Tuesday, March 28, 2017
the weather is not turning toward spring,and that means it's time to travel into Anderson Valley!As we travel over the Mendocino County line,we are just miles from the huge and well known town of Boonville! Boonville is the home of Foursight Wines.Today we will open four beautiful Pinot Noirs,and decide what amazing dishes we can pair with these wines.First let's take a look at some history and tasting notes on our Pinot Noirs. Foursight Wines was founded in 2006 by Kristy Charles, Joe Webb and Bill & Nancy Charles. Our goal is to produce 100% estate wines in the French monopole model, with our grapes sourced only from our own Charles Vineyard. Our wines are produced using traditional, old-world techniques, including 100% wild yeast fermentation and wild malolactic fermentation. Our Pinot Noirs employ partial whole cluster fermentation and are never fined or filtered. Every grape and bottle of wine produced in our vineyard or small winery has been shepherded through the process by a member of the family, making the final product we sell direct to our wine club or through or Web site or tasting room all that much more special. Bill Charles graduated from Anderson Valley High School, earned a degree in physical science from Chico State University, then married Nancy Wilson and moved back to the family land in Boonville. After their return, Bill and Nancy got very involved in agriculture and farming, as well as in wine. They also started a family of their own: Matt, Kristy and Tim were born between 1978 and 1986. All three grew up and attended school in Anderson Valley, then moved out of the area for college. Charles Vineyard was planted in 2001 -- a marriage between the family's love of wine and agriculture. Fruit from the family vineyard is sold to wineries both inside and outside Anderson Valley, has garnered awards and accolades, and is the source of several vineyard-designate bottlings made by a high-end Sonoma County Pinot Noir producers. In 2006, Bill, Nancy, Kristy and Joe started Foursight Wines: a small, family-owned and -operated winery founded with the goal of showcasing the best of Anderson Valley fruit and, in the process, enabling future generations of the Charles family to return to Anderson Valley and enjoy their heritage. In 2007, Kristy Charles moved back to Anderson Valley with her husband, Joe Webb, and is currently living in the house she grew up in, with their son, Evan, born in 2015. Bill and Nancy now live in the house Bill grew up in. We have just opened the 2014 Charles Vineyard Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley. from Charles Vineyard.Now there are three wines we will open,and each is different. the Charles Vineyard Pinot Noir is the most representative of our entire estate, and ages beautifully. The Clone 05 Pinot Noir is produced from several blocks of Pommard clone Pinot Noir, planted in the Charles Vineyard (just behind their Boonville winery). They ripen it just a touch more than the rest of their core line-up, with 40-60% new oak, depending upon the vintage. The Clone 05 always shows gorgeous, red fruit alongside earthy notes. The 2014 Zero New Oak Pinot Noir is just that: a Pinot Noir aged with no new oak. Focusing on our vineyard and the fruit it produces, this blend is full of bright berry fruit, a hint of spice, and a touch of earthiness, but with enough structure to age. Our fourth Pinot Noir is the 2014 Paraboll from Anderson valley. Richer and riper than our other Pinot Noirs, our Paraboll was crafted with the same care and personal attention but employing a different ripening schedule and barrel regimen. This wine was given additional hang time before harvest for a darker fruit profile, then aged in 50% new French oak for 11 months with heavy and medium-plus toast barrels. As a five-generation Boonville family, words and phrases of Boontling — our local language widely spoken from 1880-1920 — are still used in our households. “Para” is an art term for a deep, cherry-red color and “Boll” or “Bahl” means of excellent quality in Boontling. Put together, this Pinot Noir is a “great red,” sourced from our estate grapes in the heart of Boontling country! The 2014 vintage was an excellent one, with a very long, dry growing season. It produced wines with beautiful fruit, acidity, and structure. This wine can be enjoyed now, or cellared for years to come! Now that we have tasted all four wines...What to eat?i love Rack of Lamb with Pinot Noir,and I think we could try lamb a few different ways,and add some different sauces,and some very interesting sides...And save room for dessert!!These wines with be served with dessert also!Would you care to join me?We saved you a seat!!Please check in with us,as we explore this beautiful wine region in the VERY NEAR future!There is also room for you on our wine country excursion,ALWAYS! Cheers!
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
I very much enjoy the people from J.Pedroncelli, as much as, I love the wines.The wines speak for themselves,and today we will open a few wines and prepare a feast!Where should we start...???Let's open the Sauvignon Blanc!Crisp and fruity,this wine is a perfect way to start a meal.Dry Creek Valley has a great pedigree for growing and developing great fruit characteristics as well as bright acidity in Sauvignon Blanc. The winery sourced three vineyards for this vintage: our estate vineyards as well as two neighboring growers. Each vineyard’s microclimate combines sun, soil and fog to retain ripe fruit and crisp flavor. Add these components to the special care and attention from the vineyard crew and the resulting wine is a wonderful reflection of terroir—wherein the sum is greater than the parts. Aromatic with citrusy and grassy aromas, very varietally correct. The fresh flavors are layered with Meyer lemon, peach, and apple highlighted by a minerality and crisp taste.This Sauvignon Blanc is quite refreshing and tangy with bright acidity. We have opened three other great wines from the fabled winery. The Mother Clone is a classic Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel with aromas of black plum with a touch of spice. Concentrated flavors of blackberry, black pepper and dark chocolate are framed by notes of smoky oak, cinnamon and vanilla. Well integrated flavors with smooth tannins and bright acidity are a hallmark of our style. Enjoy now or cellar for three to five years.Rich and full this wine will be amazing with BBQ...BRING IT ON! The next wine has become a favorite of mine.The 2014 Bushnell Zinfandel is a Snap shot of what your fantasy Zinfandel should taste like!OH!You already know that,and also opened the same wine....Great minds think alike! Our main course will include the great Wisdom Cabernet from J.Pedroncelli! A full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with aromas of black plum, warm spice and currants. The rich flavors of ripe plum, berry and black pepper are woven with mellow tannins and great acidity. With it’s reserve-style complexity and depth, this is a wine to enjoy now or age 5–8 more years.Tonight we dine!These great wines have a rich history and future. Since 1927, when John Pedroncelli, Sr. purchased vineyard and a small winery in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley, two elements remain unchanged: the exceptional place the Pedroncelli family farms vineyards, and the family's dedication to making fine wines. From selling grapes to home winemakers during prohibition in order to keep the vineyards going, to growing a small base of business during the 1930s and 1940s, to the second generation joining their father: son John becoming winemaker in 1948 followed by Jim in 1955 as sales director, to 1963 when the winery was officially purchased by John and Jim from their father, to growing the line of wines in the 1960s with vineyard expansion and diversification, to the boom time of the 1970s and 1980s along with many changes and additions to our sales base including national sales and export, the third generation coming on board and vineyard replanting in the 1990s to the 21st century refining our focus to restaurants and casual dining/meet-up wine bars and independent wine shops across the nation. to the transfer of ownership of the company to the third generation (now a 70% woman owned company with a woman winemaker!) to the second decade in the new millenium where the fourth generation is coming up the ranks... Nine decades strong, we are still family owned and operate We will follow this feature with some great features from the past as well as audio features to click on and enjoy learning more about these great wines!! Pedroncelli Winery & Vineyards 1220 Canyon Road Geyserville, CA 95441 (707) 857-3531 (800) 836-3894 Fax: (707) 857-3812 Cheers!
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
I hope you have amazing plans for this...the holiday for lovers.May I suggest a few wines ..."For lovers only"!This first wine is a new wine to me,and I'm very excited about it!We are opening the 2013 Vittorio Vineyard Primitivo from Handley Cellars and Redwood Valley.At Handley Cellars they sourced the grapes for this wine from Vittorio Vineyard located on the bench land on the east side of the Russian River. The Testa family has been farming this vineyard for four generations. It is CCOF organically certified and dry farmed. Primitivo is genetically the same as Zinfandel but this clonal selection tends to ripen a little earlier than the Zinfandel planted nearby. It has aromas of black berry pie, cherry cola, anise, vanilla, and nutmeg. This intense dark wine has flavors of ripe black cherries, plum, rosemary, tar and earthy notes. The fruit is focused by bright acidity yet it is round and full on the palate.Rich and perfect with many dishes,this wine has become an instant favorite of mine.I expect nothing less from this great winery and winemakers.Perhaps you had your heart set on a Pinot Noir this evening...?? Let's open this amazing 2013 Helluva Vineyard Pinot Noir!The color and body of the wine suggest perfection,and once you taste the wine...?You will be in Pinot Noir Heaven!!So we could pour all the wines or just pick your pleasure. Now I always have to open the Zinfandel from Handley Cellars! The current vintage is 2013,and this wine goes with almost everything.14.8% and the fruit is over the top!Now I have to open a fourth wine...How about another Pinot Noir? How about the RSM Vineyard Pinot Noir from Handley Cellars? The fruit for this wine comes from RSM vineyard located high above the valley floor. This vineyard sheltered from northern ocean breezes is planted with a mix of Dijon clones 115 and 667 and Pommard clone. The vines struggle in the thin nutrient poor soils resulting in limited yields of small clusters of small and variable berry size. The high skin to juice ratio of the mountain fruit provides intense aromas of ripe black cherries, briary fruit, baking spices, and mushroom earthy notes. It shows intense and persistent flavors of blueberry and huckleberry pie, root beer, soy and salty seaweed and has a velvety finish complimented by ripe chalky tannins. GOLD & 93 POINTS: Press Democrat; GOLD & BEST OF CLASS: Dan Berger Wine Competition. Cases produced: 445 Alcohol 13.7% TA 3.83 5.3 g/L So you have your choices,what will it be?I'm thinking we just open them all and raise our glasses to Handley Cellars,the perfect choice for your Valentine's Day Feast! What time should I arrive? We will follow with some of the re4cent features with the great wine making team at Handley Cellars!ENJOY!
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
This month I will be making my way over to the great Napa valley to enjoy great cuisine and wines.At some point I want to do a large feature on the Sakes available at this world class restaurant,but now we will learn of the amazing line of Sake made on MoriMoto's own label.We have a lot to learn and even more to enjoy!I hope you are hungry!!??We did save you a seat! Cheers! Click here and join us .
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Mother & daughter dynamic duo Rickey and Erica share a passion for field-to-cellar, hands-on wine making. When you join La Famiglia Wine Club, you'll receive first shot at all of our new wines, including our ultra-limited 2015 Gap's Crown Chardonnay (only 504 bottles made last year!), plus, a surprise from our garden in every shipment. As a winery, we're vine-to-table in more ways than one. I have just completed a great feature on the Pinot Noirs produced by Trombetta Family Wines.I want to share more of their story and will share directly from their website.The story is amazing and the wines are world class! A lifelong thrill for backyard harvest-to-table farming, discovering fine Burgundies, and joining with family and friends for long meals around the table kept us satisfied until we could no longer look away from the unique potential of our greater backyard, which nurtures some of the most prized Pinot Noir vineyards in the New World. Winemaking came to us naturally, as a deep expression of our unique time and place.We have opened two beautiful Pinot Noirs today,and will pair these wines with some great dishes from Morimoto Napa.We have the Gap's Crown and the Sonoma Coast open and ready.First let's check out some of the notes and press on these wines. 100 POINTS PERFECT PINOT NOIR 2012 Gap’s Crown Pinot Noir "Our First EVER, PERFECT PINOT NOIR…. Love at first sip, with Aromas of vanilla, clove and cooking spices with hints of ripe berry, pomegranate and toast. ...Enchanting and alluring in the glass, with very ripe fruit with aromas and flavors of sweet black cherry, black raspberry and pomegranate. Life is Short friends, so let’s Enjoy the Best Pinot Noir in the World…. this is It!" Napa Valley Connection, Edward Stephanick Now that's what I call a great start.!! We will pour you a glass of each of these wines and please join us as we listen to our new feature.Cheers! 91 PTS – 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir "From a small producer that’s worth keeping an eye on, this wine is earthy and slightly cloudy, balanced in nature. Wild strawberry and cranberry are pitted smoothly against firm, medium-bodied tannins and oak. The finish is crisp and juicy." V.B., Wine Enthusiast 2/1/15 Cheers! Click here and join us .
Monday, December 5, 2016
Sonoma County is home to many of your favorite wines.I love the wines and the incredible people that produce them.In fact,it doesn't get any more real than this story.There are quite a few names you will have already marked as your favorite sources of great wine,vintage after vintage.If you have been lucky enough to know of the smaller producers,maybe you are already a fan of Trombetta Family Wines...if not,join me as we discover one of the greatest small producers in Sonoma County.We will first introduce you to Rickey Trombetta.She will tell us how this all got started.Then we will open three Chardonnays,and introduce you to Erica,the amazing winemaker for Trombetta Family Wines.We will check out a little history and then the winemaking notes.So relax and pour a glass of great Chardonnay,as we discover the wines of Trombetta Family Wines. A lifelong thrill for backyard harvest-to-table farming, discovering fine Burgundies, and joining with family and friends for long meals around the table kept us satisfied until we could no longer look away from the unique potential of our greater backyard, which nurtures some of the most prized Pinot Noir vineyards in the New World. Winemaking came to us naturally, as a deep expression of our unique time and place. 94 PTS - 2014 Gap’s Crown Chardonnay "This is a gorgeous rendering of grape and place. Steely at first, it shows off the coolness of the site, yet it's thick and inviting in apple skin, lemon bar and fresh-picked papaya. Minerality driven, it never taxes the palate, instead releasing quiet waves of flavor and acidity." Wine Enthusiast, Editor's Choice, V.B. 2015 Chardonnay, Gap's Crown Vineyard Honeysuckle, floral notes and lemon zest aromas. A rounded mid palate with flavors of vanilla bean, cream and tropical notes with a long and lush finish. Productions notes: clone 96; Havest date: September 5, 2015; Brix at harvest: 24.1 Great wines begin in great vineyards. Each season as we walk the vineyards, we realized how our wine exemplifies the intersection of the true potential of incredible Sonoma Coast terroirs, our clones and passion for winemaking. As the growing season progresses our constant vigil of walking the rows and monitoring the progress of the vines helps us to determine the perfect moment to harvest our fruit. We have three Chardonnay today.I think we should open these and discuss where we will travel for great food to pair with these incredible wines.I'm thinking Morimoto Napa,and many great pairings.Your thoughts?Cheers! Click here and we will learn of the history of this great winery. Click here and join us as we enjoy three great chardonnays from Trombetta Family Wines.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
I have four great wines put aside for the first holiday feast.Two whites and two reds.We will start with the whites.Most will at least try whites wines when pairing with Turkey.For those who stick always with reds...two great Pinot Noirs from Handley Cellars.We will check out the tasting notes and open these bottles.First I have two amazing white wines. Handley Cellars is a small family-owned winery in California’s Mendocino County. Bonded in 1982, we produce around 12,000 cases of wine a year. their quality starts with the Estate Vineyards in Anderson Valley. Located at the northwest end of the Anderson Valley on 59 acres of the original Holmes Ranch. Still standing on the property are the now-refurbished ranch house, barn, and the original water tower. This Pinot Blanc immediately draws you in with its sunny nature and aromas of spring flowers, apricot blossoms, and musk melon, its signature fragrance. The aromatics are boosted by the addition of Riesling providing floral notes. The fleshiness and creamy texture is created by extended yeast lees contacting. It has juicy peach and pineapple flavors, along with the creaminess of Macadamia nuts. This Pinot Blanc shows stature and structure, all the way through its long finish, which leaves you with a pleasant lingering smack of Bartlett Pear. This is a good starter wine that works well with appetizers such as prosciutto wrapped melon, cheese platter, roasted nuts, or chicken salad. The fruit for this juicy, mouthwatering Pinot Gris is sourced from the Helluva and Romani Vineyards located at opposite ends of Anderson Valley. We employed a combination of lees stirring in neutral puncheons, along with fermentation in both large wooden ovals and stainless steel resulting in a full mouth-pleasing texture with a focused crisp mineral finish. The aromas encompass both stone fruit and tropical nuances showing nectarine and tangerine, with hints of daffodils and lemongrass. Both apricot and lime zest integrate with fleshy flavors of guava and nectarine resulting in a ripe mouthwatering wine with a dry and punchy finish. It pairs well with potato and pasta salads, ceviche and fish tacos, or seared scallops or shrimp and pasta with cream sauce. Both these wines with be perfect with the classic Turkey dinner.Handley has many whites that are excellent with this pairing,but these two stood out as my first choices.To be honest,I would start with these wines and move on to the Pinot Noirs.People who love this grape, with tell you Pinot Noir goes with everything....AND they would be correct to a certain degree.I have two current releases from Handley Cellars that are drinking very well,and just added another layer of perfection to a meal that has everything.First let's taste the 2013 Estate Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir from Handley Cellars. The CCOF organically farmed fruit for this wine comes from our Estate Vineyard located in the deep end of Anderson Valley. The blend is comprised of old vine Martini clone and a newer section of Dijon clone 777. This combination of old and new shows aromas of boysenberry, violets, baking spices with flavors of ripe black cherries and fresh baked bread and a long delicate soft finish. GOLD: Pacific Rim Wine Competition. This wine would be a meal on it's own as it's a pure expression with incredible fruit and finish.I have to admit...i'm now eating more food...just because the wines are sensational!let's open one more wine!YES,Another Pinot Noir... The fruit for this wine comes from RSM vineyard located high above the valley floor. This vineyard sheltered from northern ocean breezes is planted with a mix of Dijon clones 115 and 667 and Pommard clone. The vines struggle in the thin nutrient poor soils resulting in limited yields of small clusters of small and variable berry size. The high skin to juice ratio of the mountain fruit provides intense aromas of ripe black cherries, briary fruit, baking spices, and mushroom earthy notes. It shows intense and persistent flavors of blueberry and huckleberry pie, root beer, soy and salty seaweed and has a velvety finish complimented by ripe chalky tannins. GOLD & 93 POINTS: Press Democrat; GOLD & BEST OF CLASS: Dan Berger Wine Competition. I poured a full extra glass of this wine...just to enjoy after this amazing feast.One great aspect of this wine..no matter what you are eating it's makes it better!The meat,the string beans with fresh onion sauce,you try it,and pair with this wine.INCREDIBLE! There is just enough time to relax and light up a smoke.Perhaps your cigar of choice,or maybe something that will help bring back your need to go back for dessert ...And of course you do need to review ALL the wines,and make final decisions as to your favorites.I want to wish a very safe and happy Thanksgiving to all folks.Please make it a Handley type of holiday....Cheers!I will also post some great features which will follow this holiday special.