Monday, August 16, 2010

Random Events: Montaluce 2009 Vintage Release

As I've mentioned, I'm a bit behind on my blog posts. Yes, I feel like a slacker, but check out this post at my Random Writings blog to see what's been going on. Ohyeah, I think I might be in danger of becoming a lamp junkie. I'll let you know if I find one with a genie in it.

July was a busy month for me and Hubby, even beyond the business drama. On July 18, we attended the "Taste & Tweet" 2009 Vintage Release at Montaluce Vineyards in Dahlonega.

The visit began with a Georgia summer downpour. If you've never been through one of those, picture your favorite deity hurling tablespoon-sized waterballs at you. The clever valets and allowed us to pull into the barrel room so we wouldn't get wet:

No, we didn't get to park there.

The weather cleared while Hubby and I ate lunch at the winery's Le Vigne restaurant. He got the Italian Sausage flatbread, and I had the Berkshire Pork Meatballs, served over rich, creamy polenta. Was it good? Were you paying attention? Let me list out the main ingredients again:


'nuff said. Here's a pic:

After lunch, we met up with a couple of friends (her blog post on the day is here) and got so comfy on the wide porch with the lovely breeze that we convinced everyone to join us outside.

One of the highlights of the day was getting to meet the new vineyard manager and wine maker Maria Peterson, who has a lovely South African accent and an obvious passion for wine. She explained the new releases to us, which, according to the winery blog post had been in the bottle for about six weeks. The wines (all 2009 unless indicated otherwise):

Nose of strawberry-cherry-lime. The tasting notes say "Cherry limeade" with watermelon, and I'd agree that's pretty accurate. Other attendees agreed with Maria that it's a French style rosé.
Rating: Good to Very Good

"Primoro" blend of Seyval and Vidal
Pineapple, mango, and some honey. Very smooth and balanced.
Rating: Very Good

Leechee and melon nose with soft tangerine-melon characteristics.
Rating: Very Good

A little smoky on the nose, some floral and honey. Balanced vanilla, citrus, and smoke on the palate.
Rating: Very Good

Very mild nose and apple pie in a glass. Should satisfy the sweet wine drinkers but didn't overpower those of us who don't usually drink the sweet stuff.
Rating: Good to Very Good

2008 "Centurio" 90% Georgia Merlot and 10% French Merlot
Yum! This wine should help to dispel the myth that Georgia makes wimpy reds. Nice plum/currant nose and good ripe fruit with some herbal notes.
Rating: Very Good

Keep in mind that these wines had only been in the bottle for about a month and should only get better. Hubby and I are looking forward to going back and trying them again, and perhaps purchasing a few for the holidays.

The rest of the day included wandering out to the vineyard, seeing the grapes, and learning about the pruning process that keeps Montaluce's wine high-quality. We even got to taste some homemade strawberry and lavender mead.

Part of the fun of "tweetups" like this is seeing people you normally only interact with online. Yes, we tweet as we go, but there's plenty of conversation otherwise. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we stayed for dinner, which, that night, was a three-course Prix Fixe for $40/person.

I started off with the Diver Scallop, served with cream corn and smoked blueberry. This was my favorite course of the evening with its mix of sweet and salty flavors and fun textures:

I chose the Butter Poached Poussin with summer squash, maitake mushroom, and cipollini onion for my main course. The chicken itself had been cooked to tenderness and not beyond, but I found the sauce to be a bit salty.

Finally, I’m a sucker for Chocolate Silk Pie, this fudgy one with mint and raspberry sauces:

Oh, and pictures of our hosts the Beecham brothers in their natural habitats. Rob's the one in the vineyard, and Brent's the one with the martini. When I first met them, I thought that Brent was the quiet one. I have since been proven wrong.

Disclosure: We paid for our own food, but the alcohol, including with dinner, was courtesy of Montaluce. This has not influenced my review in any way.


gwen morrison said...

I've been to Montaluce. Isn't it beautiful!

Cecilia Dominic said...

Thanks for your comment! Yes, it's gorgeous up there. All of the wineries in Georgia wine country have great views, but I admit that I love Montaluce's breezy porch.