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Wine Tasting Three Summer Varieties

Musar Jeune White Blend

First on the list is the Musar Jeune White blend of 30% Viognier, 40% Vermentino and the remaining 30% Chardonnay. Here's the wine makers notes on this vintage.

"The Viognier and Vermentino of 2014 displayed wonderful aromatic qualities and fragrance and the Chardonnay had a rich oily texture and a floral nose. This vintage is concentrated with good acidity – full of herbs with white fruits of pears and white peaches on the nose and palate. This is a crisp, mineral well-structured wine that shows complexity and verve."

The wine had a slight cloudy tinge to it. Very floral on the nose. Oily texture and lots of peaches and minerallity. I found the wine to have a dusty and dirtyness to the finish.

The Musar Jeune White blend is made in Lebanon, specifically, 15 miles north of Beirut, in the town of Ghazir, Lebanon at Chateau Musar. Musar grapes grow in the Beqaa Valley which is 25 miles east of Beirut. Vines in this area have been cultivated for at least 6,000 years. Even though Lebanon has had some war torn years, each year the chateau has produced wine, except in 1976 when the Lebanese civil war began and constant shelling unnerved the winemakers. In 1984, the winemaker, Serge Hochar, was able to produce that year's vintage but, again, because of the civil war, didn't ship the 1984 vintage to consumers.

Wine lovers who have tasted the wines of Château Musar usually fall into one of two camps: those who love it and those who don't. For me, I didn't like it very well due to the dusty and dirty flavors.

Sans Liege Cotes-du-Coast White Blend

Next up is the Sans Liege Cotes-du-Coast White blend made up of 49% Viognier, 27% Roussanne, 15% Grenache Blanc, and 9% Marsanne. The wine makers notes are as follows.

"Huffing along the cobblestone street, you see your breath in front of you and rub your mittened hands together. There’s a warm glow in every window but you tighten your coat around you and press onward. A door swings open and along with the raucous merriment, scents of eggnog, orange spice cake, freshly whipped cream, dried pineapple, lemon zest and hints of chartreuse spill out into the street. A red-cheeked stranger pats you on the back and guides you inside. He grabs a ramekin from one of the dessert trays being passed and hands it to you. It is filled with lemon curd and thyme and topped with a honeysuckle blossom. You remove your mittens and guzzle a warm caramely liquid from a mug."

Sounds more like a story than winemakers notes. That's the way Sans Liege writes all their tasting notes. I found myself clicking through all the other wines they offer just so I could read the silly tasting stories they've developed.

Sans Liege is a small family-owned winery located in Paso Robles, California and sources grapes from the Central Coast Appellation. Pioneering Rhone blends in the Central Coast, the winemaker, Curt Schalchlin, has embodied his winemaking philosophy into the name of the winery, Sans Liege, which means, "without a leader or master."

I found the Sans Liege Cotes-du-Coast White blend balanced with no flab at all. Brightly colored white wine with tree fruit and orange aromas. Butterscotch, tarragon, and vanilla flavors all present to the smooth, satisfying finish. Very complex for a white wine with lots of emerging flavors as it opens up. Was a fun wine to drink.

Thomas Fogerty Chardonnay

Last up is the 2014 Thomas Fogerty 100% Chardonnay. Grapes come from five different locations on the Thomas Fogerty Mountain Estate Winery. The winemakers notes are simple and straight-forward.

"Bright, juicy and vivid with citrus and minerality"

The Thomas Fogarty Winery sits high above Silicon Valley, on Skyline Ridge, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It was the vision of the founders, Dr. Thomas Fogarty and Michael Martella, to create a biodynamic farming system. For 35 years, these systems have been honed and improved and now create amazing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in such a cool region. Sometimes the grapes are not harvested until November.

I found the Thomas Fogarty Chardonnay to be medium-bodied to full-bodied, crisp, delicate, and the flavors of green apple & pear dominated the palate and the finish included a touch of honey.


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