How about this weather, huh? Usually, by this time in the summer, I am ready to head to Canada, Alaska, or the North Pole. August's in Pennyslvania are usually just the absolute worst. High 90's with what feels like 100% humidity. I am not sure what we did to deserve this beautiful weather, but I hope it sticks around for a while.
It turns out that I am not the only one that is loving this weather. Our grapes seem to be enjoying it too! Today, we are harvesting an acre of our 2015 Chardonnay. The Chardonnay being harvested today is from the new portion of the vineyard that was planted in 2013, our more mature Chardonnay vines will be following in ripeness next week. On Monday, we are going to be harvesting our 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, which will be our first harvest of the variety, Sauvignon Blanc! So exciting. On Tuesday, we will be harvesting our Viognier and Pinot Gris, and on Wednesday, we will be harvesting the remaining Chardonnay. Check our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/KaramoorEstate) for photos during harvest, I will be doing my best to keep those up to date so you guys can feel like you are right here with us while we begin our 2015 winemaking process!
On Tuesday, we got our labels for Karamoor's 2014 Chardonnay (there was a little delay with the label company; if you remember, we were supposed to have received them last week), they turned out great. Once we had the labels in hand, Kevin and the team was able to complete the bottling of our 2014 Chardonany. We made a little over 400 cases, which is not too many (2013, was almost 1000 cases), but remember that we lost a good portion of our Chardonnay vines between the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 winters. Luckily, those 400 cases worth of Chardonnay are delicious. We will release some tasting notes on this wine when the time is right, until then, just let your imaginations run wild!
I am looking forward to a slower paced and fun weekend. My brother is coming in from Chicago with his fiance. I am so excited! They fly into Philadephia on Saturday and will be heading straight out to Bucks County, to my house, as soon as their flight lands. We have some great plans for the day, my two cousins who live up in the Hoboken area are going to come to my house too, and then we are heading down to The Mann Music Center to go to a reggae festival! Did you know that The Mann carries Karamoor wines? I had never been to The Mann until July of this year. I have been a Philadelphian since I was about 8 months old (born in Maine), and for some reason, I had never made it to The Mann. Let me tell you, it is GORGEOUS. I had a tour during my visit there and I couldn't pick my mouth up off the ground for the duration of the time I was being shown around. The acoustics are great, it has a lot of charm, and it is probably the cleanest venue I have ever seen. Also, did I mention that they carry our wine? I hope that you also have some great plans for one of the final weekends of summer! Until next time...
There is a new blog post, so it must be Friday! I hope everyone has enjoyed their week. I cannot believe how fast summer is flying by. I live for these three months because...no schoolbusses. Next week or the week after (I am not sure exactly, but I know it is right around the corner), I just know that my lower stress summertime commute to work will now be coated in flashing red and yellow lights. I feel like 2 things have happened since I have occupied a green pleather seat on one of those yellow schoolbusses: 1. Kids have become A LOT more brazen. I cannot tell you how many times I have been behind a schoolbus with these little kids making faces and using choice fingers, and I mean, what can you do? I am an adult. They are children. You can't be the adult that makes faces back... 2. The schoolbusses stop at EVERY house on a road. There don't seem to be school bus "stops" anymore. You know, where a bunch of kids stand in a line waiting to get on the bus. As a kid, our street was probably about a quarter mile (equivalent of walking to school uphill both ways? maybe), and I remember seeing that yellow bus and having to run, back pack jostling filled with books covered in brown paper grocery bags. Kids these days...they really have it easy. Boy, do I sound like Mom.
Anyway, onto wine! 2013 Merlot, to be exact. I prefer this Merlot to our older vintages, and I will tell you why. It is very easy drinking. It doesn't need food, or breathing, or decanting. You can drink it right out of the bottle...with a glass of course because college is over. It was bottled in March of 2015, so it is drinking well now, but if you want to lay it down for a while, you can do that too. It has been very well received by our restaurant accounts, which means it is being well received by their customers (aka the people reading this blog). Here are the tasting notes that we came up with here: A generous offering of cherry-pie fruit and toasted vanilla are accompanied by hints of fennel, cinnamon, and clove notes. Very soft tannins with good acidity and balance invite sip after sip of this supple, medium-bodied Merlot.
I would recommend this wine for cocktail hour. It would do very well alongside a fabulous platter of Charcuterie, inclusive of a nice pate, toasted breads, and a Beaufort cheese. If you wanted to pair it with a main dish, I think that I would love to drink it alongside of a grill fired pizza (or wood fired!); for me, it would be Gruyere, pancetta, carmelized onions, with some properly fried mushrooms and a sprig of fresh rosemary. You can find a similar recipe here: http://main.colavita.com/caramelized-onion-and-gruyere-pizza-2/. They leave out some of the things I mention, but you can easily add them! I would also recommend this wine with a great big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. Maybe with a side of garlic bread. I am pretty lucky because I get homemade tomato sauce from my grandmother via the garden here, but if you are looking for a nice recipe, here is something similar to the one that I make (when grandma's sauce is gone): http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/basic-tomato-sauce-recipe12.html.
Enjoy your weekend. The weather looks like it is going to be pretty glorious, perfect for some backyard enjoyment...which coincidentally goes very well with our 2013 Merlot! Next week, I will be bringing you another vineyard and winery update. There will be plenty to tell as we get closer and closer to our first harvest of the 2015 season. As always, remember that shipping is free on purchases of 3 bottles or more! Until next time...
Hi everyone! Did you have a good week? The weather has been delightful, that is for sure. I am sure that you are all wondering how my dinner party turned out last Saturday. Well, it turned out great! I would say that the highlight (besides the nectarine, raspberry margaritas) was the tuna tartare that I made using corn from our CSA share (if you live in Bucks County, check out Blooming Glen Farm, AMAZING produce) and tuna from my favorite seafood shop in Bucks County. If you are ever driving through Buckingham, you need to go to Buckingham Seafood on 413. It looks very unassuming from the outside, so unassuming that it took me 3 years of living in Bucks County to stop in. But, now I don't buy my fish (or any other seafood for that matter) from anywhere else.
SO! On Monday of next week, I will be making the short drive over to our label provider (they are in Lafayette Hill!) to go through the pre-press for our...2014 Chardonnay! It is that time again. We will be bottling on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week! The vintage from 2014 will be much smaller than 2013, only a bit over 400 cases will be produced. I think that the 2014 Chardonnay will be very well received, so be sure to stay tuned for an anticipated release date.
Did you know that we bottle all of our wines ourselves? We have our own bottling and labeling machine! We really do try to control every aspect of our wines from start to finish. We grow all of our own grapes (sourcing from nowhere), we pick our fruit by hand, we process our own fruit, we make all of our wines at our winery, and then we bottle, label, and store! The first time you have a sip of Karamoor Estate wine is the first time (unless you have snuck onto the property!) that the grapes have left our property in any way, shape, or form! I think that is the coolest thing. What a great representation of Fort Washington, PA and what is possible here.
Speaking of growing our own grapes, Kevin told me that he believes that we will be harvesting a few acres at the end of August. Guess what grapes? Nope, not Chardonnay! You are probably thinking, "But Ali, the only white grape that you guys grow is Chardonnay and it is too early to pick any of the reds!" To which I would say, "You are wrong! And you are right about the reds ;)." 2015 will be a historical year for us; we will be harvesting our first crop of Sauvignon Blanc! Along with a tiny bit of Viognier and Pinot Gris. We planted Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Viognier in 2013. I know that the whole team here is pretty excited about this, but probably no one is more excited than me. I LOVE Sauvignon Blanc. It is my favorite. I wish that it was already bottled so that I could take it with me to our favorite Indian restaurant tonight, but I guess I will have to wait until April or May of 2016 for that.
I hope that you have some awesome plans for this weekend and that those plans include some Karamoor Estate wine!! Did you know that shipping is free with a purchase of 3 bottles or more and that we can ship to anywhere in PA, NJ or about 37 other states? I can't remember if I mentioned that or not in any previous blog posts.... You should also check out our wine club options, there are some pretty great discounts that are associated with them! Until next time....
Another Friday, another blog post! I have felt like it was supposed to be Friday since waking up on Wednesday morning. Anyone else having a week like that? I wonder why that happens. Anyway...
This week, I am talking about our 2012 Meritage. Since our 2008 vintage, where our Meritage took the Governor's Cup at the Pennsylvania Farm Show (naming it best wine in the state), it has been our flagship wine. Meritage is a name that is commonly used in the United States for a red Bordeaux-style blend, encompassing the grapes found in Bordeaux wines (some combination of two of the following varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec). You actually pay the Meritage Alliance a yearly fee to use the name Meritage. Quick little story: Before we won the Governor's Cup, we were going to change the name of our Meritage so that we didn't have to be part of the Meritage Alliance, but once that wine won that award, we couldn't just change the name. It probably ended up being a bit of a blessing because we couldn't come to an agreement on what would replace that name. There were a bunch floating around, some better than others...
SO! Our 2012 Meritage is a blend of 60% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot. It was aged for 12 months in 50% French Oak, 25% American Oak, and 25% Hungarian Oak (a total of 30% new oak). It is soft, yet bold. Julie Albin from Drink Me Magazine described this wine perfectly: This wine offers an ambiance of bright red cherry, mint leaf, leather, and a bit of dusty wood. Incredibly supple tannins hold together the wine's soft texture, bright fruit, and bold cinnamon spice finish.
I think that I would like to drink this wine with something like Boeuf Bourguignon. What better recipe for you to follow than Julia Child's? If you don't want to buy the cookbook (I recommend that you buy it if you enjoy cooking, it is excellent), I have found it for you here: http://www.oprah.com/food/Boeuf-Bourguignon. I would also say that some great alternative pairings for this wine would be lamb chops, steaks, prime rib, and most game. It also goes well with goats milk cheeses....nothing like a good goats milk cheese board!
Our 2012 Meritage retails for $32 plus tax. Shipping is free with a purchase of 3 bottles or more! I hope that you have a fun filled weekend, I know I plan to! I'm having a dinner party tomorrow night, tequila themed...I mean...Mexican food themed... Until next time!
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!