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Author Archives: Westlake Wine Tasting Club

Hogue Riesling

Tasting Date: 9/3/2013

Varietal: Riesling 2012

Country: Columbia Valley, Washington

Tasting Date Price: $11.99

Rating: WS 2011 88; WE 2011 87

Alcohol Content: 12%

Vineyard Website: click here

Visual Aspect: Clear, straw

Nose: Fragrant aromas of apricot, peach, melon, lemon-lime, & a drizzle of honey

Palate: Pleasing mineral edge & crisp, refreshing acidity.  Unlike many white wines, Rieslings can evolve & develop complexity w/ age.  Cellar for 3 – 5 yrs.  Slightly sweet

Food Pairing: serve w/ fresh spring rolls, spicy ahi curries or grilled halibut.”

Winery Notes:

Varietal Percentages: 93% White Riesling, 6% Gewürztraminer, 1% Muscat Canelli

Eastern Washington’s low annual rainfall and cool nights during the growing season make it the perfect area for producing consistently great late harvest wines. The Hogue Cellars has developed a style of late harvest Riesling that is crisp yet moderately sweet. The wine was produced from select Riesling vineyards where the fruit can ripen to the required 24°+ Brix. At that level of ripeness, the wine develops its trademark tangerine/apricot flavor. Zesty aromas of orange, lemon-lime and peach are followed by flavors of tangerine, apricot and a trace of mineral. Serve with poached pears, apple pie or a cheese platter of Stilton, smoked Gouda and fresh goat cheese. It’s also excellent served well chilled as an aperitif.

During the grape growing season, Eastern Washington boasts warm summer days followed by cool nights, ensuring that grapes ripen fully while retaining ample natural acidity. The even ripening gives Washington Riesling its trademark apricot and tangerine flavors

Hedges Sauvignon Blanc

Tasting Date: 9/3/2013

Varietal: Hedges Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Country: Columbia Valley, Washington

Tasting Date Price: $13.99

Rating:

Alcohol Content: 13%

Vineyard Website: click here

Visual Aspect: Straw

Nose: Bright, lively aromas of ripe pear, grapefruit peel, caramel apple and orange blossom.

Palate: The palette is lean, angular and well defined, emphasizing the virtues of structure and elegance.

Food Pairing: This wine is terrific with oysters.

Winery Notes:

76% Sauvignon Blanc, 22% Chardonnay & 2% Marsanne

- Hedges CMS Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley WA $13.99 Winemaker Notes Sauvignon Blanc, dominant, with small amounts of Chardonnay and Marsanne. A blended white wine with Sauvignon Blanc dominating over 75% of the wine, this was one of the original malic-acid friendly white wines released from Washington State. Rounding out the blend is a touch of chardonnay accompanied by just a pinch of Marsanne. Beautifully structured with wonderful Sauvignon Blanc fruit character, the mouth feel has a delicate balance of acid angularity and defined herbal sophistication.

The palette is lean, angular and well defined, emphasizing the virtues of structure and elegance..  Grapes were sourced from four Columbia Valley vineyards: Bacchus, Dionysus, Destiny Ridge & Arete.

Grapes were sourced from four Columbia Valley vineyards: Bacchus, Dionysus, Destiny Ridge & Arete.

AtoZ Pinot GrisTasting Date:  9/3/2013
Varietal:  Pinot Gris 2012
Country:  Oregon
Tasting Date Price:  $15.99
Rating:  WS 2011 88; WE 2011 87
Alcohol Content:  13%
Vineyard Website:  click here 
Visual Aspect:  Clear straw
Nose:  has intense aromatics of lime blossom, nectarine, tangerine, melon, wet stone and guava that build into aromatics of nutmeg, Bing cherries and kiwi.
Palate:  Light and refreshing, offering flavors of apple and green pear that finish with a touch of almond blossom.  The flavors on the mid-palate echo the aromas with a deeper not of honey. The wine moves seamlessly into a finish that goes on for some time before finishing crisply. The lasting impression of the wine is great purity and intensity balanced by wonderful juiciness and succulence.
Food Pairing:
Winery Notes:
The 2012 A to Z Pinot Gris is a blend using fruit from 26 different Oregon vineyards offering a “full orchestra” of flavors. Individual  components are fermented separately to enhance complexity and to highlight particular attributes for aromatics, flavors or textural qualities depending on the vineyard. Malolactic fermentation was intentionally blocked to retain freshness and purity of fruit.
The 2012 Oregon growing season was a return to normalcy after two wild, late years. The warm Rogue Valley and the Columbia Gorge fruit came in fast and furious toward the end of September. Harvest began in the Willamette Valley after a cooling period around the first week in October with Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris showing perfect ripeness and low yields. Chardonnay came in last as picking finished before the end of October.
All in all, 2012 will be remembered as a classic Oregon vintage with great weather at harvest and low yields. The fruit was ripe, sound and vety healthy. Little sorting was needed and the flavors were intense.

AtoZ Chardonnay

Tasting Date: 9/3/2013

Varietal: Chardonnay 2012

Country: Oregon

Tasting Date Price: $15.99

Rating:

Alcohol Content: 13%

Vineyard Website: click here

Visual Aspect: Clear straw

Nose: Aromas like kiwi, tangerine, white peach and quince are followed by deeper, richer aromas like honey, beeswax and melon.

Palate: The wine is equally complex and inviting. A juicy attack with great minerality leads to flavors that mirror the aromatics while yet more layers, like pear and toasted coconut, arise on the mid-palate. The concentration is balanced by firm acidity that gives the wine vitality and persistence with a long lingering note of clean wet stones.

Food Pairing: Fish and seafood

Winery Notes:

Oregon Chardonnay becomes more exciting each year for several reasons. We are enjoying a warm agricultural cycle, our vineyards with Dijon clones are maturing and we have learned much about how to handle Chardonnay at the same latitude as Burgundy. The 2012 A to Z Oregon Chardonnay is blended from 24 lots that have been fermented and aged in stainless steel of varying sizes to maintain brightness and showcase the nuances of the variety. Malolactic fermentation was intentionally blocked to retain freshness and purity of fruit.

The 2012 Oregon growing season was a return to normalcy after two wild, late years. The warm Rogue Valley and the Columbia Gorge fruit came in fast and furious toward the end of September. Harvest began in the Willamette Valley after a cooling period around the first week in October with Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris showing perfect ripeness and low yields. Chardonnay came in last as picking finished before the end of October. All in all, 2012 will be remembered as a classic Oregon vintage with great weather at harvest and low yields. The fruit was ripe, sound and very healthy. Little sorting was needed and the flavors were intense.

Brut Rose

Tasting Date: 7/3/2013

Varietal: Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’ Alcase Brut Rose

Country: Alsace, France

Tasting Date Price: $18.99

Rating: WS NV 87

Alcohol Content: 12.0%

Vineyard Website: click here

Visual Aspect: Pale rosey-salmon in the glass with abundant mousse

Nose: Saline, meaty, and herbal notes to add interest to the nose

Palate: It is a off-dry wine, with medium acidity , it has medium alcohol (12%) and it has medium- body. It has medium intensity of strawberry, raspberry aromas and a certain minerality on the palate. Flavors of strawberry & wild cherry fruit, w/ a touch of richness on the mid palate.  Balanced w/ dry, crisp acidity & complimented w/ a creamy texture & long finish. Hints of salinity and bitterness in the finish make for an invigorating complement to the wine’s prominent fruit.”

Food Pairing: Perfect Sunday brunch wine, fish

Winery Notes:

Albrecht Cremant is made by the strictest “methode traditionelle” and we consider it one of the great specialties of our house. Albrecht Crémant Rosé made from 100% Pinot Noir, has a fresh palate with small red berry flavors. It is delicious on its own. Maison Lucien Albrecht was founded in 1425 in Alsace and settled in Orschwihr in 1698. Today, our winery remains family-owned and managed. Our estate includes some of the most prestigious Alsace terroirs in the Grand Cru Pfingstberg and several superb monopoles including the famous Clos de Récollets. In our vineyards we emphasize a harmony with nature and, in our cellars minimal intervention in order to produce, in each vintage, hand-crafted wines that represent our terroir and family heritage

Chardonnay

Tasting Date: 7/3/2013

Varietal: Chardonnay 2011

Country: Burgundy, France

Tasting Date Price: $14.99

Rating: WE 2010 86

Alcohol Content: 13%

Vineyard Website: click here

Visual Aspect: Light straw

Nose: Floral & fruity aromas w/ lemony nuances (imparted by the musk chardonnay clone).

Palate: Light, fruity & rounded, wood-aged, has white fruit, spice & apricot flavors.

Food Pairing: Seafood, poultry, salads

Winery Notes:

THE VINEYARD: Cave de Lugny is a cooperative of over 250 wine-growing estates and 1,500 hectares all AOC Burgundy- Mâconnais. Controlling approx 1/3 of production of Southern Burgundy and approx 50% of the total production of the Mâconnais. Les Charmes is 100% Chardonnay & the pride of Cave de Lugny. All the grapes are sourced from a single vineyard, a 105ha plateau named “Les Charmes”, in the commune of Lugny. This single vineyard’s soil is characterized by a chalky soil/limestone. The South/South-East orientation provides the best sun exposure for – the on average 40 year old vines. The majority of the vineyard is planted to Musk Chardonnay- Musk refers to a sub category of the Chardonnay variety (a clone) meaning that the aromas developed by this clone are close to the aromas of the Muscat grape variety. Giving “Les Charmes” wines their typicity with richer aromas. This clone is present at random in the Burgundy vineyard, but is present in larger proportion, in the Les Charmes vineyard.

HARVEST & AGEING: The grapes are hand and mechanically harvested in late August Early September, then pressed in a pneumatic press to obtain the must & then clarified for 12-24 hours. The alcoholic fermentation is carried out in temperature controlled stainless steel vats at a constant temperature of 16 to 18 C. Special Yeasts are added – To help the natural yeasts to start the alcoholic fermentation, extra yeasts are added: the Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. They will do the alcoholic fermentation and then die when the alcohol content will be high enough, becoming therefore part of the lees. Wine is then racked on the lees for 12 months and sees no oak. Wine is bottled after 12 months.

sauvignon blanc

Tasting Date: 7/3/2013

Varietal: Guy Saget “Le Petit Perriere” Sauvignon Blanc  2012

Country: Loire France

Tasting Date Price: $9.99

Rating: WS 2010 85; WE 2011 85

Alcohol Content: 12.5%

Vineyard Website: click here

Visual Aspect: Gold color w/ bright intensity

Nose: Smell explodes w/ aromas of ripe yellow (peach & apricot) & exotic fruits.  Clean & refreshing w/ good length.

Palate: Taste is a whirlwind of freshness, complexity, fineness & ends w/ notes of ripe melon.

Food Pairing: Seafood, meat, cheese

Winery Notes:

THE VINEYARD

In 1790, the Saget family embarked upon a long history dedicated to vines and wine, firmly placing Saget among just a handful of estates that can enjoy their third successive century of continued activity. Today and for more than 30 years, the Saget family brings together crus and terroirs, vintages and cuvees, industry professionals and food and wine enthusiasts in one of the most touching stories from the Loire. With 360 hectares of vines located in the finest appellations, masters their originality like no other and singularly personifies their trademark generosity and simplicity. Thanks to its six estates and long-term relations with families of vine growers Saget La Perrière, like other leading contemporary wine companies, not only has extensive vines to its name, but also creates and blends a wide range of wines from the Loire Valley.To create the true “Sauvignon Spirit”, we took inspiration from generations past. With our mastery of the Sauvignon Blanc, the king of the Central Loire region, we have been able to explore and bring out this grape variety’s many facets and full potential. With enthusiasm and energy, our wine-makers have gone to great lengths to secure the best Sauvignon Blancs in France in order to create a wine with perfect balance, a blend of richness and elegance. Careful selection, combined with the skill of men, has given birth to one of Saget La Perrière’s flagship wines, la Petite Perrière.

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