The Hedonistic Taster | № 3
by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML
“Wine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a pleasure.” – Henri Jayer
Welcome to The Hedonistic Taster, a binNotes |redThread™ trade sampling of artisan wine published every other Sunday each month.
The title derives from the term ‘hedonistic tasting,’ coined by legendary Burgundian vigneron Henri Jayer.
The Hedonistic Taster allows me the opportunity to introduce you to some gorgeous pours through this intimate tasting format.
Grgich Hills Estate | Napa, CA.
To appreciate Grgich Hills Estate wines, you need to understand the wine maker. In order to understand the wine maker, you have to appreciate his struggle.
For wine maker Miljenko “Mike” Grgrich, struggle defines his existence. Like his vines, he has had to dig deep to bear the rich fruit that crafts the sweet wine of his life.
Rejecting life in former communistic Yugoslavia, eventually garnering praise as an esteemed Napa artisan winemaker instrumental in Chateau Montelena’s historic Judgement of Paris award-winning chardonnay – Grgich embodies the character so evident in his wines.
In 1995, Grgich broke ground on another winery in his native Croatia, Grgich Vina.
Farmed organically, Grgich wines exude a soulful, old world freshness and immediacy, sans pretension.
Alone or with food, these wines welcome your palate, like an old friend.
Wine: Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Chardonnay
Alcohol: 13.5 %
Suggested Retail: $45.00
Robe: Pale golden.
Nose: Golden apple, almond blossom, green melon.
Palate: Muskmelon, Honey Crisp apple, supple hint of toasted nut. Lack of malolactic fermentation plus bio-dynamic farming reveals a stunning girl-next-door who needs no makeup to invite her to dinner.
Suggested Pairings: Local seafood, roasted chicken, grilled pork, creamy cheeses.
Wine: Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Fume Blanc (aka Sauvignon Blanc.)
Alcohol: 14.1 %
Suggested Retail: $30.00
Robe: Pale lemon.
Nose: Lime flower, tropical fruits.
Palate: Pineapple, lemongrass, stone fruits. A pristinely piquant picnic pleaser that you won’t want to kick off the blanket.
Wine: Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Merlot
Alcohol: 14.9 %
Suggested Retail: $43.00
Robe: Medium opaque cherry.
Nose: Dark cherry, blue plum.
Palate: A plush, balanced sideswipe to any Sideways naysayers. @#$% yeah, Merlot!
Suggested Pairings: Beef tenderloin, rack of lamb, duck, barbecued pork.
Wine: Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 14.7 %
Suggested Retail: $75.00
Robe: Medium opaque raspberry robe.
Nose: Dark berry, violets.
Palate: Restrained violet and blackberry notes nuzzle up against masculine tannery back notes, melding into one harmonious, malingering mouthful.
Suggested Pairings: Grilled steak, rack of lamb, roasted duck.
Wine: Grgich Vina Plavac Mali (cultivar related to Zinfandel.)
Alcohol: 15.4 %
Suggested Retail: $38.00
Robe: Medium opaque dark cherry.
Nose: Herbaceous bramble and black cherry.
Palate: Don’t let the high alcohol and robust tannins fool you. This easy quaffer clasps you by the shoulder and heads you out back to the BBQ to join family and friends for the festivities.
Suggested Pairings: Grilled or cured meats, hard cheeses, pizza.
NOTE: In August 2015, fire decimated Grgich Vina, including its inventory. Thanks to my friends at Bunjohn Wines for sharing this 2008 jewel.
Disclosure: All wines reviewed here are trade samples provided by wineries, media and PR representatives.
Winemakers, media and PR representatives:
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