Sand Castle Winery: Grand in her Finery 01/21/11

On Sunday I attended a free open house at Sand Castle Winery, and I’ve decided it would probably be fun if I took some time to brag about it here. You may remember Sand Castle as the producer of the 2004 Dry Riesling from my second review, which ever since has held the honor of being my all-time favorite white. If you don’t, you’ve either got a terrible memory, or you haven’t even read my entire blog yet, which is downright inexcusable.

null

Aww…I can’t stay mad at you.

The roads were perilous and narrow, and the destination a fair distance off, but I wasn’t driving, and in any case I suppose this all served to keep out the riff-raff, so I can’t complain. The winery itself, though partially frosted over, was nevertheless an impressive site to behold – accentuated further by my not having last beheld it since I was five years old, and barely even able to tell a Muscadelle from a Muscadet. And no, “Sand Castle” is not just a name: the vineyard does feature a rather fetching fortification, which was recently completed after decades of construction.

null

Look at that craftsmanship.

But enough with the word-talking: it’s wine time! This was more of a party than a tasting, so the portions being poured were a bit larger than those at Crossing. As a result, I wasn’t able to taste everything, and so focused my efforts on Sand Castle’s more premium (that is to say, expensive) wines, the Millennium Series. I do realize most of these violate my “under $20” rule, but that was never really so much a rule as a prediction, so deal with it.

You can buy most of the wines I’m discussing here (a few vintages haven’t been updated).

The first wine I tried was the 2005 Johannisberg Dry Riesling ($18), which brought back pleasant memories of the 2004, with pronounced green apple and lime on the nose, and similar notes on the palate. It was light-colored, light-bodied and a bit tarter than its predecessor, but I’ll certainly admit to not having spent nearly as much time with this one (a glass) than the other (two bottles).

thumbs up.
_________________________
Next I went for the 2002 Millennium Series Chardonnay Classic ($30), expecting mediocre things. This had a wonderful golden color in the glass and an incredibly intriguing nose of vanilla cake batter, muskmelon and just a hint of olive. It was rich on the palate with notes of melon, lime and honey with a long, sweet finish. This dethrones the 2004 Dry Riesling not only as my oldest white, but also my favorite. Still a little sweet for a perfect score, though.

thumbs up.
_________________________
Following this more than pleasant surprise, I had a glass of 2005 Millennium Series Gewürztraminer ($30). This grape is known for its lychee aromas, and this wine was no exception, with some additional, tropical notes of mango. It had perhaps the best color of any wine I had at Sand Castle, verging on amber, but the palate was a bit of a disappointment: dry with subtle hints of lychee (which is good!) and medium-bodied (which is neutral) but ultimately a bit low on acidity. My expectations may have been unreasonably high though, given the Chardonnay.

thumbs up.
_________________________
The final white I took notes on was the Millennium Series 2003 Johannisberg Riesling Private Reserve ($30). Light yellow-gold in the glass, this gave off a vegetal bouquet that I eventually pinpointed as arugula, along with more traditional notes of apple. The palate presented golden delicious apple with some mineral complexity, but the wine was ultimately a bit too sweet for me.

thumbs up.
_________________________
Although I prefer reds, I only sampled two at the open house. First was the 2007 Pinot Noir ($30), which actually came across very much like Crossing’s Pinot Noir Reserve – indicative of Bucks County terroir, I suppose. Ruby red color, cherry, rose and redcurrant on the nose, with floral tea notes on the palate. Well-integrated tannins round out the mix.

thumbs up.
_________________________
The final wine I’ll be discussing is the Millennium Series 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon ($40), a wine which Sand Castle’s owner informed me had been minimally handled so as to preserve its “luster.” This Cab, which was “bottled by gravity,” had a nicely aged purple hue, lighter around the edges. Giving off aromas of blackberry, leather and caramel cream, the wine had soft (a little too soft) tannins with great blackberry and raspberry flavors, as well as a long finish.

thumbs up.
_________________________

By way of conclusion, I’d just like to thank Sand Castle Winery for the invite, and remind them – as well as any other vintners who may be reading – that I am totally accepting press samples.

Goodnight everybody!

3 people like this post.


You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to this article

 
albert April 8, 2013 Reply

I’m trying to find suggestions about how to improve the amount of comments on my own blog, just how did you achieve achieving this?

 
køb nike free run December 26, 2013 Reply

des designs modifis en Nike cosaque de ne pas accomplir acclamant Femme Chaussures Nike 100 % free Dash 3.

Leave a Reply

close comment popup

Leave A Reply