Saturday, July 9, 2011

Biltmore Reserve Pinot Noir Russian Valley 2009 and My Move to Georgia Mountains

With just 17 days left until my big move to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia, it still doesn’t feel real. The house has been under contract for four weeks and things are finally starting to move. The appraisal finally took place this week; roof inspection also took place for the buyers home owners insurance. So why is it, I still feel like it’s not real? Is it going to hit me while at the close or is it going to wait until I’m backing out of the driveway for the final time, watching the garage door close on what used to be my home? How will it feel to pass my local stores, restaurants and all the side streets to avoid the horrible traffic? While I don’t have any of those great Georgia wines (and there are many, trust me) to drink right now, I’ll focus on another Blue Ridge Winery, The Biltmore Estate. Biltmore Reserve Russian Valley Pinot Noir grapes obviously did not come from their North Carolina winery but it’s as close as I can get to my soon to be new home state.

Aromatic strawberry, raspberry and oak precede smooth and delicate flavors. The strawberry flavors carry over from aromas and really pack a punch. Linger vanilla finish makes this a delight to drink. While flavors are soft and supple, this wine can hold its own. Priced at $24.99, this may not be an everyday wine but certainly is worth the splurge. Lucky for me, I received as a sample.
Varietal – Pinot Noir
Origin – Russian River Valley, California
Case Production – 2,000 cases
pH – 3.66
TA – 0.58
RS – 0.3%
Alcohol – 14.5%
Aged  - Oak barrels for 14 months
Biltmore wines were originally produced using grapes grown on the estate grounds in North Carolina, as they grew in popularity; the winery began sourcing grapes from other regions of the country under the Biltmore Reserve label. Pinot Noir grapes thrive in the cool climate of California’s Russian River Valley. I’ve covered the Biltmore wines several times so for more info on this American “castle” winery, click here.

I know when most people hear or think about wines produced in the south, they automatically think of those thick and sweet Muscadine wines. I am here to tell you, there are some fantastic vineyards in the South with nary a Muscadine in site. There are of course those wineries that do grow Muscadine but in many cases, the vines are purely for decorative purposes and just something to welcome visitors as they approach the tasting room.  

While I may be getting a little sentimental over leaving my home state of Florida, I look forward to the adventures that are just around the corner in Georgia. The area we’re looking at has more than 8 wineries, rivers where tubing is the thing to do during summer months, swimming holes with waterfalls and deep water pools complete with natural rock “slides” into the cool, clear waters. Stay tuned, more great wines and some great adventures coming up soon.

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2011© Kellie Stargaard.  All Rights Reserved.

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