"Skipstone was born of the belief that a world-class wine-growing site lies just under our feet", that is what Fahri Diner and Jill Layman, owners of Skipstone vineyards are been able to prove with their wonderful wines. They produce two excellent wines: Makena's Vineyard Viognier and a Bordeaux blend style, Oliver's Blend. These wines where a great discovery at The 2010 High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction, great to taste them at Skipstone Ranch this past March 17 and revisited them at the 2011 High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction.
After a great walk on Skipstone Ranch grounds on a beautiful spring morning it was a delightful surprise to taste their three vintages of Oliver's Blend and the 2009 vintage of Makena's Vineyard Viognier; all of them paired with delicious food prepared by Chef Amy Schaefers.
- 2009 Makena's Vineyard Viognier: (100% Viognier), paired with Seared Sea Scallop with Crispy Prosciutto on Frissé with Preserved Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette. This Viognier is stainless steel fermented and goes trough primary and malolactic fermentations; expressive aromas of honeysuckle, tangerine and navel oranges with hints of quince, white flowers and river rocks. On the palate this wine feels refreshing and full of peach, apricot and tangerine flavors round up with beautiful notes of mineral, honey and caramel. This Viognier was a beautiful match for the seafood dish, they complemented each other with a beautiful play on texture and flavors; very elegant wine with great bouquet, nice viscosity and complex palate. This wine retails for $40.
- 2005 Oliver's Blend: (65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec), paired with Wild Mushroom, Butternut Squash and Grruyere Tart. This wine has initial aromas of ripe red berries and progress to black cherries and plum jam with notes of red flowers, vanilla and cloves. On the palate this red wine feels well integrated with brown spices, red currant and coffee up front developing a mid palate of ripe plum and dark berries and culminating in a long finish with spicy and earthy notes. This wine feels rich with rounded tannins nicely balanced with pleasant acidity. The earthy and rich wild mushrooms and squash tart with the salty and creamy accent of the Gruyere cheese was a great compliment for this elegant wine. This wine retails for $105.
- 2006 Oliver's Blend: (64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Malbec, 13% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot), paired with Moroccan Spiced Hanger Steak with Skipstone Roasted Carrots and Baby Potatoes. This wine has bright aromas of blackberries, raspberries along with gravel and hints of vanilla and beautiful floral notes. This wine will make your palate dance with flavors of ripe berries, toast and caramel from the oak, followed by a lingering mocha and spicy finish. This vintage has moderate but firm tannins giving it well structure to age for at least a decade. The ripe fruit and spicy flavors and aromas in this wine made the spices of the Moroccan hanger steak to shine trough, complemented by the great flavors of the carrots and baby potatoes. A wine and food pairing made in heaven! This wine retails for $100.
- 2007 Oliver's Blend: (96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc), paired with Oliver's Blend Chocolate Cabernet Tartlet in Macadamia Nut Crust with Vanilla Creme Anglaise. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon vintage was so excellent that winemaker Philippe Melka decided to let the varietal shine with just a small percentage of Cabernet Franc added. This wine has expressive aromas of dried red currants, ripe raspberry, dark cherries and plums with beautiful notes of red roses a cocoa powder. On the palate you can taste ripe berry, sweet vanilla and plum compote flavors with hints of mocha and earth. This wine has great mouth-filling with layered ripe tannins followed up by a long robust but pleasnt finish. This well structured Cabernet Sauvignon is drinking great now but it will keep developing great aromas and flavors for at least fifteen years. This flavorful red wine was a deligth paired with chef Schaefers chocolate Cabernet tartlet, the wine was an ingredient on the dessert, that kind of seal the pairing for me; they complemented each other perfectly. The crunchy texture on the Macadamia crust and the decadent touch of the vanilla creme Anglaise made the wine dance in your mouth as the joined together. This wine retails for $98.
In Atlanta Skipstone wines are distributed by Prime Wines and small allocations can be special order at specialty wine stores like: The Wine Cellars, Niko's Wine Corner, Perrine's Wine, All Y' alls Wines, Ansley Wine Merchants, Halls of Fine Wines, Sherlock's Wine, Mac's Beer and Wine, HopCity Craft Beer and Wine, and Green's.