Because Laurita Winery has the best hours around (open until 9pm, how about that?) I headed down for a happy hour treat. The weather is surprisingly chilly, in the 50s with a breeze, but I wanted to capture a sunset fall scene. I've been here many times before but never for the passport. Ah, the old familiar territory.
Unfortunately, because of Jonaid's work in northern NJ, he did not come with me tonight.
The tastings here are by far the most expensive at $7 for six tastes. The wines are good, but are they worth that cost? I know many vineyards in Napa that aren't even that steep. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder on that charge.
For most of my tasting I was the sole patron at the counter. At the beginning there was another couple, commenting on the common wine pests. "Where do fruit flies come from?" The husband belted. "These are questions I need answers to."
I grinned next to him and chimed that my boyfriend always asks how they suddenly appear, almost out of thin air, even in the middle of winter. They laughed, but they were on their last tasting. They left me all alone; so for that reason this post will be mostly pictures instead of story.
[blends] - none of which I tried today, but have had all of them before and recall them being sweet but very flavorful. Plus they have fantastic labels:
Windswept White - did not try
Beachcomber Blush - did not try
Relaxing Red - did not try
[grapes, come as they are, as they were, as I want them to be... aka not blends]
Chardonnay Naked - First tasting. The grape smell hit me right off of the bat and swallowed with a lot of flavor and a hint of sweetness.
Chardonnay Reserve - Did not taste but bought a glass to try it. Very buttery and smooth; absolutely fantastic.
Pinot Gris - Much lighter both in aroma and flavor but still a good grape taste.
Merlot - My wine host explained this is smoky but I got no trails of that. A lot of acidity and some vanilla came through.
Chambourcin - Different than any other chambourcin so far but not impressive enough for me to make huge note. Some acidity.
Zwiegelt - A german grape that was an accidental pour by my host (which is why I got seven tastes instead of six). Surprisingly I could smell the acidity but could taste the cinnamon, whereas its description has that reversed.
[and pause while I move to Elton John on my iTunes as I type. I will also use this chance to mention there is jazz music heard both inside and out at Laurita.]
Cabernet Sauvignon - Very smooth but I could feel every organ warm up as it went down. A cherry/plum aroma is very evident.
Cabernet Franc - With a very perfumy scent this is the best red at Laurita (in my opinion). Everything about it just feels good- from the aroma to the taste to the after effects.
The tasting was a bit staggered at Laurita tonight as the first girl I was with poured for awhile and then got lost in the back room. About five minutes later another girl came up and helped me out; I recognized her from prior tastings but didn't catch her name. She's still one of the friendliest pourers I know.
Walking around the grounds I snagged a few more shots. It really is an artsy place and stunningly beautiful.
And of course, the flavor of fall.
You can see the moon up there!