Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tasting Notes: Crane Creek & Blackstock

Yeah, Hubby and I have been hitting the sauce again. Shocking, right? We went up to my parents' cabin in Blairsville in September and October and decided to check out a new (to us) winery and one that we'd visited before. With the Winter Wine Highway 2010 weekend coming up in a few weeks (Dec 3-5), it seemed like a good time to write about them.

Crane Creek Vineyards, located in Young Harris (e.g., one of those places near Blairsville that sells alcohol) has great views, like all the Georgia wineries:

Their 2000 vintage was their first, from vines planted 15 years ago. The tasting room has been open for eight years. Apparently my in-laws had trouble catching them open, but we walked right in and tasted the lineup. There is a small tasting fee, but the pours are big enough for two to share.


Seyval Blanc:
The first wine planted and made, this one has a tangerine/mandarin orange nose with citrus notes carrying through the palate to orange and grapefruit.
Rating: Good to Very Good

Cross of Gewurtzraminer and Seyval Blanc, has a mint/stone fruit nose and is floral and tart through the palate and finish.
Rating: Okay to Good (not a big fan of mint on my wines)

Enotah White:
Another hybrid, Chardonel (Chardonnay & Seyval) is the basis of this wine. Smoky oaky nose, but overall nice with good balance of citrus and vanilla.
Rating: Good

Vidal Blanc:
Described as "uncomplicated," and I would agree. Fruity with a tart finish. Another quote: "You can sit on the porch and pound this one back." Very likely.
Rating: Good


Brasstown Mountain Claret:
Medium-bodied with a spicy nose and spicy cherry on the palate.
Rating: Good to Very Good

Mountain Harvest Red:
Super-smooth red made from the Chambourcin grape. Berry characteristics.
Rating: Very Good to Excellent

Sweet Sally:
Blend of Catawba and Niagara, has a scuppernog/muscadine nose and honeysuckle notes.
Rating: Good to Very Good

We came home with a bottle of the Mountain Harvest Red, which will be a great porch sipper next summer.

We revisited Blackstock Vineyards & Winery on the way up to the cabin in October since it had been a while. The way their tasting works is that you select eight wines for $10, so with two people sharing, you can cover most of the list, which is what Hubby and I did. We also got a cheese plate, which complimented the wines.

2007 Viognier:
Stone fruit/orange/floral nose, but very tart and a little bitter.
Rating: Good

2009 Chardonnay:
Pear nose, musky melon flavors.
Rating: Okay

2008 Viognier:
Still good citrus, but a lot smoother.
Rating: Good to Very Good

2008 Reserve Viognier:
Toasty nose with a little vanilla oak, but well-balanced and good with cheese.
Rating: Very Good

2006 Sangiovese Rosé:
Smoky on the nose, but nice and fruity and balanced between dry and off-dry.
Rating: Very Good

2008 Sangiovese Rosé:
Muscadine nose, and a little rough on the finish.
Rating: Good

2008 White Merlot:
Hubby smelled this one and said, "Apple juice!" It has a somewhat effervescent texture, kind of like an apple wine cooler.
Rating: Good

2007 Rocking Chair Rosé:
Subtle nose and flavor, but kickass finish.
Rating: Starts Okay, goes to Good, finishes Very Good. Would be a good one for a beginning wine drinker to experience the different stages of the palate.

2007 Rocking Chair Red:
Big Merlot nose, but light-bodied.
Rating: Good

2008 Sangiovese:
Still Very Good

2006 Merlot: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet
A little acidic.
Rating: Good

2005 ACE Family Reserve:
Better than when we tried it last year with more depth to the fruit in the middle, but still not as good as the previous award-winning vintage. Apparently that one's going for something ridiculous, over $100/bottle.
Rating: Good to Very Good

2007 Cabernet: What I'm drinking as I write this
Savory fruit, medium-bodied, would be great with Italian food (yeah, I think I have the wine munchies).
Rating: Very Good

2006 Reserve Merlot:
It was recommended that this one be aged, and I agree.
Rating: Good

We came home with a mixed case of the 2007 Viognier, 2008 Reserve Viognier, 2006 Sangiovese Rosé, 2008 Sangiovese, 2005 ACE Family Reserve, and 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon.

So, please get out the first weekend in December and support your Georgia wineries! You may not realize it, but there's legislation in front of the national House that may limit their ability to sell and ship to consumers, so the more support they have, the bigger the message we send to our Congresspeople (especially those who think that Guam is going to tip over) that this industry is important to us and to Georgia.

If you're a winery and would like to send us samples for review, please check out our Sample & Disclosure Policy, which also includes a link to contact us.

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