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Feb 25

Kinkead Ridge Vertical Reds

Saturday night, before Krewe, we went to a Kinkead Ridge Verticals tasting, hosted by our friends David and Jan Lazarus. David and Jan have several bottles of every Kinkead Ridge vintage. Kevin and I? We've got 1 each of an older Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon and three bottles of the 2006 Viognier-Roussanne.

Not even thinking of how the others would age, we drank the rest in our cellar. This was a pleasant move on our part, most definitely, but one I'm regretting a little. It turns out that the Kinkead Ridge reds age remarkably well. This particular tasting focused on the reds – cab franc, cab sauv, syrah, and the Revelation blends. As many of you know, I'm not necessarily a cab franc fan, but I was quite impressed with how these tasted with a few years on them. The biggest revelation for me, however, was the syrah. We've never purchased their syrah because we weren't ever blown away by it in the tasting room. Shows what we know. With a couple years in the bottle, these syrahs were tasting excellent – very impressive!  As big a fan of their whites (especially that Viognier-Roussanne), it looks like I need to move out of my comfort zone and start buying more reds.

Ron and Nancy, the winemakers, were also rather happy with how the wines were tasting. As a small winery, they sell everything and don't have any bottles sitting around. Interested in their upcoming releases? Case quantities are low, thanks to that crazy Easter frost in 2007. Here's what they'll be releasing this year:

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon: 247 cases (in comparison, 344 cases were released of the 2005 Cab Sauv)

2007 Cabernet Franc: 216 cases (in comparison, 383 cases were released of the 2005 Cab Franc)

The 2008 whites (estate grown Viognier/Roussanne, white Revelation blend of Sauvignon
Blanc/Semillon, off-dry Riesling and Rock Springs Vineyard Traminette) will be released on Memorial Day.

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Posted by Michelle at 6:28 am in Cincinnati, Local, Local Wineries, Tastings, Wineries | Permalink | Comments (3)
Feb 24

Benziger 2004 Paradiso de Maria Sauvignon Blanc

I was searching for a wine to celebrate Mardi Gras last night, but I couldn't come up with anything. But I did have some yummy Busken Mardi Gras cookies, and a sauvignon blanc (that we probably should have uncorked a year ago) that actually paired quite nicely.

Back in 2005, we took our second trip to wine country. On that trip, we visited mostly Sonoma, having done Napa on our first trip in 2004. In 2005, we visited Benziger. We went out of our way to schedule in the visit, as Benziger takes you on an extremely educational tour of their biodynamic vineyard. It was my first exposure to either biodynamics and organics.

Benziger, July 2005

While at Benziger, we visited the reserve room and purchased (of course) a couple of bottles, including the 2004 Sauvignon Blanc Paradiso de Maria, estate grown from Sonoma Mountain. According to CellarTracker, we have 2 bottles of this, purchased at $30 each at the winery. Now, I'm terrible at updating our CellarTracker, but I'm really hoping we do have a second bottle someplace.

This was a hefty sauvignon blanc – different from what I usually come across. It was still a California sauvignon blanc, with tropical fruits on the nose. In the mouth, it was full of mango and kiwi, but it also had a sort of oily feel to it. I know oily can sound bad, but think of it more like a truffle oil, not motor oil. The wine was rich and full, which isn't something I often find in a sauvignon blanc and while that tropical fruitiness was there, it was also muted. The wine actually grew on me as I drank it.

Benziger is a great winery, and I recommend trying any of their wines you can find. This estate grown sauvignon blanc was excellent and surprising.

Our review:

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Posted by Michelle at 10:14 am in Tastings, Wine Notes, Wineries | Permalink | Comments (1)
Feb 21

Featured Cincinnati Wine Events: Feb 21 – Feb 27

It's a busy week and in particular, it's a busy week for charity!  Oh, and Happy Mardi Gras!  This week is Fat Tuesday, but all weekend you can party in Mainstrasse at the annual Mardi Gras festivities.


Beads in trees. Our post-Mardi Gras New Orleans trip, 02/05

Tomorrow night you can go to the annual offically sanctioned Oscar party by People Working Cooperatively. That also has an "After Party" tacked on to it. If you've been paying attention to the big galas and fundraisers this year, you know that they are trying almost desperately to hook the YP crowd. They're doing it with After Parties, which really means "You can come, but you can't have dinner." For this Oscar gala, the party is $20/pp at the door, the full gala treatment, with dinner, is $120.

On Fat Tuesday, you can eat for charity. We have the Northern Kentucky Restaurant Association Mardi Gras. This isn't just N Ky though; for instance, 20 Brix will be there. Kevin and I are attending this one, in part because the money goes to benefit children's homeless shelters (heartstrings are tugged) and in part because it supports local restaurants. It's only $50. Also on Fat Tuesday, if you were lucky enough to reserve a spot ahead of time, Cincinnati E.A.T.S. is dining at Hugo's to benefit the wonderful Cincinnati COOKS! (Freestore/FoodBank program).

Remember, these are just one-time events of which I'm aware. Regular (recurring) events are always listed on the calendar. The calendar is up to date.
Any wine-related events I'm currently aware of are on the
calendar. If I missed something – something local to Cincinnati that is
let me know!

For information on what's going on in Dayton, you can refer to Mark's blog at Uncorked.

Local Wine Tasting Event Calendar

Map IconFriday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Map IconSaturday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

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Posted by Michelle at 9:09 am in Weekly Cincinnati Wine Events | Permalink | Comments (1)
Feb 20

News Update

I'm off judging a wine competition for most of Friday. Because of that, the weekly Featured Wine Events post won't go up until Saturday morning. (I ran out of time for everything this week!)  In the meantime, you can view all the events – featured and recurring – on the Cincinnati Wine Events Calendar.

If you have emailed me in the last week or two, I've been incredibly wrapped up in a real-world  (non-wine) deadline. That's over now, for the most part, and next week I will start pawing through my wine emails, and I promise I'll get back to you.

Thanks for your patience!

 - Michelle

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Posted by Michelle at 12:56 am in Life | Permalink | Comments ()
Feb 19

A Passion for Piedmont, Part 2: Once Upon a Time

Alright, so the second half of my belated Wine Blogging Wednesday post on grapes from the Piedmont region of Italy.  This is the wine I'm truly excited about. You see, Piedmont is known for its reds, but I'm going to be a little different and review a white – a wine made from the Cortese di Gavi grape, from the town of Gavi (or Gavia).

I also love fairy tales, and I think that's part of why I'm so enamoured with this wine. I like to believe that every glass of wine tells a story, from grape to glass to the memories created when drinking it. Principessa Gavia comes with a special story of its own.


2007 Vigne Regali (Banfi) Principessa Gavia
(Cork and Bottle, $14.99)

Once upon a time, there was a princess named Gavia, daughter of King Clovis. Our fair princess fell in love with a lowly soldier. As their love was forbidden, Gavia and the soldier ran away, fleeing to a small town on the other side of the alps. They managed to elude the king's men for a while.

But one night, the soldier had too much of the local white wine (made from 100% Cortese grapes) and accidentally confided his story to the local innkeeper. Our innkeeper promptly sent word to King Clovis and collected a reward. (Why are innkeepers often the bad guys?)

Gavia and her soldier were rounded up and delivered back to the king for punishment. By the time they arrived back at the palace, word of their situation had spread across the land. Queen Alamansunta, Queen of the Goths, interceded on Gavia's behalf. Because this is somewhat of a fairy tale, the king took one look at his daughter, so obviously in love, and blessed the marriage. As a wedding gift, he gave them the small town to which they had fled and named the town Gavi, in honor of his daughter.

Today it is said that the romance of the Princess and the soldier lives on in each glass of the white wine from the town of Gavi.

I was trying this wine over the summer at a Cork and Bottle tasting when I read the back of the bottle, which gives a small synopsis of that story. I was sold. I admit it. The thing is, it's a fun wine – even without the accompanying tale.

This wine is 100% Cortese and is a pale blonde in color (perhaps like the hair of the Princess?). It has a lot of crisp minerals and lemony-freshness on the nose. In the mouth, it reminds me of sorbet. Sorbet cleanses your palate between courses and the Principessa Gavia had that effect on me. There was a lemon-lime flavor, and a lot of cleanness, like a flat rock overrun by a stream. In fact, it's a bit tart, and reminded me of a lemon tart pastry.

The wine tastes cleansing and fresh. I think it is a bit deceptive, as it tastes so light, but it does a nice job of coating your mouth. That said, I think it's more of a $12-13 wine than $15, but who am I to quibble with $2? The truth is, Kevin and I both found this wine to be light, refreshing, and enjoyable. It was an easy easy wine to drink – we powered through the bottle. At a lower price, I'd buy a case.

Our rating:

Thanks to McDuff's Food & Wine Trail for hosting this edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday!

Part 1: Beni di Batasiolo Barbera d'Alba (Recession Wine!)

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Posted by Michelle at 11:59 pm in Tastings, WBW, Wine Notes | Permalink | Comments ()

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