The Demystified Vine

Taking the mystery out of wine exploration!

I am inclined to begin this post by mentioning that the concept of karma is widely known to be a cause and effect law. So, with that as a reminder, I will now continue my blogging.

2010 Karma Vineyards Griesling, Lake Chelan, WA

Background: I was on summer vacation in the Lake Chelan area of Washington in July 2012. After disembarking from the ferry, a few of us decided that we would like to visit a few wineries in the area before heading back to the border. Afterall, we needed to have some wine to bring back with us to Canada, right? (It’s cheaper in the state of Washington due to tax laws.) Our first stop, Karma Vineyards. We ate a lovely lunch at their 18 Brix Restaurant, and each ordered a “fleet tasting” of their available wines. All of their wines were lovely, but while paying for our meal at the register, I noticed a new wine that I had not tasted in my fleet. Yes, folks, the blue bottle stood proud and pretty on their countertop, my eyes drawn to it like a moth to a flame. I had a feeling that it was going to be a good day.

The conversation with the waitress went “something” like this:

Me: “What is that wine in the blue bottle?”
Waitress: “That’s our new Griesling. It was just released yesterday. Would you like to try…” [cut off]
Me: “Umm, yes!!”
Waitress: “We don’t even have any tasting notes yet for it.”
Me: “Perfect. I can help you with that – I’ve taken my WSET courses.”

The rest is history my friends. It was like an orgasm in a glass.

So, I decided to open it at a tasting I had in my home a few weeks ago. Here is what my guests had to say about it after I asked them to fill in the blanks to this question: If this wine was _____, I’d _____.

Guest 1: If this wine was a woman, I’d be in love.
Guest 2: If this wine was like dancing, I’d wanna dance the night away.
Guest 3: If this wine was my house, I’d never leave.
Guest 4: If this wine was water, I’d be surfing it.
Guest 5: If this wine was snow, I’d be melting it.

Other words my guests described this wine as being: indulgent, full of life, and nostalgic.

Now to the nitty-gritty. An honourable blend of Gewürztraminer and Riesling, this off dry and medium+ bodied wine was boasting of tropical fruit and a hint of butter. It was fascinatingly Riesling on the bouquet and more Gewürztraminer on the palate. The nose was floral and diesel-like with a subtle whiff of oak. In the mouth, it was coconut, mango, melon, fuzzy peach, and a hint of wood. I spoke to Craig Mitrakul, the winemaker at Karma Vineyards, and he provided me with this information about the Griesling:

Thanks for your visit to our tasting room and for your nice comments.  Our estate vineyards consist mostly of traditional sparkling wine varietals.  However, we have a little bit of Gewurztraminer and a Riesling planted too.  This wine was not bottle before harvest 2011 because it wasn’t quite ready.  Both wines as stand alone varietals were good, but missing something.  In the beginning of 2012, we revisited the wines and did blending trials.  Low and behold, we liked the wines blended together.  They complemented each other well with improved fruit aromas and flavors as well as balanced sweetness.  The tasting room was also looking for a wine with a little bit of sweetness and the Griesling fit the request.

Craig, it doesn’t matter that both varietals were good as stand alones at this point. Your crafted Griesling is probably one of the most interesting wines I have ever tasted. Granted I am not as experienced as others (yet), I can conclude that this Griesling is a living force unto itself. My tasting guests, as stated above, will agree with me.

Food pairings? Don’t you dare.

Gewürztraminer growing in the fields of Karma Vineyards, July 2012

To my lovely readers, if you’re in the Lake Chelan area of Washington and you you don’t stop in to buy a bottle of this, you will regret it. Heck, drive down just to buy a bottle, and then invite me over!


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