Exotic is in the eye of the beholder, we set aside wines in the ‘exotic’ category as those wines that are of a varietal we have not heard of or are difficult for us to pronounce. At last night’s wine tasting we poured wines that we categorized as ‘exotic’-
An Arneis-This wine is a blend of 37% Arneis, 29% Muscat, 29% Chenin Blanc and 5% Sauvignon Blanc. The grapes for this wine all come from Mendocino in Californias North Coast. Each variety was picked and fermented separately in neutral oak barrels. The wines were aged sur lie (on the sediment) for 2 months and then blended prior to bottling. A Dolcetto-Always a crowd favorite, the grapes for this Dolcetto come from Watts Vineyards in Lodi. The fruit is picked early in the morning and crushed into small open top tanks for fermentation. The grapes were fermented for about 14 days at relatively cool temperatures to help preserve the ripe fruit flavors. The wine was pressed off and the sediment settled out quickly to be ready for bottling in the same year. This wine will age well for two to four years.
This 2011 Milano Cellars California Dolcetto has chocolate, cherry, vanilla and spice aromas with hints of black fruit and perfume. This is a sweet wine with very generous fruity flavors. This wine has a noticeable weight on the palate as a result of the sweetness. This intense young wine also has a dark ruby color. The finish is long, sweet and packed with fruit character. Enjoy this wine with mushroom ravioli, a ham and cheese calzone, vegetable soup or medium cheeses such as jack cheese.
And a Portugal Style Red Dessert Wine-Our Ceres Moonlight is one of our Special Occasion Wines. Elegant and refined, these wines age well and are perfect to put down in the cellar or wine storage rack. Expect fine quality, great taste and lasting pleasure on the palate.
This wine is made from the classic varieties from the Oporto region of Portugal, Touriga Nacional, 37%, Tinta Cao, 26%, Alvarelhao, 24%, Souzao, 7%, Bastardo, 3% and Tinta Roriz, 3%. All of these varieties were picked and crushed into small open top tanks. During the fermentation, the grapes were mixed vigorously to ensure good color extraction. When the fermentation was two thirds complete, neutral grape brandy was added to arrest fermentation. The wine was then pressed off and transferred to barrels for aging. This wine will age well for 10 to 15 years.
We suggested these wines to start off the year with expanding your palate and wine knowledge; most of us know Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet- the everyday varietals, but when you try something new it can nearly take you on a journey- a wine journey, sampling wines in the Italian style or from the Oporto region of Portugal, with every swirl, every sniff, every sip…not only a celebration –a journey. ~Enjoy the Wine~Cheers!!