Gewurztraminer is an extremely aromatic white grape and is renowned in Alsace, France and Germany. We’re starting to see more dry Gewurztraminers in our state and in other parts of the world.
This week, I had the opportunity to try the 2013 Estate grown, Balletto Gewurztraminer from Russian River Valley. The Balletto’s like many Arizona farmers utilize sustainable farming practices. The color was a beautiful pale lemon and the wine had 13.7% alcohol by volume. The wine offered lovely aromas of gardenia flowers, lychee, green apple and apricots. The palate also showcased tropical flowers, coconut and salted caramel. The finish was around 28 seconds. This delightful wine was very enjoyable on it’s on however, it needs to be paired with something mild due to its powerful floral flavors. While there are many bottles of perfume out there, this is the only one I would choose to drink!
Chardonnay is one of the most widely grown International white grape varieties. It originally hales from Burgundy, France and is made into many diverse styles from sparkling wines to stainless steel fermented wines and heavily oaked.
I celebrated National Chardonnay Day, with a 2016 Danza Del Sol, Reserve Chardonnay from Temecula Valley. This delicious medium bodied, dry white wine had a nice lemon color and a highly aromatic nose. It offered lovely aromas of peaches, apricots, freshly mowed lawn and honeycomb. The palate showcased additional flavors of pineapple, almonds, and mandarin orange and had a pleasing creamy mouth feel. The finish was around 25 seconds and the wine had 14.8% alcohol by volume. It is one of the more enjoyable Chardonnays I’ve had in a long time.
So if you can pick up a bottle of this delightful chardonnay to celebrate National Chardonnay Day, your day will shine!
Last week we had a blind wine tasting with wines from Temecula. Four whites and four reds were showcased. The favorite of the evening was the 2017 Arneis from Hart Winery. For those who have never tasted Arneis, it is an important white grape from Piedmont, Italy and one of my favorites.
On the nose we found delightful aromas of grass, tropical fruit, flowers and almonds. On the palate there were additional flavors of honeysuckle, hazelnut, and dried apricot.
This dry white wine had a beautiful pale straw color, a 23 second finish and 11.5% alcohol by volume. There were 326 cases produced. Arizona is also growing Arneis, so if you can’t make it to Northern Italy or the lovely Hart Winery in Temecula, I hope you have the opportunity to try some local Arneis.
Today I celebrated World Moscato Day with the 2017 Sweet Adeline Muscat from Carlson Creek Vineyards. This sweet Muscat has 6.5% residual sugar, 12.9 % alcohol by volume and was made using the Muscat of Alexandria grape.
On the nose there were delightful notes of orange blossoms, peach, honeysuckle, diesel, and rose. The palate continued with honey, mandarin oranges, jolly roger cherry and pipi de chat. The wine was fermented in stainless steel and had a nice finish at around 33 second. This is the first vintage of Muscat that the Carlson’s made, and they produced 218 cases of this delicious wine. For those looking for a sweeter Arizona wine, this is an excellent choice. It doesn’t have to be World Moscato Day to enjoy this lovely wine. Stop by one of their many tastings rooms to try it!
#worldmoscatoday, #muscat, #muscatofalexandria, #sweetwines, #arizonawine,
It’s International Sauvignon Blanc day and to celebrate, I opened a North Canterbury New Zealand, 2017 Mt. Beautiful, Sauvignon Blanc. Canterbury is South of Marlborough on the South Island of New Zealand.
The color was a lovely pale straw and the ABV was 13%. When I first opened it the aromas of “pipi de chat” were so strong, I though my old cat had returned. As the wine opened up, the nose softened and offered additional aromas of Peach, Melon and Honey. On the palate there were flavors of lime, grapefruit, kiwi and grass with nice acidity. It was extremely refreshing. This light/medium bodied wine had a nice finish at around 26 seconds and paired well with my garlic chicken. At under $20 it’s a good buy. If you miss your cat and like Sauvignon Blanc, why not try the Mt. Beautiful and enjoy the gooseberry?
#SauvBlancDay, #Pipidechat, #SauvignonBlanc, #NewZealandwines, #Canterbury, #Internationalsauvignonblancday,
Many guests ask me about vegan wines. There are some wines that will have the “V” or “VG” symbol on them to designate vegan. However, if you can’t find one, why not try a Kosher wine? A Kosher wine by Jewish law may not contain any animal products. Regular wine makers may use eggs whites, gelatin, milk products and fish bladders for fining (making the wine clear), however, it is not allowed in a Kosher wine!
A nice inexpensive Kosher option is the 2016 Givon 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is produced in the upper Galilee in Israel, by Barkan Wine Cellars and is more of a new world style wine. It is also Kosher for Passover which means it has not come into contact with any wheat products, so it’s a good choice for those that are gluten sensitive. This dry red wine has 13% avb and a lovely garnet color. On the nose you’ll find aromas of cherry and strawberry and on the palate additional notes of raspberry, plum, oak, cedar, vanilla and earth. The finish came in at around 23 seconds.
So, if you’re looking for a wine under $8 which is vegan, kosher or gluten free, this is a nice option.
When I’m in an Urban city, I always enjoy bar hopping and mixing with the locals. Pub crawls are famous in many of the major cities, and though Sedona doesn’t offer that urban environment, we have some fabulous pubs with excellent grub! So, this month I started our pub crawl in the Sedona area and the Verde Valley. One of my favorite pubs is PJ’s Pub in the Sedona Village (Village of Oak Creek) which has great food and Mooney’s in Hillside in Sedona. We’ll be offering more than Five locations across our towns plus tours to any of our microbreweries in the area. This will be a driving pub crawl in our Honda HRV for up to four people. So call today at 928-963-1866 to book your “Not so Urban Pub Crawl” and rub elbows with the locals.
It’s time to smell the roses, and the 2017 Rune Rose’ is an excellent Arizona Rose’. The color is a beautiful rose gold salmon. The nose is very inviting with aromas of rose, apricot, strawberry, minerals and lychee. The palate showcases additional layers of strawberry, apricot, vanilla, almond and a freshly mown lawn. It was crisp and refreshing but also had a soft mouth feel. This dry rose had a nice finish at around 30 seconds. It is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Petit Sirah and has 13.8% ABV. The fruit was sourced from the Pillsbury Vineyard in Wilcox. I paired it with a delicious arugula and avocado salad that created an umami experience. If you’re up in the Verde Valley, you can now purchase the Rune Rose’ at Carlson Creeks tasting room in Old Town Cottonwood. So stop to smell the Roses and drink this delicious Rose’.
This is not the exciting TV series nor the 1950’s Hollywood hunt but an amazing wine from Golden Rule Vineyards. I love a juicy steak; thus I found the perfect pairing, and thankfully wasn’t blacklisted from my home. The 2014 Golden Rule Vineyards Blacklisted is a delicious blend of 60% Cabernet, 20% Cabernet Franc and 20% Petit Verdot and hales from our newest AVA in Wilcox, Arizona. This Bordeaux style blend had a beautiful garnet/mahogany color, 14.7% alcohol and a screw top closure. The complex nose offered aromas of blackberry, vanilla, oak, cedar and all spice. On the palate there were additional flavors of cherry, strawberry, and cocoa. It had a lovely lingering finish at around 30 seconds and was nicely full bodied. I had a little left the next day and it held up beautifully. You could hold onto this wine to age for a few more years. So, get Blacklisted and try this delightful wine!
Though I captain a Honda instead of the Enterprise, the opportunity to explore unique, indigenous grape varieties is one of the highlights of my business. Falanghina is a white grape variety that I experienced again this week. Though the name is strange, it’s not a grape from another planet! The Falanghina grape is grown in Southern Italy in Campagna and Molise, Italy. This time I tried the 2017 Falanghina Feudi di San Gregorio, DOC, Estate bottled in Sorbo Serpico in Campagna.
This beautiful, dry white wine had a lovely nose of stone fruit, mostly pear, with melon and some red grapefruit. The palate expanded to add tropical fruits such as pineapple and kiwi. There were also inviting flavors of minerals and grass. It exhibited a nice soft mouth feel and was light to medium in body. This grape is grown in volcanic soil much like some of our top wines in Arizona. It was nicely balanced, had 13% alcohol by volume and the finish lasted around 23 seconds. This Falanghina paired nicely with my chicken and I feel that it would also pair well with fish or pasta. While seeking out new wines and new varietals, I discovered this wine at the Art of Wine, and luckily, I didn’t have to barter with the Ferengi to acquire it!
Sue Schurgin, CSW, (Certified Specialist of Wine) is the manager of Sedona Wine and Beer Tours. She loves education and will also pursue her Certified Sommelier.