Along for the Ride: United Slurps of America

Today, I have the distinct honor of joining Swirl Smell Slurp for their United Slurps of America tour. Representing the great state of North Carolina is McRitchie Vineyard, a winery from Yadkin Valley AVA. Come to think of it, I should have just called this Yadkin Valley Week. If nothing else, I hope this week on Wine(Explored) and this collaboration proves that North Carolina is capable of producing a premiere wine-growing region.

Make sure you head to check out the full post at Swirl Smell Slurp. They’re the ones who conceived and organized the idea; I’m just along for the ride.

Onto the wines!

McRitchie 2009 Yadkin Valley Fallingwater

The Fallingwater has a very light yellow color, with just a tinge of green, and it has a lower viscosity than I would have expected. The nose consists of overly ripe tropical notes, apricot and a sweetness like honey, and a bit of vinyl. Rather dry, with a detectable alcohol flavor and a hot scent. Flavor of apricot preserves, pineapple, and there is that slight vinyl flavor. It’s got a very luxurious, tropical medley on the finish that’s hard to pin down but still very enjoyable.  Has a very strong acidity that becomes prominent on the finish. Balance isn’t quite there for me. 5/10.

McRitchie Apple Cider

McRitchie North Carolina Dry Hard Cider

It’s much, much lighter than most hard ciders I’ve seen. I cheered inwardly a bit when I noticed the carbonation in the glass. It’s very fine, frizzante, not aggressive like the more common hard ciders. It has a musty, Champagne-like nose with a very subdued apple scent. I honestly don’t know what to expect just from the smell. The flavor is very subtle, and, as the name states, very dry. The apple flavor is pure, but not sweet, like apple juice. If it weren’t for the warming sensation in my throat and stomach, I wouldn’t even be sure there was alcohol here. It barely comes through on the finish, but there’s just enough there to give it a bite. Its got a great balance. 7/10.

McRitchie 2008 Yadkin Valley Merlot

Before I even get to the color, I can smell the chocolate. My exact words: “mmmm, chocolatey.” Anyway, the color is a wonderful, deep, rich red with a very, very light purple tint that becomes noticeable on the swirl.  In addition to the chocolate on the nose, there’s a jammy cherry scent. I also, and I think I’m a bit crazy, get a hint of both burlap and maple syrup. Was this aged in French oak? I can definitely detect the oak influence in the flavor, contributing a powdery vanilla-sugar flavor. I also get a tart cherry and coffee and a bit of chocolate on the finish, which is long and clean. There’s also a certain sort of baking spice flavor like cloves or cinnamon. Mouthfeel is a bit stringy and the alcohol/acidity balance is a bit harsh, but the overall experience is a clean, medium-bodied, classic Merlot flavor. 6/10.

McRitchie Ring of Fire

McRitchie 2008 Yadkin Valley Ring of Fire

Color’s a very deep, almost opaque reddish purple. Rich scent of redcurrant and coffee. It has a very smooth, very full texture, evidence of a very good amount of time in oak. Flavor is a very rich mocha with a bit of cherry. Tannins are chalky, not quite chewy, and the sensation lingers on the finish. Good balance on the alcohol here; it contributes to the structure without coming forward. This one is my favorite of their wines. 7/10.

If you’re looking to get your hands on some of their wine, just drop by They’ve got all the info you need to start experiencing their wines for yourself!

Note, these wines were provided by the winery as a sample for review.


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