Hello! It is almost the weekend! I hope that everyone has some great plans. Maybe those plans involve a bottle of Karamoor Estate wine? I know mine do!
I am going to tell you a secret...OK, maybe not a secret, but a little known fact: We bottled a 100% Petit Verdot from our 100% estate grown Petit Verdot. It was a super small amount that we bottled, only 50 cases to be precise (down to 47 now). Here's how it happened: One day, Kevin and I were walking through the barrel room down at the winery, doing some sampling (job perk!). We had tried the Meritage, the Merlots (Reserve Merlot and Merlot), the Cab Franc - I was BLOWN AWAY by the quality of all these wines. We were passing some barrels on our way out that we hadn't tasted, so I asked Kevin what was in them. He said, "That's the 2013 Petit Verdot. Do you want to try that?", to which I said, "Ummm...obviously, yes.". As soon as I took my first smell, I was just taken with it. First sip, it was all over. I had to have it bottled. I didn't care how much or how little we would have after blending, I needed it! Our PV in years past has been good, great color, nice flavor profile, good structure, but the 2013 was different. I told Kevin we had to bottle it..kind of begged him. When he went through the wines that he planned to bottle with my grandparents, he brought along the 2013 Petit Verdot, explaining that I had been a thorn in his side about wanting it bottled. It was my grandmother's favorite! I didn't even have to plant the seed beforehand, and she still helped seal the deal. So, now, you have the ability to try the wine that we are calling the "best wine we have produced to date", words straight from Kevin's mouth just a few weeks ago!
The tasting notes as written by us here are: This unfined and unfiltered rarity is recognized more as a blending Bordeaux varietal than as a stand-alone bottling. Intense aromas of black currants along with nuances of cigar box, cedar and lilacs are an enticement to the concentrated flavors of wild blackberries and new leather on a multi-layered and concentrated fruit palate. This muscular and opaque wine is remarkably silky in texture with enough velvety tannins to allow for great aging potential.
If you are going to buy 1 bottle, do yourself a favor and buy 2 (or 10). Drink one as soon as you can, and then, if you are able to resist temptation, lay the other one down for a few years. I would recommend that you have this wine alongside of big dishes, like a grilled porterhouse, braised shortribs, elk, or venison. If you are looking for some cheese to enjoy with it, I would recommend an aged Stilton, Pecorino-Ramano, Manchego Seco, or any other cheese that is bold and aged to perfection (I love cheese)!
I thought that this braised shortrib recipe looked particulary good: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/red-wine-braised-shortribs-367736. It should highlight the wine perfectly. I also thought that this elk chop recipe would go well: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/elk-chop-in-blackberry-port-sauce-recipe.html (in the elk chop recipe, brown sauce is a demi glace).
If you have any questions about this wine or any other wine, feel free to give me a shout. As always, shipping is free with a purchase of 3 bottles or more. If $55 is looking pretty steep, join our Reserve Wine Club to recieve 10% off this wine every time you buy it. You can check out all the perks of our wine clubs here: http://www.karamoorwines.com/Wine-Clubs.
Until next time...
Most of the time when people think of Karamoor Estate, they think of our Cabernet Franc. It has been Karamoor's wine that is most popular with restuarant chefs, managers, and owners; most of them choosing this wine to carry on their by-the-glass list. I think that there are two main reasons for this: 1. Cabernet Franc is a grape that happens to grow VERY well here in Eastern PA. The flavors of the grape become fully developed, allowing it to be bottled as a Cabernet Franc rather than just using the grape for blending...and it makes a great bottle at that! 2. It goes very well with A LOT of items that you would find on a restaurant menu. I will also say that our Cabernet Franc has been my favorite wine since the very beginning (well, at least until we released the 2013 Petit Verdot...but the Cab Franc still remains as my go-to!), it has also been the favorite wine of the rest of the family!
Our 2012 Cabernet Franc took a gold medal with 93 points at the San Diego International Wine Competition, it was awarded Best Cabernet Franc in PA at the New York International Wine Competition, and the reviews by industry professionals have been nothing short of stellar. The tasting notes, as written by Julie Albin from Drink Me Magazine, are: "As if from a scene at Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, this unveils refreshing scents of black plum, kirsch, sawdust, and evergreen. Nearly opaque in color with velvety tannins, this full bodied red is both fruit forward and earthy with a long finish of pine.". Craig LaBan describes it as, "a polished and balanced red that's deep with black cherry fruit, an echo of spice and an earthiness that swells with air time".
Cabernet Franc is the father grape of Cabernet Sauvignon (which is a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc) and is one of the most widely planted varieties in the world. The flavor characteristics of the grape are typically: plum, blackberry, violets, raspberry, blueberry, sage, bay leaf, rosemary, tobacco, bell pepper, and eucalyptus. Cabernet Franc may not be as well known as its offspring, Cabernet Sauvignon, but it has started to gain some much deserved recognition. When allowed to fully ripen, it is well balanced, the tannins are noticeable but not overpowering, and the black fruit/berry flavors make it accessible both when young and with some more age.
If you are wondering what to serve our Cabernet Franc with, wonder no longer! We recommend that you try it with Mr. Karabotses favorite meal of spaghetti Bolognese. If pasta with meat sauce doesn't do it for you, you can try it with grilled steaks, wild game, pork roasts, leg of lamb, lamb chops, grilled or broiled mushrooms, and even salmon! It also goes well with earthy cheeses like gouda, smoked cheddar, goat cheese, fontina, or a creamy blue.
It's grilling season and the owners are Greek, so I thought that it would be nice of me to find an awesome lamb burger recipe for you that will go great with our Cabernet Franc. And I did! Here it is: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/greek-style-lamb-burgers-with-yogurt-cucumber-sauce. If for some reason you don't like lamb but you still want to do some cooking outside, I also found this smoky grilled salmon recipe that would pair very nicely: http://www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com/2013/07/16/blakes-sweet-and-smoky-grilled-salmon-recipe/. Maybe it is Sunday night dinner with the family and you want to make a roast, I've got you covered there too: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/pork-recipes/6-hour-slow-roasted-pork-shoulder/#ITov3yldLwregaAK.97.
I hope that I have given you some ideas of what you could serve alongside of our Cabernet Franc. If you haven't had Karamoor Estate Cabernet Franc, or if you haven't had any type of Cabernet Franc before, I hope that I have shed some light on what you could expect! I should also mention that it tastes pretty great by itself, during cocktail hour, shared with good friends. As always, shipping is free with a purchase of 3 bottles or more (you can mix and match types of wine to get to 3 bottles).
Karamoor Estate 2013 Chardonnay: "Like after a spring rain, this expresses aromas of wet stone, quince, and ripe tangerine. A crisp wine with a medium body, the palate offers a spritzy sense of citrus along with white pepper, saline and a long finish of juniper.". This is how Julie Albin, Editor-in-Chief of Drink Me Magazine (San Francisco, CA), described our delicious Chardonnay.
Our 2013 Chardonnay is the younger sister of the 2012 Chardonnay that we sold entirely to the Union League of Philadelphia under their own private label. Both of these wines reflect the styling of Kevin Robinson which is more in line with a Chablis than an oaky or buttery Chardonnay. He aged 50% of this Chardonnay in oak (of which 15% was new) and 50% in stainless steel, it was sur lie aged for 8 months with lees stirring every 2 weeks.
This style of Chardonnay goes particularly well with shellfish like shrimp, scallops, and lobster, it goes well with creamy cow's milk cheeses, pastas with cream based sauces, chicken or fish with buerre blanc or cream based sauces. If I were you, I would try it with crispy chicken thighs finished in a mushroom cream sauce! Happened to find a great looking recipe right here: http://damndelicious.net/2015/01/09/chicken-creamy-mushroom-sauce/. If you are more of a seafood person, this bay scallop pasta with a butter lemon sauce could be just the ticket: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/taglierini-with-bay-scallops-and-meyer-lemon.
As always, shipping is free with purchases of 3 bottles or more on Karamoor's website!
My name is Alecia Duloc, I work for Karamoor Estate as the Sales & Marketing Manager and I am looking forward to sharing fun and informative blog posts with you! Since this is Karamoor's first blog post ever, I feel like I should maybe introduce you to who we really are. Karamoor started as, and continues to be, a passion project for Nicholas and Athena Karabots (my grandparents). Though neither of them are farmers or winemakers, they do (probably like many of you) enjoy a great bottle of wine! So, that's why we are here today. To make great wine. Wines that you would be proud to have on your dinner table no matter the company. Wines that are grown, produced, bottled, and labeled here on our Estate.
The way we started this project is not in the normal sequence that most wineries begin (but then, Mr. and Mrs. Karabots didn't get to where they are today by going with the grain...). We bottled our first wines from our 2007 crop, from vines that we planted in 2006... We won the Governor's Cup (translates to Best wine in the State of PA) with our 2008 Meritage, which was the first vintage that we made available to the public. We didn't sell our first bottle of wine until the beginning of 2012, and it was to a wholesale account. We don't have a tasting room and won't have one until 2016. Over 85% of our business comes from wholesale accounts (restaurants, private clubs, PLCB...).
Most wineries make their first vintage, open a tasting room, and try to get some retail sales running right out of the gate. We have taken the past three years to build a wholesale base of high end restaurants and clubs within the Philadelphia area (now stretching out to Harrisburg) which has allowed Karamoor to help facilitate the thinking that Pennsylvania can make some pretty great wines (reaffirmation here: http://www.drinkmemag.com/yes-pennsylvania-does-have-good-wine-discovering-karamoor-estate/). We have had the opportunity to work with some of the best Sommeliers in Philadelphia (Steve Widly & Jeff Benjamin (Vetri), Carl Etcheverry (The Union League of Philadelphia), Henry Greenly (formerly at Del Frisco's), and Keith Wallace (Wine School of Philadelphia)) which is a tremendous honor! The fact that they got behind our products was truly awesome.
Our plan is to continue to make dry vinifera wines that can hold their own on the world stage. Hopefully, with each passing year, we only continue to improve. As our newcomers get to know us, or our loyal customers get to know us better, we hope that you will share your opinions with us. We hope that you see the value in our products, and we hope that the care that we take in our Estate vineyards is reflected in each bottle you drink.
Until next time!