr. Alan

Theme:  Holiday Dinner Wine Pairings
Our hosts are from That Computer Chick, Wines and food pairings selected by Scott B. of Baked in East Cobb.  Hilarious stories and entertainment from Miss Kim.  Ask her about the time she fixed someone's iPad with ketchup.

TWITs Tasting Notes:
1) 2011 Picket Fence Chardonnay $12.95 @ Baked
Russian River Valley, 13.5% alcohol
Food Pairing: Shrimp and Grits - with Andouille sausage and pan gravy
the oaky-ness of the chardonnay balances out the flavor of the shrimp and grits.
TWITs said:  buttery, balanced oak, not too oaky.  light, not too heavy.  just right.  perfect for "grimps and shits"

2) 2010 The Dreaming Tree Crush (red blend, Central Coast CA) $12.95 @ Baked
Geyserville, CA 13.5% alcohol, Red blend by Steve Reeder, Dave Matthews
78% Merlot, 13% Syrah, 6% Zinfandel, 2% Petite Sirah, 1% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon
Food Pairing: Lemon & Garlic baked chicken with smoky green beans
TWITs said:  I had not heard very good things about Dreaming Tree wines, but now that I have tried this, I am impressed and I like it!  spice, cinnamon, smoky berry, like a pinotage!

3) 2008 Gnaughty Vines Zinfandel - Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma-  $13.95 @ Baked
Manteca, CA (near Hillsburg, which is also near Kokomo Wines (which we love)) 15% alcohol
Food Pairing: Roasted Beef Brisket with Polenta
TWITs said:  Peppery nose, spice, dark deep fruits, cassis-bomb

4) Castello Del Poggio Moscato D’Asti – Italy – $10.95 @ Baked
Provincia de Pavia, IGT, 7% alcohol
Food Pairing: Salty Spicy Pork with portabella mushrooms and asparagus
TWITs said:  wine is sweet, light, cool, refreshing, sugary legs

5) 2012 Cigar Box Reserve Malbec – $10~12
Mendoza, Argentina 14.1% alcohol
Food Pairing: Kim own recipe of shredded chicken and tomato bowtie pasta
TWITs guessed several of the recipe ingredients, Kim says it has tomato, porcini mushrooms (soaked in gran marnier), zucchini, sundried tomato, a bit of jalapeno, coriander, cumin, shredded chicken, etc.
Kim says the secret to a great tomato sauce is to include a piece of chicken w/skin and bone in the sauce. We can attest it was delicious!!!

And because it's "Talk Like A Pirate Day"...

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September 2013 - Museum of Design Exhibit: Barrique: Wine, Design, and Social Change

Barrique: Wine, Design, and Social Change

Sunday, September 15, 2013 - Sunday, October 13, 2013

This exhibition spotlights a wine barrel (barrique) recycling project taking place at Europe’s largest residential treatment center for young men and women recovering from drug addiction and social exclusion. Located in San Patrignano, Italy, the 1,300 residents of this treatment center learn professional skills – including viticulture, wine making, and woodworking – and produce more than 450,000 liters of wine each year, aging it all in 230 liter French oak barrels.
The fact that these barrels can be used for only three years led the community of San Patrignano to develop an innovative design project for the recycling of old wine barrels. They reached out to thirty well-known designers and architects — including Marc Sadler, Karim Rashid, Angela Missoni, and Alessandro Mendini — asking each of them to design a piece of furniture using wood reclaimed from wine barrels. Then, the residents of San Patrignano crafted the pieces of furniture out of old barrels, effectively demonstrating how design innovation can be used to achieve social good.
The furniture crafted in this project was displayed to great critical acclaim at the Salone del Mobile in 2012 and will be on display at MODA in 2013 as part of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ “Year of Italian Culture” in the United States.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

August 22nd, 2013 - Wines of Argentina - Hosted by Ms. Abbie & Mr. Matt

August 22nd, 2013 - Wines of Argentina - Hosted by Ms. Abbie & Mr. Matt

Theme: Wines of Argentina - we will taste these blind per our usual format.
Argentina is the 5th largest wine producer in the world.  Some Argentine Varietals are:  Bonarda, Torrontes, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay, Malbec, etc.

Bring:  TWITs should bring 1 bottle of Argentine Wine to the tasting

TWITs Tasting Notes:
Well the joke was on us. We tasted these blind, and we had THREE duplicate wines.  The funny part was that some of the identical bottles tasted very differently!  Read on.

Welcome Wine:  2004 Cavas de Weinert Mendoza - $32 @ Le Caveau
14% alcohol, 40% Malbec, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot
sweet palate and then tart, and then slightly briny/olive notes.  evaporates quickly.  has a lovely barnyard/oaky nose.

1) 2009 Siesta Malbec - En El Tahuantinsuyo - $35 @ Sherlocks/Cooks Warehouse
Ernesto Cantena - winemaker.  13.8% alcohol
significant punt on this heavy glass bottle. 
nose: caramel, butterfinger, butterscotch, "Jamie's Perfume", vanilla, sweet potato casserole,
palate: caramelly, butter, green/black fruit, light spice, maybe nutmeg? plum preserve, "walking along a privet drive"

2) 2010 Luca Malbec Ugo Mendoza - $33 @ Sherlocks/Cooks Warehouse
14% alcohol, berry color
nose: metallic, paint, tobacco, mint, eucalyptus, lemongrass,
palate: smooth, velvety, buttery, milk chocolate, cran-smooth, like a creamy fruit sauce or the smoothness of a yogurt berry drink.

3) 2004 Cavas de Weinert Mendoza - $32 @ Le Caveau
14% alcohol, 40% Malbec, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot
nose: toasted meringue, tapioca, ambrosia, scrub brush, mint, minty barnyard
palate: smooth, creamy, peaches, spice on finish, drier and more tart, complicated wine, tarragon, slight stinky cheese at the end

4) 2010 Luca Malbec Ugo Mendoza - $33 @ Toco Giant
14% alcohol, berry color
nose:  perm solution, ammonia, minerality
palate: tomato sauce, tart, acidic, "this is lovely", a little "must" on your tongue

5) 2009 Siesta Malbec - En El Tahuantinsuyo - $35 @ Sherlocks/Cooks Warehouse
Ernesto Cantena - winemaker. 13.8% alcohol
nose: sour, over-ripe fruit, mussels in a can, musty old wine cellar, musty sweet port smell, fermented peaches.  bruised peach, jammy toes
palate:  slightly effervescent, acidic, bright

6) 2011 Hermanos Dominga Moline (Malbec Tannat) - $14.99 @ Toco Giant
Valle de Cafayate/Salta 13.9% alcohol
nose:  toasted meringue, butter cookies, band-aid, latex, balloons, sweaty socks
palate: tart, delicious

Bonus fun:
they speak Spanish in Argentina.  So we gave everyone Spanish names for fun:
Matt was Mateo, Rheinallt was Rheinallto, Jamie was pronounced HI-MEE, Alexis was Alejandro, Josh was Jeshua, Jaffet is already Spanish, Kathy was Katarina, Valerie was Val-Air-ree, Karin was Karina, Abbie was Adelina, and Deb was Deb-OR-rah.  LOL

Quote:  "We're not just TWITs, we're brainiacs!"

Monday, June 10, 2013

July 18, 2013 - Le Caveau Blind Tasting of Natural Wines - hosted by MrLes & Ms Melissa

July 18, 2013 - Le Caveau - Blind Tasting of Natural Wines - hosted by Mr Les & Ms Melissa

Theme:  Natural wines - We tasted these wines blind.
Clues we were given:  They could be from anywhere.  They will not be weird wines, but unadulterated.   This tasting will be really interesting, especially, blind because it will challenge what many think about certain varietal characteristics based on wines that have been 'doctored'. 

Eric, of Le Caveau, has been reading a lot about the subject as of late, and gave us a presentation about natural wines during the tasting.  We discussed how additives are allowed in the wines (98 known additives allowed in US wines, 77 in EU, 89 in Australia, and 69 in New Zealand).  We also saw photos side-by-side of vineyards maintained with organic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and fungides, versus regular vineyard maintenance.  We learned about Biodynamic viticulture, and one of the more interesting methods they use involving a cow horn filled with fermented manure. Yeast is also something to consider.  Some vintners use native yeasts and/or natural yeasts versus commercial yeasts.  Read more about Natural Wines here.

1) 2011 Agnes et Rene Mosse "Magic of JuJu" $24.99
100% Chenin Blanc, 13.5% alcohol
TWITs tasting notes:  light nose, golden color (honey all over), almost invisible legs, faint pickles smell, very light and herbacious palate, melon flavors, more floral nose as it opens up, palate of almond butter and/or Butterfinger Candy

2) 2010 Eric Texier L'indigene Sulfureux "Eluney" $ 21.99
100% Grenache, 12.5% alcohol
TWITs tasting notes: pepper, cherries, woody, tar, some smoke, dark candy sweet, fresh manure, peat, burnt ash, petroleum, light wet grass, smokier nose as it breathes, 
palate is a softer wine, peppery, nice finish, creamy, herb, berries, nuts, 
Val guessed a Syrah, Abbie thought it reminded her of a Sant'Elena Tato (Cab/Merlot blend).

3) 2011 Louis Claude Desvignes Morgon Cote du Py
100% Gamay, 13% alcohol
TWITs tasting notes:  grape jello, jammy, cumquat, small yeast, thin legs, cotton candy, butterscotch
softer palate, cantaloupe, viscous, lighter with a lingering finish, licorice, smells like halloween

4) 2009 Domaine Derain St. Aubin "Le Ban" - $23.99
100% Pinot Noir, 14% alcohol
TWITs tasting notes: perm solution, ammonia, 
palate is berry, soft, like a light pinot noir

5) 2009 Campi Nuovi Montecucco - $39.99
100% Sangiovese
TWITs tasting notes:  fruity nose, oaky, clove, funky, lovely nose of pine,
softer berry finish, like Christmas, cinnamon, nutmeg, very warm, dry
Guesses:  Marilyn says Bordeaux, Abbie says Cab Franc, Val says New World.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June 20th, 2013 - I Don't Always Drink White Wines, But When I Do, I Drink This One - hosted by Ms. Abbie & Mr. Matt

June 20th, 2013 - "I Don't Always Drink White Wines, But When I Do, I Drink This One" - hosted by Ms. Abbie & Mr. Matt

Theme: As we know, many of the TWITs members are red wine fans.  However, some folks like to drink white wine in the summertime.  We want to know what your favorites are.  Bring your favorite white wine, and come prepared to tell us WHY it's your favorite white wine.  (singles price point for a bottle $20 or less, couples price point $20-40/bottle)

Check out this fantastic white wine info graphic by Sean Seidell:

TWITs Tasting Notes:
Welcome Wine:  2012 Laurent Miquel Chardonnay Pere et Fils -  $9.99 @ Le Caveau
From southern France.
This is Matt's fave white wine because it's an unoaked Chardonnay.  He did not like Chardonnay's much before tasting this one.  It's got crisp acidity, and a simple "Stelvin Enclosure" (fancy way to say screw cap), so if you are at the pool or beach, you don't need to worry about bringing a corkscrew.
Abbie likes this wine because it tastes refreshing, it's cheap, it's good, and the label speaks to her.  If you look at the label, it has a tree on it with roots, and under the roots are the names of the winemaker's ancestors.  Enjoy!

1) 2011 Acrobat Pinot Gris ~ $12-13 @ Vino Venue
From Eugene Oregon.
Marilyn likes this wine.  She first tasted it when she attended the Downton Abbey cooking class at Vino Venue, and it was paired with lump crab and roasted red pepper crostini.  It's good with food, softer than a Chardonnay, and smooth.  She can drink it on its own or with food.

2) 2011 Domaine de Gerbeaux Macon-Solutre Chardonnay - $20 @ Le Caveau
13% alcohol, French Burgundy
Les and Melissa like this wine because it is well-balanced, smooth and can pair with almost anything.  They are not Chardonnay fans, but this is a good one.  We paired it with goat cheese.  They like to enjoy drinking this wine out on the deck.

3) 2009 Domaine Alain Normand Macon La Roche Vineuse - $30 at PH Wine Merchant (but it can also be found at Sherlocks Wine Merchant in Brookhaven.
Valerie likes this white burgundy wine because it's a rare Chardonnay that has minerality and a teeny tiny kiss  of oak.  This particular region is known for its Chardonnay, and has limestone soil.  This wine had long fermentation on the lees.

4) 2012 Tenuta la Marchese Gavi Marchesa - $15.99 @ Hintons
12% alcohol, Italian wine, varietal is Cortese
Susan likes this wine when she first tasted it 2 weeks ago at a networking conference event.  It's easy to drink, good out on the porch, and can be consumed with or without food.

5) 2012 Coteaux du Languedoc-Roussillon Pic-Poul de Pinet - $10 @ Sherlocks, but Le Caveau will be carrying this one in a few weeks.
12.5% alcohol.  Pic -Poul is the varietal, and Pic-Poul de Pinet is the region.
Rheinallt wanted to bring something edgy to the club that he discovered last year.  Pic-Poul is Catalan for stinging lip or "lip stinger".  It is a combination of full body and acidity and has good salinity (saltines).  It would pair very well with oysters or seafood.  Because it is a lesser known region and varietal, it is a cheaper wine.  Rheinallt likes to drink this one on weeknights.  It has great viscosity.

6) 1996 Michel Schlumberger Chardonnay - Dry Creek Valley Sonoma - $40.00 for a Magnum, but only available to the Vintner's wine club members (which Brian happens to be).  This is one of their Library Wines (aka older vintages)
13% alcohol - Benchland (the name of the estate)
"it's a Magnum, big hit with the ladies."  Brian likes this wine because it is an aged-Chardonnay (aged in French Oak barrels), it tastes good, has a golden honey hue, and notes of butterscotch.

7) 2011 Fritz Zimmer Bernkasteler-Kurfstenlay Riesling Spatlese, Mosel - $18.00 at Sherlocks, but once in a while Kroger has it for $9 if you have a Kroger Plus Card.
8% alcohol
Kim says she grew up with Italian parents who did not know good wine.  However, when she went to college, her German roommate introduced her to "German wines" and Rieslings, "the horse-piss of wines".  She says this wine is good with everything, and sometimes she likes to put a little piece of watermelon in her glass when drinking it.  It has faint petrol/gasoline on the nose, but refreshing palate.

*at this point we got side-tracked with a discussion of Riesling and Reefers (I think because the nose of this wine had a faint Marijuana smell?), anyhoo - the joke was that after Pot is legal in Georgia, we should start up a club called PHITS = "potheads in training"

8) 2011 Riesling St. Urbans-Hof - $16 @ Kroger
Janssen is normally a full-bodied red wine drinker (he wants flavor, character, oomph!) and doesn't like white wines.  However, last year he was on a Bachelor party cruise (Carnival cruise lines), and he joked he was only sober when he woke up each morning. BUT he remembered this wine (in the haze), and that is why he likes this particular white wine.

9) 2002 Chateau St Michelle Riesling - he paid about $15 for it in 2002, not sure what it would cost today.
Ken says this is his 2nd favorite white wine.  His first favorite is the Swan Valley Sandalford Sandalera fortified wine, but he can't seem to find anyone in the USA who can get it for him.
Anyhoo, back to Chateau St Michelle.
He has had this Riesling for several years.  He says the 2003 vintage is also very hard to get.  He loves this wine.
It has nose of hot asphalt, diesel (spilled on the road), and the palate reminds Valerie of teriyaki glaze and peaches.