Posts Tagged With: Sparkling wine

Revisiting some Kluge Wines

Being an owner at a wine shop has many advantages, one if which is tasting A LOT of wine. Most of what I taste is from all over the world with a small percentage of it being from here in Virginia. ( I should write a post about that!) Recently a new “rep” for Kluge winery presented myself and my staff with their current lineup. Having not had it in quite a while I was eager to give them a taste.  Over the years I have enjoyed Kluge wines but have had certain concerns in the past. One was their pricing when they got started about 5 years ago – they were crazy! That was quickly and thankfully corrected and I think their prices are excellent for the quality the wines deliver.  The second is the sort of sterile turn the tasting room took with the presentation of their wines. When they first started the wines were tasted with an associate in nice stems. Now they are handed to you with a tasting sheet and served in tulip shaped test tubes, seriously. So needless to say, it is hard to really “evaluate” the wines. Last I checked that this was still the case.

That being said I was glad to taste them in my “home” environment in decent glasses with a person who was well versed in their juice. My two standouts were the 2005 Kluge Estate New World Red ($25) and the Kluge Estate SP Blanc de Blancs ($28). The New World Red is a traditional Bordeaux blend of mostly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and a splash of Malbec. It has some good age on it, and the tannins show it as they have integrated very nicely. A fruit forward style, especially for Virginia, with a nice balance of leather and dried herb notes, graced by a hint of mocha.  The Blanc de Blancs is a traditional Methode Champenoise made from 100% Chardonnay.  Lots of straw and sourdough notes mostly on the nose with rich pear, apple and persimmon notes on the palate. Balanced structure and beautiful tight bubbles.

Needless to say these are two wines I’ll most likely be adding to the Virginia Wine wall at the shop.

Cheers!

Categories: $20-$30, virginia wine, wine review | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Sippin’ on Finger Lakes Bubbly

Last night I had the opportunity to participate in a Taste Live event, focusing on four sparkling wines from the Finger Lakes. Not knowing what to expect as I haven’t had any bubblies from the region, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality and price points of what we tasted.

I tasted with friend and co-work Robin (@RobinMountjoy) and fellow blogger George (@thegoodwineguru) and his wife April (@BerylliumBlonde).

What we tasted an my notes –

2002 Chateau Frank Blanc de Blancs (90% Chardonnay & 10% Pinot Blanc) – interesting nose – yeasty, a bit earthy, pear cider; palate of pear, fuji apple, touch of sourdough; nice mouthfeel – zippy acidity right across the mid palate – prickly bubbles; lacked strength in the finish though.

Goose Watch Pinot Noir Brut Rose (79% Pinot Noir, 21% Chardonnay) – nice light salmon color; the nose gave a good fake out of sweet red fruit that jumped out of the glass and led to a dry palate of watermelon, strawberry, banana peel and citrus “pith”; finish better than the first but still could have used a little umph

2002 Glenora Brut (54% Pinot Noir, 46% Chardonnay) nose of burnt apple pie with hints of that aroma on the palate combined with a weird metallic/aluminum offnote surrounded by hazelnut, lemon zest and apple core; chalky and slightly bitter on the finish

Lucas Vineyards (100% Cayuga White) – very nice complex nose of brie cheese & apples, with a drizzle of honey and weird note of baby powder; mealy apple, ripe fruit and yeasty components on the palate; less acidity in this one compared to the Chateau Frank

My order which was pretty unanimous between the group was Goose Watch Brut Rose 1st, with a tie for 2nd between the Chateau Frank and Lucas, and 4th to the Glenora Brut. Most surprised by the Lucas made from 100% Cayuga White, in my initial reading of the spec sheets I thought this one would be last – was definitely wrong on that one.

Cheers to Morgen McLaughlin of Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism and Lenn Thompson of The New York Cork Report for setting this up and including me.

Categories: New York Wines, wine tasting | Tags: , , | 1 Comment