Thursday, May 12, 2016

Rodney Strong Vineyards/Greg Morthole/Pinot Noirs/

We are staying in Healdsburg tonight.Northern Californian wine country!Before we check in to the dry Creek Inn,We are going to stop by and taste a couple great Pinot Noirs with wine maker Greg Morthole. We are opening two wines from Rodney Strong Vineyards.Let's check out the tasting notes on these wines and then sit back and relax as we learn of these great wines. As a family-owned winery, Rodney Strong Vineyards is committed to doing everything we can to preserve the Earth for generations to come. This means using sustainable practices now. We have gone acre by acre through our estate properties to ensure we are taking every step we can to safeguard this region’s eco-system. We are proud that our solar energy system is one of the largest of any winery in the world, and that we were the first carbon neutral winery in Sonoma County. As we look to the future, we will continue to test and implement the latest sustainable practices. By doing so, we not only improve the quality of life in the community around us, we ensure exceptional wines in the glass. our first wine is the Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Grown in some of the coolest areas within the Sonoma Coast region, this traditionally made Pinot Noir aged for 10 months in French oak barrels, a third of them new. This mediumbodied wine starts with aromas of pomegranate, cola, raspberry and spice, with crisp acidity and vibrant fruit and spice fl avors that fi nish smooth and silky. History Situated in the Southern and Western end of Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast is a distinct region that is directly infl uenced by the Pacifi c Ocean and is known to produce Chardonnay and Pinot Noir of exceptional complexity with true varietal and terroir characteristics unique to the region. Sonoma Coast’s climate means the region is ideally suited to cold-climate viticulture, encouraging the full expression of both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which are very different to those from warmer regions. Our Pinot Noir comes from two distinct areas of Sonoma Coast — a majority from Green Valley and the remainder from Petaluma Gap. Green Valley is known to be the coldest area within the AVA with a strong coastal climate infl uence due to constant fog in the miles near the Pacifi c Ocean and the channel created to bring that fog further inland via the Russian River and Petaluma Gap. Combined with its unique soil type — Goldridge, Green Valley Pinot Noir exhibits unique characteristics true to coolclimate Sonoma Coast and our vineyards within Green Valley help us create an exemplary medium-bodied, acidic, elegant Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. The Vineyards 2013 was the kind of growing season that most would wish we could have every year: a dry, frost-free spring, a warm summer without heat spikes, and a warm, rain free autumn that allows for picking all varieties in their turn when they are perfectly mature. This Pinot Noir was harvested from vineyards in Sonoma Coast between September 11th and September 17th. Now on to the reserve Pinot Noir from Rodney Strong Vineyards. The 2014 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. Food pairings Enjoy this wine now with roasted root vegetables, mushroom lasagna, roasted turkey with a cherry-plum chutney, or cellar for enjoyment over the next 4 to 6 years. The Vineyards A mild, dry winter followed by a replenishing amount of rain in February and early March of 2014 encouraged the vine buds to push a little earlier than normal. The spring was warm, dry and frost free, thankfully, as the yields were already a little lower than average. Overcast days became the norm in late July and August, helping to preserve acidity in the fruit, although the 2014 growing season would eventually register as the warmest in many years. We picked three different vineyards in the Russian River Valley to make this wine, all of which were picked between August 26 and September 3. Most of the fruit came from the Santa Rosa plain, but a little bit came from two vineyards farther to the east, with the smallest piece up at 900 feet elevation, which added structure and complexity to the finished wine. Let's pour a glass of each wine and listen to Greg tell us more about these two beautiful wines from Rodney Strong Vineyards!cheers! Click here and listen to Greg Morthole tell us of two great wines from Rodney Strong Vineyards.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

New Releases/Goldeneye/Duckhorn Wine Company

Goldeneye has releases many new wines recently,and today we will open three bottles and check out the tasting notes on these new releases. First a little about the winemaker. In the story of great winegrowing appellations, there are always a few wineries that help to raise the bar and chart the course for a region. As a Pinot Noir specialist, and the winemaker for Goldeneye, Michael Fay is building on the valley’s reputation as one of the world’s preeminent locations for growing Pinot Noir. At the same time, his belief in a vineyard-inspired, small-lot approach to winemaking is cementing Goldeneye’s status as one of North America’s great Pinot Noir wineries. Michael was born in Vicenza, Italy, near the winegrowing region of Friuli, and was raised in Southern California. While working in the restaurant industry and studying forestry management at the University of Washington in Seattle, Michael discovered a passion for West Coast Pinot Noir. “I was studying forestry management because I wanted to cultivate a relationship with nature, but my growing love of Pinot made me realize I didn’t want to make paper, I wanted to make wine.” In 2000, Michael transferred to Cal Poly to study enology and viticulture. He also took a job in the vineyards at Cambria Estate in Santa Maria. It didn’t last long. “My vineyard work was meticulous, but I was really slow!” Moving to winemaking, Michael joined the cellar team at Firestone. His talents quickly became apparent and he was soon promoted to cellar master. Eager to focus more on Pinot Noir, in 2002 Michael returned to Cambria as enologist, where he honed his skills under noted winemaker Denise Shurtleff. In 2007, Michael became assistant winemaker. In this position, he helped to grow the winery’s Pinot program, with a focus on small-lot, clone and site-specific bottlings. He also actively helped to guide the Pinot Noir estate program, with an emphasis on vineyard planting and clonal selection. In addition to his role at Cambria, in 2007 Michael also became the winemaker for Santa Maria’s Los Alisos Wines, where he oversaw all aspects of the winery’s estate program. Our first wine is the Gowan Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir from Goldeneye. Two miles north of the Confluence Vineyard in the heart of the Anderson Valley, our Gowan Creek Vineyard sees appreciably more coastal fog. The unique terroir of this site brings together elements from both the valley’s warmer regions and its cooler, northern “deep end.” Offering an ideal Southwestern exposure and an array of unique vineyard blocks, Gowan Creek is planted to eight different clones of Pinot Noir, each carefully tailored to a specific site and soil type. The powerful and expressive wine produced from these vines displays beautiful inky depth and robust, untamed fruit flavors. Our second wine today is the Goldeneye2013. Goldeneye began making premium quality, cool-climate Pinot Noir from our estate winery in the Anderson Valley in 1997. Blending grapes from four estate vineyards, we are dedicated to crafting wines of refinement and elegance from a rich palette of terroir-inspired fruit. Reflecting the Mendocino Coast’s unique marine influences, sites and soils, these grapes create sublime and sophisticated Pinot Noir. To further enhance natural depth and complexity, winemaker Michael Fay selects only a small percentage of the finest fruit for each vintage before applying small-lot, artisanal winemaking techniques. I'm amazed at how incredible these wines are.The third wine today is the flagship wine from Goldeneye called 10Degrees! The name Ten Degrees pays homage to the unique, cool climate of the Anderson Valley and the fact that even though our four estate vineyards span a modest eight miles, they often display a temperature variance of as much as 10 degrees from The Narrows Vineyard in the cool “deep end” to our Confluence Vineyard in the south. To add to this natural climactic diversity, our Estate program consists of 200 acres and more than 96 individual blocks of Pinot Noir with 49 unique combinations of clone and rootstock material. These wines are very small in numbers and a must for ALL Pinot Noir lovers.Every little detail is taken very seriously,and these wines are the state of the art of Californian Pinot Noirs!We have a few great audio features for you,and a glass of Goldeneye to enjoy as you listen!Cheers!

Malbec/Rodney Strong Vineyards/Greg Morthole

We all love to discover new wines to add to our favorites list.I may have a couple additions for you today.We are talking with Greg Morthole and opening two Malbecs from Rodney Strong Vineyards.Greg is part of the amazing winemaking team at Rodney Strong,and also makes the wines for Davis Bynum. First we should take a look at the tasting notes and then enjoy a glass of Malbec as Greg Morthole tells us details on these great wines. Rich, lush and full bodied, the 2013 vintage of Malbec, displays intense aromas and flavors of blackberry, black currant, cocoa and crushed violet. This wine is structured and balanced with smooth integrated tannins and a lingering finish of toasty baking spices and vanilla. Food pairings Enjoy this wine now with braised short ribs, rosemary crusted leg of lamb or mushroom stroganoff or lay a few bottles down in your cellar to enjoy in 3 to 5 years. The Vineyards Winter of 2012 was very mild, and so was the spring of 2013, which encouraged an early bud break. The summer was warm, with a hot spell in June and some misty weather in July, though mostly warm. August and September were filled with 80-90°F days, ideal temperatures for balanced ripening. Overall the 2013 vintage proved to be warmer than any in the previous 20 years. The second Malbec is a wine available only to the wine club,but Greg will give us details on this special wine. Cheers! Click here and meet winemaker Greg Morthole.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Rodney Strong Vineyards/Chardonnays/Compare and Contrast

We will be enjoying a great tasting today,with Greg Morthole. These are very interesting features.We should look into the tasting notes first and learn about the great wine making team at Rodney Strong Vineyards. Greg Morthole attended the University of Wyoming, where he earned a B.S. in Natural Sciences. He entered the wine industry as a Laboratory Analyst at Vinquiry in Windsor, California, then moved to Chalk Hill Winery in 2003 to become an Enologist. Greg joined the Rodney Strong Vineyards team in 2005, when he accepted a position as Lab Director. His innate acumen for winemaking became immediately clear to his peers, and he quickly ascended to an appointment as Associate Winemaker in late 2007. In the spring of 2010, he was promoted to Winemaker, overseeing all aspects of operations and winemaking in our “Winery Within the Winery.” With a quiet demeanor and a determined attitude, Greg’s energetic style illustrates how enjoyable he finds wine making to be. “Making the Reserve and Single-Vineyard wines here is an honor,” he says. Let's start with the Sonoma coast Chardonnay. This Chardonnay has wonderful citrus, tropical fruit and white floral aromas. On the palate this wine is bursting with crisp apple, lemon and vanilla notes with refreshing and bright acidity. Second the Chalk Hill Chardonnay .The wine was barrel fermented in new French Oak creating creaminess and spice complexities on the palate. We regularly stirred the lees during the 12 months of barrel aging to add richness and texture. toasty vanilla and spice complexities, with an elegant fullness and creamy texture on the palate. In the glass, the wine is both creamy and crisp, with golden delicious yellow apple, baked pie spices with a hint of minerality on the long finish. Maybe we should open the Reserve Chardonnay also. The 2014 Reserve Chardonnay has wonderful aromas of baked apple, pineapple and baking spices. On the palate the creamy lemon meringue and nutmeg notes are well balanced by crisp acidity and a rich mouth feel. Food pairings Enjoy this Chardonnay now with cheese raviolis with cream sauce, herb crusted halibut, roasted chicken, or cellar it for enjoyment over the next 3 to 5 years. The Vineyards A mild, dry winter followed by a replenishing amount of rain in February and early March of 2014 encouraged the vine buds to push a little earlier than normal. The spring was warm, dry and frost free, thankfully. Overcast days became the norm in late July and August, helping to preserve berry acidity. Higher than average yields proved fortuitous in slowing the pace of ripening as the 2014 growing season would register to be the warmest in many years. We picked the Garfield Chardonnay on September 17, with the clone 15 coming in at 23.0 brix and the clone 76 at 24.0 brix. The acidity was perfect, the flavors were complex, plus we dodged a little sprinkling of rain that fell that evening. Cheers! I think we are ready! Click here and join us as I know you love Chardonnays.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Great New Releases From Roederer Estate/Anderson Valley

Spring is slowly turning into summer and Roederer Estate will release the 2009 vintage of their L'Ermitage sparkling wine. Before we enjoy our feature let me check out the tasting notes and some background on their incredible wine maker. Arnaud Weyrich is no stranger to the House of Louis Roederer. In fact, he began his career at Roederer Estate as an intern after he graduated in 1993 from the prestigious Montpellier school, “Ecole Supérieure d’Oenologie - ENSA-M” with a Master of Science in Viticulture and Enology. With a strong background in both viticulture and enology, Arnaud put his education to work during his internship. This experience was the start of a great relationship with the House of Roederer as Arnaud Weyrich later returned to the company and today holds the title of Winemaker and V.P. Production. After completing his internship, Arnaud moved back to France to be with his fiancée. This move also included a position with the large multinational retail company “Groupe Promodes” where he managed all quality control issues for the beverages under the company’s private label mainly focusing on fruit juices, Champagnes, Port wines and spirits. With his passion for the wine industry and an interest in moving back to a smaller company, Arnaud happily returned to Roederer Estate in the millennium year with his wife and two children. As Assistant Winemaker, he supervised all winemaking operations while respecting the 200-year old traditional winemaking techniques so important to the house style of Champagne Louis Roederer. With a strong and diverse background in all winemaking techniques from the traditional to the more technical methods, Arnaud then moved to Reims where he was the Chief Technical Officer in charge of Development for Champagne Louis Roederer for over a year. When the opportunity arose, Arnaud moved his family back to Roederer Estate and today manages the growing winery in all aspects from the vineyard to the day-to-day business. When he’s not busy in the lab or working the vineyards, one can find him on the tennis courts or with his two young sons on the ski slopes. Arnaud and his family reside in a house on the Roederer Estate property where he can keep a close eye on the vineyards. We will open a bottle of this great sparkling wine as we check out the tasting notes. L'Ermitage, Roederer Estate's special Tête de Cuvée, is a sparkling wine made only in exceptional years from pre-selected, estate-grown grapes. Carrying on the tradition of Champagne Louis Roederer in France, Roederer Estate produces its sparkling wines in the traditional French methode and adds special oak-aged reserve wines to each blend. L'Ermitage debuted with the 1989 vintage. WINEMAKING Roederer Estate wines are made with juice from just the cuvée pressing; no première or deuxième taille is used. The concept of the vintage L'Ermitage is the same one that is used in Champagne: Only the best of the vintage is selected. These are exceptional wines that create a "noble" (special) blend that allows for longer aging, which produces a fine wine with elegance and finesse. Four members of the blending team include winemakers from Champagne Louis Roederer in France and Roederer Estate in California, together totaling over 130 years of experience. The wine for the reserve dosage added to the L'Ermitage 2007 was aged five years in a French oak cask. Following disgorgement, L'Ermitage 2007 was aged an additional five months (minimum) on the cork prior to release. TASTING NOTES Fine tiny bubbles and a long lasting mousse are the usual footprints of the L'Ermitage cuvée. This cuvée is showing great notes of apricot tart and hazelnut. The mouthfeel is smooth, velvety, creamy with a well enveloped citrus acidity and long finish. We poured you a glass, please join us! Cheers! Click here as we have saved you a seat.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Allan Green/Mendocino Ridge Syrah/Old Vine Zinfandel/Greenwood Ridge Vineyards

Greenwood Ridge vineyards makes wines mostly from Anderson Valley,and Mendocino Ridge.There is also a wine from Alexander Valley which has become one of my favorites.We will feature Syrah and Zinfandel today,and a few stories from Allan Green. Greenwood Ridge Vineyards has always thought that their unique wines required a similarly unique location for tasting. Their octagonal tasting room was designed by Aaron G. Green, father of owner/winemaker Allan Green. Aaron was a San Francisco architect and an associate of Frank Lloyd Wright for many years. A single tree provided all of the redwood used to build the tasting room. The 400-year-old tree fell during a storm in the winter of 1969 and remained on the winery property for 15 years before being milled to build the tasting room. The huge tree had a diameter of almost 13 feet. Since 2006 our tasting room has been fully powered by the sun. The solar panels also provide power for three electric vehicle chargers. We have a high-speed charger for Leafs, Teslas and Kias, a dedicated Tesla charger, and a level 2 charger for all electric cars. Charging is free to our customers. Our tasting room on Highway 128 near Philo is open daily, 10-5. 2014 Zinfandel Small open-top fermentation yields a lush wine with vibrant, juicy and jammy raspberry, strawberry and cherry fruit, with hints of chocolate and French oak. Scherrer Vineyards Sonoma County 0.63 T.A., 3.77 pH 13.9 % alcohol 60% French oak 40% American oak Barrel aged 8 months Suggested cellaring: up to 4 years Bottled August 19, 2015 Released: January 2016 200 cases produced 2014 Zinfandel Small open-top fermentation yields a lush wine with vibrant, juicy and jammy raspberry, strawberry and cherry fruit, with hints of chocolate and French oak. Scherrer Vineyards Sonoma County 0.63 T.A., 3.77 pH 13.9 % alcohol 60% French oak 40% American oak Barrel aged 8 months Suggested cellaring: up to 4 years Bottled August 19, 2015 Released: January 2016 200 cases produced $29 Awards Silver, San Francisco Chronicle 2013 Syrah Syrah is the perfect varietal for Greenwood Ridge, taking advantage of the extended growing season to ripen slowly and evenly into late October. While retaining its innate earthy minerality, our Syrah shows off aromas of dark berries and leather. Mendocino Ridge Estate bottled 0.66 T.A., 3.53 pH 14.1% alcohol 50% French oak 50% American oak Barrel aged 20 months Suggested cellaring: up to 4 years Bottled March 4, 2015 Release date: August 2015 200 cases produced The wines are open and we are ready!Let's join Mr. Allan Green and learn more about these great wines from Greenwood Ridge Vineyards! I know you love Zinfandel and Syrah,please join us.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Greenwood Ridge Vineyards/Anderson Valley Pinot Noirs/AllanGreen

Another great feature with Allan Green combines with two great Pinot Noirs from Anderson valley,AND a couple baseball stories,and a perfect match or two.That's what I'm talking about!We have two wines ,so let's get right to it and check out the tasting notes and more of the history of this amazing winery from Anderson valley. For Allan, work and fun are different aspects of the same reality. He created the California Wine Tasting Championships in 1983, a contest in which tasters of every level of proficiency competed in wine identification. The only event of its kind in the country, Allan presided over the competition with characteristic flair and wit until the 30th and final competition in 2012. Now Allan has created a new event, the California Wine Pairing Championships, to highlight our Wine Club Weekend, set for the second weekend in August. If Allan isn't in the vineyard or the winery, you can find him playing centerfield for the World Champion Greenwood Ridge Dragons, who in 2007 (and again in 2008!) won the 50+ World Championship at the Men's Senior Baseball League World Series in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2009, the Dragons also won the Fall Classic in West Palm Beach, Florida. In 2011 the Dragons won their fourth world championship in five years at the MSBL World Series in Phoenix in the of the history of this amazing winery from Anderson valley. 2013 Pinot Noir **** "Supple and full bodied, this is a fairly rich wine with fruity, spicy, toasty aromas/flavors and a long, smooth finish, tasting of plum, cherry, pepper, toast, and herbs." ---Restaurant Wine Magazine Mendocino Ridge Estate bottled 0.80 T.A., 3.75 pH 13.8% alcohol 100% French oak Barrel aged 8 months Suggested cellaring: up to 4 years Bottled August 28, 2014 Release date: January 2015 550 cases produced 2013 Hundred Point Pinot Noir The Hundred Point name comes from a rocky promontory on the nearby Mendocino coast, where, legend has it, one hundred ships have been wrecked. Only four barrels of our 2013 Pinot Noir were selected for the Hundred Point Pinot Noir blend, so we were able to produce just 100 cases. Let's join Allan Green and learn more about these two wines from Greenwood Ridge Vineyards!Cheers! We saved you a seat!.