Friday, December 16, 2011

Biltmore Reserve Viognier 2010

North Carolina (wine review and rating)

Biltmore Reserve Viognier 2010

Origin: North Carolina
Blend: Viognier (100%)
Alcohol Content: 13.0%
Bottle Closure: Natural Cork
Receipt Date: November 2011
Suggested Retail Price: $18.99 (750ml bottle)

Our review: A pale straw in color with gold highlights, this wine has aromas of tropical fruit, a hint of citrus and very slight spice notes. On the palate the fruit flavors are moderated by a mild acidity, and seem softened a bit. The finish is of moderate length, but doesn't add anything new to the wine's profile.

Our rating: This is a wine versatile enough to pair with a variety of foods. We tend to like Viogniers with roast pork, and indeed that is what we served with this bottle, but we can see it paired with most any poultry dish or shellfish, especially those that are accompanied by sauces. There are a couple of aspects to the wine that intrigued us, one being that even though — according to the marketing literature we received with the sample — no oak was used in creating it, there was a certain softness that suggested it had. The other is that we typically associate Viogniers with some spiciness — again because they usually seem to see some oak — but here it's more of a background, enhancing sensation than anything else. Both of these were nice, unexpected touches. We enjoyed this elegant wine, and rate it Above Average, nearly Excellent.

Taste profile from the winemaker: Color: Light straw. Nose: Kiwi, honeysuckle, strawberry and white pepper. Taste: Hints of honey, strawberry, and key lime; good mouth feel with a lingering acidity.

Winery website: Biltmore Wines.

This bottle of wine was received as a sample for review. No promise was given or implied that it would be the subject of an endorsement or review, either positive or negative.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Raimat Viña 24 Albariño 2009

Costers del Segre, Spain (wine review and rating)

Raimat Viña 24 Albariño 2009

Origin: Costers del Segre, Spain
Blend: Albariño (100%)
Alcohol Content: 11.5%
Bottle Closure: Natural Cork
Purchase Date: November 2011
Purchase Price: $9.99 (750ml bottle)

Our review: A bright lemon yellow in color with hints of gold, this wine has aromas of tropical fruit and flowers and notes of spice. The palate is quite citrusy and pleasingly tart, with a significant mineral character introduced into the moderately long finish.

Our rating: There is a lot of complexity to this wine, one of its strongest points. Though we had never tasted it before, we chose it as one of several to serve with appetizers at an informal gathering of friends and neighbors. (We like to serve varietals that others may not be familiar with.) It was probably our most popular wine, though we thought it merely Average. Our relatively high initial impression diminished a bit when the refreshing citrus flavor seemed to develop a more rind-like (or zest-like) character into the second and third glass. Still, our guests seemed to enjoy it quite a bit so there is that.

Taste profile from the winemaker: Colour: Pale yellow with greenish hues. Nose: Intense aromas of citrus, dried flowers and spices with an additional hint of sweet vanilla and dried fruit. Mouthfeel: Pleasant initial impression, that brings out the full complexity of aromas present on the nose. Agreeable on the mid-palate due to its well-rounded nature. The aftertaste is persistent with a citrussy finish.

Winery website: Raimat. The world of wines..

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