2011 The Count, Founder’s Red Wine, Buena Vista; 2013 Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc

A rare two-for, a his and hers special to accompany a delicious birthday meal at Fleming’s steak house in Charlotte, NC. His is the domestic Cabernet blend; hers is the imported white.

2011/2012 The Count, Founder's Red Wine, Buena Vista, Sonoma County, California, USA.

2011/2012 The Count, Founder’s Red Wine, Buena Vista, Sonoma County, California, USA.

His accompanied a Caeser salad and a medium filet mignon, served on a plate that was even hotter than the steak. The Caesar, amply showered with fresh pepper, had a cool crisp of breadstuff served with it, a buttery treat that was pretty excellent. The dressing was a bit heavy but the steak just buttery smooth. The filet was cooked just about perfect and matched up well with the well-balanced red–an easy selection to make from a favorite Sonoma vineyard. You taste smooth blackberries here, some subtle mild accents too. They are nearly hidden from the palate but come alive as you taste the 2011/2012 The Count.

Her Marlborough-originated Sauvignon Blanc accompanied a Caesar as well. A gossamer of gold in a big fishbowl of a glass, the Loveblock shimmered in the intimate restaurant light and matched the twinkle in my wife’s eyes. It complemented a Chilean sea bass and spicy risotto that seemed just fantastic. The Loveblock, an organic white from New Zealand, is a fresh, fragrant-smelling offering from winemakers Kim and Erica Crawford and is really expressive on the nose. Your author is more of a red fan but appreciated the excellent work here in the 2013 vintage.

We enjoyed these wines–plus a chocolate truffle (with wisps of a great raspberry swirl) dessert and a cheesecake with blueberry sauce–not only to celebrate the occasion but also as a part of Restaurant Week in the Queen City. We’ve had a great time in town over the past week and look forward to next year’s event (and more good wines!) already.

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2012 White Mountain Sauvignon Blanc, Hawke’s Bay

Sauvignon Blanc is not often our wine choice, and less often still in these chillier months of the year. Nevertheless, it’s what we were pouring this evening for a casual Friday after a long work week(s). Unless I’m mistaken, this is our first New Zealand wine (maybe the first Blanc, too) on Notes, and it acquitted itself well. How did we find the White Mountain, you ask?

2012 White Mountain Sauvignon Blanc, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

2012 White Mountain Sauvignon Blanc, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.

Actually, this was a second bottle that my wife picked out after a fun tasting party here in the neighborhood; she enjoyed it enough to order a bottle from Wines For Humanity so that we could share together. It was aromatic, fragrant, and packed with tangy smells. Am I crazy to detect some grapefruit here in the mix? Not overpowering but definitely present.
Our food was still simple, just an easy mac-and-cheese that warmed our bellies like the wine did. It needed a little salt, and sometimes a little Frank’s Red Hot, but when you have some good grapes working sometimes the meal is less critical. This is one of those times.
The 2012 White Mountain Sauvignon Blanc from Hawke’s Bay is really enjoyable and encourage you to pull one for yourself if the opportunity presents itself.