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  • An Epic Fantasy Novel - from the Writer of Red Wine Please!

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    Unexpected Values from Around the World – Courtesy of Gooseneck Vineyards

    IMG_2009Years ago, I drove my ten or so year old son to a quaint, corner shop located in the village of Wickford, RI.? He was looking for a Christmas present for his mother, and he walked out with a beautiful angel statue that she cherishes to this day.? It is a good memory.

    What, in the world, could this possibly have to do with wine?? We would normally have said nothing, except that we, just recently, were lucky enough to taste through the current offerings from Gooseneck Vineyards, and it happened to take place in the very space my son had purchased that stone angel so many years ago.? What has occupied that space between then and now we have no idea, but the current office of Gooseneck Vineyards is the center for an up and coming wine company, and one that IMG_2027you will hear more of in the future.? Their offerings are unique, sourced from carefully selected vineyards and producers around the world.? They look for a base of quality, and a producer willing to work with them as they put their own unique vision into the wines.? You’ll see some of that in the tasting notes to follow.

    The vision of Liana Buonanno and Paul Fede, cousins by marriage, Gooseneck Vineyards? began about 7 years ago.? Liana was the first to resign from her career, devoting full time to building the fledgling company.? Paul, who had always been around the wine industry, worked for Kenwood.? He eventually followed Liana’s lead, and resigned about 3 years ago to turn all of his attention to Gooseneck.? Now, they source quality, value driven wines from individual growers and producers, sometimes doing things traditionally and sometimes not.? At the heart of their philosophy is a belief that everyone should be able to enjoy a great glass of wine for less than $20 a bottle. ? We certainly support that perspective.

    Today their range includes wines from Oregon, Italy, Spain, Portugal and New Zealand.? Some are not what you would expect, but they are all adherents to the quality model.? Let’s take a look at the current releases.

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    Italia Prosecco?–?from the Prosecco D.O.C. in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy, this is 100% Glera.? It is Proseccosourced from the village of Treviso, where the vineyard soil is made up of river stones.? This makes the vines struggle and go deep for water and nutrients.? The resulting wine is very elegant, and screams quality.? Very fine bubbles mark a wine of bright fruit and a clean palate.? The texture is wonderful, as this has that cloudlike feeling you get with top notch Prosecco and Moscato.? It is a bit ethereal.? This is, in all honestly, one of the best Prosecco’s we have tried in a very long time.? Great value at $14.99.

    Italia Brut Rosé –?this wine is 15% Pinot Noir, and sees a little skin contact.? The resulting color is a light salmon Brut Rosepink.? Overall it is quite Champagne-like, with a delicate profile.? A core of fruit is accented with brioche notes.? This is another very elegant wine which drinks way, way above its price point.? Compare this to some $50 Champagnes, and it will hold its own.? Excellent wine at $19.99.

    Pinot Grigio Shot2016 Pinot Grigio –?here things get a bit out of the ordinary, as this Pinot Grigio is from Veneto grapes (nothing unusual there), but is actually vinified and bottled in Piemonte.? Now that is unusual.? It sees nothing but stainless steel and the result is a very smooth wine, with lots of melon and tropical fruit.? Lower in acid than your typical Pinot Grigio, this is an easy drinker.? Delicious and also $14.99.

    2017 Sauvignon Blanc –?made with liquid sourced from Marlborough, New Zealand, this wine bears no Sauvignon Blancresemblance to the grassy, in your face grapefruit wines that made New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc so popular.? For us that’s a good thing, as we are not fans of that aggressive style.? This wine has a fascninating nose which almost gives you a Riesling impression, it’s almost a petrol aroma, but not quite.? Also a very smooth wine, this one has refreshing acid and beautiful balance, all resulting in a long, clean finish.? Very good and quite unusual.? $14.99

    2017 Chardonnay2017 Chardonnay –?let’s stay with the unusual theme here, as this wine is from Navarra, Spain.? They were actually at the winery looking at the next wine when they stumbled upon this.? A light, golden color, this brings apple and pear to the nose, along with a tiny bit of melon.? It’s all fruit on the nose.? The palate is equally fruit forward, balanced with refreshing acidity and medium body that gives the wine some weight.? 20% of the juice sees oak, which just serves to round off the edges.? This is delicious.? Even Cheri, who rarely likes Chardonnay, really liked this wine.? Also $14.99.

    2017 Grenache Rosé –?this is the wine they went to Navarra to evaluate. ? A very light salmon pink in color, the 2017 Grenache Rosenose is light, but the strawberry is unmistakable.? There is also a little blood orange.? It has nice, cleansing acidity and finishes surprisingly long.? A very pleasing rosé.? $14.99

    2016 Pinot Noir2016 Pinot Noir –?we’ll start by saying that we also tasted, and really liked, the 2015 Pinot Noir.? We preferred the 2016, and that is likely what you’ll find on the shelves.? Both are from Elkton, Oregon, right next to the famous Willamette Valley.? This wine is darker and richer than the 2015 version.? It has a rich nose of cherry and blackberry.? Medium+ in body, the palate has rich cherry and berry fruit, with a bit of earthiness.? The mid-palate stays strong, it has beautiful balance and it finishes very long.? This drinks like a $40 bottle of Pinot Noir.? We liked it so much we stopped on our way home and bought a case.? Great value at $19.99.

    2016 Cabernet Sauvignon –?back to Spain for this wine, and Valencia to be exact.? It is a dark, rich red in color,2016 Cabernet with a nose of dark fruit and pencil lead, along with a little charred oak.? Medium in body, it has mild tannins and brisk acid.? This is a wine built to drink young.? $14.99

    2015 Heritage Red2015 Heritage Red –?for the last wine we’ll travel to Portugal.? This is a blend of 5 grapes, including Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Castelao, Alicante Bouschet and Syrah.? The wine is dark red and full bodied.? It has a rich nose that is fruit driven, good length and a full bodied palate.? Anyone who likes rich red blends, and especially Portuguese wine, will love this.? $14.99

    This is an impressive lineup, made even more so by the fact that none of them carry an SRP that breaks the $20 mark.? Most also bring a little bit of the unexpected to their individual varietals.? The Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are all delightfully different.? The Prosecco and Brut Rosé are of supreme quality.? The Pinot Noir is just flat out delicious.? There are values here that any wine lover should appreciate.

    It seems the word is getting out.? Gooseneck is now available in 16 states, and that is likely to grow.? When I asked whether they would be expanding their line soon, the answer seemed to be no.? It has grown rapidly, and working their current footprint for a while would seem to be in order.? Since the tried and true method of finding these gems, all over the world, is to talk to their friends and business acquaintances, and then to go and research the prospective vineyards and wineries, you can appreciate it takes time.? Still, there was a gleam in Paul’s eye when I asked the question, and he talked a little about potential small lot wines, and specialized projects.? I would think that there will be something new in the future.

    For now there is more than enough to keep everyone happy.? We’re glad we stopped in to talk with Liana and Paul, and to sample the wines that have emerged from their labors.? Gooseneck Vineyards is a project we’ll keep our eyes on.

    You can learn much more about Gooseneck Vineyards and their wines at their website:?https://www.gooseneckvineyards.com/

    A votre santé!

     

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