Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tasting - "Pietra Santa Sacred Stone Red"

Name: Pietra Santa Sacred Stone Red
Variety: Red Blend
Region: California
Country: USA
Price: $9.95
Winery Review: Dark ruby in color, with warm, plummy aromas, a hint of raisins and a dash of spice; floral and peppery notes on the nose carry over to the palate with a burst of fragrant pepper and bright red fruit. Full bodied, tart and somewhat tannic, with an intriguing minerality lurking behind the forward fruit and peppery spice. Powerful alcohol (14.8%) leaves a distinct warmth in the finish. Made by a California producer and bearing no regional appellation or vintage, it's described as a "Rhone-style blend," with Syrah, Carignan, Grenache and the less characteristically Rhonish Sangiovese and Zinfandel.

My Review: It had a dark ruby red color. This wine had a floral nose. It has a very strong plum flavor, with hints of dark cherries. It had very nice tannins.

Tasting - "Four Bears Sauvignon Blanc"

Name: Four Bears Sauvignon Blanc
Variety: Sauvignon Blanc
Region: Sonoma County
Country: USA
Year: 2010
Price: $12.95
Winery Review: Our Sauvignon Blanc fruit was 100% whole-cluster pressed to minimize astringency from the skins. Once settled, a portion of the juice was placed in small neutral French oak barrels, while the majority was moved to stainless steel tanks for fermentation. This combination allows the wine to develop a balance of crispness and tropical fruit flavors. The wine in barrels was sur lie aged and stirred consistently. The final blend was a combination of lots that provided a perfect balance of richness, bouquet and mouth feel.

My Review:This wine had a very tropical nose. It had pineapple and I think mango components. The first taste was strong with grapefruit. It had very strong citrus. It had a smooth mouth feel.

Tasting - "Foggy Ridge Pippin Black"

Name: Foggy Ridge Pippin Black
Variety: Hard Cider
Country: USA
Year: 2010 Price: $25.95
Winery Review: Newly released Pippin Black combines hard cider from Newtown Pippin and Arkansas Black apples with Virginia apple brandy. To gild the lily we age this blend on Hungarian Oak. Butterscotch and caramel notes combine with rich apple flavor, making this apple port ideal with blue cheese and walnuts.

My Review: This cider was not very aromatic. It had a slight smell of liquor. The taste was like a sour apple. A strong acid component was evident. It reminded me a bit of apple pie.

Tasting - "Original Sin Newtown Pippin Cider"

Name: Original Sin Newtown Pippin Cider
Variety: Hard Cider
Region: New York
Country: USA
Year: 2010
Price: $12.95
Winery Review: The Newtown Pippin apple originated in what is modern day Queens NY, a true local that gained such huge popularity in the 1800’s that it was one of our most exported agricultural items to the UK, a favorite of Queen Victoria’s. Now cidermaker Gideon Coll brings it back to the lime-light as a single varietal slightly sparkling cider. Clean and crisp with a mouth-filling creaminess that makes you crave another sip. Don’t be fooled by the almost water-clear color, there’s lots of tart apple flavors and the transition from sparkling to still is an intended progression.

My Review: This cider was not very aromatic but only had hints of apple. It was very light on the palate with a clean apple taste. It was not very exciting so I would give it a pass.

Tasting - "Foggy Ridge Hard Cider First Fruit"

Name: Foggy Ridge Hard Cider First Fruit
Variety: Hard Cider
Region: Virginia
Country: USA
Year: 2010
Price: $17.25
Winery Review: Though he failed as a winemaker, Thomas Jefferson excelled in cidermaking—Foggy Ridge Cider's First Fruit features Jefferson's favorite cider apple, the Hewe's Crabapple, as a key ingredient of this best selling blend. Ashmead's Kernel, Parmar, Harrison and Graniwinkle contribute to this crisp refreshing cider. Tannin from the crabapples as well as the Harrison apple, combined with acidity from Ashmead's Kernel create a balanced hard cider that is refreshing with meals or on its own. Expect a fresh apple aroma, tart fruit flavor with ginger and pear notes and rich mouth feel. First Fruit is made using only Virginia grown apples which makes it an exceptional Virginia Cider that Mr. Jefferson would be proud to drink. First First Fruit won a gold medal in the 2010 International Eastern Wine Competition as well as a gold medal at the State Fair competition in 2011. R.S. 1.3%

My Review: This was the first of the hard ciders I tasted. I have not had much experience with ciders but I will describe what I smelled and tasted. This cider smelled just like applesauce. It was very clean and had a huge explosion of apple taste. It seemed that it had a lot of residual sugars. I did enjoy it though.