Donna and I are on a roll in the wine tasting luncheon department! This month we were lucky enough to be invited by Natalie Maclean (read her review of the event here) to have Beringers’ chief winemaker, Laurie Hook, talk us through a flight of 11 fabulous wines.
Now, we are a little biased here, but it was wonderful to hear such a talented female winemaker speak. Laurie has been in the business for over 30 years and approaches winemaking as an art rather than a recipe. This makes so much sense since the grapes themselves vary from year to year. She is continually tasting and adjusting each vintage of wine as it is produced.
This event was held at the beautiful Shore Club and, true to their reputation, they showered us with fine food and service. We both agreed that the gourmet cheese plate at the end was the perfect finishing touch. Of course, we had saved a little wine to sample with the various cheeses!
Although it was hard to narrow down, we are going to share our favourite wines of the day.
Beringer Quantum 2010
The name implies the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and that it is. This blend is primarily Cab Suv with a little Merlot, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah thrown in for some spicy, juicy silkiness. Aromas of ripe plum, spice and leather are followed by flavours of black cherry, licorice, cloves and mocha. I would love this paired with a nice juicy steak.
Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2012
This beautiful golden Chardonnay will make you a convert if you already aren’t one! Aromas of honey and caramel introduce you to a velvety smooth wine with butterscotch and peachy undertones. A hint of oak completes the finish. I paired it with shrimp and a spicy sauce with great success. Also delicious sipped on its own, which I intend to do as soon as I can get my hands on a bottle!
It was, yet again, an excellent opportunity for both of us to stretch our wine muscles, trying 11 – yes ELEVEN – Beringer wines! Everything Mary Anne has said – the wine, the winemaker, the venue, the food and the company – were all perfect! With so many wines to try it was interesting that Mary Anne and I zeroed in on many of the same as our “favourites”! After a bit of a tussle *wink* we agreed on our favourite vintages for this post. Here are mine:
Beringer The Waymaker – Paso Robles 2012
The newest wine in Beringer’s portfolio, this red is an perfect example of Winemaker Laurie Hook’s outstanding skill at blending grapes. With a base of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah and small additions of Malbec, Petit Syrah and Petit Verdot, the surprise is a splash of Viognier for good measure. Medium red in colour, the resulting blend is the perfect mix of floral aromas and smooth mouthfeel with notes of cherry and plum.
Beringer Founders Estate Chardonnay 2013
The Chardonnays suprised me as I am not typically a fan of this wine. This particular one was the first we tried and I loved the crispness. Light in colour and body, this Chardonnay is crisp apple on the nose with an ever-so-slight oak flavour. With a long finish, this is the perfect summer Chardonnay – and you can’t beat the price point at $16.95. Picture patio weather, soft tunes in the background and a good friend to chit chat with!
To your health….Donna!