Sunday, April 25, 2010

Aaronap Cellars Grand Release Party

While I'm waiting for the competition results to be announced and for my 2010 Chilean grape order to arrive, I decided to try to empty a little wine out of the cellar and throw my first Aaronap Cellars Grand Release Party this weekend. Spent yesterday grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning before the guests arrived but I do believe a fun time was had by all!

Initially, I had 5 wines open for tasting:

2009 Chilean Chardonnay V1 -- A snappy French Chablis style with a fruity nose and crisp finish (no oak or malolactic fermentation.

2009 Chilean Chardonnay V2 -- My version of a Burgundian chardonnay. Fruit forward with notes of French oak and a big buttery finish.

2008 Chilean Malbec -- Restrained dark fruit flavors aged in a new American oak barrel.

2008 Chilean Syrah -- Big cherry and vanilla flavors with a slightly herbaceous finish. Aged in a new French oak barrel.

2008 Northern CA Zinfandel -- Big fruit bomb with tons of jammy fruit. Aged in an American oak barrel.

If that wasn't enough, I also popped open one of my last 2008 Dry Blueberry bottles & the award winning 2008 Apple.

Based on the feedback from attendees, I do have to pat myself on the back and say that most wines were very well received. The Zinfandel was the biggest hit of the evening (managed to unload about a case of that!). We even ventured down to the cellar for some barrel tasting of the 2009 Chilean Syrah and another batch of the 2008 zinfandel. People are really looking forward to those wines, too!

So it was a very happy weekend at Aaronap Cellars. Now to go for a run and work off the junk food calories!


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Another competition--2010 AWCI Wine Competition

I was browsing through the Winepress.US winemaker discussion forum last night and came across a new notice that entries for the 2010 AWCI Wine Competition were due by April 15. I was intrigued so I did a little more digging. AWCI is the Amateur Winemakers of Central Illinois, a group of amateur winemakers that got together in 2004 for collective buying power to purchase premium grapes. They've started a wine competition limited strictly to the amateur winemaker that is the 2nd largest wine competition in the state of Illinois.

Since the wines were due soon, I made a snap decision to send in some of my recent vintages and see how they score. At $10/wine, that's a bargain entry fee! Boxed them and shipped them off this morning, so everyone keep those fingers crossed!

Wines entered:
2008 Chilean Malbec
2008 Chilean Syrah
2008 Northern CA Zinfadel
2009 Chilean Chardonnay, no-oak style
2009 Chilean Chardonnay, Burgundian style
2009 Apple Wine