Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sinister Hand
A gruesome tale for you in time for Halloween, sit back pour a glass and I will share the story of the Sinister Hand.
Two rival families had a rowing competition for rights to some highly regarded land, the first to touch the land, after rowing across the lake, would become ruler of the land. One boat was falling behind so a member of the crew grabbed his own sword, cut off his hand and threw it ashore, winning the title to rule the land.
Own Roe Winery in Saint Paul Oregon produced Sinister Hand with a beautiful full red color and generous fruit is expressed from the onset with a harmonious blend of  63% Grenache, 19% Syrah, 16% Mouvèdre and 2% Cinsault.  Fruity notes of raspberry and blackberry warms the palette with silky light tannins that persists thru the long smooth finish.
Sinister Hand is amazing wine with an unforgettable tale…..Happy Halloween
Read the entire tale and more on Owen Roe website

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A sommelier friend once said, “Drinking wine should be about the emotions you experience as the wine crosses your lips; glides over the palate; slips down the throat and says farewell.”  I have always enjoyed tasting wine and the emotional experience that comes from each sip and appreciate the nurturing care and emotional structure the Vintner crafts into each bottle.

In the Walla Walla Valley, a couple of Vintners allowed me to tag a long one fall evening as they tended  their vats of fermenting grapes.  Harvest had just begun and I was giddy with the excitement of what I would see and experience by this unexpected adventure………

As the winemakers performed their punch downs of the grape vats, the CO gases were released and replaced by heady aromas of grapes and yeast working together.

Slipping my arm into a warm vat of fermenting grapes, I could feel the yeast and grapes working together to create the foundation of the perfect nectar.  A small cup in hand allowed me to siphon off some of the fermenting juice.  This was wine in its infancy and my first time tasting it at this stage in the process.  I loved the unsullied taste of the grapes and sediments. 

There were still round grapes that had yet to open but as I popped one into my mouth the intense flavors gave a rush that can only be experienced.  I compared it against tasting grapes strait from the vine and these grapes had already been affected by the winemaking process and held the greatness of what was to come.

The warm wine was tossed out of my glass and quickly filled with freshly pressed chardonnay juice.  Nothing can prepare you for this unbelievable flavor and taste.  I have had numerous fruit juices in my travels but freshly pressed chardonnay juice is the very best of all juices. 

I walked through the racking room where the barrels were staged and ran my hands over the smooth wood, wondering if the wine stains were from the wine seeping through the wood.  The Vintner was kind enough not to laugh at me but said it was spillage from over filling the barrels.

The adventure was too short lived but it brought back the words of my friend and it re-affirmed why I get that emotional rush and pleasure from drinking wine.  Till next time...Cheers! LD  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wine Lovin Women set out for Walla Walla, WA again for another adventure.  This time was for Fall Crush, where we visited some of our old favorite wineries, Tero Estates and Dumas Station.  Both wineries had amazing releases to sample, if you haven’t been there yet or tried their wines you are missing out….so get started on making some plans to check them out. 

During our visit, we discovered a new favorite, El Corazone, which has a tasting room in downtown Walla Walla.  We walked into an eclectic, packed out showroom which made you realize great things were about to happen…no wine snobs here.

El Corazone has been producing since 2007 and during our visit we tasted:

     First Crush, Malbec (Walla Walla Valley) - Stronger tannins and bolder fruit flavor  
     Supernova, Malbec, (Columbia Valley) - Beautiful color, smooth tannins, full fruit and a slight spice on the pallet
     Pistalero, Bordeaux style blend - Marriage of bold fruit, which intoxicatingly rolls across the tongue
     Swordfight, Syrah - Deep color, subtle wild fruit aroma with rich texture in the mouth
     V-Neck , Viognier - Crisp and clean fruit flavor as a Viognier should be, the floral aroma leads you to believe it will hit sweet on the palette however it is dry and smooth with a soft lingering finish   

After two and half hours of tasting wine we were offered a barrel tasting….now the fun begins! 

We sampled a Cab Franc and Syrah to be released in 2013 and a Carmenere which is a grape that was presumed extinct for 150 years but found growing again in a field of Merlot grapes.  Everything we sampled was still a little young but oh so promising.  El Corazone does amazing things with grapes usually known for blending grapes, they have found a thoughtful way of bringing out great flavor.  What a great release 2013 will be!

El Corazone has a great sense of humor with refreshing liveliness to their attitude, their wine and even the labels on their bottles.  When I asked what grapes were in the wine, Spencer the winemaker, told me to read the back of the bottle.  The back label said……”stop reading, start drinking”.
Cheers! Denise