Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Spring In Sonoma County/Rodney Strong Vineyards/

As we enjoy this beautiful spring day we should think about having dinner outside tonight.We have a few amazing wines from Rodney Strong Vineyards,and I'm thinking a few smaller courses,and THEN a main course...Let's get started!We have three single vineyard Cabernet and the fabled Symmetry,and have added the Cooley Ranch Syrah.I hope you are hungry!!??First we will take a look at the tasting notes and a little of this great history from Rodney Strong Vineyards! 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 Vineyards 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 Pacific 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 2013 Symmetry is a luxurious bouquet of blackberries, black cherry, plum and crushed lavender which unfold on the palate with silky layers of black fruits, dark chocolate covered espresso beans and baking spices. This wine is rich, harmonious and elegant with a long, lingering finish. Enjoy this wine now with a Beef Bourguignon, a lamb roast or a roasted vegetable tart or cellar for enjoyment for years to come. Food pairings Enjoy this wine now with a Beef Bourguignon, a lamb roast or a roasted vegetable tart. History With over 40 years of experience growing classic French grape varieties in Alexander Valley, we select our best Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other traditional Bordeaux grapes from the hills that overlook the valley, where well-drained rocky soils combine with warm, sunny days and cool nights to provide ideal growing conditions. Select areas within each vineyard are hand harvested, fermented separately and aged in the finest French oak barrels. After about six months, each lot is tasted and graded; only the highest graded wines are considered for Symmetry. The blend is then assembled, and the wine is returned to barrels to facilitate flavor integration. The wine is aged an additional 12 to 20 months, before bottling. We could have our hands full with these wines,BUT I want to add this next wine to our dinner today.This will be the first time tasting this wine for me,but I love the concept,and can't wait to enjoy this beautiful Syrah from Rodney Strong Vineyards. Syrah, the noble grape of France’s Rhone valley, has shown that it is particularly well suited to the soils and climate of the North Coast, a cool, fog laden region in the far northern reaches of Sonoma County. We crafted this Syrah in our cellar where we employ techniques such as cluster pre-sorting, berry sorting, cold soaking and a free-run juice utilization in a truly state of the art facility, with small tanks sized for the most discriminating vineyard selection process. Using a traditional Rhone winemaking technique, we co-ferment the Syrah with Viognier. The Vineyards Winter 2012 was very mild, as was the spring of 2013, which encouraged an early bud break. The summer was warm, with a hot spell in June and some misty weather in July, though mostly warm. August and September were fi lled with 80-90°F days, ideal temperatures for balanced ripening. Overall the 2013 vintage proved to be warmer than any of the previous 20 years. We picked the Syrah for this wine October 4th. So are u ready?Let's pour a glass of one of these great wines and listen to the new features on these wines!!Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy great wines from Rodney Strong Vineyards. Click here and join us as we enjoy great wines from Rodney Strong Vineyards.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Pinot Noir From Cakebread Cellars/Anderson Valley/Stephanie Jacobs/Winemaker

It's been a while since I drove into the great Napa Valley,and last week I had the pleasure to get up early and drive into this fabled wine paradise.As I went thru St.Helena and traveled down valley,I always love the complete wine and food paradise known as "The Napa Valley".Today we will visit Cakebread Cellars.My love for Pinot Noir has led me to Anderson Valley many years ago,and I'm very excited about the wines Cakebread Cellars has made from Anderson valley.We will take a look at the tasting notes and a little history,and then sit down and enjoy three different Pinot Noirs as we listen to a great new feature on these three wines. The 2013 Annahala Pinot Noir displays classic varietal aromas of bright black cherry and raspberry fruit complemented by a piquant spice-box scent. Its vibrantly delicious black cherry and raspberry flavors are supported by fine tannins and bright acidity, with mineral and spice tones enlivening the long finish. This varietally expressive, fruit-forward pinot noir is delightful now, on its own or with food (salmon, herb-roasted chicken, ham and lamb dishes), but it will develop greater nuance with another 2-3 years of bottle age. Planted in 2001, our Apple Barn Vineyard is located just north of the town of Boonville in the southern end of Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley, a small coastal appellation renowned for its world-class pinot noirs. Apple Barn is a generally cool site, but it warms considerably during summer afternoons. The vineyard’s open exposure, gravelly soils and half-dozen superior French clones yield ripe, intensely flavorful grapes that consistently produce deeply concentrated pinot noirs with lush fruit and round, supple tannins. The 2013 Apple Barn Pinot Noir displays a dark, saturated color and beautifully ripe dark cherry, black raspberry, blueberry and plum compote aromas accented by a fragrant sandalwood spice tone. Remarkably deep, dense and concentrated on the palate, the wine’s lush black cherry, red berry and black plum flavors are framed by silky-smooth tannins, leading to a long, sumptuous finish. While this opulent Pinot Noir is delightful to drink now with chicken, pork, lamb and beef dishes, it will develop greater complexity with another 3-5 years of bottle age. Our 2014 Two Creeks Pinot Noir displays fresh, fragrant aromas of ripe black cherry, raspberry and rose petal with background hints of sandalwood and oak toast. Rich and vibrant on the palate, its succulent Bing cherry, wild berry and plum fruit leads to a long, flavorful finish featuring enticing cherry, spice and mineral tones. Delicious now, this elegantly structured, cool-climate pinot noir will benefit from up to five more years of bottle aging. Two Creeks Pinot Noir is a blend of grapes from our Annahala and Apple Barn estate vineyards in Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley, a coastal appellation renowned for its superb pinots. The region’s close proximity to the Pacific Ocean has a dramatic cooling effect that promotes slow, even ripening. Annahala and Apple Barn share this marine-influenced climate and an overlapping mix of nine superior pinot noir clones, including the famed Joseph Swan and Pommard selections. Closer to the coast and sheltered by trees, Annahala is the cooler and foggier of the two sites, while Apple Barn is more exposed and enjoys warmer afternoons. Blending their fruit yields a beautifully aromatic, flavorful and balanced pinot noir.As I taste these wines,I must say this is one of the most incredible expressions of this grape,from this valley...that I have ever had the pleasure to taste.In fact,I will need to enjoy a glass of each of these with a number of great dishes.Care to join me? Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy great wines from Anderson valley and Cakebread Cellars.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Foursight Wines/Northern California Pinot Noir From Anderson Valley/Kristy Charles

We have two great new features with Christy Charles and the beautiful Pinot Noirs from Foursight Wines and Anderson Valley!Recently I traveled into the valley and stopped off in Boonville to visit with Kristy.We have 4 Pinot Noirs to open and we will also share some news about up coming events in the great Anderson Valley. 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. Click here for more information on how to visit us at our tasting room in Boonville, in the Anderson Valley. CHARLES VINEYARD Pinot Noir is primarily on 101-14, with the balance being S04 and a small portion of 5C. The Sauvignon Blanc is planted on 1103P. OUR VINEYARD Established in 2001 by William and Nancy Charles, Charles Vineyard is located just southeast of the town of Boonville and is planted primarily to Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. In our location we can experience daily temperature swings of up to 55 degrees Fahrenheit (sometimes more), which adds to the rich flavors and strong acid profile of our grapes. Winters can be very wet, as the annual rainfall in Boonville averages 41.6 inches. Fortunately, our vineyard sits on an ancient river bend, which means our well-drained soils are suited to this annual moisture level. The modern-day version of this ancient river, called Anderson Creek, now borders our property on the east, separating us from the eastern foothills of the valley. Anderson Valley is a Region 1 growing area - the coolest where grapes can be commercially grown. Located approximately 115 miles north of San Francisco and 10-15 miles from the ocean, days in Anderson Valley are warm and sunny while nights and mornings are often cool and foggy. This allows wine grapes to mature slowly and develop full varietal character. Winter lows can be in the 20's or 30's while summer highs can reach into the 80's to 100's. The valley floor is 16 miles long and ranges from less than 1/2 mile to about 1-1/2 miles wide. It is surrounded on three sides by rolling hills and low mountains (2,000 to 3,000 feet in elevation) and opens to the Pacific Ocean via the Navarro River canyon. First we will visit with Christy, and learn about each of the four Pinot Noirs.Then we discuss the many events that are coming up in the great Anderson Valley!Cheers! Click here and join us as we open 4 great Pinot Noirs from Foursight Wines. Click here and join us as we discuss Anderson Valley.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Foursight Wines /Anderson Valley/Pinot Noir Paradise/

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

J.Pedroncelli /Sonoma Wines to Be Proud Of/Sourcing Great Vineyards

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

Handley Cellars/Wines for Your Valentine's Day Celebration

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

MoriMoto Napa /Sake Paradise In Wine Country/NapaValley

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 .