Monday, September 6, 2010

Tasting Notes: Cleavage Creek

First, my apologies to Cleavage Creek for taking so long to write this review. As I mentioned to them soon after we got the wines, Hubby's mom is a breast cancer survivor, so we wanted to share them with her. She broke her leg last August (unrelated to the cancer, which she seems to be clear of), and it's been quite the ordeal requiring two surgeries, so we didn't get the chance to taste the wines with them until a couple of weeks ago.

For those who aren't familiar with the Cleavage Creek story, founder Budge Brown lost his wife of 48 years to breast cancer and decided to turn his grief and anger into action. For him, this meant purchasing the Cleavage Creek label, and he now donates 10% of gross wine sales to breast cancer research. Yep, gross profits. That's the money they make before expenses are taken out. Each bottle has a picture of a breast cancer survivor on it. You can see their stories on the web site. I've summarized them below, but I encourage everyone to go read them. They're incredibly inspiring, and each gave me a good dose of much-needed perspective.

I'll admit that Hubby and I got into the 2007 Merlot-Shiraz before going to see his parents. It opens with Pumpernickel bread spiciness and mellows out to bright fruit. Susan, the woman on the label, has survived breast cancer twice and now is very involved in breast cancer activism and volunteer work.

The 2008 Tracy Hills Reserve Chardonnay is a beautiful straw color. I drank this one as I assembled a peach pie at my in-laws' house and found it perfect for the summer afternoon. It has a light oak nose. The palate opens to melon, mandarin orange, and vanilla palate and has nice acidity and balance between fruit and oak. Label model Terrie was all too familiar with breast cancer from the medical and personal side when an intuitive radiologist picked up on something suspicious. She sought support and fought back aggressively, and she continues to be proactive.

Finally, we drank the 2007 Tracy Hills Secret Red with lasagna for Sunday dinner with Hubby's parents. All agreed that this well-balanced red complimented the food and stood well on its own. Plummy and smooth, it opens up to ripe fruit and has a great finish. The smile on model Jennifer's face demonstrates the courage and humor she's shown in a difficult and tragic battle.

We and my in-laws thank Cleavage Creek for the opportunity to taste their fantastic wines! Thank you as well for the support and hope you give to women who have breast cancer and those who have survived it. Wine that saves boobies? I'll drink to that!

Disclosure: These wines were sent to us free of charge for sampling purposes.

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