Tag Archives: chardonnay

Local Wine, Local Scallops!

Our 2015 Chardonnay is barrel-aged and has notes of lemon grass, pineapple, green apple.
Our 2015 Chardonnay is barrel-aged and has notes of lemon grass, pineapple, green apple.

On one hand, the last thing I want to do in this heat is turn on the stove. But on the other hand, when I think of summer, I think of seafood and a white wine that will cool me off. So I risked the heat stroke in the kitchen, turned on the stove to cook up a delicious meal and paired it with a chilly white wine. It is a meal that I am sure I will never forget!

I chose to pair my dish with our 2015 Chardonnay. It is barrel fermented in French oak for 4 months. On the nose we get fresh coconut, papaya and lemon grass. On the palate, pineapple, caramel green apple, and a finish of lemon and pineapple. It is one of our recent releases so stop by and pick up a bottle for yourself!

One of my favorite seafood dishes is fresh, locally caught scallops.

Try our 2015 Chardonnay with Seared Scallops and Lemon Orzo!
Try our 2015 Chardonnay with Seared Scallops and Lemon Orzo!

I had to think long and hard before I realized that a summery flavor of lemon would pair best with the scallops and the Chardonnay. I looked for a recipe that called for a white wine that I could cook with, would pair well with the dish, and more importantly, drink with the meal so none of it would go to waste! That brought me to a lemon orzo to compliment the scallops. The lemon sauce from the orzo pairs well with the citrus (acid) notes of the Chardonnay, plus the sauce has the Chardonnay in it so you can’t go wrong. The richness of the scallop pairs beautifully with the mid palate of the wine. Our Chardonnay is medium bodied, and therefore it allows the flavors from the scallops and wine to play back and forth with each other. I got the recipe from MyRecipes.com. Try it out for yourself! P.S. it was delicious!!

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup prechopped onion
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine such as our 2015 Chardonnay
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation

Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in pasta, broth, wine, and thyme; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and pasta is al dente. Stir in chopped chives and lemon juice. Keep warm.

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle scallops evenly with salt and pepper. Add scallops to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with pasta mixture.

Bon Appetit!Ashley-blog-signature

Vintages Uncorked: A Cellar Tasting with Hawk Haven’s Winemaker

Cellar1

One thing we always say at Hawk Haven is that every great wine has a story. And every once in a while, we get the opportunity to replay those stories when we uncork a bottle that we’ve kept hidden away for a certain period of time.

I don’t know about you, but I find it very difficult to hold on to a bottle of wine. I bought it because it was good, I want to drink it now! And most of the wines here at Hawk Haven are just right to open and enjoy. But there are a few that benefit beautifully from some additional cellaring, some up to 10-15 years.

Luckily our Winemaker Todd had the foresight to stash away a few bottles for all of us. That means YOU too! And we (the Hawk Haven staff) got the chance to try some cellared wines a few days before they will be released to the public for two days only during our Cellar Wine Tasting on January 16th & 17th, 2016.

2012 Signature Series Chardonnay

Cellar6Blend: 100% Chardonnay
Aging: 7 months French Oak
Alcohol: 13.5%
Bottle Date: April 2013
Production: 495 bottles
Tasting Notes: When this wine was first released in 2013, flavors of dried mango and vanilla filled the palate. Todd had carefully chosen specific clones of the Chardonnay grape, known as “Dijon clones,” as he was looking for a lower-yielding, more flavor-concentrated cluster of fruit. He definitely chose well, because almost three years later this wine has really blossomed. Those vanilla notes gained a pleasant creamy quality, and the mango evolved into caramelized pineapple and lemon creme brulée.

2008, 2009,  & 2010 Merlot

Cellar10Blend: 100% Merlot
Aging: ’08- 21 months French Oak
’09- 20 months French Oak
’10- 23 months French Oak
Alcohol: 13.9%
Bottle Date: ’08- July 14, 2010
’09- August 5, 2011
’10- July 2012
Production: ’08- 119 cases
’09- 84 cases
’10- 130 cases
Tasting Notes: Plum, cherry, and strawberry were all common denominators when these wines were originally released. The ’08 was marked by rich fruit and soft tannins. The ’09 was more aromatic with a peppery finish. And the ’10 was a nice balance of berry and spice. Tasting the 2008 Merlot now, the jamminess is stillCellar24 there on the nose, but now with an earthiness and notes of chocolate and cedar spice. But on the palate the fruit gently fades into elegant tannins. The 2009 still has some opening up to do, so now is a great time to get a few bottles for cellaring. Where the ’08 is more refined, the ’09 is bold and vibrant. The body is heavier, with more lush black fruit, a finish of mint leaf, and an oaky thread throughout. And finally, the 2010 Merlot is “super fruity” (that is very advanced wine terminology right there) with notes of strawberry preserves, leather, and bright fruit. The ’08 and ’10 vintages are prime for drinking now, but the ’09 will definitely benefit from additional aging.

2008, 2009, 2010 Talon

Cellar20Blend: ’08- 50% Merlot, 50% Syrah
’09- 47% Sangiovese, 34% Merlot, 19% Syrah
’10-33% Sangiovese, 33% Merlot, 33% Syrah
Aging: ’08- 24 months French Oak
’09- 20 months French Oak
’10-23 months French Oak
Alcohol: 13.4%
Bottle Date: ’08- December 14, 2010
’09- August 5, 2011
’10- July 2012
Production: ’08- 85 cases
’09- 122 cases
’10- 208 cases
Tasting Notes: The wines in our Talon label have always been known for being bold and jammy, and time has only improved on these qualities with an added elegance and smooth palate. Looking through the winemaker’s original notes when these wines were first released, I see a lot of words like blueberry pie, strawberry jam, cherry, and spice. Fast-forward to theCellar21 present and those somewhat astringent qualities have softened; we perceived leather, nuttiness, and caramel. The 2008 Talon has cherry and sweet spice aromas with a full palate spectrum of mint leaf to strawberry jam with a bright rush of tart cherry towards the finish. The berry notes in the 2009 are more on the tangy side; think blackberry and raspberry, with a leathery front palate of cranberry sauce. The ’10 has a softer nose, not quite as aromatic as the Merlot, but the palate really builds through the finish with nice tannins and a hint of sour cherry.

CONCLUSION

IMG_7275There was a definite consistency in the vintages with the Merlot and Talon. “You can find the terroir from year to year,” says Lou, our assistant winemaker, “These wines are alive.” The 2008 vintages are now more elegant and refined with softer tannins while the 2009’s are bigger and more robust. For all of the wines, from the Chardonnay to the Merlot to the Talon, you can absolutely sense the passage of time. When they were bottled, the fruity notes were packed in tightly with more pronounced qualities from the barrel. Once the wine got used to its new home, the fruit lost its inhibitions and rushed to the forefront. Now, time has allowed the flavors of fruit and oak to marry, and what a beautiful marriage it is!

We hope you will join us this Saturday & Sunday (January 16th & 17th, 2016) for our Cellar Tasting featuring all of these wines plus a bonus wine from our Signature Series collection! The Cellar Tasting is $20 a person and includes a souvenir glass. All of the wines will be available for purchase at the tasting room this weekend only. These wines are in limited quantity and won’t last long so be sure to get them while you can!

Cellar4

Wine Tips: Five Tips for Pairing Wine with Food

Believe it or not, a lot of people feel a great deal of anxiety over this one little choice: selecting a wine to go with a meal. This is especially true when they are choosing for a group. How do I know which wine to pick? How can I pick a wine that everyone will like? How do I know if it will pair well with the food? Relax! The choice is easier than you might think, and these five tips will help you along the way.

Tip One: Drink what you like! As we have said before, the most important thing is to pick a wine you enjoy. Ignore all the other factors for a minute, such as red or white, sweet or dry, expensive or inexpensive, chicken or steak. Forget it! What wine do you like? If you’re having guests, what do they usually drink? If you don’t know what your guests like, don’t worry about it, just focus on what you know. It is fun to experiment with different combinations, and over time you will find pairings that you love.

Tip Two: White & Light. Lighter foods like chicken and fish tend to taste better with similarly lighter wines which, generally speaking, are white varietals. Try barrel-fermented Chardonnay with a creamy chicken dish, or a Pinot Grigio for a light, flaky fish.

Tip Three: Heavy & Red. This tip goes along the same line as the second tip. Full-bodied reds will stand up better to heavier foods. Have Merlot with your red sauce pastas or Cabernet Sauvignon with a nice, juicy steak. The idea is to match the robustness of the food.

Tip Four: Opposites Attract. Sometimes it pays to choose a wine that is on the opposite end of the sweet/dry scale. Sweet wines can be great with spicy foods as they cut through some of the heat and refresh your palate for the next tasty bite. A lot of wine connoisseurs would frown at the idea of chocolate and red wine, but I personally think they are meant to be together. Dark chocolate and a dry red wine with plenty of smooth, berry flavors… pour me a glass!

Tip Five: Similar Tastes. This might contradict Tip Four, but matching tastes and aromas can also produce some lovely  flavor combinations. Let’s say you cooked seared scallops for dinner and you’ve drizzled them with fresh lemon juice. You already know that white wine would be a good choice, but let’s narrow it down a bit. Look for something with citrusy notes, such as Sauvignon Blanc, to match the lemon from the scallops.

I can’t end this article without adding a sixth bonus tip:  Google It! The internet is loaded with information and advice when it comes to wine, and you’re sure to find plenty of wine suggestions with a quick search for whatever you’re serving. Also, the tasting room staff here at Hawk Haven are more than happy to help you come up with something delicious. A lot of us love to cook, and we all love to eat and drink wine (who doesn’t?), so if you’re looking for a good pairing, all you have to do is ask! Don’t forget to share your favorite pairings with us!

From Barrel to Bottle – Bottling our 2012 Whites

During the winter when the vines are bare and it doesn’t seem like there is very much going on at the vineyard, everybody is bottletruckactually quite busy doing any number of things. There is pruning to be done and general vineyard maintenance. The wines that are currently in tanks and barrels also need to be watched to make sure they are progressing favorably. The wine maker will use a wine thief to sample the wines and get an idea of what their flavor profiles will be like. He will also be making sure the barrels stay filled so that the wine inside is exposed to as little oxygen as possible.

emptybottlesGoing into spring, some of the white varietals will be ready to bottle, and that is exactly what we did earlier this month. The mobile bottling factory arrived bright and early on a Wednesday morning. During the days prior, filtering was performed for all the varietals that would be bottled. This included Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Grigio to name a few. The mobile bottling factory is a big truck with the entire bottling assembly line inside the trailer. At the start of the line, we would deposit the empty bottles by the case-full where they would begin their expedition through the machinery.

The bottles are sterilized one by one and blasted with nitrogen to dry them out and remove any oxygen from inside. This step is very important because it will prevent oxidation, which could negatively affect the flavors of the wine. The bottles are then filled with wine and another quick blast of nitrogen before being corked and topped with a foil capsule.

nitroblast
The center bottle is getting a refreshing blast of nitrogen before getting filled with Riesling.

Finally the bottles are labeled and exit the truck where we had staff waiting to rebox them and seal the cases. All the newly bottled wines were sent to our wine room where they will hang out for at least a few more months to allow the wine to recover from the shock of bottling (read more about bottle-shock). And soon they will be ready for you to taste and enjoy!

bottlinglinecollage

Here are some of the new wines you can expect starting around the end of June 2013:
American Kestrel White
2012 Chardonnay
2012 Riesling
Red-Tailed Rose
Signature Series:
2012 Reserve Chardonnay
2012 Albarino
2012 Viognier
2012 Sauvignon Blanc
2012 Barrel-Fermented Dry Riesling

Recent Awards

In the last few months we submitted several of our wines to a few different competitions/wine reviewers and we wanted to share with you the results.

We’ve already mentioned The Judgement of Rittenhouse where our 2010 barrel-fermented Chardonnay was given the opportunity to go up against a French wine of the same vintage and varietal. It didn’t win but it did get the silver at New Jersey Monthly’s wine competition. Some wine competitions award medals based on a point system; they aren’t compared to each other so multiple wines might receive the same type of medal (gold, silver, bronze) depending on how many points it got. At this competition, only one of each type of medal was awarded, so we were especially proud of our Chardonnay for getting the silver.

World Wine Championship

You’ve probably been to the wine section of a liquor store and seen the various ratings in front of the different wines and wondered who exactly assigned them. One of them is the Beverage Testing Institute on www.tastings.com. We submitted four of our wines to their World Wine Championship this year and here are the results:

2009 Merlot: 88 Points “Highly Recommended” Silver Medal
Ruby red color. Aromas of plum pudding and tomato chutney with a chewy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a nice kiss of vanilla and peppery spices on the gentle finish.

2010 Chardonnay: 88 Points “Highly Recommended” Silver Medal
Golden yellow color. Aromas of roasted pineapple and toasty meringue with a fruity-yet-dry medium body and a honeyed apple, lemon mousse, fruit salad, and delicate brown spice accented finish. Tasty.

2010 Gewurztraminer: 87 Points “Highly Recommended” Silver Medal
Golden color. Lush fresh baked peach strudel and orange sorbet aromas with supple, fruity medium body and a honeyed golden raisin chutney and apple-pear cider finish. A nice late harvest style gewurz.

2009 Northern Harrier Red: 84 Points “Recommended” Bronze Medal
Ruby color. Aromas of cranberries and tomatoes on the vine with a soft, dryish medium body and a tangy, tangerine and sun-dried tomato accented finish.

This competition features wines from all over the world including California, France, and Italy, so we are always happy to see our wines place.

American Kestrel White- Bronze

2010 Chardonnay- Silver

2009 Merlot- Bronze

2010 Pinot Grigio- Bronze

2009 Talon- Bronze

2010 Viognier- Bronze

2012 International Eastern Wine Competition

2009 Talon- Gold

2010 Viognier- Bronze

2010 Chardonnay- Bronze

2009 Northern Harrier Red- Bronze