Friday, April 10, 2015
As we enjoy our last couple of days in the Anderson valley I was lucky enough to catch Arnaud Weyrich.I enjoy tasting wines with this gentleman as he has volumes of knowledge on the art of making Sparkling wines.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. Roederer Estate's winemaking style is based on two elements: ownership of its own vineyards and the addition of oak-aged reserve wines to each year's blend or cuvée. All the grapes for the Anderson Valley wines are grown on the Estate. Oak-aged wines from the Estate's reserve cellars are added to the blend, creating a multi-vintage cuvée in the traditional Louis Roederer style. Only the cuvée (first pressing of 120 gallons/ton) is used; no premiere or deuxieme taille. The fermentation takes place in high-grade stainless steel tanks at 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Zero to minimal malolactic fermentation is used in order to ensure the wines age well and retain the fresh, precise and well-defined style that is one of the characteristics of Roederer Estate wines.The Roederer Estate Brut is crisp and elegant with complex pear, spice and hazelnut flavors. It is fresh and lightly fruity with great finesse and depth of flavor.As with all Roederer Estate wines, the Brut Rosé is comprised of 100 percent estate-grown grapes. Oak-aged wines from the Estate's reserve cellars are added to the blend, creating a multi-vintage cuvée in the traditional Roederer style. Only the cuvée (first pressing of 120 gallons/ton) is used-no premiere or deuxieme taille. The wine is then fermented at 65 degrees Fahrenheit in high-grade stainless-steel tanks. Five percent Pinot Noir is added for color prior to secondary fermentation; no malolactic fermentation is used. Oak-aged reserve wines from the Estate's cellars make up 10 percent to 20 percent of the Rosé cuvée. Tasting Notes The Roederer Estate Brut Rosé is full and round with smooth flavors and fine persistent bubbles. The extra measure of Chardonnay contributes elegance and austerity, which balance nicely with the delicate fruitiness of the Pinot Noir.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.Fine tiny bubbles and a long lasting mousse are the usual footprints of the L'Ermitage cuvée. This cuvée is showing great notes of toasted bread crust and quince. The mouthfeel is smooth, velvety, creamy with a well enveloped acidity and long finish.L'Ermitage Rosé brings complexity and smoothness to a higher level. The delicate salmon colors enhance the tiny bubbles and creamy mouthfeel. Notes of bread crust, baked apples and fruit candy create an elegant and complex wine. The wine is crisp with great acid on notes of quince jelly and light vanilla.Which one do we start with?You make that call...Cheers!Click here and join us as we enjoy the sparkling wines from Roederer Estate. Click here as we saved you a seat,and a glass.
We have one more great feature with Scharffenberger Cellars and Tex Sawyer. We have some tasting notes,let's check out the tasting notes and then join Tex Sawyer,and pour a glass of each of these great sparkling wines.Scharffenberger Brut Excellence is made by the traditional methode champenoise process, whereby the wines are individually bottle-fermented before being riddled and disgorged. Scharffenberger Brut Excellence is made from its own 120-acre vineyards in the Anderson Valley. In addition, Scharffenberger Cellars has long-term contracts with select vineyards in the greater Mendocino County. With this type of vineyard selection, it allows us to produce our trademark cuvée. The wine is approximately two-thirds Chardonnay and one-third Pinot Noir. The full malolactic style adds a vanilla cream character producing a round and full-bodied wine. After approximately two years on the lees, there are notes of freshly baked bread and pastry that enhances the more fruit forward style of the wine. Finally, after several months on the cork, the wine develops caramel and hazel complexors.Scharffenberger Brut rose has become a favorite of mine.These are all very special sparkling wines,and it's time to join Tex Sawyer and enjoy the beauty of a spring day in Anderson Valley and a glass of the bubbles.This will take us into the weekend!Cheers!Click here and raise your glass,after we fill it,Cheers!.
Monday, April 6, 2015
I have enjoyed the wines from this fabled winery for many years,and enjoy seeing Tex Sawyer when I travel into Anderson valley.The history of Scharffenberger Cellars begins in 1981 in the heart of California's Anderson Valley. Situated only miles from the coastal influences of the Pacific Ocean, Scharffenberger Cellars also enjoys the deep soils and sunshine within the protected valley. Originally founded by John Scharffenberger, the company has gone through many transitions, including a name change when it was formally known as Pacific Echo from 1998 until July 2004. Today, the name and quality of the wine have been restored back to Scharffenberger Cellars under the new management of Maisons Marques & Domaines.Let's check out the tasting notes and enjoy these incredible Sparkling wines.We are starting with three sparkling wines that you can only get at the tasting room.Then we will open the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay !Yes,you can only get these at the tasting room also.I think we should plan to meet at the winery and do our own private tasting...But for now let's join Tex Sawyer,and learn of the amazing Sparkling wines from this very special winery.Cheers!Click here we have three sparkling wines for you,please join us. Click here and join us.My first glass of these wines was incredible.
Friday, April 3, 2015
yes it's true!The weekend is the time for great Zinfandel from Greenwood Ridge Vineyards!But now that I think about Week Days are excellent for Zinfandel,as well as....Alright ALL The time is perfect for Zinfandel!This wine has become a favorite of mine.Why you ask?Thanks for asking!I really enjoy drinking wines that come from vines that are older than myself.So for me this is a PERFECT MATCH!Let's check out the tasting notes as these grapes are from Sonoma County.Allan Green brings a creative imagination to all his endeavors. A graphic artist by trade, the art of grape growing and wine making captivated him in 1973. Thirty years later, the Mendocino Winegrowers Alliance presented Allan with the George Zeni Memorial Award for "outstanding stewardship of the land, community service and producing the highest quality wine grapes in Mendocino County." Of course he combines wine, art and design whenever he can. He commissioned a group of painters and musicians to interpret Greenwood Ridge Vineyards wines in their own ways because he wanted to know how to describe the essence of wine. The project evolved into a "feast for the senses" which has since been presented as a live event at Stanford University. 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 60+division. 2013 Zinfandel Small open-top fermentation yields a lush wine with vibrant, juicy and jammy raspberry, strawberry and cherry fruit. Click here and join Allan and myself as we enjoy the Zinfandel from Greenwood Ridge Vineyards.
Allan Green is famous for many things.Playing Center field for the Greenwood Ridge Dragons World Champion Baseball Team,AND making world class wines at Greenwood Ridge Vineyards.We have three wines for you two Pinot Noirs and an incredible Sav Blanc.Care To join me?First let's hit a few in the cage,then check out the tasting notes for these great wines.Here is a little background on the "Dragon"..."I can't remember the first wine I ever had, but I'll never forget the first time I saw the fire breathing dragon that inspired our package design. "My father's San Francisco architectural office was also the West Coast office of Frank Lloyd Wright for more than twenty years. My father gave the original dragon sculpture to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in 1959. It is still on prominent display at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona. I took the photograph to the left when I was twelve. "The dragon was originally intended to be a fountain, but Mrs. Wright had the dragon fitted with a propane tank so it could breathe fire. "I created our current package, featuring a stylized dragon, as a tribute to my father, Aaron G. Green. I think he would have loved it."2013 Pinot Noir Our estate bottled Pinot Noir blossoms into a bouquet of spices, starting with clove and ginger, anchored by sweet leather an supple black cherry. The texture is pure cold climate Pinot Noir --sensual and slinky.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 two barrels of our 2012 Pinot Noir were selected for the Hundred Point Pinot Noir blend,so we were able to produce just 50 cases. Let's stop talking and star with the food and wine pairings!!Without Delay!Allan Green has a glass for each of us.Let's join the man with the wine...AND the bat and glove.Cheers! Click here and by the way...you will need two glasses for this tasting. Click here spring time is made for Sav Blanc.Let's open that bottle!.
Thursday, April 2, 2015
I have known Alan Green for many years,and it's always a pleasure to see him again.We both LOVE great wine and BASEBAll!!We have two great wines for you today,in fact three.let's check out the tasting notes and a little background on this very special winery. Since 1980, Greenwood Ridge Vineyards has built a reputation for producing world class wines in small lots (total annual production is only 1500 cases). Greenwood Ridge Vineyards has been named one of America's top 30 wineries three times in recent years by Wine & Spirits Magazine and continually receives Best of Show awards at major wine competitions. 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon The challenge of Cabernet on the Ridge is to get it ripe. When it does mature it is glorious, flush with wine-ripened blackberry and black currant, green olive and tobacco, cedar and menthol, and an elegant suppleness that dazzles.2013 Home Run Red Our proprietary Merlot/Zinfandel blend was created in honor of the World Champion Greenwood Ridge Dragons baseball team. At the 2013 World Series in Arizona, the Dragons reached the semi-final round before being eliminated, finishing third out of 34 teams. The trip to Phoenix was also noteworthy in another way: Dragon centerfielder (and our winemaker) Allan Green was inducted into the Men's Senior Baseball League World Series Hall of Fame. One glass and you'll hit every pitch out of the park!2012 Merlot Merlot comes into its own atop Greenwood Ridge, showing off ripe plum, cherry and black currant aromas, with notes of blackberry, dark chocolate, cedar and French oak.Now it's time to fill our glasses with these beautiful wines,and with baseball season right around the corner it's also time to fly the home teams colors....GO RED SOX!!Cheers!Click here and join us for a glass of Greenwood Ridge Cab Sav. Click here and join us for the game...I mean the game and a great tasting.
I can't wait to introduce you to Jeff Jindra and these two great wines from Husch Vineyards.I have really enjoyed these wines and this fabled region as I have traveled up and down this beautiful valley.Let's check out the tasting notes.....AND THE MENU!! 2012 Pinot Noir The Anderson Valley is now world-renowned for its Pinot Noir grapes. Yet back in 1971 when Husch planted the first Pinot in the Valley many nay-sayers thought red grapes were a losing proposition for the region. History has since proven that the warm days and cool nights of the region are near perfect for ripening Pinot Noir. The 2012 vintage was just a dream compared to what we experienced in 2010 and 2011. The spring started off cool and progressively warmed on into summer, pushing the grapes to full ripeness by the third week in September. As each block ripened, we hand-picked the fruit and brought it into the winery. The grapes were fermented in small open-top fermenters we call T-bins, with 25% of the fruit left as whole clusters. This Old World technique increases the body and adds a slight spice to the wine. The cap was punched down three times per day by hand and the finished wine was aged 9 months in French oak, with one quarter of the barrels new. The 2012 Pinot Noir exhibits the best of Anderson Valley. Aromas of black cherry, cranberry, blood orange, forest floor, and rose hips waft from the glass. Every swirl, sniff, and sip unveils something new! The palate has a silky and savory nature, leading to a long finish. Fresh acidity and round tannins lend this wine to being a perfect match with food. Enjoy with bacon stuffed pork chops, roasted quail, sautéed vegetables, or a beet salad. 2011 'Knoll' Pinot Noir Husch Vineyards planted the first Pinot Noir vines in the Anderson Valley back in 1971 on a special piece of land that we call “The Knoll.” These old vines thrive in an outcropping of sandstone with shale lenses, possessing good drainage. The Knoll consistently produces high quality Pinot Noir due to these unique soils. Overlooking the Navarro River, the grapes in the Knoll benefit from the cool night air and morning fog. The 2011 vintage was cool the whole way through, which led to a small but intense crop. The hand-picked bunches were carefully sorted, and transferred to small open-top fermenters. Of these, 75% were de-stemmed, while the other 25% remained as whole clusters. During the fermentation we gently punch down the grapes three times a day by hand. The must was then transferred to press, just before finishing fermentation for a gentle squeeze. This wine was aged in French oak (50% new) for 17 months with minimal handling. The 2011 Knoll is a terroir driven wine that speaks to the quality of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir. The wine exhibits elegant aromas and flavors of cherry, pomegranate, sarsaparilla, clove, rose hips, cedar, and vanilla. Leading with elegance, and finishing with richness and depth, the Knoll is a pleasure to the palate. Have no hesitation to drink the wine in its youth, but have confidence it will continue to evolve nicely in bottle for the next 5-7 years. The Knoll is an excellent wine to pair with food, such as slow roasted pork, truffle fries, frisee lardon salad, or pan seared duck breast. Cheers! 2013 'Old Vines' Zinfandel Husch’s Old Vine Zinfandel is grown at the historic Garzini Ranch in the warm Ukiah Valley. These gnarly, head pruned old vines have low yields and intense flavors. Old Vine Zinfandel is one of Mendocino County’s treasures, and we are excited to showcase a part of what makes Mendocino County so special. The 2013 vintage was the real deal, and provided a perfectly warm and dry environment to grow Zinfandel. We worked hard in the vineyard to balance the naturally large crop by cutting off all the shoulders and second crop so we could concentrate on ripening fewer, but more intense grapes. This extra work in the vineyard, in conjunction with ideal weather, yielded grapes of amazing concentration and flavor. With flavors at their pinnacle, the grapes were hand harvested, sorted, fermented in small open-top vats, and aged for nine months in American and French oak. Our 2013 Zinfandel is a Mendocino hallmark. Summer raspberry, blackberry, fig, chocolate, and clove lure your nose to the glass. Refreshing acidity highlights the red and black fruit flavors and synchronizes harmoniously with a rich and lingering finish. In short, the wine is both powerful yet elegant. Consider pairing with smoked pork shoulder, sun dried tomato pasta, or a blue cheese burger. This is a great wine in its youth, but with careful aging should last at least 5-7 years.Click here and YES!it's Pinot time. Click here and join us as we enjoy my favorite grape...Zinfandel.