Thursday, January 25, 2007

Westbend Vineyards 2004 Chambourcin

I recently went to Ashville, North Carolina for work. I am always excited, for I always stick my nose in a small wine shop or generl store and see if I can't find a North Carolina wine to try. Recently, I found one.

Westbend Vineyards is located in Lewisville, North Carolina. The 60 acres of prime vinifera vineyards are neatly tucked into the gently rolling countryside in the northwest corner of Forsyth County, where the Yadkin Valley begins. The name Westbend refers to the Yadkin River, which takes a bend to the west in this area and has given the name to the region.

The first vineyard at Westbend was planted in 1972, against the advice of some rather heavy agricultural authorities. But the owner, Jack Kroustalis, was not discouraged by the naysayers. He began planting vinifera varieties that are used to produce fine California and French wines. Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc are now thriving along the banks of the Yadkin. And they have won many awards (see below).

I came home late at night, and Dominique had made small, fresh ravioli covered in a red sauce with cubed chicken and chickpeas. And I eagerly opened a bottle of Westbend Vineyards.

2004 CHAMBOURCIN was very bright and fruity. This medium-bodied wine was loaded with cherries and blackberries. And, as promised, light tannins carry through to a earthly mineral dry finish.

Even now, as she is babbling in my ear, purposely annoying me, wanting my attention, I am greatful for her culinary talents, and her cheerful companionship (cheerful?). Westbend Vineyards is worth searching for. It was delicious and went perfectly with our pasta dinner. Someday soon, I'm going to have to go on a diet.

2006 AWARDS

WINES OF THE SOUTH
2004 FUME - SILVER
2004 CHAMBOURCIN – SILVER
2004 RIESLING - SILVER
2003 BF CHARDONNAY – BRONZE

FLORIDA STATE FAIR
2003 BF CHARDONNAY - SILVER
2004 LENOIRIEN PINOT NOIR - SILVER

FINGERLAKES INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION
2005 LILLY B - SILVER

TASTERS GUILD
05 LILLY B - SILVER
04 MERLOT - SILVER
04 PINOT NOIR - SILVER

MID-ATLANTIC WINE COMPETITION DIXIE CLASSIC FAIR
05 LILLY B - GOLD
05 YADKIN FUME - GOLD
04 MERLOT - GOLD
05 CHAMBOURCIN - GOLD
03 VINTNER'S SIGNATURE - SILVER
LUCKY LUCCI - BRONZE
CAROLINA BLUSH - BRONZE

NC STATE FAIR
05 VIOGNIER - GOLD
CAROLINA BLUSH - SILVER
05 CHAMBOURCIN - BRONZE