Thursday, July 26, 2012

Biltmore Century Red and Century White

One year ago this week, my husband, Mikkel, 19 year old cat, Katundra, and I packed a large 26’ moving truck with car carrier in tow, loaded my car with dozens of bottles of wines and headed north to begin a new life in NE Georgia. It’s no secret moving is stressful but when you couple that with the sale of a home, a change in states and no idea where our new home would be, it’s a sheer nightmare. By the end of our two day trip we referred to the evil truck and car carrier as Boris and Natasha.

We had a contract on a house on three wooded acres within two days of arriving and moved in over Labor Day weekend. The next big change came with the passing of Katundra. Soon after we added seven new members to our little country family.

We love living in the country and giving up the subdivision mentality. Gone are the days of mowing the lawn every weekend, watering, fertilizing and fretting over brown spots. Instead we spend our time moving the chicken run, tending vegetables, fruit and nut trees and plotting new gardens. Another thing we love, it no longer takes six hours just to get to another state.

We’ll soon be heading to Asheville, NC, home of the Biltmore Estate. Sadly we’ll only be there for a weekend so we won’t have time to visit the great estate or winery on this visit but I can still take in the flavors and aromas produced by the winery. Biltmore Century Red and Century White.

Century White
Aromas of rose and over ripe peach. Semi-sweet blend of Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Muscat Canelli flavors provide light acidity with sweet honeysuckle notes.
Varitals - Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Muscat Canelli
pH – 3.24
TA – 0.58
RS – 3.24%
Alcohol – 13.1%
SRP - $15.99

Century Red
Aromas of black cherry, vanilla and strawberry. Medium-body, fruity forward with red berries and a long vanilla finish.
Varitals - Sangiovese and Merlot
pH – 3.50
TA – 0.62
RS – .04%
Alcohol – 14.2%
SRP - $15.99

The etched glass showcasing the elegant Biltmore House may have you wondering if you want to recycle the empty bottle or hold onto it for awhile. For your summer celebrations, you can order both wines online for a sale price of $12.99.

Here’s to change, may it always bring something good. Cheers!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Feudo Principi di Butera Insolia Sicily 2010

The weather forecasts promise lower temps and a chance for some much needed rain the remainder of the week. Now if only I could get this same reassurance from my mechanic. Last week his response was the Fourth of July holiday backed everything up. On Monday he and I discovered after a full week the machine shop hadn’t even started work on my part. Now being told car may be ready the day before I’m scheduled to drive up to North Carolina. Oh and the topper, we don’t really know if this is the fix. Ugh, wine take me away!

There was one bright spot to my sketchy Monday, a wonderful Insolia produced by Feudo Principi di Butera, a sample from Zonin.

The color of golden straw evokes images of sunny summer days and warm breezy evenings. Aromas of mango and almond intermingle with flavors of pineapple, peach and more mango. A slight effervescence hits mid palate, the finish is well balanced and delectable. Would make a great pairing to barbecue pork sandwiches, ribs or grilled chicken. A truly wonderful summer wine. SRP $13.99

Feudo Principi di Butera is located in the heart of Sicily and once belonged to noble dynasties. The Insolia/Inzolia grape is grown primarily in Sicily although it can also be found in Tuscany under the synonym Ansonica. Insolia may sound unfamiliar to you but if you’ve tasted Chicken Marsala or Marsala wines, you have been introduced to and hopefully enjoyed the Insolia varietal. The grape along with Grillo and Cartarratto are the three varietals used to produce the fortified wine known as Marsala wine.

Looks like we may finally get some much needed rain, skies are darkening, rumble of thunder in the distance and the wind is blowing through the trees. I sure hope it does make it here so all the vegetation can let out a collective sigh of aaahhh.

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Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer Wine Jaunt to Italy, Spain and Argentina

In case you hadn’t noticed, Mother Nature is going out of her way to make sure you know summer is now in full swing. Watermelon, swimming pools or swimming holes in my case, popsicles and air conditioning are a few of my favorite things this season.

The mornings are still cool and wonderful. Walking my dog Rooster past the towering trees, the occasional horse, groups of cows, rows of corn and soaring sunflowers puts a smile on my face. On our way back home, the temps begin to climb and humidity surrounds like a shroud. We stagger up the driveway and up the stairs and collapse under the cool breeze of the ceiling fan.
The evenings have been so warm and stifling we haven’t been able to sip wine comfortably on the porch but instead retreat inside. Amongst the cool air conditioning we’ve been enjoying a tour of international wines.

Rocca de Monte Massi Sangiovese 2008 Sicily, Italy
Aromas of black cherry and toasty vanilla give way to astringent dark fruits. Very cheek puckering. Fruits are overshadowed by the dry tannins with a tart and tight finish. This was a little too dry for me. We paired with tapas consisting of stuffed tomato nests (a failed dish), chorizo and tomato salad. 
Grapes are 100% Sangiovese from the District of Roccastrada, Maremma Toscana

El Prado Tempranillo Cabernet 2007 Valencia, Spain
Enticing black cherry, plum and oak aromas draw me into the wine. First sip, front of the palate to the back, all I pick up is tannic fruit but no one fruit shines through. I bought the wine several years ago, perhaps it was cellared a little too long or maybe the time spent in Florida took its toll. Was very disappointed in the flavors, especially after the wonderful and inviting aromas.
Made from 70% Tempranillo and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Santa Julia Torrentés 2010 Mendoza, Argentina
Floral, citrus and a hint of almond in the aroma. Flavors of fresh peaches and pears give way to an acidic finish. This was the one wine that did not disappoint.
100% Torrentés grapes, alcohol 13.8%, SRP $10.

Hope everyone had a happy and safe Fourth of July. We loaded Rooster’s back pack with snacks and water and headed into the small town of Dahlonega for an old fashioned celebration. Rooster was a hit and caught the attention of both young and old.

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