Boomtown! (Because it's fun to say Boomtown!)

Sometimes you find a wine that makes you feel like you have to try it. A new region, a new varietal or in this case, a new name that is just fun to say. BOOMTOWN! There is a lot of marketing work that goes in to naming a bottle of wine...find a way to make you grab that bottle off of the shelf. Labels don't always tell the story of whats in the bottle or who is behind the wine making but with Boomtown there felt like a back story that deserved to be told. 

Starting a small business myself I have come to love stories about other people chasing their dreams. Boomtown wines from Dusted Valley aren't the result of big corporate dollars or market research. These wines are the result of two sisters and their husbands from Northern Wisconsin leaving the corporate world to go farm grapes and put great juice in a bottle. Dairy farmers and ginseng farmers, leaving the midwest for an explosive wine region and chasing their dreams. 10 years later Wine and Spirits magazine names them to their 2013 Winery of the Year list...Boomtown!

While the story and the label might be enough to grab the bottle off of the shelf, the wines that they make are fantastic and its this end result of their hard work that keeps you coming back for more. With a Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris under their Boomtown label I'll focus on the two whites. 

With vines that were only planted in 2003, the wines might tend to be young. This Chardonnay is aged primarily in neutral oak barrels to lend balance and structure without creating an oaky, creamy, butter bomb that you can get from using only new oak barrels. This Chardonnay is still very refreshing with wonderfully balanced acidity. A powerful hint of pear and lemon on the nose keep you coming back to the glass for more. 

The Pinot Gris is aged in stainless steel and provides a bright, crisp, refreshing wine that is a wonderful example of this varietal in the Pacific Northwest. Bright apple, tart tree fruit and a cleansing acidity allow this wine to be very drinkable year round. 

I'm going to be drinking these wines on the patio, on a porch, out of solo cups in a park from a bottle hidden at the bottom of a picnic basket. Overly buttery Chardonnays can be warming and embracing for cold winter meals but this one screams to be taken outside and enjoyed as a refreshment. These wines have summer written all over them.  With Dusted Valley I found some new wines and probably a new catch phrase as well...Boomtown!

What's In a Blend??

Red hot right now. And for good reason. They appeal to such a wide variety of wine drinkers that you can find whatever you are looking for in a great bottle of wine by knowing where to look with Red Blends. These wines are usually holding a younger, hipper vibe with names such as Troublemaker, Double T, and Conundrum while the labels are literally pieces of artwork as seen in the Saved label designed by tattoo artist for the stars, Scott Campbell. 

But lets not stop with whats on the outside of the bottle. You can call it whatever you want but the juice on the inside is what you're really buying at the end of the day. So what is it that makes a red blend so appealing? Often in our discussions of wine preference we lean towards a comfort level with a certain grape. "I'm a Merlot drinker" or "I prefer big, bold Cabernets" and we hope to find consistency there. But the one thing a wine maker can't control, and the reason we hear so often about vintages in the US, is weather, temperature, humidity, etc. The one thing they can control however, is what goes in the bottle.   You've probably become familiar with Bordeaux, Rioja and Chianti as "styles" of wine. More often than not, at their roots, these wines are blends. You'll find Cabernet, Merlot and Cab Franc in Bordeaux, Garnacha, Syrah and Mazuelo in Rioja and Sangiovese with Merlot and other regional grapes in Chianti. These wine makers, while subject to certain regional restrictions which we will talk about another time, are focused on just making great wine and will let their region, their expertise, their heritage shine through on the front of the bottle. Saved Red Wine is a blend of nine different grapes. Going from 3% to 4% Cabernet next year to achieve the same end result in the bottle is a lot easier than building a dome over the vineyard to maintain temperature and humidity. 

Now on to these individual wines...

Saved Red Wine- Very robust as the Merlot, Malbec, Syrah and Zinfandel shine through. Ripe fig and blackberry jam blended with spice give this wine its California backbone. $19.99

Vigilance Cimarron- Zin, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Merlot aged in oak for 13 months. Bright tart cherry notes with blackberry, and black pepper this is a great wine for these cold months in NE Ohio. $11.99

Troublemaker Red Blend- From Paso Robles this wine carries Syrah as its structure. Deep in color, fruity in aroma with notes of vanilla as well. Coffee lingers on your palate at the end of this long finish. $15.99

Conundrum- The 25th anniversary for the Wagner family wines behind big labels such as Caymus and Mer Soleil. Great with spicy Mexican food, pasta, and anything on your BBQ. Bright, balanced fruit makes this a wine for anyone. $22.99

Trefethen Double T- A Bordeaux style blend of Malbec, Merlot and a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine is one of the best bargains you will find. Ready to drink not and meant to be enjoyed this bold red wine won't steer you wrong. $23.99


Pasqua- Passione e Sentimento

I've loved doing the video blogs for everyone and keeping them (in theory) under a minute has been a great way to share some quick information on great finds in the wine world. The challenge with a minute is, well, a minute goes by very fast and I can't always get to everything I want to share. So, blog. I'll try to keep up here with post about not only the wines in the videos but whatever else I'm tasting...assuming its interesting. 

Today we start off with a fun red wine from the Veneto region in Northern Italy. Verona and Venice are the major cities you've most likely heard of in the region and for he poet at heart its tough to think of Verona, the "City of Love",  without thinking Romeo and Juliet. The label here is actually a picture from Juliet's Wall of Love where people (tourists) from all over the world come to leave love notes. Since it gets painted over all of the time the image on the bottle, taken in 2013, will never be seen again! 

The wine itself will be perfect for Valentines Day. a mix of Merlot, Corvina and Croatina these grapes are handpicked and then dried for right around a month. What that does is concentrate some of the sugars as the grapes lose water content and brings a nice touch of sweetness to the wine. I wouldn't call this wine sweet by any means but you really start to taste the fruit coming forward as a result of this drying process. On top of this, the wines are aged in Cherry wood barrels for 3 months, adding to the notes of bright red fruit that you get throughout the wine. 

This wine is so well balanced, even a dry wine drinker will find it enjoyable and interesting and if you are looking for a way to start exploring red wines this would be a wonderful way to start. Whats not to love?