Ever since 2003, the middle of September brings a certain feeling of excitement to my mind.Â It brings to mind dusty, hot vineyards, absolutely full of virtually mature grapes. It brings thoughts of BBQ, zydeco music and twisting mountain roads.Â Walter and Syliva Georis welcome the middle of this month each year with their annual Georis Winery Club Event, celebrating the harvest.
This vintage’s party was last weekend 09/13/08, high in the Cachagua Valley at the Estate vineyards and winery within the Carmel Valley appellation. That morning Daniel, Christine, Beth and I all piled into Steve’s car and headed off South towards wine and various predicted shenanigans. Beth and I have made all but one of the previous years’ parties, indeed, I wrote about last year at my old personal blog on my MySpace. This year’s party proved to be just as much fun as the last one!
We accidentally arrived a little early, mistaking the start time by an hour, but things were already starting up and we got our first glass of wine, the crisp 2007 Cowgirl White made from Monterey County Chardonnay.Â This is a zesty and refreshing style of this variety and was a perfect start to the event, with it’s mild sea breeze and high 70 degree weather.Â I got a chance to chat a little with Damien Georis, the Georis winemaker during this early downtime (no relation, incredibly). Damien also makes his own wine, the alluring Madeleine, a chameleon wine whose composition changes with each vintage.Â The latest vintage is still unreleased and is the ’06, a blend of Cab and Syrah.
As the day wore on the happy, imbibing crowd of wine club members grew and enjoyed the chicken BBQ and various side dishes under the oak trees.Â The Cachagua Playboys kept a lively musical set flowing throughout our time there, with various folk, rock and blues covers and zydeco tracks from their own release, Surf Zydeco.Â At this point most of us had moved onto the latest vintage of the wine that first got Beth and I into dry rosÃ©, the ’07 Georis Carmel Valley Carmelo Rosato.Â The varietal composition changes each year and this year’s wine was 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. It has that lovely mix of juicy strawberry, light citrus and floral notes that originally made me fall in love with this wine. My favorite rosÃ© of all remains the Georis Carmel Valley Les Abeilles, which has proven to be a tremendous effort towards a ProvenÃ§al-style rosÃ© during its first two vintages.
As we settled into lunch, I made my way into the third wine that was offered, this time the wine that first led me to understand Merlot back at our first visit to Georis in 2000, the Estate Merlot.Â Damien and friends were pouring the ’03 Carmel Valley Estate Merlot that day and it paired nicely with our lunch. After lunch we decided to skip the winery and vineyard tours, led by Walter, as usual (but both are highly recommended in the future if you have yet to attend this event!).Â We did our own exploring and basically just relaxed amongst good friends both that included ourselves as well as others that we see there every year (hi Nate & Kelly!).
One item remained on my list for the day however, which was to taste the new wine that was being released that day solely to the wine club members, the ’05 Georis Carmel Valley Deux FrÃ¨res Estate Merlot.Â The vines for this wine were planted in 1996 by the two sons, Max and Klaus.Â Their first wine was produced in 2000 and this year is the first year that the family has decided to release any to the public, a mere 10 cases worth of wine, or less than half a barrel.Â The wine was intensely aromatic already, with big structure and plenty of dark anise at this early stage.Â I loved it and bought two bottles in my cache that we picked up after we made it back down the mountain to the tasting room in Carmel Valley (after Steve’s Wild Ride).
Tragically, the day was winding down, but I was reluctant to leave without my yearly photo with Walter.Â We said our goodbyes to Walter, Damien, Padi, Jessica, Nate and Kelly and headied back to the tasting room. We finished the daylight with some ’06 Georis Petites Vignes at Carmel Beach and a down-home dinner at the Hog’s Breath.Â Yum.
Please see below for my full reviews of the wines we enjoyed that day and evening in Carmel.Â All of these wines are tagged with “5thGeorisWCE2008” if you would like to list these wines in your own WineLog.Â Enjoy!
Poured by the glass at the winery & vineyards:
Tasted at the winery & vineyards:
Drank at Carmel Beach for the (cloudy) sunset: