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Wine Tasting
1999 Chateau Potelle Sauvignon Blanc

Winery: Chateau Potelle
Brand/Type: Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage: 1999
Country: USA
Region: Napa Valley
Alcohol content: 13.8%
Closure: Synthetic
Appearance: Light green/gold
Aroma/Bouquet: Bourbon

Wine & Spirits magazine named this one of 1999’s best wines in a Sauvignon Blanc. We don’t know what sample they received but we found this to be a horrible wine! At nearly 14% alcohol it’s damn hard to avoid an obvious alcohol scent and flavor. If it wasn’t for the ridiculous amount of oak you would taste only the alcohol. This smells like Bourbon and unfortunately it tastes like watered down Bourbon. There is no fruit present at all. Just alcohol, oak, lots of oak, and Bourbon. This wine was so bad that the bottle was not finished.

Wine Tasting
2000 Hirsch Zobing Riesling

Winery: Hirsch
Brand/Type: Zobing Riesling
Vintage: 2000
Country: Austria
Region: Kamptal
Alcohol content: 12%
Closure: Synthetic
Appearance: Pale straw
Aroma/Bouquet: Musty sweet silage, pears

As many Austrian Rieslings go, this one has a unique character compared to most German Rieslings. With a distinct, yet not overbearing oaking, Hirsch offers a Riesling that maintains an old world sensibility but with their own unique style. The oak takes away any overly sweet flavor that many German Rieslings are known for but yet still maintaining a degree of syrupy texture. It has a fruity taste, apricot and pears mostly but the oak and acidity tend to cut into the fruit flavors. Not much mineral but again, a definite abundance of acidity. This is a Jekyll and Hyde wine for certain. Perhaps time has been cruel to this and it would have been better drunk young?

This isn’t a Riesling with a crisp, clean finish but it’s definitely not a soda pop like one either. If you can’t make your mind up between a dry Kabinet or a sweet Auslese, this could be your pick.

Wine Tasting
2004 Clay Station Viognier

Winery: Clay Station
Brand/Type: Viognier
Vintage: 2004
Country: USA
Region: Lodi, California
Alcohol content: 13.5%
Closure: Synthetic
Appearance: Pale honey
Aroma/Bouquet: Rotting fruit, amonia

This is a heavy, syrupy attempt at a Viognier. It initially tastes of ripe melon and honeysuckle, and then is overwhelmed by a harsh acidity and sweet finish.

Clay Station, a subsidiary of Delicato, claims to make wines that are more difficult to master than others are. Word of advice to Clay Station; keep trying, you have yet to succeed with this wine.

Viogniers are a very nice wine. Don’t let this one be your first impression otherwise you’ll miss many fine wines. Avoid this one and you won’t be sorry.

Wine Tasting
2006 Tierra del Fuego

Winery: Jacques & Francois Lurton
Brand/Type: Mendoza white
Vintage: 2006
Country: Argentina
Region: Mendoza
Alcohol content: 12.5%
Closure: Screw cap
Appearance: Pale gold
Aroma/Bouquet: Citrus and fruit.

This is a great everyday wine. Low priced but don’t let that fool you. This is a blend of Chenin, Torrontes, and Tokay Fermunt grapes that turns out to be a great tasting wine as well as a bargain.

It is dry with a crisp, spicy finish. It’s great with summer salads, fish or chicken. Buy a case and drink it while young (you and the wine!).

Wine Tasting
2005 Il Valore Orvieto Classico

Winery: Il Valore
Brand/Type: Orvieto Classico
Vintage: 2005
Country: Italy
Region: Umbria
Alcohol content: 12%
Closure: Natural Cork
Appearance: Pale amber
Aroma/Bouquet: Herbal/spicy

This is a blend of Trebbiano toscano, Verdello, Grechetto, and Malvasia grapes from the Umbria region of Italy.

Dry with a crisp and clean taste. Not significant in mineral or acidity but not lacking either. Pairs well with seafood or summer salads. Very drinkable but not one that you would serve guests; family yes, guests, probably not. Consider this to be a very affordable and decent table white.

Wine Tasting
2004 Kettmeir Pinot Grigio

Winery: Kettmeir
Brand/Type: Pinot Grigio
Vintage: 2004
Country: Italy
Region: Trentino-Alto Adige
Alcohol content: 11.5%
Closure: Natural Cork
Appearance: Straw
Aroma/Bouquet: Woodsy, faint scent of pine, green apple

The Andersons General Store is such a wonderful place to shop for wine. They have an extensive selection of wines that could keep you busy searching for hours on end. One of my favorite things is trolling their close-out aisles. I’ve found some really cheap wines that have been priced accordingly as well some true gems that for one reason or another have been priced to move. The Andersons definitely has variety!

This 2004 Kettmeir Pinot Grigio is quiet a gem. Priced very nicely, this wine also tastes much better than you might suspect based on price alone.

It is a dry, light bodied Pinot Grigio that would be a wonderful summer wine. It has a good fruity taste without even coming close to being sweet. It has a good sharp acidity that lingers through the finish.

Kettmeir is located in Northern Italy in the Trentino-Alto Adige region it is nestled in the Dolomites where the autumn night temperatures can give the maturing grapes their best characteristics for flavor and aroma. This is ideal for white wines and it shows in this offering. By all means search out Kettmeier if you are looking for a great tasting wine at a reasonable price.

Wine Tasting
2000 Heidi Schröck Muscat

Winery: Heidi Schröck
Brand/Type: Muscat
Vintage: 2000
Country: Austria
Region: Burgenland
Alcohol content: 13%
Closure: Natural Cork
Appearance: Pale straw, almost clear
Aroma/Bouquet: Floral

Forget what you think you know about Muscat. Most will associate this grape with sweet aperitifs; not so in this case. Heidi Schröck delivers a dry, yes dry, Muscat. It is very aromatic with a strong floral aroma.

This is a complex wine that wanders nicely across palate, dry and velvety, good acidity with a wonderful mineral element with a strong crisp finish. This is definitely not syrupy or sweet.

This is well respected winery worth searching for at your local wine seller. Searching out aged vintages from her may not be easy but it is definitely rewarding!

Wine Tasting
Angels Tears White

Winery: Angel Tears
Brand/Type: 50% Muscat d’Alexandrie, 50% Chenin Blanc
Vintage: N/A
Country: South Africa
Region: Western Cape
Alcohol content: 13.5
Closure: Syntetic Cork
Appearance: Pale yellow
Aroma/Bouquet: Floral, faint hint of lemon.

Crisp, clean, good acidity, initial bit of sweetness (very light) sharp finish, full of peach and honeysuckle. It is labeled as semi-sweet but should be off-dry.

While the bottle and label looks like many heavily marketed wines these days, this actually does deliver a good value and taste. As one might expect from a Muscat, it does indeed have some sweetness; however the acidity and blending of the Chenin Blanc keeps the sweetness in check.

Wine Tasting
2005 Hugues Beaulieu Picpoul De Pinet Coteaux du Languedoc

Winery: Hugues Beaulieu
Brand/Type: Picpoul de Pinet
Vintage: 2005
Country: France
Region: Coteaux du Languedoc,
Alcohol content: 12.5%
Closure: Natural cork
Appearance: Pale yellow
Aroma/Bouquet: Grapefruit, Floral

Made from a rather obscure grape, the Picpoul, it makes an excellent alternative to Chardonnays; dry to off dry, very crisp with lemon, lime, and a touch of melon, with a strong mineral finish and pronounced acidity.

This is a very reasonably priced French wine that should satisfy most anyone who prefers dry to off dry wines. The combination of dryness, mineral, and acidity would likely have sweet wine fans looking elsewhere.

This is a very nice wine that is very under priced and shouldn’t be missed!

Wine Tasting:
2003 Claar Cellars Late Harvest Riesling

Winery: Claar Cellars
Brand/Type: Late Harvest Riesling
Vintage: 2003
Country: USA
Region: Columbia Valley, Washington
Alcohol content: 12%
Closure: Synthetic cork
Appearance: Golden straw
Aroma/Bouquet: Pears, cotton candy

As you might expect, being a late harvest, this is a sweet Riesling. What you wouldn’t expect is 12% alcohol content nor the complexity that this wine has.

It has a strong but short lived acidity that is overtaken at the finish by sweetness. In between you are treated to a distinct presence of (in order) orange, tangerine and pear flavors. They cascade upon each other well and there’s a hint of mineral as well.

It has an 8.9% residual sugar and is indeed sweet. Appropriate as a desert wine or aperitif.

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