Friday, June 24, 2011

Mixed Bag of Summer Whites; Infamous Goose Sauvignon Blanc, Horse Heaven Hills Chardonnay, flipflop Riesling

My wine notes are really piling up on me. I’ve been so busy with my paying job, working on details with my upcoming move to Georgia and other sidelines, I haven’t been able to post as much as I used to. Time to get some of these wines checked off in my little black book. Summer heat is upon us, as my poor Koi fish can attest to. They were belly up in the pond the other day; days on end of 90+ temps, no rain and no clouds turned the pond into a hot tub. RIP Sushi and Gobbles, this one’s for you.

When temps turn steamy and sweat is more of an accessory than a cooling effect, I turn to those crisp, cool and thirst quenching white wines. Infamous Goose Sauvignon Blanc, Horse Heaven Hills Chardonnay, Flipflop Riesling to be exact.

Infamous Goose Sauvignon Blanc 2010 by Wild Rock Wines Marlborough, New Zealand
Aromas of lime and a hint of alcohol in the back. Flavors are sweet and rich with pineapple, mango, nectarine and peach. Nice acidity and a clean, refreshing finish. Wine would pair great with a tangy BBQ sauce on chicken or ribs. Very nice and clean drinking.

Horse Heaven Hills (H3) Chardonnay 2008 by Columbia Crest
Nose is full of buttered popcorn and creamy pair aromas. Flavors of white fruits, hit the front of the palate, nice balance between the acidity and creamy vanilla finish. I’m not a fan of the overly buttery and oaky Chardonnays but this one is truly a delight on a hot day. For more info on H3, click here.

flipflop Riesling 2009 Washington State
Nose is full of apples, honey and tropical fruits. First sip and the sweetness hits but by the third sip is balanced out by acidity and a slightly tart finish. Really nice for sipping in the summer sun or an evening outdoors. We paired the wine with a smoked pot roast which was a delightful pairing. For more info on flipflop, click here.

Stayed tuned more great summer wines coming soon.

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2011© Kellie Stargaard.  All Rights Reserved.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tampa's Napa Flair Wine Retailer and Francis Ford Coppola’s Directors Cut Cabernet Sauvignon

There’s something to be said about small independent wine shops. The individual attention they give you and the first hand knowledge of the wines carried in store can be of great benefit to all wine lovers. It’s one of those shopping experiences that can be quite an event. You will rarely receive your prized wine in one of those generic brown bags that are then shoved into a plastic bag. Instead, your wine is wrapped individually in a champagne colored tissue paper and handed to you like a gift. I stumbled across just this type of wine store, Napa Flair right off Sheldon between Tampa’s Citrus Park and West Chase. Feeling the need to celebrate, I found Francis Ford Coppola’s Director’s Cut priced nicely at $22.

The aromas are full of black pepper, cherry notes and hints of leather. Flavors are earthy and full of black cherries and cassis. It has a nice dry mouthfeel but not enough to make your cheeks pucker. This wine is truly spectacular.

While Napa Flair works on their website, Like them on Facebook and receive notices of upcoming events. This Friday June 17 join them 5-7 for a smattering of wines and tasty appetizers. My husband and I will be there.

So what exactly were my husband and I celebrating….I’ve teased this in a few blogs and now it’s official. My husband and I are moving to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia. While so many things are still unknown and very much up in the air, I look forward to the challenge and to seeing what this chapter of our life will bring. At this point, our house is under contract, just awaiting the inspection and appraisal before we can finally breath a sigh of relief and begin the packing process. We don’t have housing yet, so if anyone in the Dahlonega area knows where we can get housing for 4-6 weeks while we look for a permanent home, please let me know. It’s going to be a great adventure!

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2011© Kellie Stargaard.  All Rights Reserved.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

2009 Concannon Conservancy Chardonnay

As Florida waits for the rainy season to begin and offer some respite from the searing, scorching heat (as evidenced by the plethora of crispy and slightly brown lawns) time to grab another white wine. I know half of the country is caught in this heat wave, just remember all those hours of shoveling snow….and you were wishing for some sunshine and warmth. Well, as long as you have AC and nice refreshing wines, it’s all good. Last night’s wine was Concannon’s 2009 Conservancy Chardonnay, purchased at my local Total Wine for just $9.99.

Aromas are full of creamy honeysuckle. An array of citrus and floral flavors make up the primary flavor profile. Front of the palate is full of citrusy grapefruit. Mid-palate and the floral washes over, followed by a creamy smooth and hint of pineapple finish. Pairs well with your next backyard BBQ or with a summer shrimp boil.
I know I’ve reviewed Concannon wines many times now, so I won’t repeat myself with the same info. If you haven’t read my former blogs on Concannon, click here for a quick background on the winery. I did come up with some info on how Concannon is leading the “green” movement by example.
A decade long process, the winery recently completed a $30 million project to help preserve not only the vines but resources and materials that go into everyday production at the winery and tasting room. The restoration of the redwood tasting room incorporated re-used materials and an environmentally friendly design. Century old cedar planks, refurbished now hang on the exterior of the building. The original brick has found a new purpose in the courtyard fountain and redwood casks used for wine aging in a former life, now have a place in the restored tasting bar. The winery also practices sustainability in the wine making process by installing solar panels on 80% of the winery’s roof.
Recognizing it’s the unique rocky soil that sets their wines apart from others, the winery re-rooted their ancient vines promoting sustainability and healthy fruit for years to come. To ensure the land will be kept from urban development, Concannon established a conservation trust, preserving Livermore Valley viticulture and its simpler way of life…I say cheers to that!

Don’t worry, it will cool down eventually….say in 3-5 months, depending on your location. Until then, keep your wine chiller in the freezer, slip it on a great bottle of wine and brave the outdoors. Or just stay inside in the AC on the couch, which works too.
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2011© Kellie Stargaard.  All Rights Reserved.
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Friday, June 3, 2011

2008 Robert Oatley Chardonnay Mudgee

Ooohhh doggies it’s hot out there. Talk about the dog days of summer, I think Florida’s been in it for a few weeks and it’s just now June. No better time to kick off my summer whites series then now. While I haven’t given up sitting outside, my husband and I have taken to sitting under the tree. The thermometer on the lanai currently reads 98 degrees, and that’s in the shade. Yep, it’s a scorcher! It’s time to break out a white wines that can stand up to the heat; Robert Oatley Chardonnay from Mudgee, Australia. If the Aussies know anything, it’s wine and heat.

Aromas are perfect for outdoor summer drinking, loaded with tropical mango and pineapple. Flavors are slightly tart but refreshing with pineapple and grapefruit flavors tantalizing the palate. The wine finishes with a nice clean and refreshing finish. Perfect for any outdoor or indoor wine drinking you may partake in this summer.

Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Region: 100% Mudgee, New South Wales
Barrel Aging: Partial - 10 months in French oak barrels
Alc/vol: 12.2%
RS: 1.0g/100mL
pH: 3.30
TA: 6.3g/100mL

Gone are the days of those overly buttery Chards that just make my mouth feel like it’s been coated with cold cream. The Robert Oatley Chardonnay represents the new style of Chardonnays as they are now produced in a more crisp and clean style and I welcome them into my glass.

Known as one of Australia’s oldest wine regions, Mudgee was one of the first Chardonnay planting regions. At 1,500 feet above sea level, the red clay and volcanic soil provides just the right nutrients to the Oatley vineyards. The unique soil allows the wines to take on the full varietal potential along with  complexity and balance. For more info on the Oatley line, click here

As the Florida temperatures climb higher and no rainfall as a reprieve from the heat, I find myself reaching for white wine after white wine. Don’t fret red wines, as soon as the temps are back in a reasonable range, I will welcome you back with an open wine glass.

To donate to the America’s Disaster Relief Truck, currently helping Alabama tornado victims and Mississippi flood victims, click here.
2011© Kellie Stargaard.  All Rights Reserved.

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