Tonight, I was delighted to try WineShop At Home’s new Family Ranch Heritage White Wine. This wine is new for two reasons:
- The Family Ranch brand is new. At WineShop At Home, we have 20 or so different brands that we use for our wines. We proudly display our WineShop At Home logo on the back of each bottle. But we love to have a nice assortment of fun, sexy brands on the front.
- The Heritage blend is new. Alex Reble, our winemaker, is a king of blending, and this one is one of my favorites.
About Family Ranch
For starters, I’m happy to tell you that our new Family Ranch brand is screw-cap only, which is great for those of us who like to picnic and don’t want to be bothered to remember a corkscrew. (Please see my recent article on screw caps vs. cork.)
On the back of the bottle, it tells the new brand’s story: “From our family to yours comes Family Ranch. Settle down in the rocker and savor the essence of this ‘porch pounder’ of a wine handcrafted for everyday drinking with family and friends.”
For me, porch pounder is the operative word! Especially in the summer!
About the Heritage Blend
This is a blend of 40% Colombard, 35% Chenin Blanc and 25% Muscat Canelli. Let’s explore each of these grapes:
- Colombard: According to Wine Folly and WineMakerMag, this is a dry, light bodied, neutral, acidic wine that has aromas and flavors of peach, melon, tangerine, tropical fruit, apple, citrus, mineral and a hint of spice.
- Chenin Blanc: In an article on Chenin Blanc I wrote many years ago, I described it like this: “Wine expert Jancis Robinson describes Chenin Blanc as France’s answer to the German Riesling. I like to think of it as a fuller, richer Riesling. Typical aromas and flavors of Chenin Blanc include apple, lime, pear, honey, honeysuckle, quince, melon, flint, smoke, grass and hay.”
- Muscat Canelli: I think of Muscat as a floral bouquet, with a lot of rose notes. You’re also likely to pick up on peach and citrus flavors.
The Tasting Notes
When I first smelled and tasted the wine, I was taken by the lemon and lime – albeit a much mellower lemon and lime than you get in a Sauvignon Blanc. Given the blend, I knew that there was much more going on than just lemon and lime. So, I tasted it a bunch of times to figure out what else I was tasting. I’m sad to say that I couldn’t figure it out.
Thank goodness for tasting notes! Here’s what our winemaker Alex said he gets from the wine: “Beginning with lime and lemon aromas, grassy notes then emerge. Pear, honey and apple characteristics are present in the finish. The aromatics and citrus notes extend to the front palate and behind its light sweetness. This wine is refreshing and crisp on the mid-palate.”
Using Tasting Notes to Improve Your Tasting Skills
At my wine tastings, people often ask me how to improve their tasting skills. I give them a number of tips. But I tell them that one of the best ways to improve their skills is to taste wine while reading the winemaker’s tasting notes.
And I definitely used this exercise to help me improve my tasting skills. Having the notes at hand, I was able to identify the grassiness, pear, honey and apple that I couldn’t identify without the notes. Now, it’s possible that this was just a psychological thing where whatever was written I would find. But I think not.
An Invitation for You
I would love for you to taste the Family Ranch Heritage White Wine and share your tasting notes with me. I’m planning to buy quite a bit of this porch pounder for enjoyment throughout the rest of the summer. So if you’re near me, please schedule a time to come over and sip with me.
As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I absolutely enjoy bringing a taste of the Napa wine country home to you one sip at a time. Whether you simply love to drink wine, seek a special personalized wine gift, or are in search of a new wine jobs opportunity as a wine consultant, feel free to contact me for a truly unique wine tasting experience!
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