August Wine Focus Group WINNER!
News Release: Friday, August 17th
News Release: Monday, July 16th, 2018
News Release: Thursday, July 12th, 2018
The WINNER of the July Asheville Wine Focus Group is Carlos Serres Reserva Rioja! By WINNER, we mean the bottle that sold the most and the fastest! Finding an affordable "Reserva" with this much age on it is rare.
The Group thought the wine was complex presenting identifiable flavors followed by a long finish. This wine, with just the right amount of acidity, would be a perfect match for food but could also go solo. And most thought, because of its versatility, this bottle would be great to bring to a dinner.
Wine has a history. And history is full of wine. That of Carlos Serres (Charles, in French) is one of them. One of those which happen once in a lifetime and perdure.
Not only because he saw in Haro a perfect place to make wine of great quality but, above all, because he envisaged a new horizon for Rioja wine not considered until then: international exports.
He came from Bordeaux, where the phylloxera pest had compromised winemaking. This famous French wine consultant found in Haro the perfect terroir to make Bordeaux style wines, with a climate and terrain which reminded him of the best terroirs in Bordeaux.
A perfect place to make wines that met the quality, flavour and personality expectations of the most discerning international palates. Elegant wines with a Rioja flavour, ready to conquer; even overseas.
News Release: Tuesday, June 12, 2018
The June Asheville Wine Focus Group @MetroWines was a great night of history, fun and, of course, great wine! Mark Orsini of Orsini Imports took us on a vicarious trip back to Yakima, Washington, circa 1940s. The property that now yields extraordinary vines was once used to build planes for the war effort.
If you shop @MetroWines, you know the great Italian wines that Mark brings us and it was Mark that brought us Marcel Servin and his magnifique Chablis last month. Mark wanted to show us that his portfolio also includes some great west coast wines. And that he did! We tasted and reviewed four wines: Chardonnay, Rose, Cabernet Sauvignon and a Bordeaux Blend.
The Focus Group, while all wines were hits, thought two stood out. The price to amazing quality ratio for the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon was high. And both wines were thought to be wines that, no matter your preferred style, you could enjoy. In other words, you can serve these wines to guests with confidence. And both are the kind of wines you can and should! buy by the case. Just that good. Worth it!
Mark shared personal stories of his visits with the family as well as the history of the property and the generations of owners. This text from the website is some of what we learned.
Founder of our Family Farm
H. Lloyd Miller was a successful businessman and pioneer of the Yakima Valley. Noting the potential for the valley to become one of the nation’s leading agricultural producers, he began acquiring dry farmland with the hopes that someday it would have access to water. Eventually, H. Lloyd became the chairman of the Roza Irrigation Canal Board, and he saw the project through to its completion in 1951. At that time, he was able to begin farming on his property and devoted the rest of his life to managing our family farm, which became known as Airport Ranch.
Founder of our Estate Vineyard
Don Miller, son of H. Lloyd, was born and raised in Sunnyside, Washington. During his junior year of college at Washington State University, Don enlisted in the military and was stationed overseas through the duration of World War II. Returning home, Don joined his father on the ranch in 1950 and helped develop a diversified farm consisting of asparagus, alfalfa, potatoes, onions, oats, hogs, cattle, mint, and sugar beets. In 1968, Don planted Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Cabernet Sauvignon marking the early beginnings of our estate vineyard.
Founder of Airfield Estates Winery
Mike Miller, son of Don Miller, was born and raised on the family farm. During the Vietnam War, Mike enlisted in the Navy and was stationed in Japan. Upon returning home, he graduated from Washington State University, married his wife Kristeen, and became the third generation to carry on the family’s farming legacy. Facing the demise of the sugar beet processing plants in 1978, but seeing a bright future with Washington’s Wine Grape Industry, Mike took grape growing to a whole new level. Mike gradually transitioned our farm into what it is today – 830 acres of wine grapes and 350 acres of Concord juice grapes. In 2005, Mike founded Airfield Estates Winery, and he brought his son, Marcus, and daughter, Lori, on board to help manage the daily operations. Airfield Estates Winery and Tasting Room in Prosser opened its doors in 2007, the Tasting Room in Woodinville opened in 2010, and after outgrowing the Prosser Winery, the Production Facility was relocated to our farm in 2014. The pride, passion, and enthusiasm that Mike expressed for our vineyard, grapes, and wine is something that we hope to share for generations to come.
With the onset of World War II, the Olympia Air Transport Corporation began looking to lease land in the Yakima Valley to establish a civilian flight school. H. Lloyd Miller, the founder of our family estate and a successful realtor and landowner, knew that it would be several years before the arrival of irrigation water on his farmland so he signed a lease agreement for a portion of his property.
Construction of the flight school commenced on December 21, 1941. The airbase included three dirt runways, each over a half mile long, and several buildings including a 70-foot water tower, multiple airplane hangars, a large mess hall, four barracks, and several smaller storage buildings.
Initially, the training was part of the Civilian Pilot Training Program, which was sponsored by the United States Government. It offered primary, secondary, and cross-country courses, and the pilots trained on various types of biplanes. In mid-1943, the school changed to the War Training Service Program, and they confined the training to the secondary phase only, which focused on aerobatics and other evasive techniques. According to government records, over 500 Army Air Corps pilots trained at the airbase on our family’s property until the flight school closed in 1944.
Shortly after the war came to an end, the pilots moved off-site and the recently constructed buildings were auctioned off to the highest bidder. The only bidder turned out to be H. Lloyd Miller. With a bid of $1, he got one heck of a deal for all of the buildings on the property. These unique buildings became the headquarters of our family’s farming operations, which today is known as Airport Ranch. Over time, many of the buildings began to deteriorate, but two of the original hangars still exist and we continue to use them as workshop and storage facilities.
And now, drumroll please...Focus Group Favorites!
|You are Always on Vacation with Rose!
Mulderbosch is Back!
Follow Orsini Wines here:
Derek Rubio of Skyland presented four wines for consideration to The Asheville Wine Focus Group @MetroWines on May 2nd. All were well received but, based on sales, this 50-50 blend of Tannat and Merlot was the big winner. A lot of praise for the weight, palate feel and taste. Someone was passionatly screaming "sexy beast." OK, that was me. But a lot of participants agreed. We reckoned that any bottle based on a grape (Tannat) that needs another bold grape (Merlot) to lighten it's load, is a "sexy beast" by definition. Our sommelier Emily says the bottle needs abot two hours of air to hit it's best. $13.99!
News Release: Thursday, May 3rd, 2018
News Release: Thursday, April 5th, 2018
Chris Curtis of Country Vintner will host the July gathering of The Asheville Wine Focus Group.
The Country Vintner has served North Carolina as an importer and wholesaler of fine wines since 1995. Our portfolio is incredibly diverse and dynamic, featuring classic iconic wineries and exciting new brands from around the world.
We serve restaurants and retailers across the entire state from the coastline of the Outer Banks to the mountains of Asheville. All of our wines are received into our temperature-controlled distribution center on refrigerated containers and are delivered to our customers on refrigerated trucks.
If you shop @MetroWines, you are familiar with Country Vintner Wines including Secateurs, RAATS, DMZ just to name a few!
You must reserve a seat. Please call (828) 575-9525.
Carpinus Takaji Furmint
The name of the winery, Carpinus (Latin for hornbeam, the English translation of the Hungarian name), is after Gyertyános, our largest current vineyard. It is the goal for Carpinus Winery to be an example of a Tokaj winery that with top quality work and family cooperation, without compromise, can run sustainably and build a stable position in the world wine market. Continuing local values established by families from the wine region is of particular importance. The vineyards are located in the Tokaj Wine Region. The vineyards are classed first and second growths according to the historical classifications.
They also grow Hárslevelű, Sárga Muskotály and Sauvignon Blanc. The expectations of Carpinus are that by making the very best wine possible, they can present the natural assets and varieties of the varied terroirs of Tokaj Wine Region. They strive to cultivate the crop with environmentally friendly practices. The individual attributes of the vineyards (soils, aspect, microclimate) are expressed through the single-vineyard wines. The wines are characteristically fresh, elegant and harmonious, and to be enjoyed.
All stainless steel fermentation
Vines planted 1985-1990
* "Fresh. I like the lemony taste."
* "Could be used as an aperitif."
* 11% alcohol means you could drink the entire bottle!"
" Dry Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc drinkers would like this wine."
CELLER el MASROIG
Celler el Masroig is situated in the southern part of Montsant, bordering on Priorat. It was founded in 1917 as the Cooperativa of El Masroig. It is an association of grape and olive oil producers with approximately 300 members who are associated owners of the company. In the early years of the Cooperativa, the focus was on producing quantities of wine rather than quality wine. They produced wines with high alcohol content and very deep color that were sold to the domestic market and often used to “improve” other wines. Then followed a period in which the major products were mistelas, fortified wines.
Today, the Cooperativa’s members own almost 500 hectares of vineyards. The winery uses two main methods of vinification: Traditional fermentations begin when bunches are destemmed at the winery. Alternatively, bunches may be kept in tanks to permit them to undergo carbonic maceration before pressing and a low-temperature fermentation.
Despite its eighty years heritage, the Cooperativa el Masroig continually strives to improve methods of production and the quality of the wines, while maintaining and enhancing their traditional identity.
2013 Celler el Masroig Pinyeres
50% Garnacha, 40% Carignan, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Fully destemmed, fermented with native yeasts
12 months in neutral oak barrels
* "Low tannins make this wine totally quaffable!"
* "Great nose with a good cherry taste."
* "Drinks way better than the price."
First, BRAVO and THANK YOU to our January Asheville Wine Focus Group! The group really GOT IT! They played wine shop owners for the night and they made decisions. In the end, the group almost unanimously liked one of the whites and one of the reds best of the four we tasted. The winners for the evening were a white blend from New Zealand called "Hunky Dory Tangle" and "Broadside Cabernet Sauvignon" from Paso Robles. Thanks to our astute group, you will see both on shelf @MetroWines!
The group of 10 was tough but fair. They were asked to say whether they liked the wine, whether we should we offer it in the shop, and what the bottle should cost. The group also offered their opinion on whether they liked it, thought others would like it, thought it best for a party, with food or alone. They also focused on the quality to price ratio. The group was working!
"Hunky Dory Tangle" is a blend of 10% Riesling, 55% Pinot Gris and 35% Gewurztraminer. The winery says the wine presents honeysuckle, jasmine, quince, lime and lemon on the nose with ripe apple, lychee and mandarin flavors on the palate. What the group liked about "Hunky Dory Tangle" is that it presented as a wine everyone could like. Whether you enjoy Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio, you could find something to like in "Hunky Dory Tangle" served with or without food.
Broadside is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 14 months in neutral French and American Oak Barrels. The group found that this Cabernet was lighter and more complex than many of the Cabernets coming out of California which they thought to be too big and bold. Broadside, they said, would stand up to heavy flavors but at the same time would not overwhelm food and, could, unlike many other west coast Cabernets, be enjoyed without food.
Broadside produces wines focused on purity and true varietal expression. Our winemaking favors a natural approach in that our wines are minimally handled to best express the grape, site, and vintage. The 2015 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a vintage marked by frost, wind, drought, and the resulting record low yields from our vineyards. So low, in fact, that we elected to use all of the fruit originally intended for our vineyard designate and Ephemera bottlings in this 2015 Paso Robles Cabernet. Low yields of flavorful fruit, produced a serious, concentrated, yet still elegant Cabernet Sauvignon. Fresh boysenberry, peppercorn, and sweet tobacco notes highlight ample fruit in the nose, complemented by subtle notes of toasty oak vanillin and cigar box. Cassis, green olive, and fresh berry acidity greet the palate with an underlying current of fine tannin, coalescing in a dry, persistent finish.
The Asheville Wine Focus Group meets the first Wednesday of every month. Seating is limited to 10. If you want to join us, call (828) 575-9525 as soon as possible! There is no charge. We value your opinion.
Mike Tiano of Haw River Wine Man will host in March.
AN ORGANICALLY GROWN COMPANY, IMPORTING,
DISTRIBUTING AND DEMOCRATIZING WINE SINCE 1995.
Beginning in 1995 with six wines from Puglia, Haw River Wine Man has quietly compiled an Italian wine portfolio that stands out in North Carolina and South Carolina for Quality, Price and Selection. With a firm belief that wine is an every day beverage, and not the exclusive domain of the wealthy and privileged, the company strives to bring the consumer the best values possible by sourcing wine direct from the producer. Our portfolio has slowly grown from the original six wines to now include partnerships with around thirty estates in Italy. Beginning in 2006, we began our collaboration with Rosenthal Wine Merchant, one of the most respected importers of wines from France and Italy to North Carolina. Our expansion into Europe continued in 2012 with the inclusion of the fantastic wines of Spain from De Maison Selections and Andre Tamers.
Rise Over Run (https://www.riseoverrunwine.com/) hosts The Asheville Wine Fcous Group on February 7th.
Rise Over Run is an anthology of singular wines from steep and often challenging sites, and the dedicated families who farm them. Even down to our name, the inception of Rise Over Run emanated from our mutual passion and respect for challenging viticultural microclimates, often individuated by vertical, rocky slopes where little else can thrive. Many are viticultural marvels, and the finished wines are expressions that could not be recreated elsewhere. Our book is a compilation of these wines that have stories to tell, and we are excited to be the ones doing so.
News Release: Wednesday, January 2nd, 2018