Charlemagne Wine Club - 2009 Tastings

Monday 15th June 2009
"Gone with the Wine" - South East USA presented by Robin Hall

Gone with the Wine - Tasting Conclusions

"Gone with the Wind" is an epic of hope, failure and success in the American Deep South. It highlights passion, ambition, despair, hope, impressive estates and the impact of incomers from the North and elsewhere on the establishment - with not a little duplicity and dubious practice. Rather like the June tasting at Charlemagne.

The American South is a relatively unknown area for British wine drinkers, not least because there is little production sold out of state, let alone across the Atlantic. But it is not a new area for wine growing - Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers and third President of the USA, had a vineyard and was enthusiastic about the potential of this region. However, he never achieved a successful vintage, and it has taken quite a while for the potential to be realised.

Much of the production of wine in Eastern USA has been what in Europe would be regarded as "fruit wine", produced from North American grapes like scuppernong and muscadine. Scarlett O'Hara would certainly have enjoyed sweet muscadine wines at Tara, as you can today all over the Deep South (with or without peach flavouring). But that's not what this tasting is about.

Robin Hall will be presenting wines from Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia from boutique (and not so small) wineries. And to wrap up the whole "Gone with the Wind" epic theme, the Yankees are coming too - we have one special wine from the Union states!

It is believed that this is the first time such a wide geographic spread of Eastern US wines have been presented in a tasting in England. It is definitely the first in the 35 years of Charlemagne Wine Club tastings. Certainly, you will encounter producers and peculiarities that you have never run across before - but no muscadine wine!

The line-up for this tasting included
Blackstock - Reserve Merlot 2005
Three Sisters - Cynthiana 2004
Wolf Mountain - Blanc de Blancs 2006
New York State
Lakewood Vineyards - Dry Riesling 2007
North Carolina
Biltmore Estate - Cabernet Franc (NV)
Barboursville Vineyards - Octagon 2005
Kluge Estate - North American Red 2004
Veramar Vineyards - Chardonnay 2007
Veritas Winery & Vineyard - Viognier 2007
White Hall Vineyards - Petit Verdot 2007