Thursday, April 9, 2020
Today we are enjoying a spring day in Sonoma Wine country.We will be exploring a great new wine from Rowen Wine Company and Rodney strong Vineyards.First lets talk about the wine making team at Rodney Strong Vineyards.then a little history on the vineyards and the wine from the winemakers tasting notes. Director of Winemaking Justin Seidenfeld serves as Winemaker for Rodney Strong Vineyards, the iconic Sonoma County Winery that was founded in 1959 by namesake Rod Strong. Justin’s winemaking career began in Sebastopol, California, where he was an intern at Iron Horse winery in 2005. He quickly rose from cellar hand to taking on winemaking responsibilities which led to a position in 2006 at the venerable Robert Mondavi Winery in the Napa Valley. As a harvest enologist at Mondavi, Seidenfeld walked some of California’s premiere vineyards and gained a comprehensive understanding of quality land and viticulture. Continuing on to become an enologist, he took that experience into winemaking and supervised the winemaking of Estancia, Clos du Bois, Simi, and others within the Constellation portfolio. Additional responsibilities included overseeing small lot Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir winemaking. Justin graduated from the University of California, Davis in 2006 with a B.S. in Viticulture & Enology. He lives in Santa Rosa with his wife Dena and daughters Madison, Lila and Reagan. Justin enjoys golfing, playing with his daughters and working on his home. As to his inspiration to a career in winemaking, Justin notes, “people recalling the occasions that wine makes better and memorable is the reason I make wine. Hearing about how and when someone enjoyed a wine I made inspires me.” RICK SAYRE Winemaking Emeritus Rick Sayre joined Rod Strong at the winery in 1979 as a talented young winemaker who had trained under the tutelage of legendary winemaker, André Tchelistcheff. Over the next four decades, Rick’s contributions would be instrumental in bringing worldwide acclaim to Rodney Strong Vineyards, as well as Sonoma County. For all of his many accomplishments and contributions to our winery, Sayre holds the title of Winemaker Emeritus for Rodney Strong Wine Estates. 2016 ROWEN Rowen Wines $55.00 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, MALBEC, SYRAH, VIOGNIER Lush and elegant wine consisting of wonderful high elevation, mountain fruit. Aromas of black raspberries, cocoa and black pepper with notes of blackberries, cassis, nutmeg and vanilla on the palate. Exotic floral element on the finish as well as a rounder mouthfeel. We will also open the 2015 vintage.We will need at least two courses to pair with these wines.MAYBE three!Join Greg Morthole and I by clicking on the link below,and we will have a glass waiting for you. Cheers! We will save you a seat,and at least a couple glasses of these great wines! Click here and join us as we enjoytwo great wines from Rowen Wine Company and Rodney Strong Vineyards .
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
We have a great feature here with winemaker Greg Morthole. Today we discuss one of my favorite grapes and wines...Cab Franc!We will check out the tasting notes and history of this great wine from Rodney Strong Vineyards. SONOMA GROWN FOR OVER 50 YEARS Our story begins over 55 years ago, when a celebrated American dancer named Rod Strong settled in Sonoma County to pursue a second lifelong creative passion: winemaking. Rodney Strong Vineyards was the 13th winery bonded in the newly discovered Sonoma County wine industry. A trio of winemaking paths crossed when Rick Sayre joined the team as Winemaker in 1979, and again when the Klein Family, 4th generation California farmers, purchased the winery in 1989 and initiated a renewed commitment of modern artisan winemaking. Through the years, Rodney Strong Vineyards has earned the reputation for critically acclaimed Single Vineyard and Reserve wines, stand out Estate releases and best-in-class Sonoma County varietal wines. Raised in Sacramento, 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 Artisan, “Winery Within the Winery.” With a quiet demeanor and a determined attitude, Greg’s energetic style illustrates how enjoyable he finds winemaking to be. “Making the Reserve and Single-Vineyard wines here is an honor,” he says. In 2010, we achieved a milestone in sustainability when our vineyard practices were officially certified by the California Sustainable Winegrower’s Alliance. This statewide certification program provides third-party verification of a winery’s commitment to continuous improvement in the adoption and implementation of sustainable winegrowing practices. Our commitment to sustainable farming is an ongoing responsibility that combines environmental health, economic feasibility and social equity. Now we will join Greg and learn more about these amazing wines.Click on the link below and join us! We will now open and pour you a glass of this amazing wine,in fact wines!Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy three vintages of the Cab Franc from Rodney Strong .
Sunday, April 5, 2020
We love Zinfandels!And today we discuss three vintages of a great Zinfandel from Rodney Strong Vineyards and winery.We will take a look at the tasting notes and the sheets on these wines...straight from their website. The Dry Creek Valley is legendary for producing great Zinfandel, and we were fortunate to discover an excellent vineyard there in 2007 that has been enhancing our Knotty Vines Zin ever since. In recent years, that vineyard has truly begun to shine, and we decided to bottle a small amount separately to highlight its unique character that reflects the briary, peppery nature of Dry Creek Zinfandel. Ruby red colored, with fresh aromas of ripe blackberries, black cherry, wild raspberries, black pepper and dusty earth, this full bodied wine was aged for 15 months in primarily French oak barrels, which added layers of toast and baking spices. Elegant and silky, this wine has refined tannins and is extremely well balanced. Enjoy this 2015 Zinfandel now with Southwestern style pork, spice-rubbed duck breast, grilled sausages, or cellar for enjoyment over the next few years. The 2016 growing season was about as close to ideal as we can get. We received about an average amount of rain over Winter, with only one big storm coming through in early March that topped off soil moisture. Spring was very pleasant, so the vines got off to a great, albeit early, start. Average temperatures continued through summer, with the occasional heat spike. Warm temperatures continued into the Fall, so the Zinfandel harvest started earlier than normal. Dry Creek Valley harvest kicked off in mid-September. Ruby red colored, with fresh aromas of ripe blackberries, cherry pie, black pepper and dusty earth, this full bodied wine was aged for 18 months in primarily French oak barrels, which added layers of toast and baking spices. Elegant and silky, this wine has refined tannins and is extremely well balanced. Enjoy this Zinfandel now with Manchego cheese, bacon wrapped dates or spiced barbecue dishes, or cellar for enjoyment over the next two to four years. We now move onto the 2017 Dry Creek Zinfandel. Although 2017 proved to be an inconsistent year for weather, what started as somewhat challenging quickly turned into a very rewarding harvest. We saw both heavy rain early on and heat spikes in August and September, some reaching past 100F. Heat this late in the season in Dry Creek Valley means rich flavor development with lower sugars, exactly what we like to see for our Zinfandel. Satisfied with the quality and balance of the fruit, we harvested on September 28. Ruby red colored, with fresh aromas of ripe blackberries, cherry pie, black pepper and dusty earth, this full bodied wine was aged for 18 months in primarily French oak barrels, which added layers of toast and baking spices. Elegant and silky, this wine has refined tannins and is extremely well balanced. Enjoy this Zinfandel now with Manchego cheese, bacon wrapped dates or spiced barbecue dishes, or cellar for enjoyment over the next two to four years. So we have three Zinfandels and lots of suggestions for food.I'm still sticking with the idea of Chinese Food from 8Dragons Restaurant in Healdsburg. Ill make the order and the food will be here in 45 minutes.PERFECT! We must adapt in these times and this works perfectly!Please click on the link below and join us as Greg Morthole tells us of these great wines!Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy three vintages of the Dry Crek Zinfandel from Rodney Strong .
Friday, April 3, 2020
We have traveled into the beautiful Sonoma County.We start with a little history of this great vineyard and look at the wine maker's notes on all three wines. Starting with the 2014 vintage. Established in 1971 and recognized as the first vineyard in Alexander Valley to produce a single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander’s Crown vineyard is perched on a hill in the south of the Alexander Valley just west of Jimtown. Encompassing 63 acres, the vineyard is in the first part of the valley to feel cool Pacifi c breezes each afternoon. We use Block 1, the top 15 acres of well drained red volcanic soil to craft this wine, resulting in intensely flavored Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2014 Alexander's Crown exhibits flavors of black and red cherry, blackberries, dried herbs and violets. The wine is elegant, with a rich mouthfeel, soft tannins and a long lingering finish with a touch of mocha. Enjoy this wine now or cellar it for enjoyment in 8 to 10 years. this wine is available on line at the winery's website. The Alexander Valley AVA is 22 miles long, ranging in elevation from 150 to 1500 feet above sea level, and is home to our three single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Our winegrowers have found the very best grapes grow on higher elevated western slopes, or as they say, the “sweet spots”. Spread throughout our three vineyards, we’ve determined the best blocks are typically located just below the ridge tops with a western facing aspect to capture the full warmth and light of the afternoon sun. In the northernmost hills near our Brothers vineyard, with average growing-season temperatures of 67 degrees, heat dominates, allowing Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen well. In the middle of the valley, Rockaway vineyard, with average temperatures of 62 degrees, balances heat and Pacifi c Ocean cooling breezes – allowing for classic structure development. The even cooler Alexander’s Crown vineyard, with average temperatures of 59 degrees in the southern valley, yields more delicate, “feminine” style Cabernet Sauvignon. In the distance of only 12 short miles, average temperatures change eight degrees among our vineyards during growing season, thereby allowing three very different expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2015 Alexanders Crown exhibits ripe flavors of black currant, blackberries and violets. The wine is voluptuous, has a rich mouthfeel, soft tannins and a long lingering finish with notes of dried herbs and a touch of mocha. Enjoy this wine now or cellar it for enjoyment in 8 to 10 years The 2016 Alexander's Crown exhibits ripe flavors of black currant, blackberries and violets. The wine is voluptuous, has a rich mouthfeel, soft tannins and a long lingering finish with notes of dried herbs and a touch of mocha. Enjoy this wine now or cellar it for enjoyment in 8 to 10 years. we will now move outside and enjoy a little bit of this beautiful day.We have a glass of each og these wines and now we are ready to enjoy our new audio feature.Click on the link below,and join us!Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy three vintages of the Alexander's Crown .
Monday, January 6, 2020
Just before the holidays I sat down with Justin Hirigoyen and learned more about the wines of Twomey. Sourcing fruit from most of the prime growing regions,this winery is one to watch!From southern California to Oregon they have vineyards in the best areas for growing Pinot Noir.Today we have a great feature about four of their wines.Let's check out the website and tasting notes and then enjoy the new audio feature with Justin Hirigoyen. Twomey was founded 20 years ago by the Duncan Family of Silver Oak to make dynamic, vineyard-focused wines. Over the years, our passion for Pinot Noir opened exciting new doors to cool climate vineyard opportunities. With each vineyard, our goal is always to craft wines that reflect a delicate balance among a vineyard’s unique micro-climate, soil profile and the human hand—all while capturing the classic character of their respective growing regions. We will start with the SB and feature two Pinot noirs and their world class Merlot. At Twomey they embrace technologies, materials and practices that improve fruit quality and minimize resource use, with a specific focus on water and energy consumption. With wines focused on capturing the essence of place, our farming techniques focus on proven methods—from advanced water conservation technologies to the use of cover crops, fish-friendly farming and integrated pest management—that protect the land for future generations. Sauvignon Blanc is among the world’s most popular white wine varietals, with strikingly different expressions in California than the wines produced in Sancerre or New Zealand. The telltale signature of Twomey Sauvignon Blanc is its bright tropical fruit expression and fresh mineral character. While our estate Sauvignon Blanc is a wine we drink fresh on hot summer days, our Merino Vineyard bottling ages several months longer…if you can wait that long. Our Sauvignon Blanc is sourced exclusively from four estate-owned vineyards in the Napa Valley and Russian River Valley. We have opened two beautiful Pinot Noirs,the first is from Anderson Valley. As their Pinot Noir offerings expanded, we sought out the cool, foggy and then-emerging Anderson Valley region for its ability to produce wines of restraint and finesse. As this AVA gained notoriety for its vibrant and bright California Pinots, we built a relationship with Ferrington Vineyard. Fruit from this site alone produced our first Twomey Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, which has since expanded to include our Monument Tree and Philo Estate vineyards. With fruit from Monument Tree Vineyard, our Philo Estate in the north and Ferrington further inland to the south, we are able to capture a unique expression of the whole region. Our resulting Anderson Valley Pinot Noir is true to its cool-climate origins—an elegant, restrained style with fresh and vibrant fruit characteristics complimented by earth and floral notes.I have been featuring the wines of anderson valley for a while and love this great new AVA. Next we have the Russian River Pinot Noir. One of many from this region. Originally sourced from the Westpin Vineyard, our first vintages—2002, 2003 and 2004—were produced from two acres of Martini clone—the only acres that were not replanted after we entered our long-term lease in 2000. The inaugural 2002 vintage was also made at the Silver Oak Napa Valley Winery in Oakville. Fun fact: The inaugural 2002 vintage was made at the Silver Oak Napa Valley Winery in Oakville, and current Chairman & CEO David R. Duncan and former Silver Oak Winemaker Daniel Barron did the punchdowns. We source from the Sebastopol Hills to the Middle Reach neighborhoods within the Russian River Valley AVA to achieve a balanced blend that is truly representative of the area. The resulting wine is complex with a ripe fruit profile of cherry and cola and a bold, layered structure typical of the AVA. on to the Merlot from this amazing winery. In 2011, we began an exclusive consultation with Château Pétrus legend Jean-Claude Berrouet on our Soda Canyon Ranch Merlot. By combining Jean-Claude’s expertise and classic sensibilities with leading edge technologies such as Precision Viticulture, our vineyard team applies a multi-faceted approach that embraces Old World and New. The result is a blend of California’s fruit-forward style with the subtlety and restraint of Bordeaux .We have covered four wines and yet have many more to tell you about.I will followup with Justin and feature more of these world class wines from Twomey in the near future. Now we should relaqx and enjoy a glass of each of these wines. “Wine is a product that tells a story, the story of its land. Merlot here in California has a different expression from that at Pomerol, of Bordeaux, of Italy, or of Switzerland. Its own characteristics, and that is what I want to respect.”—Jean-Claude Berrouet, Merlot Consultant Please click on the link below and join us!Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy the wines of Twomey .
Monday, December 16, 2019
Recently I traveled into Alexander Valley and enjoyed some time with Nate Weis at Silver Oak's new state of the art winery .I was amazed at the entire estate and loved my time there.Today we have a new two part feature with Nate Weis and Silver Oak.First we will look at their website,and gather some history and great facts about the two featured wines from the fabled winery. Silver Oak began over a handshake between two friends with a bold vision: focus on one varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon, aged exclusively in American oak and worthy of cellaring for decades to come. Over the next two decades, Silver Oak grew in popularity. Our Napa Valley and Alexander Valley Cabernets sold quickly upon their release from the winery and became a sought-after staple on restaurant wine lists around the country. After selecting Daniel Baron to succeed him as winemaker in 1994, Justin retired, selling his share of Silver Oak to the Duncan family in 2001. In 2006, a fire destroyed our historic Oakville winery. It was a difficult and emotional event; but in hindsight, a blessing in disguise. When we regrouped on the morning of the fire, we knew we had to rebuild, and it wasn’t long before the excitement of a new, state-of-the-art winery overcame our sense of loss. Today, we are applying this experience from our LEED Platinum Oakville winery toward a new winery in the Alexander Valley. Set amidst 70 acres of estate vineyards along the rolling foothills of the Mayacamas mountains, our new Alexander Valley winery – set to open for harvest 2017 – will push industry design and innovation standards through alternative energy sources, innovative water reuse systems and reclaimed building materials. Today, we farm more than 400 acres of vines in Napa Valley and Alexander Valley with a leading-edge approach toward precision viticulture, allowing us to give our vines exactly what they need, when they need it. All of our estate vineyards are certified under California’s Sustainable Winegrowing program. In 2014, Nate Weis joined us as only the third winemaker in our 45-year history. Nate worked side-by-side with Daniel Baron, just as Daniel worked with Justin Meyer before his retirement. These overlapping tenures ensure the handing down of our commitment to continuous improvement and the wisdom that our best wines are still ahead of us. We have two great wines to discuss.starting with the 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet. The 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has an opaque crimson color with a purplish hue. The alluring nose draws you in with notes of cassis, black cherry, pipe tobacco, salted caramel, cocoa beans and fresh strawberry. This full-bodied wine enters with a depth of flavor and offers mouth-coating, velvety tannins and flavors of cream soda and red fruit. Black currant and vanilla notes crescendo through the palate to the lengthy finish. This wine is drinkable upon release, but given proper cellaring conditions, can be enjoyed through 2040. we also will open the great Alexander Valley Cabernet from Silver Oak! Located 10 minutes east of downtown Healdsburg at 7300 Hwy 128 in Sonoma County, our new, state-of-the-art winery is now open for walk-in tastings, guided tours and food and wine pairings. Designed to “Frame the Vineyard”, the winery features panoramic views of the Alexander Valley bench and our surrounding 113 acre estate and 75 acres of prime Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed at our modern barn-inspired tasting room adjacent to the iconic Silver Oak water tower. Visitors will gain a deeper understanding of how sustainable vineyard management contributes to wine quality, as well as the technologies and practices we apply toward resource management and vineyard health. Healdsburg has become a great wine country hub for Sonoma County.Surrounded by the Russian River AVA,as well as the Alexander Valley,and many more.A wine country excursion should be part of your holiday celebration. these are very special wines,please consider having both wines on your Christmas day dinner menu. So now let's join Nate Weis and learn more about the world class Cabernets from silver Oak!Click on the link below and enjoy the discussion.. there are two links as this interview has many minutes of great conversation.Cheers! Please join us! Click here and join us as we enjoy the wines of Silver Oak . Please click on part 2 below and join us! Click here and join us as we enjoy the wines of Silver Oak .
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
We have traveled into the beautiful Anderson valley,and will stop off in Bonneville at the Philo Ridge tasting room. heather is the winemaker and I'm very excited to finllay talk with her. The wines are amazing and the vineyards are a story within themselves. we will check out the website and then open these fine white wines from Philo Ridge vineyards.So let's pop the corks and get started. Fred and Heather took possession of the property in August of 1999. There were already three acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot planted just below the house. The vineyard was planted in 1976 by the original owner of the property, Vernon Rose of Christine Woods Winery. The property was their original winery as well. There were an additional seven acres of plantable terraced land just yards from the original vineyard. We suddenly found ourselves in the wine business. It was quite thrilling and equally terrifying. Neither of us had ever actually farmed. We had read a great deal and we were well schooled in the wine aspect of the business, but we were lacking in that get-your-hands-in-the-dirt, practical experience. One of the first things we did was ask Norman Kobler to be our vineyard manager. Norman has many years of hands-on knowledge about almost everything to do with putting something in the ground, watching it grow, and making wine. Norman planned and supervised the installation of our Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris vineyards in 2000 and has worked hard to continue our education. We decided to become a bonded winery in 2001 and we released our first vintage in January of 2004: 167 cases of 2001 Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. We were very pleased when our first submission – our 2001 Syrah – won a Silver medal in the San Francisco Chronicle competition. Since that time, we have entered a number of competitions with our wines and have done very well, including 90 points and Editor's Choice for the 2006 Pinot Noir in the July 2010 Wine Enthusiast. We also received Editor's Choice for the Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris in the same edition. Our production is now up to 2200 cases and we continue to ratchet up our production. But we still make each wine by hand in small batches of between 90 to 450 cases each. Our goal is to make great wines that have complexity and exemplify the best their varietals have to offer your palate. Pinot Noir is our primary wine, but we have added Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Viognier to the mix for white wines with Zinfandel and Vino di Mendocino (our red blend). (Gewürztraminer in German-language areas) is a pink-skinned grape variety that produces some of the world's most distinctive aromatic wines. Its perfumed style is somewhat polarizing; fans adore its intense floral scent and sweet-spice flavors, while detractors lament its low acidity and lack of subtlety. Gewurztraminer's parentage is hard to trace. Modern research suggests that it is the aromatic mutation of Roter Traminer (Savagnin Rose), and therefore part of the ancient Savagnin-Traminer group of grape varieties, which have identical or near-identical DNA profiles. As such it is hard to locate a precise area of origin, though Savagnin is thought to have originated in...this wine is dry and rich,and perfect with spicy food. Viognier is a white-wine grape variety known for producing textural, aromatic wines with pronounced stonefruit flavors; "apricots and steel" are the variety's classic flavor associations. On the nose, Viognier wines can also be very herbal, with aromas of chamomile, lavender, thyme and even a hint of pine. In aged examples and sweeter styles, this potentially overpowering herbal profile is softened by honeyed notes. In the late 1960s ,just 14 hectares (35 acres) of Viognier vines were all that remained in the world, located exclusively in the vineyards of Condrieu and Château-Grillet. Happily, the 1970s saw new life breathed into the near-extinct variety, by the Yalumba winery in... and now it's time to pour another glass of these great wines and enjoy the audio feature.Please click on the link at the bottom,and sit down with us as we enjoy these amazing wines from Philo Ridge Vineyards We will pour you a glass of each wine,and I will head out to the kitchen to start up a few dishes to go with these incredible wines.Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy the white wines of Philo ridge Vineyards .