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Grape Stomp at Sugarloaf Mountain Winery

October 11, 2011 2 comments

The Original Vineyard

This weekend we hung out at the 5th annual Grape Stomp at the Sugarloaf Mountain Winery.  Located at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain the Windmill Farm has been owned by the O’Donoghue family since 1962.  In 2002 they started the vineyard and have been producing wine since the winery was completed in 2005.  The father of Lorelei’s friend Catherine happens to be an O’Donoghue.  When we received the invitation to attend the Stomp we jumped at the opportunity.  With bright sun and temperatures in the upper 70s we had a lovely afternoon.

Grape StompTasting Tent

The festival was located behind the vineyards on the estate grounds.  There were several food tents, live music, a tasting tent, and most importantly a moon bounce for the kids.  While Lorelei was off moon-bouncing I quickly tasted through a selection of the wines.  The tastes were small thus left only a brief impression of the Bordeaux blends being the most interesting and showing less vegetable character.  With that in mind I purchased a bottle of the recently released EVOE! to share with the others.

Tasting Tent

The red wines at the festival ran from just under $20 per bottle up to $42 for the EVOE!.  I thought the EVOE! was a good step up from the Comus and Jenn felt that it was an easily drinkable bottle.  It would be a fun bottle to open blind for visiting friends but the price is somewhat dear.  Dan remarked that he has very much enjoyed the Comus Reserve in the past.  We will certainly take the time to visit the winery to taste the Comus Reserve.  Benoit Pineau joined the winery in January 2011 as the new winemaker.  I am curious to try future vintages!

2008 Sugarloaf Mountain Winery, Evoe!, Maryland
This wine is a blend of 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 19% Petit Verdot,6% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Malbec that was aged in French oak barrels for two years.  The ruby core is surrounded by garnet.  The initial ripe fruit is of tart red currant with a good mouthfeel.  There is the slightest bit of sweet spice before a subtle inky note develops and the wine takes on texture.  The aftertaste features dark toast notes and some salivating acidity as the flavors linger about the mouth.  The overall impression is of a compact wine that will develop for a few years.  This last glass easily survived overnight in an ungassed bottle.  Not Rated.

Chilled Wines

Pictures of Black Ankle Vineyards

In drinking the 2006 Black Ankle Cosecha I was remined of our visit to the winery. Two years ago Jenn, Lorelei, and I joined Shane for a picnic at Black Ankle Vineyards. Ed took some time to show us inside the winery. Here are a few pictures from that visit. I will return this summer to take some more pictures.

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Memorial Weekend Tasting Notes

Amy, with a Hook & Ladder beer, taking a break from photographing the kids.

Here are my brief tasting notes from a handful of the wines.  I only wrote a few sentences worth of notes so they are more impressions.  With my Texan wine being a disaster it was nice to have the local Black Ankle wine and even more local Hook and Ladder beer.

Deborah and Amy discussing photography.

Once the sun lowered in the horizon it became less hot but even more humid.  The adults enjoyed cold white wines while others played on the grass.

Alice and Elliott, Picture by Amy Carmichael Smith

I opened a couple of Rieslings because I knew that Phil and Shane would enjoy them.  Phil has been to both of these estates.

2002 Carl Schmitt-Wagner, Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett,  Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
I was immediately drawn to the older, petroleum aromas and gave a slight nod to it over the Kerpen.  Phil thought this wine would go with food and prefered the Kerpen.  On the second night there were soft, petroleum flavors, that are rich and expansive.  There is a little lifted quality then midpalate the wine softens up and there is just enough acidity to keep it going.  ** Now-2015.

2006 Kerpen, Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
This wine was very nice the second night and I suspect even better than on the first.  There were slightly spritely floral notes.  At first the tropical fruits mix with some petroleum in the mouth.  Then the wine immediately starts to dance around with a fresh midpalate, good finish and slightly puckering aftertaste that carries on.  This is a good wine. *** 2015-2019.

Jim and Shane discussing the wine trade.

We did not have too many roses.  Actually, the Etude might have been the only bottle.

2009 Etude, Pinot Noir Rose, Carneros
I did not take any notes about this wine but last night I cracked open a bottle of the 2010.  In my recollection the 2009 was better with well-balanced, rich flavors, and structure.

Daniel contemplating his father's wine glass.

There were several red wines to try from.  Inspired by Julie’s Swiss posts I wanted to get some Swiss wine.  There was none at MacArthur’s so Phil had recommended some from Savoie.

2007 Jongieux, Mondeuse, Savoie
This wine was surprisingly good for $12-$13.  It is a bit winey with a light nose that is peppery.  There is good acidity that grabs the side of the mouth, lovely pepper notes are developed and it leaves the overall impression of being a nice wine.  I drank this cold and it did quite well. ** Now.

2009 Domaine du Vissoux, Pierre-Marie Chermette, Cuvee Traditionnelle, Beaujolais
This wine was a recent gift from Lou.  There were a lot of dark strawberries and red berries with light but nice weight.  A bit soft in the finish but a wine the drank well all night.  I can see why Lou likes this wine.  The one problem, though, is the $19 price tag.  ** Now.

Non-Vintage Delaney Vineyards, Texas Claret, Texas High Plains
Jenn and I had brought back a few bottles of Texan wine several years ago when we visited her grandmother in Fort Worth. We drank up and enjoyed the reds from Becker Vineyards. I recently discovered I had this bottle laying about. It was probably acquired four to five years ago. It smelled awfully like weed killer. Something must have been wrong to begin with.  Not Rated.

2006 Black Ankle Vineyards, Cosecha, Frederick County, Maryland
Phil had never tried a Black Ankle wine before. The owners of Black Ankle, Ed and Sarah, are friends of Denise and Shane and live in our neighborhood. Shane dashed off to his house to bring back this bottle he has had for one or two years. The color and the flavors show some bottle age. Phil and I guess there was Syrah in it but there was not. Instead it is a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc. It was a nice wine that drank well straight from the bottle. I would recommend drinking this within the next year.  ** Now-2014.

2009 Tensley, Syrah, Colson Canyon Vineyard, Santa Barbara County
Tensley can be quite nice and give hints of what is to come in its youth. This was very dark and inky. There are lifted flavors of Syrah, with fresh purple fruits, pepper, and lively acidity. There are light purple/blue fruits in the finish. Definitely a step up from the base Syrah this seems more approachable than the 2007 is right now. I would age this wine for several years.  *** 2015-2022.

2007 L’Argentier, Vieilles Vignes de Carignan
This wine is made from 100% Carignan planted in 1935.  There was a definite sulphur component so we decanted the wine.  It eventually blew off and because an intriguing wine.  I do not think Shane liked it but Phil and I did.  I will try it again in June.  Not Rated.

Amy, Jenn, Mark, Deborah, and Aaron

Memorial Weekend Barbeque with Wine

All good Memorial weekends should be filled with barbecue and pool parties. This weekend was no exception. It started off with Shane’s birthday pool party on Saturday. This was an early evening for us so I only tried the 2009 Deiss, Pinot Blanc, the 2010 Mordoree, Rose, Cotes du Rhone, and the 2010 Bastide St. Dominique, Rose, Cotes du Rhone. The Deiss was a lovely, rich Pinot Blanc. The Mordoree showed structured, easy to drink fruit and the Bastide was tasty but for a lack of verve.

Keeping the bottles chilled

Sunday afternoon we hosted a small gathering in our back yard. The heat was ratcheting up with a high around 90 Farenheit and a relative humidity of 80%!!! So all of the wines had to be chilled. Amy was kind enough to take pictures throughout the afternoon and evening. It is a treat to have some pictures of myself! I am including a selection of her images in my posts about the party. I have also included a link to her website under the Friends links.

Most people started off with some Sauvignon Blanc, including Dan, as the kids played on the lawn.

Dan

There were plenty of non-alcoholic bubbles to entertain those who did not drink.

Daniel, Picture by Amy Carmichael Smith

There was not enough space at on the deck so we had a second table.

Picture by Amy Carmichael Smith

Deborah, my mother, and I explained all about the blog to Jim.

Deborah, Aaron, and Jim discussing the blog, Picture by Amy Carmichael Smith

While the adults chilled down with rose the children enjoyed Popsicles.

Mia and Lorelei keeping cool, Picture by Amy Carmichael Smith

Phil and Meriam, Picture by Amy Carmichael Smith

There was a wide variety of wine contributed by everyone. The bottles included:
Bottex, Bugey-Cerdon
2002 Carl-Schmitt-Wagner, Riesling Kabinett, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
2006 Kerpen, Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
2009 Etude, Pinot Gris
2007 Jongieux, Monduse, Savoie
2009 Chermette, Beaujolais
2006 Black Ankle, Cosecha, Maryland
A non-vintage Texan wine
2009 Tensley, Colson Canyon Syrah
2009 l’Argentier, Carignan
2007 Rouge-Bleu, Cuvee Mistral
And others.

Texan wine lurking there, Picture by Amy Carmichael Smith

Everyone had fun!

Olivia, Picture by Amy Carmichael Smith

I will post more pictures and some short tasting notes tomorrow. Today we were too busy enjoying the swimming pool to keep cool in the 95 degree Farenheit weather.

Red wine, Picture by Amy Carmichael Smith

Although we sweated even as we sat there, it was a fun evening. A large amount of food was eaten and most of the wines were enjoyed by all.

Aaron and Phil, Picture by Amy Carmichael Smith