Thursday, January 31, 2019
We are very blessed to have many world class grape growing regions. I have traveled into the central coast and Paso Robles area and all the way to Santa Barbara.The best part for wine drinkers is almost 100 per cent of these regions produce incredible and very different wines.It takes a wine drinker and winemaker with passion to make wines produced by Westerly.Last night I enjoy the 2013 Bordeaux blend with amazing Italian food,and the evening had me thinking...We should do this EVERY night.Rich cuisine and a very complex wine should be at the top of my list...Oh that's right!!They are...Back to this great wine from Westerly. The purpose is simple: to craft wine for enjoyment while also giving back. Westerly strives to grow and produce esteemed wines that honor place while at the same time influence and contribute to our community, locally and globally, through our dedication to education and philanthropy. The winemaking process is lengthy and committed. From farming to grape growing, harvest to cellar, bottle to table, it is a multi-year endeavor with every detail as critical as the next. But our efforts do not stop here - they surpass the delight of the end result. While producing wines with a sense of place is important, we also see value in providing for our community. Through partnerships with organizations such as Wine To Water and the development of internship programs for local students, we hope to have an impact far beyond the palate with the beautiful wines that we produce. Westerly has partnered with the non-profit Wine To Water, an organization that helps to bring clean water to global communities. Wine To Water’s mission is reshaping the face of aid by using what wine symbolizes in an entirely new way. The sale of one bottle of Wine To Water wine provides clean water to someone in need for an entire year. We are honored to be a part of an organization that has such a valuable global impact. Nice!I like that.after all there is no shortage of great people in great need.Now let's talk about this wine,and drink it... The fruit for this wine came off of two different vineyards in the Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA. The Merlot is planted on a steep hilside in the easternmost part of the canyon, which is riddled with cobble and serpentine, whereas the Cabernet Franc grows on the crest of a southwest-facing hill with rich, clay loam soils. Harvested by hand in late October of 2012, the grapes were hand sorted, destemmed, and fermented as whole berries in small, open-top stainless steel fermenters. The wine was drained and pressed after 24 days on the skins, and the wine was filled into 225 liter French oak barrels, 60% of which were new. Malolactic fermentation took place in barrel. The wine was racked to blend after 12 months, and remained in barrel for a total of 26 months. Bottled unfined & unfiltered. TASTING NOTES: The 2012 Westerly Red presents a precise, focused mix of dried berry, currant, and black cherry notes. This is a balanced and finely-layered wine, with a rich, yet firm, tannin structure that fans out across the palate. Will drink at its peak from 2014 to 2018. Now this is the 2102 vintage and it's notes.we opened the 2013 Bordeaux Blend which is similar but I loved this blend of 5 grapes.Harvested by hand in late October of 2013.The grapes were hand sorted,desteemed and fermented separately in concrete and oak tanks.Almost three years later we have this beautiful blend.45% Cabernet,26% Merlot,15% CabFranc,6% Malbec,and 8% Pitete Verdot.I love Cab Franc and this wine features this grape right in the middle,and has a class to it from your first sip. The relationship between farmer and vintner is vital in our pursuit of crafting the best possible wine from the best possible fruit. Our wines from Westerly begin in the vineyards of small family-owned growers. Through farming and winemaking at the highest possible level, we illustrate the diverse potential of the Santa Barbara County wine region. HAPPY CANYON OF SANTA BARBARA Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara is the easternmost growing region in Santa Barbara County. First planted in 1996, the AVA is widely recognized for its unique micro-climate, serpentine-laced soils, and its ability to produce top quality Bordeaux varietals. Designated as an official American Viticultural Area (AVA) by the Trade and Tax Bureau in November of 2009, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara is home to only eight vineyards and three brick-and-mortar wineries. The AVA lies north and west of Lake Cachuma, and the area descends in elevation from 3430’ in the northeast to 500’ in the southwest. It is the warmest micro-climate in the Santa Ynez Valley. The soils are made up of a mixture of loam and clay loam with red and yellow chert and serpentine cobbles. In general, the soils are low in nutrients and thus grow smaller vines that produce high quality wine grapes. We paired the rack of lamb with a side of fresh homemade pasta,and started with a Ceasar salad/Lo coco Italian.A local favorite and a new home for doctor Vino.always keeping in mind...the main theme of the show is to....??? FEED Doc!Cheers!
Thursday, December 27, 2018
I have been featuring J.Pedroncelli for many years and lately they have been producing some new wines that elevate their status to world class and more!Today we will introduce you to their newest Zinfandels and their incredible Zinfandels that have been favorites for years. We will check out their website and winemaker notes on three wines from this great Sonoma County winery. Montse Reese joined the winemaking team at Pedroncelli Winery in 2007 serving alongside John Pedroncelli for seven harvests. She was named Winemaker in 2015. Her appointment marked only the third winemaker in nearly 90 years and the first woman. A native of Catalonia, Montse grew up in a culture where wine is considered food and has deep cultural roots. She attended Rovira I Virgili University in Tarragona, Spain and graduated with a degree in Agricultural Engineering/ Enology. Montse worked her first harvest in a small cooperative in the Penedes in 1997. She then came to the United States to work first at Gloria Ferrer followed by Rodney Strong Vineyards and Ferrari-Carano before accepting her position at Pedroncelli. She began as assistant winemaker in 2007 at Pedroncelli Winery. For her, winemaking starts in the vineyard. She advised, “Know your vines, and how to work with them. Secondly know everything about the vinification process in order to create the wine you want to make.” Her first vintage, 2007, still stands out in her mind. That near-perfect year took her back to her winemaker beginnings and set the course for high expectations of every vintage since. She is focused on successfully making wine in a very traditional way for today’s market trends. It is Montse’s goal to create an approachable and unique style of wine because of its’ cultural connection to her roots. “I make wines that will grace the dinner table and I hope will make life a little better for whoever may be enjoying it.” she quips. Montse lives in Cloverdale with her husband Pat and daughter Marion. Outside of the winery she loves spending time with her family will cook paella for anyone. As a family winery who has farmed for 80 years in the Dry Creek Valley, J.Pedroncelli wants the next generations to be able to continue farming in an environmentally sensitive way. The most important statement we can make about our wine is that we are here for the long term and protecting the environment is one way we will achieve that goal. At Pedroncelli Winery, we practice sustainable winegrowing and, over the years, we have been reducing water use, building healthy soil, and protecting the vineyard environment. This is a comprehensive approach to vineyard management that involves all aspects of farming including human resources, viticulture, soil management, water management, pest management, habitat management, and wine quality. Today we will feature three Zinfandels. The first wine is the Zinfandel Mother Clone 2016. Our Mother Clone is a classic Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel with aromas of red and black berries with a touch of warm baking spices. The concentrated flavors of raspberry and blackberry combine with vanilla, toasty oak, pepper and a dash of nutmeg. The spicy-berry dynamic so typical of Dry Creek Zin combines smooth tannins and a spicy finish which are a hallmark of our style. Enjoy now or cellar for three to five years. Our second wine and a favorite of mine is the Zinfandel Bushnell Vineyard 2016. The deep red-purple of this wine shows great depth of color from the vineyard. Spicy aromas of ripe berries mingle with hints of black pepper, cinnamon and toasty oak. Opulent flavors of blackberry, plum, a touch of vanilla and rich cocoa frame this wine. A rich and full bodied Zinfandel with a lingering finish and well balanced between fruit and tannins. The latest addition to their portfolio is the Zinfandel Courage 2016. Opaque ruby-purple at first sight. Aromas of ripe blackberry, cherry, and warm clove. Full bodied with lush red berry, vanilla, mocha notes with a deep spice bramble flavor. Bright acidity and velvety tannins highlight this Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel. The lingering finish is framed by pepper and baking spices. Our wines tell the story of vintage, variety and soil. We quietly craft them to deliver beyond expectation and stand firm in our belief that wine is best enjoyed with family and friends. We will now open these great wines and relax as we listen to an older feature with Jim Pedroncelli.Pull up a chair,we already poured you a glass of each of these wines.Cheers! Coming your way next .
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Recently I sat down with Don Wallace and discussed the wines of Dry Creek Vineyard.I'm very impressed with this winery.They have always been a force from this region but now lead the way in their production of Zinfandel. They have a very impressive program in place to rejuvenate their production of this grape and the prove is in the bottle.Today we will look at the tasting notes of a few single vineyard Zinfandels,and look into the history of this incredible force from Dry Creek growing region. Vineyard diversity forms the cornerstone of their winemaking philosophy. Sonoma County’s has a vast array of growing conditions that allow us to satisfy our desire to define varietal type by discovering varietal-specific growing conditions. To ensure a measure of control in this regard, we farm multiple vineyards within ten separate estate-owned properties in the heart of wine country that total approximately 185 vine acres. For example, the Dry Creek Valley is the keeper of our hearts for several types of wine, including Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and, more recently, the Bordeaux varieties. Our passion for wine, though, often causes us to connect with the Russian River Valley for cool-loving grapes like Chardonnay. For our Chenin Blanc, Clarksburg, in the Sacramento Delta, satisfies us with precisely balanced fruit. Our family-owned vineyards provide approximately 65% of the overall production at Dry Creek Vineyard. Additional fruit is sourced from other Dry Creek Valley vineyards managed by long-term contract growers. In addition to vineyard diversity and the use of varied appellations to produce our different types of wine, there is also the lesser-known, more complex, notion of terroir. Climate, soil and “that special something” all come together to form an ideal backdrop for grape growing. And it’s not just grapes that flourish in Sonoma County wine country – plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables all enjoy the dramatic and varied topography of our region. From the incredible farmers’ markets to the use of fresh ingredients by our local restaurants, it’s no wonder why wine grapes enjoy such great success in Sonoma County and the Dry Creek Valley. Dry Creek is a growing region that is located just outside of the great town of Healdsburg.A perfect area to visit on your next wine country excursion. Let's get started!Our first Zinfandel is the 2015 Somers Ranch Zinfandel. This is one of may great wines we will talk about today. Somers Ranch Zinfandel is always one of our most deeply perfumed and brambly Zinfandels. This incredible vineyard provides us with a wine that is dark and rich with aromas of blackberry, plum, cherry and blueberry, mixed with hints of flowers, cocoa powder and sweet oak. The palate is reminiscent of a berry pie with flavors of boysenberry, blackberry and black cherry. Subtle notes of dried sage and cedar add to the lush mouthfeel. This bold Zinfandel is luxurious and fresh with firm tannins and structure. Our second wine today is the 2016 DCV7 Wallace Ranch Zinfandel. Initially, the aromas show fruit-forward tones of black cherry, cranberry sauce and boysenberry syrup. Subtle notes of juniper, cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon come forward after several minutes of airing. On the palate, flavors of blackberry, dried blueberry and black cherry mix with soft undertones of mocha, dark chocolate, marzipan and black pepper. The wine is supple with tremendous complexity and symmetry between fruit, alcohol, tannin and acid. The finish is clean and pure with wonderful structure and balance. Stay with me folks as the end of these notes will bring us a glass of each wine and a great new feature with Mr. Don Wallace. Our third Zinfandel today is the 2015 Spencer's Hill Zinfandel. Spencer’s Hill is one of the most beautiful spots in our Endeavour Vineyard. The fruit from this dramatic hillside produces intense aromas of boysenberry, bing cherry and cranberry. Secondary aromas of forest floor, mushroom and allspice come forward after a few minutes of airing. Hints of cedar intermingle with rich flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, cranberry sauce, dark chocolate and baking spices. Robust tannins shine through with refreshing acidity and exquisite balance. The long, lingering finish of this voluptuous Zinfandel showcases the expressiveness and complexity of this site. We will be here a while and I hope you are hungry!!??Let's move onto our fourth single vineyard Zinfandel from Dry Creek Vineyard! This wine is the 2015 Farmhouse Vineyard Zinfandel. Initially, the aromas show fruit-forward tones of cranberry, boysenberry syrup and fresh raspberry. Subtle notes of five-spice and dried bay leaf come forward after several minutes of airing. On the palate, flavors of craisins and cherry mix with soft undertones of black tea and cocoa powder. The wine is supple with tremendous complexity and silky tannins. The finish is clean and pure with a refined elegance. A beautifully balanced wine from an impressive estate Zinfandel property.We have an amazing task in front of us... now we have to enjoy all four of these wines and pair them up with some great food!You wouldn't mind helping us...would you?? Pull up a chair and we will click on the link below and learn more about these incredible wines from Dry Creek Vineyard!Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy the single vineyard Zinfandels of Dry Creek Vineyard .
Thursday, December 13, 2018
I recently traveled into the beautiful town of Healdsburg and stayed at the Dry Creek Best western Inn.A perfect location to explore the great wineries from the dry Creek area.Today we will visit one of the great wineries of this region.Dry Creek Vineyard has been producing great wines for a very long time and today we will open two of their best.First we will look at their website and tasting notes on these amazing wines. Matching vineyard to varietal in order to grow and produce world class wines is at the heart of our philosophy. Being appellation minded and seeking growing sites that fit our winemaking approach aligns with the future vision of our family winery. Vineyard diversity forms the cornerstone of our winemaking philosophy. Sonoma County’s has a vast array of growing conditions that allow us to satisfy our desire to define varietal type by discovering varietal-specific growing conditions. To ensure a measure of control in this regard, we farm multiple vineyards within ten separate estate-owned properties in the heart of wine country that total approximately 185 vine acres. For example, the Dry Creek Valley is the keeper of our hearts for several types of wine, including Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and, more recently, the Bordeaux varieties. Our passion for wine, though, often causes us to connect with the Russian River Valley for cool-loving grapes like Chardonnay. For our Chenin Blanc, Clarksburg, in the Sacramento Delta, satisfies us with precisely balanced fruit. Our family-owned vineyards provide approximately 65% of the overall production at Dry Creek Vineyard. Additional fruit is sourced from other Dry Creek Valley vineyards managed by long-term contract growers. In addition to vineyard diversity and the use of varied appellations to produce our different types of wine, there is also the lesser-known, more complex, notion of terroir. Climate, soil and “that special something” all come together to form an ideal backdrop for grape growing. And it’s not just grapes that flourish in Sonoma County wine country – plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables all enjoy the dramatic and varied topography of our region. From the incredible farmers’ markets to the use of fresh ingredients by our local restaurants, it’s no wonder why wine grapes enjoy such great success in Sonoma County and the Dry Creek Valley. Our first wine today is the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Creek Valley. This impeccable Cabernet Sauvignon displays lively aromatics of black cherry, black currant and dried blueberry. Additional airing reveals nuances of dried Herbes de Provence, cola, leather and black olive. The palate is full-bodied and rich with elegant flavors of black currant and dried cranberry with notes of cocoa powder, espresso, nutmeg and cedar. The wine is fruit-forward and youthful, with fine tannins and a finish of black and white pepper. This Cabernet is very characteristic of a Dry Creek Valley Bordeaux-style wine. It offers intensity and richness and reflects the terroir beautifully. We also have the 2014 The Mariner Dry Creek Valley . The grapes for this delicious Bordeaux-inspired blend come from several of our most prized estate and hillside vineyards in the Dry Creek Valley. At first swirl, the wine displays aromas of blueberry, vanilla and cherries. Several more minutes reveal hints of clove, cinnamon, black licorice and mocha characters. The palate has dark berry flavors along with cedar sweetness and cassis. It finishes with black pepper, boysenberry and a hint of barrel spice. Good acidity will help this wine to age beautifully for years to come.These are very special wines and we will have to offer you a glass of each wine as we sit down to relax and listen to our audio feature.Click on the link below and join us! We saved you a seat and poured you two glasses of these great wines from Dry Creek Vineyard!Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy the wines of Dry Creek Vineyard with Mr. Don Wallace .
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
We have arrived and will enjoy three great white wines today with Mr. Don Wallace and Dry Creek Vineyard. We will start by checking out their website and look into the tasting notes on our three feature wines. The history of Dry Creek Vineyard is a long and colorful one. Founded in 1972 by David S. Stare, Dry Creek Vineyard paved the way for a renaissance of winemaking and viticulture in the Dry Creek Valley. Before his arrival, the Dry Creek Valley was little more than a few family farms and prune orchards. It was Dave’s vision to start a Loire Valley inspired winery, which triggered a viticultural reawakening in northern Sonoma County. Without a doubt, David Stare is a pioneer. Heading west in the late 1960s, he personified the character and work ethic of early Gold Rush pioneers. Educated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dave worked for the B&O Railroad for several years but quickly realized that his true calling was in the wine industry. Inspired by his trips to the Loire Valley, he headed west to California to start his own family winery. Today, our second-generation family owned winery continues to evolve and grow to meet the demands of a global wine marketplace. The primary mission of our winery is to produce distinctive wines that overdeliver on quality. For nearly 50 years, this pursuit of winemaking excellence has led to many international awards and accolades. With a loyal following of wine club members and customers, the future of Dry Creek Vineyard has never been brighter. 185 acres of estate vineyards are the foundation of our winery. Using the latest technology and working diligently with our grower partners, we carefully manage our vineyards to ensure the highest standards of quality for each vintage. Our first wine today will be the 2017 Fumé Blanc. The 46th vintage of Fumé Blanc is a beautiful wine that emanates the classic Dry Creek Vineyard “house” style of Sauvignon Blanc. At first swirl, aromatics of Meyer lemon, grapefruit, pineapple and lemongrass leap forward from the glass with nuances of freshly cut grass and cucumber. On the palate, the wine is bright and refreshing with flavors of lemon, passionfruit, grapefruit and lemongrass with underlying minerality. This wine is mouthwatering and delicious with lovely intensity and a clean, pure finish. We will now open the second wine which is the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc . This delicious wine incorporates small amounts of Sauvignon Musqué and Sauvignon Gris which adds a layer of depth and a fleshy, full-bodied mouthfeel. At first swirl, this wine presents tropical aromas of pineapple, passionfruit, melon and orange liqueur. On the palate, flavors of lemon curd, guava, tangerines and mineral notes come through with a slightly creamy, but lively finish. Stainless steel fermentation was supplemented with small amounts of chestnut, acacia and French oak barrels adding additional character and nuance to this delicious wine. Seamless from start to finish, this is an elegant and refined Sauvignon Blanc. Now we will open the third wine of this beautiful afternoon. The 2017 The Mariness!! This is Dry Crekk Vineyard's inaugural vintage displays intense aromas of cantaloupe, pear, lemon and lime. After a few minutes, softer floral nuances come forward mixed with deeper, musky characters for added complexity. The palate is fresh and sophisticated with vibrant flavors of honeydew melon, Meyer lemon and a touch of peach. The bright acidity of this refreshing wine is balanced by the creamy mouthfeel contributed by aging in French oak, acacia and chestnut barrels. Agriculture is a natural way of life for Don Wallace, the product of four generations of a hard-working California farming family. Don’s interest in machinery took him away from the farm for fifteen years while he pursued a career in international construction. While he was on a project in Sonoma County in 1980, Don met Dry Creek Vineyard founder David Stare’s daughter, Kim Stare, whom he married in 1982. With his father-in-law and wife in the wine business, Don’s next move was a stint among the vines at Murphy-Goode Estate Winery to “test drive” his new family’s industry. After one year, Don accepted his father-in-law’s offer to manage ranch operations at Dry Creek Vineyard in 1990. Don’s sphere of influence gradually grew to encompass every aspect of the business, including winery operations and sales, as well as vineyard development and acquisitions. Don took on the role of General Manager in 1999 and in April 2006, he was appointed President of Dry Creek Vineyard. In 2012, Don decided to take a well deserved sabbatical to pursue some outside interests as well as an extended list of honey do’s at home! Read more about Don on the Dry Creek vineyard website. i have poured a glass of each of these wines for you,please sit down and relax as we click on the link below and join Don wallace and learn more about these very special wines! Sit any where you like! Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy the wines of Dry Creek Vineyard .
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Recently I traveled into the town of Healdsburg in northern California.This beautiful town in a wine country hub for many famous grape growing regions. we will be staying at the Dry Creek Best Western Inn,which is minutes from the world class growing region known as Dry Creek Valley. Our feature is Dry Creek vineyard and Mr. Don Wallace. First we will check out a little history of this great winery,and then checkout the tasting notes on two of their world class Zinfandels. The history of Dry Creek Vineyard is a long and colorful one. Founded in 1972 by David S. Stare, Dry Creek Vineyard paved the way for a renaissance of winemaking and viticulture in the Dry Creek Valley. Before his arrival, the Dry Creek Valley was little more than a few family farms and prune orchards. It was Dave’s vision to start a Loire Valley inspired winery, which triggered a viticultural reawakening in northern Sonoma County. Without a doubt, David Stare is a pioneer. Heading west in the late 1960s, he personified the character and work ethic of early Gold Rush pioneers. Educated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dave worked for the B&O Railroad for several years but quickly realized that his true calling was in the wine industry. Inspired by his trips to the Loire Valley, he headed west to California to start his own family winery. Today, our second-generation family owned winery continues to evolve and grow to meet the demands of a global wine marketplace. The primary mission of our winery is to produce distinctive wines that overdeliver on quality. For nearly 50 years, this pursuit of winemaking excellence has led to many international awards and accolades. With a loyal following of wine club members and customers, the future of Dry Creek Vineyard has never been brighter. Zinfandel may be California’s most distinguished contribution to the world of fine wine. Just as Pinot Noir is synonymous with Burgundy, Zinfandel is most at home in the Dry Creek Valley appellation. Today we will open two great Zinfandels.First The Heritage Vines. Heritage Vines Zinfandel affirms our dedication to Zinfandel. Our Heritage Vines Zinfandel comes from an experimental project initiated in 1982 by our Vineyard Manager, Duff Bevill, to preserve the tradition and “heritage” of very old Zinfandel vineyards. Cuttings from Mazzoni Ranch, a pre-Prohibition vineyard near Geyserville, provided budwood for grafting onto phylloxera-resistant rootstock. Then, for several years we worked diligently to screen and propagate virus-free vines that would ultimately produce a crop. Finally, in 1997 the process concluded with a “young vine” wine that displayed “old vine” Zinfandel characteristics. For us, the future of Old Vine Zinfandel is no longer in doubt. By implementing this process, we feel that the flavors, character, and heritage of these old vineyards will live on in future vintages of our Heritage Vines Zinfandel.You can read more on these wines on their website. Beginning with the 1987 vintage, Dry Creek Vineyard was the first winery to consistently use the term “Old Vine.” Old Vine Zinfandel comes from historic vineyards ranging from 50 to over 100 years in age. Production is very limited as these vines typically yield only 1-2 tons per acre. We are fortunate to be associated with these unique vineyards and are proud to share this exceptional wine with you. Our Old Vine Zinfandel is known for its depth of flavor and spicy, earthy characteristics. Deep color and firm structure are enhanced by the addition of our region’s best Petite Sirah. It is a rich and powerful wine, sure to please even the most discerning palate. The 2016 Heritage Vines Zinfandel is delicious and beautifully balanced. This vintage presents enticing aromatics of raspberries, cherry and a hint of toast and black pepper. On the palate, brambly flavors of ripe boysenberry and spicy dark chocolate come forward. The wine is complex, with bright acidity complimented by notes of berry syrup and mocha. The tannins are silky and smooth to lend a round, rich mouthfeel. From start to finish, this remarkable wine offers refreshing acidy paired with excellent structure. At $24.00,this wine is a great deal and I think ill take home a case today! Our second wine is the Old Vine Zinfandel! The complexity of our Old Vine Zinfandel lies in the spicy notes that are unique to these historic properties. This vintage presents alluring aromatics of blackberries, dried cranberries and a hint of mocha and nutmeg. On the palate, brambly layers of ripe boysenberry, raspberry and dark chocolate come forward. The wine is complex, with bright acidity complimented by a long, lingering finish of black pepper. The tannins are velvety and smooth to lend a round, rich mouthfeel. If you love Zinfandel you will enjoy our next few features with Don Wallace and Dry Creek Vineyard! I can safely say this winery is a source of some of the best Zinfandels on the planet!So let's pour a glass of each of these wines,and sit down to listen to our feature with Mr. Don Wallace!Click on the link and join us!We saved you a seat! Click here and join us as we enjoy great wines and stories of Dry Creek Vineyard.
Sunday, September 9, 2018
We have been enjoying the great new wines from Mr. Donald Patz,and today we will visit with Donald and open three amazing Chardonnays. First a little on this new label and then we will invite you to shar a glass of wine with us as we listen to this great new feature. A new (2017) and exciting producer of Russian River Valley Chardonnay and Pinot Noir under the direction of longtime vintner Donald Patz. His three-decade association with Sonoma and Russian River Valley grape growers has given him access to some of the top vineyard sites in the valley. Utilizing these vineyard sites he and his team are crafting compelling Chardonnays and delicately perfumed Pinot Noirs. After 29 vintages with his previous company Patz & Hall, Donald Patz moved on in May of 2017. It was a perfect moment to quit or take some time off. That’s not really his style. Mr. Patz hit the ground running on May 1 to implement a new wine brand. “I had some things I still wanted to do in the wine business. I love sharing my wines. This time being free to rethink and take my wines in a slightly different direction was exciting and refreshing!” We decided to make up a name that would represent our thoughts about Sonoma County/Russian River Valley since all our initially considered names had already been used! The process went something like this… Sonoma = Oceans and Mountains Oceans… MARItime Mountains… MonTANA MARI-TANA MARITANA It took longer than it looks. It turns out that this is a woman’s name. Not so much in the US but in some of the Latin countries and more oddly in Russia. Apparently, there was a popular song in Russia in the 1970’s or early 1980’s with the Maritana name that inspired its use. Our first Chardonnay is 2017 LA RIVIÈRE. CHARDONNAY from the Russian River Valley. There is a lot of pear, apple, citrus to go with a gentle background note of lees & barrel spice. Has excellent acidity & presents a bright fully refreshing character. This is the name (meaning the River) for our blend of vineyards In 2017. It is about 55% (Dutton Ranch) Shop Block 1967; 42% Big River Vineyard; 3% (Dutton Ranch) Hansen Hill Vineyard Chardonnay and includes – Old Wente Clone from both Hansen Hill and Big River, Clone 04 from Big River and a combination of an old Massale selection and Dijon Clone 76 at Shop Block 1967. It is entirely barrel fermented in 90% once-used French Oak barrels and 10% new French Oak barrels – sur lies aged – 100% ML complete. The percentage of new oak for future vintages will probably be no more than 10%. The blend came together about two months ago and has really married in the barrel. There is a lot of pear, apple, citrus to go with a gentle background note of lees and barrel spice. It’s got excellent acidity and presents a bright fully refreshing character. Our second Chardonnay is the 2017 Russian River Valley DUTTON SHOP BLOCK 1967 Chardonnay ($70.00). Our mini-experiment at native yeast fermentation using six barrels of Shop Block 1967 vineyard juice was a resounding success. Those six native yeast barrels formed the core of this single vineyard designate wine along with four new French Oak barrels and two additionally selected barrels to round out this 300 case lot. The native yeast lot was so successful that there is no doubt it will become a major component of the 2018 vintage wines for Maritana Vineyards. Planted in 1967 to an unknown Massale selection of Chardonnay with a partial interplant in 1999 of Dijon Clone 76 the Shop Block 1967 from Dutton Ranch’s oldest vines pose an exciting opportunity to use produce a distinctive wine. This was fermented and aged in 66% once-used French Oak barrels and 34% - new French Oak barrels. In their 50th year of life these old vines dug deep into the soils at Shop Block to deliver a fabulous expression of Russian River Valley Chardonnay. At the same time both delicate and concentrated, aromatic and pure, rich and refreshing focusing more on the floral/mineral end of the spectrum rather than the tropical fruit end of Chardonnay. Production: 300 cases Third we have the 2017 Russian River Valley DUTTON HANSEN HILL Chardonnay ($90.00) This is a hillside vineyard nearby the Shop Block 1967 site. Planted entirely to Old Wente clone Chardonnay and strictly farmed to the winery specifications this may be/probably is one of the absolute top Chardonnay sites in the Russian River Valley. We have a mere 1.8 acres of this amazing hillside under contract for Maritana Vineyards. We expect this tiny parcel to produce somewhere around 300-400 cases (2.5-3.0 tons per acre) per year. In 2017 we used 73% once- used French Oak barrels and 27% new French Oak barrels to ferment and age the Hansen Hill. It is opening slowly in barrel featuring great precision on the palate and shimmering kumquat and mango fruitiness. The small amount of new oak used refocuses the wine on its mineral and spring flower characters. Our experience with Chardonnay tells us that this wine will be quite long lived for a Russian River Valley Chardonnay possibly performing well in 10-15+ years if properly stored. Production: 350 cases i think it's time to relax and enjoy our new feature with Donald Patz and Maritana Vineyards!Cheers! Are you ready?? Click here and join us as we enjoy the wines of Donald Patz and Maritana Vineyards .