The setting was the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Illinois…the wines were from Broken Earth Winery from Paso Robles, California, and the winemaker – Chris Cameron- was there to talk to us tasters and share his beautiful wines. His lovely wife accompanied him…a friendly, delightful couple… both made me feel as if we had know one another for years instead of minutes.
I started out tasting the three white wines, as it was a very warm September day. The 2014 Limited Release Albariño suited my taste perfectly. Stone fruit, grapefruit, and citrus notes…the perfect wine for lighter foods. It reminded me of the many Albariño I drank in Spain last year. Next up, 2014 Estate Chardonnay. Ripe fruit, barrel fermentation, partial malolactic fermentation and extended lees contact made this a powerful, oaky Chardonnay. The last white wine was the 2014 Vineyard Select Riesling from Columbia Valley. This was a bit sweeter than I typically drink, but it was refreshingly bright and balanced. I could see pairing it with my favorite Thai dish which has a bit of a bite!
On to the red wines- two Cabernet Sauvignon, one Petite Sirah, a Merlot, and two red blends were on the tasting menu. The 2012 Reserve “CV” Cabernet Sauvignon, one of Broken Earth’s most exclusive wines, was big, bold, smooth, and delicious! Lots of blackberry, blackcurrant, and anise notes. I was wanting a thick, juicy steak to pair with it! The blends were also quite interesting. The 2012 PULL CDR Rhône Blend- is made of 53% Grenache, 23% Petite Sirah, 20% Syrah, and 4% Viognier…which is a white varietal and plays beautifully in the mix. This was my favorite red…transporting me back to my visit to the Rhône Valley in 2013. “Quadrant BDX”- 2012 Bordeaux Blend is similar to Right Bank Bordeaux reds with 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot, with a bit of Petite Sirah added to spice it up. Again, this wine brought me back to my many travels to the Bordeaux region…always pleasant memories.
The last wine was Broken Earth’s NV Vin de Vie from Paso Robles. Made in the Mistella style (fortified grape juice) from Grenache grapes, this sweet dessert wine was paired nicely with a peach, nutty phyllo cup. I like the suggestion to add a bit to a glass of Champagne!