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Tag Archives: California wine

Tasty and Different Wines

Regular readers know I am something of an oenophile (I pronounce it oh-nee-oh-file, to give you an idea of my level of wine knowledge and snobbishness) (just to be extra clear: not high). I am always delighted to increase my knowledge and discover new wines when Vintage Spirits holds a wine tasting. Bronson, who usually does the pouring, is very knowledgeable, and he has good taste in wine.

The first wine I tasted was a Tangley Oaks Chardonnay from 2012. This is an unoaked (my computer seems to think unoaked is not a word; must not be an oenophile) California wine, which makes it an unusual California Chardonnay. I was pleased to hear this for two reasons: that Chardonnay is aged in oak or stainless and it makes a difference in the taste is one of my few bits of wine-making knowledge. Also, I like unoaked Chardonnay. I liked this one. I noted that it was tasty, light and bright.

I moved on to Laurent Miguel Chardonnay-Viognier 2013. It is 65% Chardonnay, 35% Viognier. I pronounced it yummy (my highest praise) and different. This is where I would like to educate my palate a little more, because I would like to be able to articulate how it was different. Bronson said the viognier gives the wine an apricot taste. I have not eaten an apricot in years (and the ones I ate then were dehydrated) so I had to take his word on that. Still, I enjoyed the differentness (I guess that’s not a word, but it says what I mean better than “difference”) (or should I say more betterly?).

Next I tasted CK Mondavi Blond Five 2013, another California wine. The five are Chardonnay, Moscato, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. It was sweeter that I usually like but tasty. I enjoyed that a lot of different flavors are present. Once again, I must educate my palate to describe it more clearly. For now I can only say, it tasted like a lot was going on.

The last white was Rosemont Estate Traminer-Riesling 2013. This Australian wine is 83% Gewurztraminer, 17% Riesling. It has a definite crispness to it. I pronounced it tasty and a little different as well. Once again a little sweet for my tastes, but I liked it.

The first red on the list was Lost Vineyard Rosso, an Italian wine. Sangiovese is the grape used. It is made in Italy and imported by a Rochester company, in case like me you’re a sucker for a New York State connection. I found it tasty but plain. Another taster pronounced it too light. Bronson agreed that it did not have a whole lot of depth. Steven liked it, as did other tasters who prefer a light wine.

I felt there was a little more to the Melini Chianti Riserva DOCG 2010. It also had the coolest shaped bottle. I pronounced this one tasty as well. Bronson warned me that the Estancia Reserve GSM 2012 was a little sweeter (he knows I like dry), but I liked it. It’s made from three grapes, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.

The last wine had a cool-looking bare tree on the label. It was Old Soul Zinfandel 2012, made from old vines. Bronson told us that vines must be 25 years old to be considered old vines (that was my new bit of wine knowledge for the day). Some California vines date back to the 1860s. During the gold rush, Italian immigrants brought vines of “Primitivo,” which became Zinfandel. I thought the wine smelled sweet but did not taste overly sweet. Still, it was my least favorite wine of the day (although I did like that tree on the label). Tasters who preferred a sweet wine liked it best.

Vintage Spirits is located at 246 Mohawk St., Herkimer, NY. Phone number is 315-866-6800. They are open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 12 to 6 p.m. For more information you can visit their website at or you can Like their Facebook page. You can also get on a email list to receive notifications of future tastings. Perhaps I’ll see you there.