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.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
We have a number of great features with Patz and hall and also Morimoto Napa.Tonight we dine!!And also we will enjoy the beautiful Pinot Noirs from one of thye best wineries in the world!We start with the wines.Pisoni Vineyard is known all over the world as one of the best vineyards on the planet. This is another tour de force from Pisoni, combining the vineyard’s signature power and richness with alluring depth and complexity. Super-concentrated, liqueur-like aromas of Bing cherry, plum, cassis, and cola leap from the glass, followed by notes of toasted cashews, ginger and clove. For all of its depth and richness, this wine literally sings on the palate, showing amazing energy and ample enlivening acidity to add poise and definition to the voluptuous flavors of red currant, cherry and milk chocolate. A true knockout, and certainly one of the finest expressions of Pisoni Pinot Noir in many years. we have a number of wines from Patz and Hall,but this features the Pisoni Pinot and I'm on my second glass. “Saturated ruby-red color. Knockout nose combines blackberry, black cherrry and Oriental spices; reminded me of a wine from the Vosne-Romanée/Nuits-Saint-Georges neighborhood. Powerful and large-scaled but a bit youthfully monolithic, with black fruit flavors lifted by mint and ginger high notes. This big boy finishes with huge tannins that avoid coming off as hard. Hall picks this fruit late, as it's necessary to wait for the acidity to go down, but noted that in the hot years it can get porty. ‘And it's necessary to be gentle with the extraction,’ he added. This would be a perfect Pinot for a steak house.” - Stephen Tanzer Please join us as we enjoy the incredible dishes from Morimoto Napa!We saved you a seat! Inventive, high-end Japanese fare & artful cocktails presented in glamorous yet Zen surroundings.We poured you a glass of great Pinot Noir,the food just arrived!Cheers! Click here and join us for world class wines and cuisine from finewinesproductions.com.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
We have traveled into the great Napa Valley and will visit the great Morimoto Napa restaurant,and feature the wines of Patz and Hall.First we will open two wines from Patz and Hall.First the Dutton Ranch 2014 Chardonnay. The phenomenal 2014 growing season yielded a standout expression of Dutton Ranch Chardonnay with all of the lush, alluring flavors and exquisitely balanced acidity that we love about this site. Heirloom clone aromas of white flowers and jasmine are soon followed by exotic layers of mango and papaya, as well as notes of green apple and toasted hazelnut. On the palate, the dramatic flavors are knit together by a dusty textural note from the lees stirring that adds nuance and structure. Overall, this is a profoundly textural wine that captures both the charm and complexity of some of Sonoma County’s oldest Chardonnay vines.We will also feature the Jenkins Ranch Pinot Noir. Jenkins Ranch has delivered a luscious, flowing expression of Pinot Noir with rich, mouth coating tannins and alluring fruit. On the nose, layers of spicy cherry, moist forest floor and sea spray showcase this wine’s beautiful balance between concentration and complexity. The palate is lush and creamy, with supple tannins adding silkiness to red fruit flavors of raspberry, plum and pomegranate. Underscoring it all are hints of burnt almond toffee and cocoa, as well as an intriguing savoriness that carries the wine to a long satisfying finish.Tonight we will be pairing these wines with great features from Morimoto Napa! The menu would take weeks to understand just how complete this incredible menu is.We will start at the Raw Bar,and move forward.CARRY ON! We will follow with the first in a series of features with this world class restaurant and winery.Cheers! Click here and join us at Morimoto Napa!.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
As we turn the page on August,we come to another harvest in northern California.Crush for whites and grapes for sparkling wines has started,and the wine regions are alive with the excitement of harvest.let's take a break and open a few wines from Handley Cellars.I can't wait to talk with Randy Shock about these wines,and enjoy Anderson Valley.But for now let's check out the tasting notes on these special wines.First let's open the one of the signature wines from Handley Cellars.The 2013 Helluva Pinot Noir.I have had this wine a few times and think it might be one of the best Pinot Noirs I have had in recent times. The wine is composed of Pommard clone from Helluva Vineyard located at warmer end of the valley near Boonville. It has aromas of cherry cough drops, herbal horehound, and pie crust, with bright red fruit flavors of candied ripe red cherries and a long plush finish. GOLD: Dan Berger Wine Competition. Cases produced: 210 Handley Cellars produces a number of Pinots and I consider this winery to be a prime source of this grape.This wine is one of the best ever!In fact ,the wines today are all incredible.Let's move on now to the 2013 Zinfandel Redwood Valley.This wine is and has been a favorite of mine.After all...it's Zinfandel! The fruit for this wine originate from Kazmet, Oldham, and Vittorio Vineyards all head pruned dry farmed vineyards in Redwood Valley. The majority of this wine is Zinfandel from Kazmet and Oldham vineyards with a touch of Syrah and Cariganne blended in for complexity. This warmer inland region of Mendocino County reliably ripens these varietals and provides rich fruity flavors. This wine has aromas of dark berrys, candied cherries, cocoa, damp earth, and a spicy hint of cedar. It has flavors of black cherry, plum, red pepper, with hints of earth and spicy wood on the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with soft tannins and has lingering fruit that persists on the palette. Its fruitiness is focused by the acidity of the Cariganne, and the Syrah adds to its complexity with earthy and dark fruit notes. The rich candied fruit of this wine would pair well with the sweetness of barbecued beef or pork ribs. Cases: 558 The next wine is also from Redwood Valley.This area is not far from Anderson valley,but the growing regions are completely different.Redwood valley gets a lot more heat,and much less coastal influence. Handley Cellars sources fruit from both regions,which is really the best of both worlds. Noe let's open this great Syrah from Handley Cellars. This wine is from the Hazmet Vineyard and is a true low yielding vineyard that produced this rich and full bodied wine.Warning! You will love this wine!Don't say I didn't warn you. Now we have a wine from Handley Cellars that really caught me off guard. The 2013 Petite Sirah Vittorio Vineyard Anderson Valley.I do really like this grape, but have found it to have a very huge personality,that sometimes is better than other times.What I'm trying to say is that I don't like most of them....I LOVED THIS ONE! The grapes for this wine are organically farmed, CCOF certified from the Vittorio Vineyard in Redwood Valley. This vineyard, located on the bench lands east of the Russian River, is head pruned and dry farmed. These older vines provide ripe fruit with dense flavors. This hearty red wine is full and rich on the palette with aromas of wild brambles, sage, anise, pepper and biscotti. It shows intense flavors of blackberry, black raspberry, plum, cocoa, with subtle spicy sandalwood and tobacco notes. It is round and full in the mouth with medium tannins. The finish is long and the flavors are focused by its acidity and structure. This wine pairs well with braised beef short ribs or a grilled buffalo ribeye smothered in blue cheese butter. Cases produced: 194 Now that we have all these wines open ,and I have not eaten in a couple hours,I think it's time to FEEEEED DOC! I will visit Handley Cellars soon and have features on these wines,but for now.. please join me in a glass of wine and at least I gave you the HEADS UP ,so you can contact the winery and get a case or two of these incredible wines.Cheers! Enjoy your day!