Showcase of North Carolina Fine Wines

In mid-March, the North Carolina Fine Wines Competition took to the road and held its first showcase event. The showcase had on display all 12 of the winning wines from North Carolina. This first showcase was at the Duke mansion in Charlotte. The doors opened and the crowds made their way in to pick up their Riedel glass and make their way through the tasting sheet.

The event was laid out in three rooms. Two adjoining rooms held the bulk of the award-winning wines. The auxiliary room held the last four wines for the evening. Guests were handed a tasting sheet and made their way throughout the rooms sampling at each table.

Getting set up for taking notes at the North Carolina Fine Wines Showcase.

The Main Room

First up was a taste of the Surrry Cellars 2013 Specialty Lot 152 Sparkling wine. This white blend, made in the traditional Méthode Champenoise style, was the perfect starter to the evening. The nose was grapey with lemon rind coming through. The bubbles were fine and light and carried the flavors of the wine nicely. It had a slightly musky mid-palate and a creamy velvet finish.

Next up was the Herrera Vineyards 2015 Dry Riesling. This light and refreshing white wine was crisp and flavorful. The nose had a slight foxy note to it and was well-balanced with a rich slate background. The flavors were clean and mild with a subtle fruit sweetness that showed in the finish.

Herrera Vineyards at the North Carolina Fine Wines Showcase

Herrera Vineyards pouring the 2015 Dry Riesling.

The next table held the Cellar 4201 Vineyards 2015 Unoaked Chardonnay. Another crisp white wine, it had a luscious fruit nose of ripe yellow apples. The flavors were steely and clean. The ripe fruits gave this wine a fresh profile and it ended with a very nice finish.

The Back Room

We moved to the next room where the Jones von Drehle table was waiting for us with the next three wines. Our first sample there was the 2015 Rosa Dia rosé. This Provençal style rosé was made of 100% Grenache grapes. The color was pale salmon and had musky ripe strawberries on the nose. The body of this wine was a bit bolder and more viscous with a nice acidity and pleasant fruit flavors.

The next wine was the 2015 Unoaked Chardonnay. This Chardonnay was completely different from the Cellar 4201 we sampled two wines ago. The nose on this was less fruit forward and had wet stone in the background. The body of this wine was notably heavier. Pears and honey came through in the flavors and a subtle buttery mid-palate lingered into the finish.

The last wine from Jones von Drehle was the 2015 Petit Manseng. This white wine is one that drinks like a red. The nose was honeyed with a distinct Petit Manseng profile. The flavors were of big tropical pineapple and coconut. The finish lingered on and you could taste this wine minutes after taking a sip.

Raffaldini Vineyards at the North Carolina Fine Wines Showcase

Raffaldini Vineyards pouring the 2014 Montepulciano Riserva and 2014 Sangiovese Classico Riserva.

Back to the Main Room

We made our way back into the main room where the last table there was for Raffaldini Vineyards two red wines. The first sample was the 2014 Sangiovese Classico Riserva. This full-bodied red had a bold cherry flavors with a subtle dried herb mid-palate. The finish was filled with nice tannins that lingered on.

The second wine from Raffaldini Vineyards was the 2014 Montepulciano Riserva. Easily the biggest wine in the room, this one was bold and oaky. Dried cherries came through on the nose and flavor. It was supported by an oaky and leathery mid-palate. The bold tannins faded out slowly throughout the finish.

The Last Room

We made our way over to the auxiliary room where the final four wines were waiting for the guests. The first wine in the room was the Addison Farms Vineyards 2014 Five Twenty-Nine Barbera. Popular in northern Italy, this wine was right at home at this showcase. The nose was bold with earthy qualities and a soft perfumed violet. The flavors, in contrast, highlighted tart cherry up front. The mid-palate turned to tar and tobacco and finished with nicely developed tannins.

Addison Farms Vineyards and Grove Winery at the North Carolina Fine Wines Showcase

Addison Farms (back left) and Grove Winery (right) at the Showcase.

The next wine on the list was the Grove Winery & Vineyards 2013 Nebbiolo. The nose on this wine was incredibly deep and complex. It started with cherry, then licorice root came through supported by leather. The flavors were equally complex with cherries being the primary fruit. Secondary flavors leaned more earthy or leathery and it had a refined finish.

The last table was for our final two wines of the evening, both from Shelton Vineyards. The first wine we tried was the 2013 Two-Five-Nine Tannat. This wine was impeccably dark in color and flavor. The nose was rich with warm vanilla and a subtle dried berries. The flavors started with dried berries and moved to a caramel mid-palate. It finished dry with a wet tobacco finish.

Shelton Vineyards at the North Carolina Fine Wines Showcase

Shelton Vineyards pouring their 2013 Two-Five-Nine Tannat and 2006 Port.

We finished the evening on a sweet note. The dessert wine in the showcase, also from Shelton Vineyards, was the 2006 Port. This fortified wine was a perfect ending to the evening. It had a toasty nose with caramelized plums and toffee. The flavors were of black fruits and a sweet spice that came through in the finish.

Between samples of wine and chatting with the folks from the vineyards, we also sampled the hors devours that came around throughout the evening. The food paired nicely with the wines and certainly helped to enjoy the evening.

There are still two more showcase events scheduled to take plac! Check out the events section of their website to get more info.

List of NC Fine Wine Winners

2013 Specialty Lot 152 Sparkling
Surry Cellars – Surry Community College
*Winner Best Hybrid

2015 Dry Riesling
Herrera Vineyards
*Winner Best White Vinifera

2015 Unoaked Chardonnay
Cellar 4201

2015 Unoaked Chardonnay
Jones von Drehle Vineyards

2015 Petit Manseng
Jones von Drehle Vineyards

2015 Rosa Dia
Jones von Drehle Vineyards

2014 Montepulciano Riserva
Raffaldini Vineyards
*Winner Best Red Vinifera
*Winner Best in Show

2014 Sangiovese Classico Riserva
Raffaldini Vineyards

2014 Five Twenty-Nine Barbara
Addison Farms Vineyard

2013 Nebbiolo
Grove Winery & Vineyard

2013 Two-Five-Nine Tannat
Shelton Vineyards

2006 Port
Shelton Vineyards
*Winner Best Dessert/Port Vinifera

Posted by Matt Kemberling

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