Tasting at my usual haunt with Hester Creek's Director of Sales and Marketing, Rob Smith.
2012 Pinot Blanc
A recent Gold Medal winner, and I can see why. Not usually my favorite varietal, but this is excellent. Very strong notes of citrus on the nose and palate, with just the right amount of minerality and tiny amounts of herbs on the finish. One of my favorite Pinot Blancs ever. At $16.95, a terrific value for any occasion.
2011 Character White
Lots of tropical fruit and slight hint of minerals. Excellent on it's own but would pair beautifully with many white fish dishes or sweet and sour pork.
Lots of butterscotch and caramel on the nose and the palate. Winery describes this as "extremely food driven" and I would agree, although I think it would be fine by itself if you are a Chardonnay fan. Would pair beautifully with creamy seafood dishes, scallops, and the like.
2011 Character Red
A blend of Merlot, Syrah, Malbec and Petit Verdot. The nose is greeted with notes of chocolate, coffee and vanilla. A touch of spice on the palate as well; tannins are a bit firm, this could use some aging but it's drinkable now as well.
2011 Reserve Cabernet Franc
Raspberry and plum on the nose, and the palate will notice a touch of strawberry and black pepper. This one, IMO, isn't ready now and needs some time in your cellar to reach it's true potential, which could be excellent. At $28.95 it's not a huge gamble to get one of these and put it away for a decade and see just how good it could be.
All very good wines! It's rare when I go to a tasting and prefer the whites to the reds, but that was the case today. A winery to watch!