Mornings With Gina Birch

Weekdays 6am - 10am

Chateau Montelena's Estate Director George Blanckensee, Gina Birch and Harold Balink at a Chateau Montelena luncheon at Point 57 in Cape Coral

I love when old friends come to visit. For instance when Chateau Montelena comes to Cape Coral, well not the whole chateau.  Their Estate Director George Blanckensee, with his long history in the hospitality business in Southwest Florida. George’s visit surrounded both R&R and some work.

When given an invitation to join him and other wine loving friends for a wine luncheon at Point 57 in Cape Coral I was super stoked. The gathering was mostly for his distributing team that makes sure these amazing wines get into the best restaurants and wine shops in the area. However, a few other friends, were graciously included. Thank you Heather Smith!

The wines

During the lunch we tasted Chateau Montelena’s famous chardonnay, both the 2019 and 2014 vintages, to see how well it ages. The 2014 was still so youthful and delicious.

The cabernets from this winery in Napa are legendary for their old world elegance and the ones we tried did not disappoint. They were the 2017 which is the current release, and the 2007 which is the new library release. Chateau Montelena comes to Cape Coral with its cool library program where they dig into the cellar every year and release an older vintage. If you’ve been holding on to a 2007 cab, congrats. It is one amazing wine.

George also brought the 2019 Napa Valley Cabernet which is a little lower in price but just as fantastic as the estate cab. It has a little merlot in there to soften the edges.

If you are a fan of this winery, buy it when you can find it. Production is low and has been even lower in recent years because of fires. In fact, 2020 will be known as the year with no cab. Only small amounts of sauvignon blanc and chardonnay made it.

Attending wine dinners and luncheons is one of my favorite things to do. It’s a great way to learn and experience wine the way it is meant to be enjoyed, with food.

*Remember to drink responsibly

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