Friday, April 3, 2020
We have traveled into the beautiful Sonoma County.We start with a little history of this great vineyard and look at the wine maker's notes on all three wines. Starting with the 2014 vintage. Established in 1971 and recognized as the first vineyard in Alexander Valley to produce a single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander’s Crown vineyard is perched on a hill in the south of the Alexander Valley just west of Jimtown. Encompassing 63 acres, the vineyard is in the first part of the valley to feel cool Pacifi c breezes each afternoon. We use Block 1, the top 15 acres of well drained red volcanic soil to craft this wine, resulting in intensely flavored Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2014 Alexander's Crown exhibits flavors of black and red cherry, blackberries, dried herbs and violets. The wine is elegant, with a rich mouthfeel, soft tannins and a long lingering finish with a touch of mocha. Enjoy this wine now or cellar it for enjoyment in 8 to 10 years. this wine is available on line at the winery's website. The Alexander Valley AVA is 22 miles long, ranging in elevation from 150 to 1500 feet above sea level, and is home to our three single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Our winegrowers have found the very best grapes grow on higher elevated western slopes, or as they say, the “sweet spots”. Spread throughout our three vineyards, we’ve determined the best blocks are typically located just below the ridge tops with a western facing aspect to capture the full warmth and light of the afternoon sun. In the northernmost hills near our Brothers vineyard, with average growing-season temperatures of 67 degrees, heat dominates, allowing Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen well. In the middle of the valley, Rockaway vineyard, with average temperatures of 62 degrees, balances heat and Pacifi c Ocean cooling breezes – allowing for classic structure development. The even cooler Alexander’s Crown vineyard, with average temperatures of 59 degrees in the southern valley, yields more delicate, “feminine” style Cabernet Sauvignon. In the distance of only 12 short miles, average temperatures change eight degrees among our vineyards during growing season, thereby allowing three very different expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2015 Alexanders Crown exhibits ripe flavors of black currant, blackberries and violets. The wine is voluptuous, has a rich mouthfeel, soft tannins and a long lingering finish with notes of dried herbs and a touch of mocha. Enjoy this wine now or cellar it for enjoyment in 8 to 10 years The 2016 Alexander's Crown exhibits ripe flavors of black currant, blackberries and violets. The wine is voluptuous, has a rich mouthfeel, soft tannins and a long lingering finish with notes of dried herbs and a touch of mocha. Enjoy this wine now or cellar it for enjoyment in 8 to 10 years. we will now move outside and enjoy a little bit of this beautiful day.We have a glass of each og these wines and now we are ready to enjoy our new audio feature.Click on the link below,and join us!Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy three vintages of the Alexander's Crown .
Monday, January 6, 2020
Just before the holidays I sat down with Justin Hirigoyen and learned more about the wines of Twomey. Sourcing fruit from most of the prime growing regions,this winery is one to watch!From southern California to Oregon they have vineyards in the best areas for growing Pinot Noir.Today we have a great feature about four of their wines.Let's check out the website and tasting notes and then enjoy the new audio feature with Justin Hirigoyen. Twomey was founded 20 years ago by the Duncan Family of Silver Oak to make dynamic, vineyard-focused wines. Over the years, our passion for Pinot Noir opened exciting new doors to cool climate vineyard opportunities. With each vineyard, our goal is always to craft wines that reflect a delicate balance among a vineyard’s unique micro-climate, soil profile and the human hand—all while capturing the classic character of their respective growing regions. We will start with the SB and feature two Pinot noirs and their world class Merlot. At Twomey they embrace technologies, materials and practices that improve fruit quality and minimize resource use, with a specific focus on water and energy consumption. With wines focused on capturing the essence of place, our farming techniques focus on proven methods—from advanced water conservation technologies to the use of cover crops, fish-friendly farming and integrated pest management—that protect the land for future generations. Sauvignon Blanc is among the world’s most popular white wine varietals, with strikingly different expressions in California than the wines produced in Sancerre or New Zealand. The telltale signature of Twomey Sauvignon Blanc is its bright tropical fruit expression and fresh mineral character. While our estate Sauvignon Blanc is a wine we drink fresh on hot summer days, our Merino Vineyard bottling ages several months longer…if you can wait that long. Our Sauvignon Blanc is sourced exclusively from four estate-owned vineyards in the Napa Valley and Russian River Valley. We have opened two beautiful Pinot Noirs,the first is from Anderson Valley. As their Pinot Noir offerings expanded, we sought out the cool, foggy and then-emerging Anderson Valley region for its ability to produce wines of restraint and finesse. As this AVA gained notoriety for its vibrant and bright California Pinots, we built a relationship with Ferrington Vineyard. Fruit from this site alone produced our first Twomey Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, which has since expanded to include our Monument Tree and Philo Estate vineyards. With fruit from Monument Tree Vineyard, our Philo Estate in the north and Ferrington further inland to the south, we are able to capture a unique expression of the whole region. Our resulting Anderson Valley Pinot Noir is true to its cool-climate origins—an elegant, restrained style with fresh and vibrant fruit characteristics complimented by earth and floral notes.I have been featuring the wines of anderson valley for a while and love this great new AVA. Next we have the Russian River Pinot Noir. One of many from this region. Originally sourced from the Westpin Vineyard, our first vintages—2002, 2003 and 2004—were produced from two acres of Martini clone—the only acres that were not replanted after we entered our long-term lease in 2000. The inaugural 2002 vintage was also made at the Silver Oak Napa Valley Winery in Oakville. Fun fact: The inaugural 2002 vintage was made at the Silver Oak Napa Valley Winery in Oakville, and current Chairman & CEO David R. Duncan and former Silver Oak Winemaker Daniel Barron did the punchdowns. We source from the Sebastopol Hills to the Middle Reach neighborhoods within the Russian River Valley AVA to achieve a balanced blend that is truly representative of the area. The resulting wine is complex with a ripe fruit profile of cherry and cola and a bold, layered structure typical of the AVA. on to the Merlot from this amazing winery. In 2011, we began an exclusive consultation with Château Pétrus legend Jean-Claude Berrouet on our Soda Canyon Ranch Merlot. By combining Jean-Claude’s expertise and classic sensibilities with leading edge technologies such as Precision Viticulture, our vineyard team applies a multi-faceted approach that embraces Old World and New. The result is a blend of California’s fruit-forward style with the subtlety and restraint of Bordeaux .We have covered four wines and yet have many more to tell you about.I will followup with Justin and feature more of these world class wines from Twomey in the near future. Now we should relaqx and enjoy a glass of each of these wines. “Wine is a product that tells a story, the story of its land. Merlot here in California has a different expression from that at Pomerol, of Bordeaux, of Italy, or of Switzerland. Its own characteristics, and that is what I want to respect.”—Jean-Claude Berrouet, Merlot Consultant Please click on the link below and join us!Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy the wines of Twomey .
Monday, December 16, 2019
Recently I traveled into Alexander Valley and enjoyed some time with Nate Weis at Silver Oak's new state of the art winery .I was amazed at the entire estate and loved my time there.Today we have a new two part feature with Nate Weis and Silver Oak.First we will look at their website,and gather some history and great facts about the two featured wines from the fabled winery. Silver Oak began over a handshake between two friends with a bold vision: focus on one varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon, aged exclusively in American oak and worthy of cellaring for decades to come. Over the next two decades, Silver Oak grew in popularity. Our Napa Valley and Alexander Valley Cabernets sold quickly upon their release from the winery and became a sought-after staple on restaurant wine lists around the country. After selecting Daniel Baron to succeed him as winemaker in 1994, Justin retired, selling his share of Silver Oak to the Duncan family in 2001. In 2006, a fire destroyed our historic Oakville winery. It was a difficult and emotional event; but in hindsight, a blessing in disguise. When we regrouped on the morning of the fire, we knew we had to rebuild, and it wasn’t long before the excitement of a new, state-of-the-art winery overcame our sense of loss. Today, we are applying this experience from our LEED Platinum Oakville winery toward a new winery in the Alexander Valley. Set amidst 70 acres of estate vineyards along the rolling foothills of the Mayacamas mountains, our new Alexander Valley winery – set to open for harvest 2017 – will push industry design and innovation standards through alternative energy sources, innovative water reuse systems and reclaimed building materials. Today, we farm more than 400 acres of vines in Napa Valley and Alexander Valley with a leading-edge approach toward precision viticulture, allowing us to give our vines exactly what they need, when they need it. All of our estate vineyards are certified under California’s Sustainable Winegrowing program. In 2014, Nate Weis joined us as only the third winemaker in our 45-year history. Nate worked side-by-side with Daniel Baron, just as Daniel worked with Justin Meyer before his retirement. These overlapping tenures ensure the handing down of our commitment to continuous improvement and the wisdom that our best wines are still ahead of us. We have two great wines to discuss.starting with the 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet. The 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has an opaque crimson color with a purplish hue. The alluring nose draws you in with notes of cassis, black cherry, pipe tobacco, salted caramel, cocoa beans and fresh strawberry. This full-bodied wine enters with a depth of flavor and offers mouth-coating, velvety tannins and flavors of cream soda and red fruit. Black currant and vanilla notes crescendo through the palate to the lengthy finish. This wine is drinkable upon release, but given proper cellaring conditions, can be enjoyed through 2040. we also will open the great Alexander Valley Cabernet from Silver Oak! Located 10 minutes east of downtown Healdsburg at 7300 Hwy 128 in Sonoma County, our new, state-of-the-art winery is now open for walk-in tastings, guided tours and food and wine pairings. Designed to “Frame the Vineyard”, the winery features panoramic views of the Alexander Valley bench and our surrounding 113 acre estate and 75 acres of prime Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed at our modern barn-inspired tasting room adjacent to the iconic Silver Oak water tower. Visitors will gain a deeper understanding of how sustainable vineyard management contributes to wine quality, as well as the technologies and practices we apply toward resource management and vineyard health. Healdsburg has become a great wine country hub for Sonoma County.Surrounded by the Russian River AVA,as well as the Alexander Valley,and many more.A wine country excursion should be part of your holiday celebration. these are very special wines,please consider having both wines on your Christmas day dinner menu. So now let's join Nate Weis and learn more about the world class Cabernets from silver Oak!Click on the link below and enjoy the discussion.. there are two links as this interview has many minutes of great conversation.Cheers! Please join us! Click here and join us as we enjoy the wines of Silver Oak . Please click on part 2 below and join us! Click here and join us as we enjoy the wines of Silver Oak .
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
We have traveled into the beautiful Anderson valley,and will stop off in Bonneville at the Philo Ridge tasting room. heather is the winemaker and I'm very excited to finllay talk with her. The wines are amazing and the vineyards are a story within themselves. we will check out the website and then open these fine white wines from Philo Ridge vineyards.So let's pop the corks and get started. Fred and Heather took possession of the property in August of 1999. There were already three acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot planted just below the house. The vineyard was planted in 1976 by the original owner of the property, Vernon Rose of Christine Woods Winery. The property was their original winery as well. There were an additional seven acres of plantable terraced land just yards from the original vineyard. We suddenly found ourselves in the wine business. It was quite thrilling and equally terrifying. Neither of us had ever actually farmed. We had read a great deal and we were well schooled in the wine aspect of the business, but we were lacking in that get-your-hands-in-the-dirt, practical experience. One of the first things we did was ask Norman Kobler to be our vineyard manager. Norman has many years of hands-on knowledge about almost everything to do with putting something in the ground, watching it grow, and making wine. Norman planned and supervised the installation of our Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris vineyards in 2000 and has worked hard to continue our education. We decided to become a bonded winery in 2001 and we released our first vintage in January of 2004: 167 cases of 2001 Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. We were very pleased when our first submission – our 2001 Syrah – won a Silver medal in the San Francisco Chronicle competition. Since that time, we have entered a number of competitions with our wines and have done very well, including 90 points and Editor's Choice for the 2006 Pinot Noir in the July 2010 Wine Enthusiast. We also received Editor's Choice for the Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris in the same edition. Our production is now up to 2200 cases and we continue to ratchet up our production. But we still make each wine by hand in small batches of between 90 to 450 cases each. Our goal is to make great wines that have complexity and exemplify the best their varietals have to offer your palate. Pinot Noir is our primary wine, but we have added Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Viognier to the mix for white wines with Zinfandel and Vino di Mendocino (our red blend). (Gewürztraminer in German-language areas) is a pink-skinned grape variety that produces some of the world's most distinctive aromatic wines. Its perfumed style is somewhat polarizing; fans adore its intense floral scent and sweet-spice flavors, while detractors lament its low acidity and lack of subtlety. Gewurztraminer's parentage is hard to trace. Modern research suggests that it is the aromatic mutation of Roter Traminer (Savagnin Rose), and therefore part of the ancient Savagnin-Traminer group of grape varieties, which have identical or near-identical DNA profiles. As such it is hard to locate a precise area of origin, though Savagnin is thought to have originated in...this wine is dry and rich,and perfect with spicy food. Viognier is a white-wine grape variety known for producing textural, aromatic wines with pronounced stonefruit flavors; "apricots and steel" are the variety's classic flavor associations. On the nose, Viognier wines can also be very herbal, with aromas of chamomile, lavender, thyme and even a hint of pine. In aged examples and sweeter styles, this potentially overpowering herbal profile is softened by honeyed notes. In the late 1960s ,just 14 hectares (35 acres) of Viognier vines were all that remained in the world, located exclusively in the vineyards of Condrieu and Château-Grillet. Happily, the 1970s saw new life breathed into the near-extinct variety, by the Yalumba winery in... and now it's time to pour another glass of these great wines and enjoy the audio feature.Please click on the link at the bottom,and sit down with us as we enjoy these amazing wines from Philo Ridge Vineyards We will pour you a glass of each wine,and I will head out to the kitchen to start up a few dishes to go with these incredible wines.Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy the white wines of Philo ridge Vineyards .
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
We have a great new feature with Fred R. Buonanno and Heather A. McKelvey .Fred has decided to relax today and let Heather and I discuss these amazing wines.We have three of them,and it's time to open these wines and enjoy the summer sunshine! first let's check out the website and get up to speed on the history and background of this special winery. I must say Heather was amazing telling us about these beautiful wines. They decided to become a bonded winery in 2001 and we released our first vintage in January of 2004: 167 cases of 2001 Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. We were very pleased when our first submission – our 2001 Syrah – won a Silver medal in the San Francisco Chronicle competition. Since that time, we have entered a number of competitions with our wines and have done very well, including 90 points and Editor's Choice for the 2006 Pinot Noir in the July 2010 Wine Enthusiast. We also received Editor's Choice for the Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris in the same edition. Our production is now up to 2200 cases and we continue to ratchet up our production. But we still make each wine by hand in small batches of between 90 to 450 cases each. Our goal is to make great wines that have complexity and exemplify the best their varietals have to offer your palate. Pinot Noir is our primary wine, but we have added Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Viognier to the mix for white wines with Zinfandel and Vino di Mendocino (our red blend). Our first wines is the Zinfandel. Full flavored and full bodied, this big, expansive wine oozes ripe and dried fruit character from the aroma to the flavors and finish. It suggests blackberry and strawberry flavors, feels tannic on the palate rather than soft, and carries a bit of warmth. I'm a huge fan of this wine and need to get a case of this special wine. Next we will open the Primitivo, Vittorio's Vineyard . Beautifully balanced and quietly powerful, this full-bodied wine poises plenty of berry and dark plum flavors on a smooth, sophisticated texture that carries all that fruit through the finish. It's dry, and that's a plus for pairing with most food. we will also open the Vino di Mendocino V. A very full bodied red wine blend with excellent structure and balance. Served with different foods, the varietals that comprise this blend come to the forefront. There are distinct flavors of black currants and bright black berries from the Zinfandel and the Petite Sirah offers a hint of white pepper, while the Syrah and Carignane give it an earthy, brambly quality. After tasting these wines I have to say...if I wasn't hungry when I started...I am NOW!! Let's pour a glass and sit down and relax as we listen to this great new feature with Heather!Cheers! OK, we will pour three glasses for you....! Click here and join us as we enjoy the wines of Philo Ridge Vineyards .
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Today we will open two incredible wines from Journeyman Wines. the new feature about these two wines is full of history and facts about these special wines. first let's check out the tasting notes and a little of the history behind the story,and then listen as we hear about these beautiful wines. In 1896, Pete Seghesio's great-grandfather, an immigrant from Italy, purchased a young vineyard for 10 gold coins he earned working as a cook in Californiaâ€™s gold mines. With its fog, cobbled hillsides and proximity to the ocean, this special place reminded him of his hometown in Italy, San Lorenzo. At the same time, my paternal grandfather, already a winemaker in California, founded Seghesio Family Vineyards and Winery. Eventually, my parents would meet over a grape purchase at the San Lorenzo Vineyard.Â Today, it is my privilege to steward the San Lorenzo Planting, and honor the iconic 120-year-old vineyard that has helped shaped my life. Humbled our familyâ€™s rich history in and deep love of the California wine industry, I began Journeyman with my wife and sons to share with them a craft that has sustained our family for generations. With ten gold coins earned working as a cook in the California gold mines, my great-grandfather purchased the San Lorenzo Planting in 1896. The San Lorenzo Vineyard The San Lorenzo Planting today comprises 140 acres, 40 acres of which are planted to vineyard. And, not only is it our home but home to our winery, cattle, chickens, fruit orchard, olive grove, restaurant vegetable garden and, four our two teen-age boys, a small motor-cross course. The purchase deed makes reference to a young vineyard already producing on the property suggesting that the vineyard was planted before 1892. Today, we call this vineyard treasured by my mother, Rachel Ann Seghesio, the Pearl. The Pearl became the cornerstone for subsequent plantings on San Lorenzo which is today, one of the most iconic vineyards in California. Idyllically located aside the Russian River and bordering the town of Healdsburg, the San Lorenzo spans both Alexander and Russian River Valleys. Its rocky terraces, foggy mornings and southern facing slopes make it a treasure rivaling any gold discoveries of my grandfather. Each lot of fruit is hand harvested in the early morning hours and, then, sorted as it enters the winery. Gently pressing over a period of four hours, we yield less wine while avoiding bitterness from the skins. Once in barrel or concrete egg, native yeast begin fermentation. All lees remain in barrel throughout the aging process adding complexity and richness. Now it's time to open these two wines. Produced from the steepest part of our San Lorenzo Estate, the Rockgarden vineyard derives its name from the large cobbles that challenge it to produce fruit. The Padrone clone, a favorite from my many days walking acres of Sonoma Countyâ€™s zinfandel vineyards purchasing for Seghesio, was my choice for this site just below our home. Grapes are harvested at night, double sorted, then placed in small 4-ton, open-top tanks where they cold-soak for 5 days at 55Â°. Punch-downs and pump-overs ensue until day 6 when we turn off the cooling and inoculate to begin fermentation. Aging 100% FranÃ§ois FrÃ¨res (1/3 each new, one-year old and two year old barrels). 2015 was rated 93 points in the Wine Spectator The Pearl comes from the oldest vines planted near the Russian River, north of Healdsburg, from vines mentioned in an 1896 deed still framed in the Seghesio house. When my great grandfather, Francesco Passalacqua purchased this vineyard in 1896 with ten gold coins he earned working in Californiaâ€™s goldmines, the deed made reference to a young zinfandel vineyard. That vineyard I still tend today. In fact, walking the vineyard I realized it is not simply Zinfandel so I enlisted the expertise of Dr. Andy Walker from UC Davis to help me identify the abundance of varietals. We discovered our own gold mine. While this century old field blend is almost 70% Zinfandel, the remainder boasts not only Zinâ€™s usual companions, Petite Sirah and Carignane but also Grand Noir, Alicante, Negrette and Mataro. My mother cherished this original block of San Lorenzo. In her honor, we call it THE PEARL. Varietal Composition: 69% Zinfandel, 5% Carignane, 15% Petite, 10% mixed reds. 2015 Vintage rated 95 points Wine Spectator Now let's join Pete and get the rest of the story.Click on the link below and join us!Cheers! The time is now!! Click here and join us as we enjoy the wines JourneymanWines .
Monday, June 10, 2019
Today we are opening a few different wines from Rodney Strong Vineyards.Three Reserve wines including Chardonnay,Pinot Noir,and the reserve Cabernet.We will look at the tasting notes and then travel over to the 8 dragon Restaurant,a local favorite in Healdsburg. Our story begins over 55 years ago, when a celebrated American dancer named Rod Strong settled in Sonoma County to pursue a second lifelong creative passion: winemaking. Rodney Strong Vineyards was the 13th winery bonded in the newly discovered Sonoma County wine industry. A trio of winemaking paths crossed when Rick Sayre joined the team as Winemaker in 1979, and again when the Klein Family, 4th generation California farmers, purchased the winery in 1989 and initiated a renewed commitment of modern artisan winemaking. Through the years, Rodney Strong Vineyards has earned the reputation for critically acclaimed Single Vineyard and Reserve wines, stand out Estate releases and best-in-class Sonoma County varietal wines. First let's try this beautiful Chardonnay . Our Reserve Chardonnay is created in our small lot winemaking facility, the Artisan Cellar. Winemaker Greg Morthole employs cutting edge techniques such as whole cluster pressing, "double dry" barrel fermentation, and unfiltered bottling. This wine is aged sur lie, with bi-weekly bâtonnage which imparts an elegant fullness and creamy texture on the palate. With small tanks and equipment sized for the most discriminating vineyard selection process, our facility is truly state of the art, and represents the Klein family commitment towards producing the finest wines possible. We have opened the Reserve Pinot Noir also. The 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir has wonderful aromas of dark cherry, plum and dark raspberry accompanied by clove and cinnamon baking spice notes on the palate. The wine is lush and rich, with a silky textured mouthfeel and well-balanced acidity. Storms in late winter filled the soil with water that the vines would need in a few months. Warm days in late winter and early spring induced the Pinot Noir buds to swell during the third week of Feb, earlier than normal. The weather alternated between cool periods and warm through the summer, with a few heat spikes making the sugars climb at an accelerated pace. Harvest would yield a smaller crop than normal, averaging just over 2 tons per acre. This would be the first Reserve Pinot to come entirely off our Jane's Vineyard since the 2008 vintage, concentrating heavily on our oft favored Crinella block. Our 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir was aged in less new French oak barrels than past vintages, but also for a few months longer, in order to showcase the terroir to a higher degree, but still keep the richness that barrel aging imparts. Recently I discovered the 8 Dragon Restaurant,which features many local wines to pair with their Chinese cuisine.Today we Are featuring the Reserve Cabernet with a few dishes. Visitors to the winery often ask what "Reserve" Cabernet means to us. It's simple. Reserve means the winemaker's careful blend of individual Cabernet Sauvignon lots made from time tested, meticulously farmed sections of some of the very best vineyards in Alexander Valley. Select areas within each vineyard are hand harvested individually, fermented separately and aged in the finest French oak barrels. After about six months, each lot is tasted and graded and only the Cabernets that display depth, richness, intensity, and age worthiness are considered for Reserve Cabernet. The 100% Cabernet blend is then assembled, and the wine is returned to barrels to facilitate flavor integration. The wine is aged an additional 14 to 20 months, depending on the vintage, before bottling. I hope you will enjoy our new feature with Greg Morthole and also the 8 dragon Restaurant. Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy the wines of Rodney Strong Vineyards and the cuisine of 8 Dragon Restaurant .