Remember when I first started this blog I “fessed up” and let everyone know that I’m not a wine snob, not even close! I love wine and learn something new about it daily. One evening we decided to open up a bottle of the 2007 Estate Reserve Heritage, a wine club selection which had not yet been released to the public. It is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. We had stored it in a rack and poured it directly into glasses. The nose on it was fragrant and it was a beautiful rich garnet red, but it had sediment swirling through it. Novice that I am, I complained on Twitter about the sandiness of this wine. The glory of social media is split second responses and I was impressed that Keswick acknowledged my concern. Kat Schornberg quickly explained the necessity of decanting unfiltered wines and let me know they would be happy (probably not real happy since this really is a very good bottle, and possibly a future medal winner) to replace it. Yesterday I made my way out to Keswick with a friend and we enjoyed a tasting with Carrie Brown pouring. Carrie is always cheerful and fun and makes it a point to remember repeat visitors and wine club members. We especially liked the Norton Chocolate sauce drizzled on Nabisco wafers.
Stephen Barnard , Keswick’s winemaker, came out and brought the notorious ( in a good way) bottle of Heritage. I think he really wanted to see how dumb I was in person! So, now I can’t wait to try this bottle again. I did have to laugh when I read HIS blog post To Filter or No to Filter by Stephen the Sediment Slayer in which he relays my story from a vintner”s perspective!
Anyway, my new motto is “I Shall Decant my Unfiltered Wine!”
Personally, I think everyone at Keswick is great and very much so customer oriented! Thank You!
9 thoughts on “Kudos to Keswick”
One apology for an honest mistake was enough. Did the bottle come with “decanting required” on the label? Very few modern wineries still have unfiltered wines. Supposing that not filtering enhances the quality, why don’t all wineries do it? Perhaps they are saving time and filling more bottles if they don’t filter. How many unfiltered wines have you encountered in your year & years of wine tasting? There was a time when all wines required decanting because of the sediment. That’s why wine bottles were stored on a slight slope to keep the cork wet and the sediment on the bottom. Now only unfiltered wine and wine with a “real” cork need to be stored that way. Modern (unfiltered) wines with plastic corks or metal caps can be stored any way you desire. Perhaps wine storage could be one of your future topics – after you’re done apologizing to Keswick.
Thanks, Mark! I start taking classes at PVCC on winemaking and viticulture this weekend, Yippeee! There are so many different philosophies on winemaking! Please read Kat’s comment. Did you read the link to Stephen’s blog? There is so much to know about wine that it’ll take a life time! You are definitely right on about wine storage. Definitely a great idea for a future topic! Cheers 🙂
My apologizes – I meant to write “Modern (filtered) wines with plastic corks or metal caps can be stored any way you desire.
Thanks for the kind words about our wines and more importantly, our staff. We take customer service very seriously here and it is nice to hear back at times that we are doing things right.
We look forward to more visits and will always recommend it to our friends and real estate clients!
Haha, loving the “dueling blogs” 🙂
Thank you so much Tricia, and I hope you enjoy the new bottle!
We’re really glad that you did comment about the sediment, I think it gave Stephen a good opportunity to talk and teach about wine- his favorite things to do next to making it and drinking it 😉
It’s also important for us to realize that what we see as a sign of quality may not be perceived that way by everyone, so as you saw on his blog, he did end up filtering some of our lighter bodied reds this bottling which I don’t believe he has ever done before. The concern with filtering is that it can strip some of the proteins and tannins from the wine which give the wine some of its body and help it to age longer, but I think with the lighter reds that are meant for early consumption it won’t hurt them and it will get rid of a lot of the sediment.
We just opened up a bottle of the new Consensus last night with a friend and I was really surprised with how well it is drinking just one day after bottling! Knowing our awesome wine club members and that they are often excited to open up their quarterly wines right away, he did not add sulfur to the Consensus before bottling- so it is not going through as much “bottle-shock” as usual and will be ready to drink much earlier 🙂
Wish I could have gone to the Consensus-Next Year, for sure! Love the label!
Here’s another topic for your blog and/or wine class discussions. Ya gotta’ watch that ‘adding sulphur’ to red wine as a preservative. Some folks claim that red wine headaches come from the sulfites. Some sulfites are produced naturally by the yeast which can make adding sulphur/sulphites potentially even more “headachy” for the allergic. If one does have a sulfite allergy or a predilection to red wine headaches, they may need to check on the sulphite content of their favorite red wine(s).
That would be me-pinot noirs seem to be fine, but others are a guaranteed headache! Interestingly (to me) I am allergic to Sulfa and Gluten intolerant- that doesn’t stop me from eating good crusty breads with a bold Zinfandel! Love to find out more about preservatives, I hear in Italy you never get a headache drinking their varietal wines.