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Annual Survey Time & A Couple Wines

You know, the longer I am blogging, the more I love it.  I sure hope you love it as much as I am.  It has been a while since I sought out more information from my readers. What are you enjoying the most? What needs improvement? Have your wine buying habits changed? What about my recipes?  So it is time for my annual survey.  Please take a few minutes to answer these 13 questions. Your answers are anonymous. Your participation will help me provide you with the posts you most want to read. And it should only take about five minutes.

Below the survey are a couple of reviews of two delicious white wines.

Annual Survey

Let’s get started…

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Thomas George Estates Chardonnay Concrete 2013

I bought this unoaked Thomas George Estates Russian River Valley Chardonnay Concrete 2013 last fall when I visited the winery after the Wine Bloggers Conference. I really enjoyed this wine and knew that Gary would too.  He has been critical of the heavy oak and buttery style that is quite popular in California.  So I wanted him to know that there are wineries also making a clean, mineral-driven wine.

Annual Survey


This wine is a blend of fruit from their three Estate Vineyards: Cresta Ridge (25%), Baker Ridge (38%), and Starr Ridge (37%) Estate Vineyards in the Russian River Valley. The wine saw no malolactic fermentation. Aged sur lie in a 500 gallon stone concrete egg for nine months.

What is “sur lie?”

Pronounced [soor LEE] –  It is the French expression for “on the lees.”

What are lees”?  Lees is the coarse sediment that settles at the bottom of the tank or barrel, which consists mainly of dead yeast cells and small grape particles that accumulate during fermentation. Sur lie aging is the process of allowing wine to sit on the lees to extract beneficial textures and flavors.

The Taste

You may find pear and other orchard fruits on the nose as well as creamy vanilla. On the palate, you may find more vanilla with a back note of mint. These flavors are followed by notes of citrus and a toast.

This is a medium-bodied wine with a huggable mouthfeel, yet still very much bright, fresh and alive.

He loved it! Me too. He wants more.

Annual Survey

Founded in 2008, Thomas George Estates Winery is an artisan Russian River Valley producer of small lot, vineyard designated wines with a focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. To order this wine, you need to contact the winery directly. This wine sells for $42.00 a bottle to the general public or $32.00 for a winery club member.

Annual Survey

A Note about Tasting Notes

Tasting notes are personal reflections based on one’s own ability to decern what flavors are speaking to you when you are tasting a particular wine.  Should you read about this wine online, you will find that the winemaker’s notes are very different from mine. This may be a result of the wine aging for five years as well as my own palate perceptions.

Richard Bruno Clarksburg Chenin Blanc 2016

But first, allow me to explain what is.

This wine is a free sample provided to me by is an online wine store that works in a unique manner.  While anyone (of age) can buy wine from this store, they also have an Angels program where wine lovers bank $40.00 per month as a way to bankroll new winemakers who need the cash to get their project off the ground. works with hundreds of winemakers around the world to help them bring the product to market. Angels are essentially banking cash that can at any time be used to purchase wine at a significant discount.

Richard Bruno offers two wines through This Chenin Blanc and a dry Reisling (more on that wine at a later date).

Annual SurveyThe Smell and the Taste

Gary and I found this to be a delightful wine. Gary prefers his white wine very cold. I do not, so our notes will vary due to the temperature difference when we tasted this wine. The colder wine is, the more the temperature masks or hides flavors and perhaps even faults in wine.

The color of this wine is a light yellow with a green hue. The body is medium.

Gary’s Ice Cold Tasting:

The nose of this wine for Gary was a more generic citrus flavor. On the palate, Gary tasted a bright, fresh acidic wine with a mild vanilla flavor. The finish was a blend of lime and vanilla flavors.

Rick’s Slight Chill Tasting:

I picked up on notes of pear and apples and a hint of herbaceousness on the nose.  It presented a creamy texture with tart lime on the palate and a slight back note of vanilla. I found the wine to be more balanced than Gary did although the finish allowed more of the acid to be present.

We both enjoyed this wine even though we approached the wine differently. But that is one of the beauties of wine. It can be different things to different people.

This wine is only available on For the general public, this wine sells for $18.00 a bottle. If you are an Angel, the wine sells for $8.00 a bottle.

That is all for now!





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