Now Cork & Flame

July 30-31 Tasting

Vineyard Writer's Block Wine Tasting weekend

Event: It was called a Writer’s Block Tasting Weekend because it featured many of the Writer’s Block line of wines. Roger and John added some German beer since it was hot outside. Plus it was a nice way to mark the end of one very hot July.

A small project begun at Steele Wines in 2002 by Jed and his son Quincy Steele, Writer’s Block has blossomed into an acclaimed line of nine wines.
For the next few weeks Roger said he will be showcasing the famous and highly rated Selbach-Oster Rieslings so he served two this weekend that covered two price ranges. These wines have been made by the same family since 1660. The more expensive Sonnenuhr Riesling Rotlay, the sweeter of the two and a Robert Parker 94 pointer, used to sell for more than $100 a hundred years ago but for present day tasters it’s in the $50 range. The Domprost Spatlese Riesling is a Robert Parker 91 pointer.

Several tasters said the Writer’s Block Pinot Noir was the best of the line. The minerality of these wines are consistent which attracted some tasters but some said didn’t excite their palate. All and all it was a line of wines to be explored.
Where: Vineyard Wine Market (map), 4414 Evans to Lock Road, Evans, GA. (706) 922-9463

When: Friday, July 30, 2010, 4:30-6:30pm, Saturday, July 31st, 1-6pm
Cost: Price determined by flight selection.

Here is the Quick List of the wines presented (click on a wine to see more):

  1. Selbach-Oster Graacher Domprost Spatlese Riesling
  2. Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling “Rotlay”
  3. Writer’s Block Roussane
  4. Writer’s Block Pinot Noir
  5. Writer’s Block Grenache
  6. Writer’s Block Zinfandel
  7. Writer’s Block Malbec
  8. Erdinger Hefe-Weizen
  9. Tucher Kristall Weize
  10. Uerige Duffeldorf-Altfladt
  11. Franziskaner Lager
  12. Duvel Golden Ale

Here are the detailed wine notes:
Selbach-Oster Graacher Domprost Spatlese Riesling
What: We grow Riesling on 20 hectares (50 acres, as per harvest 2007) of steep, south facing mountain slopes that face the Mosel River . The Selbach-Oster vineyards are located on some of the best vineyard land in the heart of the Mosel wine country called ” Mittelmosel”. The Graacher Domprost Vineyard is on a steep slope behind the village of Graach. Medium-size chunks of grey-blue Devonian slate over a thick layer of loam. Comparatively heavy subsoil with excellent underground water supply.
From: Germany
Winery: Selbach-Oster

Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling “Rotlay”
What: The Zeltinger Sonnenuhr vineyard is a continuation of the Wehlener Sonnenuhr downstream, towards where the dam across the Mosel widens the water surface. The appellation ends at the church at the southern end of Zeltingen. Very steep slope with large outcroppings of rock. Large chunks of blue Devonian slate, very shallow subsoil of decomposed slate on top of slate bedrock. Driest soil of the five sites. Very close to the water surface of the Mosel.
From: Germany
Winery: Selbach-Oster

Writer’s Block Roussane
What: A medium to full bodied white wine, with a characteristically rich, slightly oily texture, bright acidity and very good integration of acid, slightly spicy finish after a complex and interesting aromatic profile. Special balance for a young wine, mid-palate shows a lean acid structure before inherent richness of the varietal shows itself through a significant and pleasurably dry finish.–From their Website
From: Lake Country, California
Winery: Steele Wines

Writer’s Block Pinot Noir
What: A medium bodied Pinot Noir, with good complexity of aromatics and a supple mouth-feel, while bright acidity finishes dry. Red cherry fruit is very youthful and bright, complex aromatics including linger into a kind of perfume like weight and expanse with time. Consistent depth of fruit through mouth-feel to dry finish with acidic cleanse, when retro nasal aromatics mix and pleasurably close a complete circle from initial aromatic departure.
AROMATICS/FLAVORS: subtle toasted oak, bitter orange (aromatics), red cherry, sour cherry, flowery, coffee, chocolate, okra. perfume, minerality (general)–From their Website
Winery: Steele Wines

Writer’s Block Grenache
What: Tapas and light fare of any kind usually goes with this versatile Grenache. The wine has a distinct strawberry and cherry aroma with a light spice on the finish and balanced acidity. This combination of flavors and aromas would match perfectly with a grilled pork chop drizzled with a fruit compote and a salad of fresh greens. It is such a multifaceted wine that it would pair with just about anything, but mostly a little sunshine, some good friends and literary dialogue. Let’s discuss…

From: Lake Country, California
Winery: Steele Wines

Writer’s Block Zinfandel
What: Petite Sirah was blended into the Robin Hill Zinfandel to give this wine a bit more structure and depth of color. This is a traditional practice that gives this particular Zinfandel, with a more fresh and light, and expressive profile, some more depth and complexity. The Petite Sirah from Shannon Ridge vineyards is itself very good wine, and typically is not excessively large in style, but smooth and rounded. This lends itself to blending with this style Zinfandel.

TASTING NOTES (8/21/08 Quincy Steele)
AROMATICS/FLAVORS: red berries, black berry, bramble, clove, green herbs, menthol, tobacco, candied fruit, raisin
A medium to full bodied red wine showing its varietal characters of red fruit, spice, clove, herbal tea, and bramble with approachable aromatics that open quickly in glass. The aromatics are complex, and move from red fruit to green herb and some kind bramble, some toasted oak, to citrus transitions occur fairly quickly. A supple mouth-feel shows bright fruit flavor transitioning into an accentuated finish with bright acidity and some spice. Significant tannins on the finish, textually good and young, prolonged after-taste increasing as wine continues to breathe.
From: Lake Country, California
Winery: Steele Wines

Writer’s Block Malbec
What: TASTING NOTES (8/21/08 Quincy Steele)
AROMATICS/FLAVORS: toasted American oak, fleshiness, floral, citrus peel, blackberry, yogurt, black cherry, caramel (oak), candied fruit

A full bodied red wine showing its youth with tightly held perfume-like aromatics that are approachable as it opens quickly in glass. The aromatics are complex, and move from fleshy dark fruit to floral and some kind bramble, toasted oak, to lactic like yogurt, to citrus transitions occur fairly quickly. A weighty, tight nose on approach that opens with increasing complexity with time and swirl. A supple mouth-feel shows a depth of fruit flavor transitioning into an accentuated finish with bright acidity. Fairly opulent in the front of the mouth, the transition to finish and acidity is fairly smooth. Significant tannins on the finish, textually good but young, prolonged after-taste increasing as wine continues to breathe.

From: Lake Country, California
Winery: Steele Wines

Erdinger Hefe-Weizen
What: The Erdinger people don’t even list this beer on their website. I must be for US distribution only.
From: Germany
Brewery: Erdinger

Tucher Kristall Weize
What: A crystal beer without any yeast. A light colored crystal clear wheat beer specialty without yeast, top fermented, very sparkling, refreshing, thirst quenching, with high natural CO2 content. Very tasty!

From: Germany
Brewery: Tucher

Uerige Duffeldorf-Altfladt
What: Since 1862, the top-fermenting house brewery UERIGE has been brewing excellent beers right in the heart of Düsseldorf’s old city centre, the Altstadt. It goes without saying that these beers are brewed according to the ‘Reinheitsgebot’, the Purity Law dating back to 1516. Your tour of the Altstadt is not complete if you miss out on visiting the UERIGE.

Of all German beers, UERIGE ALT has the highest content of bitter constituents. In spite or maybe even because of this, our legendary Altbier from Düsseldorf is full-bodied, aromatic and agreeable. This top-fermented specialty has been brewed since 1862, and is made of barley malt, caramel malt, roasted malt, umbel hops and water – plus of course our special UERIGE yeast.
From: Germany
Brewery: Uerige

Franziskaner Lager
From: Munich, Germany
Brewery: Franziskaner

Duvel Golden Ale
What: (They wandered away a bit from Germany but not far. This is a Belgian Ale). The secret of Duvel’s subtle bitterness resides in the hop and yeasts used during the brewing process. The yeast are cultivated from the same source that Albert Moortgat brought with him from Scotland in 1918. Duvel owes its sophisticated taste to the unique bottle conditioning process of 90 days: after 2 weeks in the “warm cellars” where a second fermentation occurs, the beer stays in the “cold cellars” for another 6 weeks. Only then is it ready to be shipped and appreciated around the world.

Duvel is indeed a devilish beer, full of contrasts and surprising discoveries. Its golden-coloured appearance, delicate sparkle and refi ned, silky taste with complex aromas hides an 8,5% alcohol content. Lush aromas include citrus, apple, hops and yeast. Flavours of pale malt appear throughout, with strong yeast, hops and alcohol notes. The 8,5 ABV kicks in mid-palate, warming to the end. Thanks to the balance between its fi ne aroma sublte bitterness, Duvel occupies a unique position in the rich Belgian Beer tradition.

Duvel’s distinctive head is created through a magical process of bottle fermentation
From: Belgium
Brewery: Duvel

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