During our getaway weekend to Charleston Seabrooke Island visiting friends and fellow 'Pour Boy' Bill and Beth, we dined on the Kiawah Island village green for their Friday night summer concert series. We had an ideally sited table at the 48 Wine Bar which offers a superb selection of fine wines by the pour or by the bottle.
48 Wine Bar on Kiawah Island and 64 Wine Bar here in our hometown Naperville, are of the same owners. Both offer a wide selection of wines from the old and new world - California, Washington, and Oregon, Australia, Argentina and Italy. They provide the opportunity to taste the wines from the serving stations, or by the bottle, with a selection of wine appropriate foods - starters, salads, sandwiches, select entrees, a selection of cheeses and charcuterie, and desserts - in a casual, trendy wine-food setting.
From the selection, we were tempted with several selections for our favorites, Lewis Cellars, Cakebread, Caymus, Duckhorn, Mondavi - numerous ultra premium selections from Bond, Opus and Chateau Margaux, and numerous imaginative offerings for experimentation and discovery.
We opted for a discovery wine - a new as yet unknown label, from a known trusted favorite producer. We selected this Grand Cheval Red Blend from well known Domain Serene, who are mostly known for their Willamette Valley, Oregon Pinot Noirs.
Grand Cheval is a signature wine dedicated to Founder Jim Evenstad's grandfather, Carl Michelson, a Norwegian immigrant, and named for his legendary grand work horse that he used to work the fields and pull the sleigh to make his livelihood on the family farm back in Northern Minnesota.
Grand Cheval is a Red Blend, sourced from select fruit from the Domaine Serene premiere Dundee Hills vineyard and various Oregon Walla Walla Valley Vineyard sites. We visited the Walla Walla appellation last fall and gained great appreciation for their wines.
As I have written in these pages, the Walla Walla AVA is America's newest and 'most distinct' appellation. Also, it traverses the Oregon and Washington State border, the only American AVA to span two states.
Notably, the grapes selected for Grand Cheval are sourced from Oregon Walla Walla vineyards. The label is based on some component of Syrah and Pinot Noir varietal grapes.
Domaine Serene Grand Cheval Oregon Proprietary Red Blend 2015
'Grand Cheval' is a unique proprietary blend of Syrah and Pinot Noir, which is sourced from the Seven Hills Vineyard in Walla Walla, as well as vineyards in the Dundee Hills. Pinot Noir is not generally considered a grape blending but the balance seems to work as neither grape dominates or overpowers the other.
This belies the notion that Pinot is not a grape for such mash-ups. In this vintage the balance seems to work as neither grape dominates. Garnet colored, full bodied, complex, concentrated expressive black fruits of black berry, black cherries and plums with notes of cassis, coffee and a touch of charred wood and black tea, a bit of heat on the firm tannin laced finish.
RM 92 points.