Out here in Napa Valley, there’s a big weekend at the end of April called the Vineyard to Vintner (V2V) Open House Weekend featuring wines from the upper echelon Stag’s Leap District. V2V is out of my limited price range at the moment, but there is something in the press release that caught my eye.
The Stag’s Leap District Vintners are coming together to make a sangria.
Yeah, you heard that right. I often recommend a more low-end wine for sangria, because you’re just going to destroy it with brandy and fruit. But this time, 18 of the District’s high-end cabernet sauvignons will combine with local fruits and brandy to create … fruit punch. Really really extravagant fruit punch.
Here’s what the folks in the Stag’s Leap District have to say about their classier-than-average sangria:
“Everyone knows that we make some pretty remarkable wines here in the Stags Leap District, some of the best in the world,” said newly elected SLDW President, Elizabeth Vianna of Chimney Rock Winery. “What people don’t know is how much fun we have doing it. Our V2V weekend and our ‘Swanky Sangria’ are our way of showing the world the extraordinary sum of our parts as the fortunate beneficiaries of this District’s amazing terroir and eclectic personalities.”
Once again, the sangria is out of my price point, but I would dearly love to try some. Considering the cost of many of the bottles involved, the estimated value of the blend is $20/oz or a staggering $100 a glass. That better be some amazing sangria … and everyone better sip!
Out of your price point too? We’ve got some tasty sangria recipes right here on Wine-Girl.net that I promise won’t cost you $100/glass.
Greatest Hits: Make Your Own Sangria (Red, White, and Blush recipes)
Last April Tony and I went to a Cabernet Sauvignon wine tasting and we decided to purchase one of the high end cabs after tasting them. The 2007 Oakville East Exposure Cabernet Sauvignon was our big purchase. It was cost about $65 a bottle and we decided to open it sometime in 2012 and for an occasion. Last night we opened it on Valentines day to celebrate my new job (a great way to celebrate).
Oakville East Exposure Winery sits on the land slide from the Vaca mountain range and it borders the eastern side of Napa Valley. It receives the perfect amount of morning sun that continues through out the day that gives the perfect ripening and maturing conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon. It is the blend of grapes comes from 6 different micro vineyards that are planted on the side of the mountain. The rich iron soils, the organic green farming methods, and the sun exposure are the perfect base for this Cabernet Sauvignon. Of course the Cab is filled into 80% new French Oak Barrels and aged in natural cool caves formed in the mountain. Seriously you couldn’t ask for better conditions for a wine.
The 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petite Verdot give the perfect blended wine. This wine you want to decant for at least an hour or two before drinking. The smell of cedar and oak fills the glass as you pour. Then after swirling to release the alcohol vapors you can smell the rich fruit of plums, strawberries, blueberries. I could taste a hint of coffee and cream. It was the perfect blend of fruit, oak, cream, and smoke. For the price I believe that I will splurge and pick up a couple more bottles and save them. Oakville East Exposure 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the best wines I have ever tasted.
This Saturday I decided to go the Ohio River Valley 6th Annual Barrel Tasting. First off it was a beautiful day and what a lovely drive. Since I live in Northern Kentucky, I decided to go to Harmony Hill Vineyards in Bethel, then to the Ripley to Miranda-Nixon Winery and then end at Kinkead Ridge Winery.
Disclaimer: When sampling wines that are still aging in the barrel are not complete or finished products. So when tasting them you can taste the potential of what they will be. All of the wines I will will be talking about came straight from the aging barrels.
My first stop was Harmony Hill Vineyards. As we drove back to the tasting room and the barrel tasting all we could think of was how beautiful and quaint it was. Harmony Hill is a Certified Wildlife Habitat and everywhere you look there are donkeys, fawns, birds, and many other wildlife. The Barrel tasting was held in the underground wine cave. We tried 2 wines a Sauvignon Blanc and a Chambourcin. The Sauvignon Blanc was good you could tell when it’s done aging it would be a crisp medium bodied wine. The Chambourcin was decent, but when you tried the finished product in their tasting room it was yummy. A great bold red wine with tastes of oak, currant, and pepper. My suggestion if you go to Harmony Hills go during their summer months, pack a picnic basket and buy a bottle of wine and listen to the live music. Its a whole entertainment experience.
Second was Miranda-Nixon Winery, this place was beautiful too! Not only can you see the acres of vineyards its next door to a horse farm. We sampled 3 wines from the barrel a Chardonnay, a Sangiovese, and a Cabernet Sauvignon. The Chardonnay was amazing and it will be even more amazing once its finished aging. The Sangiovese was young of course but you could tell it had great potential when finished aging. I liked the Cabernet but I really thought the other 2 had more potential. There tasting room overlooks the hills of the vineyards and the horses on the farm. We tasted some of the wines in the tasting room and I fell in love with 3 of their wines. The 2010 Traminette (a crisp white wine that has a hint of sweetness), 2010 Catawba (a blush wine with hints of citrus and sweet), and the American Cabernet Sauvignon (a balanced cab with hints of berry flavors with a semi-dry finish). My suggestion go to their Saturday night tasting dinners $55 per couple accompanied with a bottle of wine with your choice of Salmon or Steak.
Now I have saved the best for last! My favorite Winery was the Kinkead Ridge Winery, they have their wines mastered. These wines will stand the challenge against of any wines anywhere. We first tasted wines as the finished product and then we tasted them out of the barrel. The first wine we tried was their Cabernet Franc and I all ready knew I wanted to buy a bottle. We tried 4 wines from the barrel and all of them were showing strong characteristics of big red wines. We started off with the Cabernet Franc which all ready had some tanins, a hint of cherry, and a little spice aftertaste. This was by far my favorite out of the barrels. I then tried the Cabernet Sauvignon which was on its way to be a full-bodied tanic cab. It was of course still in its young stage but it sure showed potential. Next we moved onto the Syrah which was a little more fruitier tasting or lighter tasting than I would expect from a Syrah. I’m sure after it’s fully aged and bottled the wine will be great after a few years of aging in the bottle. The last barrel tasting was a Petit Verdot this was also showing strong tannins and a spicy aftertaste. This will be the wine to buy when it gets released next year. Trust me when all of the wines get released next year, I’m going to be the first in line to purchase them.
] Pictured: I’m with the winemaker of Kinkead Ridge Winery, Ron Barrett, I bought the last bottle of Viognier/Roussanne which he autographed for my collection. Here it is on their website.
Cheers and remember support all your local vineyards/wineries. You’d be surprised what’s in your own backyard.
I’m happy to share that the Northern Kentucky Wine Festival is on October 15 from 3 – 10 p.m. at MainStrasse Village. The Sixth Street Promenade will feature over 15 Kentucky wineries. Local restaurants will be also offering delicious food items to complement the wines that will be available for sampling. You will also enjoy visiting with local artists who will be showcasing their works during the event. The $10 Admission includes a souvenir wine glass and 4 sample tickets. Additional sample tickets may be purchased for $1 each or 6 for $5. If an attendee wishes to purchase a full glass of wine, special tickets can be purchased for $5 each. Wines may also be purchased by the bottle or case. You must be 21 to attend.
This year, the Northern Kentucky Wine Festival at MainStrasse Village is partnering with Full Spectrum 2011. During October, the City of Covington celebrates the Full Spectrum Arts Festival to emphasize the celebration of artists and crafters.
MainStrasse Village is an historic neighborhood comprised of shops, restaurants, taverns and homes, located just off I-75/71. Take the Covington, 5th Street Exit (Exit 192). Free parking is available in the 5th Street Parking Lot, located between Philadelphia Street and Main Street. For more information please call 859-491-0458 or visit www.mainstrasse.org.
I’m very excited to see MainStrasse Village host the Northern Kentucky Wine Festival, please join me for the wine, art, and fun!
On the drive across Kansas, a state that seems to be roughly 12,000 miles across, Michelle and I noticed a billboard for the Oz Museum. With her love of the Wizard of Oz and my desire to not be in the car for a few minutes, we decided to make a small detour to Wamego, KS. Wamego was a very nice little town and in addition to having coffee at The Daily Grind, next door was the Oz Winery.
The winery offers free samples while they are open and this gave us a chance to try what they had to offer. The dry whites were tasty, especially the Poppy Fields, a balanced Pinot Gris. The wine was well made and we ended up with a few bottles.
Oz Winery is worth a stop for anyone on their way through the Sunflower State.
And if you want to know more about our cross-country road trip, from Cincinnati to San Francisco, you can follow along over on the Posterous Blog.
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