Tag Archive | Wine Century Club

12 Corners Aromella

When I was in Michigan visiting my family, my cousin and I took a day to head over to Lake Michigan.  We had lunch at a brewery, did a little bit of shopping, went to a couple of the wineries in downtown South Haven, and checked out the lighthouse too.

We stopped at 12 Corners Winery tasting room in downtown South Haven, named for the Twelve Corners neighborhood where the vineyard makes its home, and did a wine tasting.

The Aromella intrigued me.  It is a hybrid grape; a cross between Traminette and Ravat 34, developed at Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY in 1976.  It was renamed Aromella in 2013 (that took a while!).  I have had Traminette, and like it, but I have never had, or even heard of Ravat 34.

The result is a sweet (but not overly so) white wine that tastes similar to Moscato, but with more floral flavors.  The 12 Corners Aromella is estate grown, the residual sugar on this wine is 5.5 percent and the alcohol content is 11.8 percent.  It was delicious and a great opportunity to taste a new-to-me grape!  It is also reasonably priced at $14.99 a bottle.

If you have tried it, let me know what you think!



Hugues Beauvignac 2009 Picpoul de Pinet

My recent Wine Century Party gave me a list of wine grapes that I hadn’t yet tried.  Last time I checked, I was at 77 grapes.  On our recent trip to California, Jon and I visited Total Wine on a mission to get some hard liquor for one of Jon’s friends, who gave us money and a wish list (I think WA state has the highest sin tax in the nation, so stocking up in California makes a lot of sense).  I had never been to a Total Wine before, so of course, I had to check out everything…

As I was wondering what I could get to round out my six pack (and feeling a bit overwhelmed), I happened upon this bottle of Picpoul de Pinet.  I knew it was on the list of grapes I haven’t tried yet, so I picked it up and brought it home.

Hugues Beauvignac 2009 Picpoul de Pinet (Sorry the silver lettering really doesn't show up very well)

Hugues Beauvignac 2009 Picpoul de Pinet (Sorry the silver lettering really doesn’t show up very well)

We opened it on the 23rd of December, as we were watching TV and wrapping presents, getting the last minute things done for Christmas.  The wine was made by Hugues Beavignac, from the Languedoc region of France.  Picpoul Blanc is one of the grapes permitted in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but it lost much of its popularity after the French Wine Blight because of its susceptibility to fungal diseases, and because the low yield of the grape.

Upon opening the bottle, I got a light citrus nose.  On the palate, there was a nicely balanced acidity, with citrus and mineral flavors, and just a hint of butter on the finish.  Jon described the wine as balanced right between sweet and dry.  It tasted equally good the next day, when we took the bottle down to Christmas Eve dinner at Jon’s parents.

I was very pleased with the wine, and at $10.99, it was certainly affordable.  And now I am up to 78 grapes!

Century Wine Club Party – Who Wants Some Macabeo?

A few months ago, one of the wine bloggers that I follow posted some information about the Wine Century Club.  The Wine Century Club, if you are not familiar, is a designation reserved for those people who have tasted at least 100 different types of grapes in wine.  There are 500-600 grape varieties used in wine-making world-wide, so it seems a reasonable goal to have tried approximately 20 percent of the grapes used.

So I checked out this website – if you have sampled at least 100 different types of grapes, you can fill out the application form and send away for your very own Wine Century Club certificate!  Is this the grown-up version of the Inspector Gadget Sleuth club that you could join after mailing away the back section of your cereal box?  I don’t know, but it sounded intriguing!

I printed out the list of grapes, and checked off all the grapes that I know I have tried.  Some of my blog posts were very helpful in supplementing my memory!  It turns out I have tried 58.  And with all the grapes that are still out there, it surely can’t be too difficult to get up to the 100 mark!  So I decided to have a Wine Century Club Party.

I tend to be more “wine-adventurous” than most of my friends, so I made a list of all the grapes I have not yet tried so guests would know which wines to bring.  Yes, I realize that this is a bit self-serving, but I figure that if I haven’t tried it, neither have my friends, and you can have a Mourvèdre or a Carignan any old time!  I was pretty surprised at how many grapes are out there that I have never even heard of – who knew there was a grape called Alfrocheiro?  Or Furmint!?  Although to be honest, if I got to name a new grape, I certainly wouldn’t call it Furmint!  How about Hárslevelü?  Anybody heard of that one?

I scoured a few of the local wine stores to give guests an idea of where they could get wines containing unusual grapes – it was quite a process with a lot of label reading, and puzzling over French and Italian labels to determine whether a word referred to the region or the grape (usually the region).  I learned that some importers are much better than others with labeling the grapes that the wine contains.  And I learned there are an awful lot of different names for the exact same grape!  And sometimes the same name refers to more than one type of grape, depending on which country the wine is from.  Confusing!

But in the end, I was able to find more than 30 different wines with about 20 different unusual grapes in wines with reasonable prices, so people have some options!  The wines don’t have to be single varietal, so that makes it a bit easier…  And I hope that everybody enjoys the challenge!

At the party I plan to have copies of the grape list available so people can see how close they come to Wine Century Club membership.  I will let you know how many I get to try!

For a Blind Wine Tasting Party, You Need Wine!

Does this look like Furmint?