Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > The DC Release of Iconic Wines

The DC Release of Iconic Wines


This past Sunday Lou and I found ourselves at the DC release party for Iconic Wines.  The owners Birk O’Halloran and Karl Antle hosted the party at David White’s (www.terroirist.com) house.  Birk and Karl had brought down a dozen cases of their wine for a group of us to taste and buy.  Not content to serve only wine they grilled up chicken, burgers, hotdogs and laid out a selection of other dishes.  Even David grilled up piles of steak.  This was all consumed by a professional, young crowd of several dozen wine lovers, sommeliers, and friends.


It was a hot day which remained so humid that giant raindrops did not make anyone wetter.  I could not stop sweating despite the five-gallon paint bucket full of ice-cold white wine.  Thus my desire to take notes rapidly disappeared.  Birk and Karl only produce wine from Chardonnay and Trousseau Gris.  The former is sourced from the Linda Vista Vineyard and the Michael Mara Vineyard, both of which are farmed by Steve Matthiasson.  The later is sourced from the old vines of Peter Fanucchi.  The wines themselves are made with the help of Dan Petroski who is the winemaker for Massican.  Those are pretty cool connections for a three-year old winery run by two best friends living in New York.


There were three Iconic Wines to taste of which two were Chardonnay: 2011 Iconic Wines, Heroine, Chardonnay and 2011 Iconic Wines, Heroine, Chardonnay, Michael Mara Vineyard.  The base Heroine uses fruit sourced from the Linda Vista and Michael Mara vineyards.  It is both fermented and aged on the lees in French oak using both indigenous and inoculated yeast.  The Michael Mara Heroine has similar production except that all of the fruit is sourced from the Michael Mara Vineyard and only indigenous yeast is used.  The base Heroine show more acidity and nervy character whereas the Michael Mara Heroine was a bit richer and weightier.  Despite my vague description I do think both of them will benefit from several more months of age.  I did buy one of each so look out for a tasting note this winter.


The third wine was the last bottle of 2011 Iconic Wines, Secret Ingredient, Trousseau Gris.  After being in an awkward stage for half a year this wine finally blossomed then completely sold out.  This version was aged in French oak barrels whereas the Secret Identity, still available at the warehouse, was raised in stainless steel.  I really liked this wine and it was my favorite of the three.  From the nose to the flavors and mouthfeel it sets itself apart and conveys a sense of its contact with the thick-skinned grapes.





I really enjoyed myself and would love to see more release parties like this.  I prefer to taste and drink wine with friends which is essentially what this event was for me.  I got to chat with Birk and Karl, taste their wines, hang out with Lou and Frank, and meet new people.  Everyone was relaxed and having fun.  If it ever stops raining long enough for me to stain my deck then my house is available!  Thanks again to Birk, Karl, and David for a great afternoon.



Lou, Frank, and the author

Lou, Frank, and the author

  1. July 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Those labels are sweet. I’d love to find out who made them…

    • July 1, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      Thanks! We’re pretty proud 🙂 We enlist of help of friendly (and talented!) comic book artists to do the labels with us. The Heroine Labels are done by Ming Doyle (http://mingdoyle.tumblr.com/) and Secret Ingredient/Identity labels are done by Cliff Chiang (http://www.cliffchiang.com/).

  2. July 1, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Nice recap, Aaron. Good to catch up over these wines. And, agree with Robert on the labels, fitting for equally great wines. Hat tip to Karl and Birk for sharing.

  3. July 1, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    So sorry to have missed this! Sounds like it was a blast!

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