Tuesday, April 15, 2014

2009 Cenyth

Several weeks ago, I shared a great single appellation cabernet sauvignon from Sonoma County with you - 2008 Helena Montana Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon by Anakota Winery. That wine was made by winemaker, Pierre Seillan, who became inspired by the Knights Valley terroir and had a vision to craft a single expression of cabernet sauvignon from that single appellation.

Today, I bring you another great red wine made in Healdsburg, California by a very young winemaker who just happens to be Pierre's daughter - Hélène Seillan. Born in 1987, Hélène Seillan spent her childhood in both France and California. Starting in 2006, at the age of 19, Hélène began splitting her time between Sonoma County and Saint-Émilion, enhancing her wine knowledge by working harvests and interning at various wineries in France. Hélène holds a degree in Viticulture and Oenology from the Institut Rural de Vayres in Bordeaux.

This is the inaugural vintage of Hélène's first commercially crafted wine:


2009 Cenyth Red Blend by Cenyth (Healdsburg, California).

Working closely with her father, Hélène crafted the inaugural 2009 vintage of Cenyth, a Bordeaux-blend from mountain and hillside vineyards in Sonoma County. The wine represents Hélène’s mentorship with her father, applying the knowledge and techniques she has learned over the past several years.


The 2009 Cyneth is a blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 8% Petit Verdot and 7% Malbec. The wine was aged in 30% new French oak barrels for 10-12 months. It comes in at 14.2% ABV.

Here it is in the glass:


And another look:


As you can see, the wine showed a beautiful dark ruby in color and was nearly opaque. Blackberry, plum, violet and oak were all present on the nose, along with whiffs of eucalyptus and vanilla. Blackberry, cassis, mocha and oak were the dominant features on the palate.  The wine showed fantastic structure and length. It was moderately tannic and could cellar for several more years. This wine would pair very well with a grilled strip steak or a braised lamb shank.

The wine has a suggested retail price of $60*. While not yet locally available, you can find this wine in select wine shops around the country. You can also visit the winery's website and join the mailing list for more information.






~NE


*
Sample provided for review.

© The Nittany Epicurean, 2014.  All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 14, 2014

2012 Heron Hill Semi Dry Riesling

Today, we return to Keuka Lake to bring you another great wine from one of its great wineries - Heron Hill Winery. Most recently from Heron Hill, I brought you the 2010 Eclipse Red. Before that, it was the 2012 Riesling Reserve, followed by the 2011 Ingle Vineyard Cabernet Franc.

Today, we have this aromatic white from Heron Hill:


2012 Semi Dry Riesling by Heron Hill Winery(Hammondsport, New York).

This riesling was fermented in stainless steel tanks and did not undergo malolactic fermentation. It comes in at 11.5% ABV and 2.3% residual sugar.

Here it is in the glass:


A different view:


The wine showed a light straw color. Pear and wet river rock were both discernible on the nose. More pear arrived on the palate with hints of pineapple. There was a good amount of residual sugar as you'd expect, but the wine still featured a nice acidic component. For a semi dry riesling, this wine was quite well balanced.

This wine can be purchased at the winery, directly from the winery's website for $13.99* or locally in Western New York at several retail locations for $14.99.

More from Heron Hill in the coming weeks!






~NE


*
Sample provided for review.

© The Nittany Epicurean, 2014.  All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

2012 Dr. Frank Rkatsiteli

I've been bringing you many of the great wines of one of New York's most famous and storied wineries - Dr. Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars - in the last few months. Most recently, I shared the 2011 Lemberger. Before that it was the 2012 Grüner Veltliner, followed by the 2012 Gewürztraminer.

Today, I bring you another great aromatic white wine from Dr. Frank's catalog:



2012 Rkatsiteli by Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars (Hammondsport, New York). 

Rkatsiteli is one of the oldest vinifera grape varieties known to man. The grape has originates in Georgia and was brought from Eastern Europe to New York by Dr. Frank. 5% of the wine was fermented in old oak barrels. After fermentation, the barrel fermented wine was blended with the rest and then aged in the oak barrels for 9 months. This wine comes in at 12.2% ABV.

Here it is in the glass:


And another look:



The wine showed a pale straw color. Pear, Meyer lemon and hints of tropical fruit were all present on the nose. More pear followed on the palate along with tart apple and hints of limestone. Like many of Dr. Frank's aromatic white wines, the 2012 Rkatsiteli showed an assertive acidity which would make it a great food wine. It could be paired with a pan seared Chilean Sea Bass or a nice piece of sashimi. The wine also showed good structure and length. This is another wine from Dr. Frank that's worth searching out.

This wine can be purchased at the winery, directly from the winery's website for $14.99* or in select wine stores around New York State for anywhere from $13.99-$17.99. Go stock up on this one for summer!

Stay tuned as I've got a plenty more of Dr. Frank's great wines to share with you!






~NE


*
Sample provided for review.

© The Nittany Epicurean, 2014.  All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

2011 Willm Gewurztraminer Réserve

A few weeks ago, I tasted the first in a series of wines from Alsace. The first wine I tasted was an excessively sweet white - 2008 Gewurztraminer Les Princes Abbés by Domaines Schlumberger. That wine was far sweeter than what I was used to with Alsatian white wines. My enthusiasm was tempered for trying the next white wine from Alsace:


2011 Gewurztraminer Réserve by Alsace Willm (Barr, France). 

This was is made from 100% gewurztraminer grapes. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks and took 4-6 weeks. The wine was then aged on the lees for 2-3 months before racking. This wine tops out at 13% ABV.

Here it is in the glass:



This is another look:


The wine showed a light golden color. Potent lychee notes were the dominant feature on the nose, along with both apple and melon. More lychee was present on the palate along with honey. While there was a modest, but noticeable residual sugar content, it was nicely balanced by acidity. The wine showed good structure and length. It would pair perfectly with a spicy Thai curry.

The 2011 Gewurztraminer Réserve has a suggested retail price of $15* and can be found in various wine stores along the East Coast. I've not yet seen it locally.






~NE


*
Sample provided for review.

© The Nittany Epicurean, 2014.  All Rights Reserved.

Friday, April 11, 2014

86 Winegrowers Tempranillo Cabernet

The last wine I tried from 86 Winegrowers in northeast Spain was fantastic. The 2012 33Route Tempranillo Bonicaire by Bodega Les Useres was full of fruit but balanced and incredibly approachable. I was very excited to continue the series of Spanish wines with another red from the same winery:


2008 Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon by Bodega Les Useres (Castellón, Spain).

This wine is a blend of 70% tempranillo and 30% cabernet sauvignon. The wine is fermented in refrigerated stainless steel tanks and then aged for 12 months in new, "finessed and half-toasted American oak" barrels. The wine comes in at 14% ABV.

Here it is in the glass:




Another look:




The wine showed a great dark ruby color with hints of garnet in the light. Blackberry, black cherry and eucalyptus were all present on the nose. Cassis and black cherry were immediately noticeable on the palate, while white pepper and smoke appeared as the wine opened up. The wine showed great structure and average length. The wine was very well-made and delicious. My only complaint was the use of a synthetic cork which leaked before opening. Luckily, the wine was not oxidized.

This wine is not yet available in the United States but can be purchased in Canada for $28*.






~NE


*
Sample provided for review.

© The Nittany Epicurean, 2014.  All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

2012 C. Donatiello Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

A few weeks ago, my series on discovery of some of the great wines of California brought us a great chardonnay from the Russian River Valley - 2011 Russian River Valley Chardonnay by C. Donatiello Winery. That chardonnay, made by wine maker Chris Donatiello, a transplant in Sonoma by way of Manhattan, had a unique minerality to it that I've not seen in a chardonnay from Sonoma before. As it was such a great first experience with Chris' winery and winemaking, I got very excited to try this red:


2012 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir by C. Donatiello Winery (Healdsburg, California).


This wine, bottled on July 25, 2013, is 100% pinot noir. The grapes are sourced from a number of different vineyard sites throughout the appellation. The various sites show off the characteristics of the terrior from the different areas of the Russian River Valley. This wine was aged for 10 months in 20% new French oak and comes in at 13.4% ABV.

Here it is in the glass:



Another look:



This pinot noir showed a medium ruby color. Cherry and leather notes were both present on the nose. More cherries along with pomegranate and oak appeared on the palate with a hint of smoke on the finish. The wine showed great structure and length. It featured moderate tannins and would go very well with grilled pork.


This wine can be purchased directly from the winery's website for $40*. Stay tuned as I hope to share more of Chris Donatiello's wines with you.





~NE


*
Sample provided for review.

© The Nittany Epicurean, 2014.  All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Resurgence Brewing Company - A Preview

Before Prohibition, Buffalo was a beer brewing center. There were numerous successful breweries that thrived within the city limits. Due to Prohibition, the economic decline the city has experienced in years passed and for many other reasons, the rich history of beer brewing all but died out in Buffalo. Luckily, lead by Tim Herzog of Flying Bison Brewing Company and a few select others, the industry slowly made a come back. 

Buffalo is poised to welcome several new breweries to the scene in the next few years. Last month, I told you about one of those breweries - Big Ditch Brewing Company. Another one of these breweries that is poised to open on the West Side in the next few months is Resurgence Brewing Company.

Resurgence Brewing Company is led by Jeff Ware. Like myself, Jeff is an Orchard Park native. He attended St. Francis High School and later found himself working for The Boston Beer Company (makers of Samuel Adams Beer) in Manhattan. Jeff and his wife enjoyed the atmosphere of the traditional German beer gardens they visited in Brooklyn. Jeff wanted to combine his passion for beer brewing and the traditional German beer garden and bring it back to Buffalo.

When it opens in the next month or so, Resurgence Brewing Company will occupy a unique space on Niagara Street on Buffalo's West Side. Resurgence is renovating a former warehouse and turning it into a brewing facility, taproom and beer garden. Last week, Jeff was kind enough to give me the tour of their new facility.

The brewery will juxtapose the brewing facilities with the taproom. Jeff hopes to have the tanks not only visible from the taproom, but only separated by half wall and not glass enclosed. Jeff's goal is for the full facility to celebrate beer - from seeing the tanks to smelling beer everywhere inside. The brewery will aim to supply local retailers as well as offering its brews far and wide. The facility on Niagara Street will also offer small bites of food in the taproom and beer garden.

Let's see where they're at today. In the foreground is part of the taproom. In the middle of the photograph is a ramp which leads up to the brewing area in the background. Just to the left of this photo will be  full-sized shuffleboard court:



As you can see, the site is still actively under construction. The bar will be along the wall seen on the right:




The entire facility has plenty of natural light. Here you can see the design of the ceiling which allows light to enter from several rows of windows:


Tanks will line both walls seen here in the brewing side of the facility:


Tanks and kegs have already been delivered, which hopefully means that the brewery will be operational shortly after construction is complete and all necessary permits have been obtained:


To the side of the building, in a grassy area, Resurgence will bring a traditional beer garden to Buffalo. It will be an indoor/outdoor facility that will be a place to enjoy your beer amongst friends, family and good conversation while playing a game of bocce or relaxing by the fire pit:


In addition to this great space, the brewery will be making some great beers. They've already begun trying out different recipes and are working to select the beers that will be available on opening day. Jeff and head brewer, Dave Collins, are working to craft unique beers that represent the proud brewing tradition of Buffalo and some traditional Buffalo items. So, in addition to some great ales and stouts, Jeff and Dave hope to use some classic Buffalo items in their brewing. Plans are underway for brewing a Sponge Candy Stout (in collaboration with Watson's Chocolates) and a loganberry witbier. 

There's a lot to be excited about with the new Resurgence Brewing Company. Not only will they be bringing more great beer to Buffalo, they'll be bringing us a unique place where we can enjoy these beers with our friends and family.

Stay tuned to see this hard work pay off for Jeff Ware and his team!





~NE



© The Nittany Epicurean, 2014.  All Rights Reserved.