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 .
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Of course you want to seek out the key to the lock of the secret door?INDEED! first Let's introduce you to a fabled vintner From Napa Valley and Sonoma ,Mr.Donald Patz! We have the amazing bottle of the Cabernet in front of us, What is the Secret Inside The Secret Door in Napa Valley’s Wine Country? March 19, 2018 · by Amy Lieberfarb · I bet it’s wine. He is well known for opening one of California’s most highly regarded wineries, creating an acclaimed portfolio of single-vineyard wines. With an equally well know reputation for quality, consistency and excellence in the bottle spanning two decades, I couldn’t be more excited about his newest endeavor. The Secret Door. wines. Patz had promised Jung Min that if she would move to California from Virginia to be with him he would – someday – make a Cabernet Sauvignon wine for her. Secret Door Winery Paying homage to her. A tribute label. Promise Kept. The fruit is sourced from vineyards of exceptional quality. Each Cabernet site brings something different to the bottle by virtue of its location. A true sense of place. Inspired by Napa. All from various Napa appellations. Incredibly varied characteristics depending on where the grapes were grown. Most of these vineyards have low yields, which is oftentimes seen as a hallmark of higher-quality Cabernet Sauvignon, and a key element to success as a new Napa vintner. From Hirondelle Vineyard in Stags Leap District to Sage Ridge on the hillsides just east of St Helena. If you take the history and talent of a wine making legend like Patz, take into account the current trends in the industry and combine this with the right vineyard location and conditions… you get a very desirable bottle of wine. The result here is pure Napa Valley… complex, densely structured, and equally beautiful to sip or to cellar for a special moment later. Everyone is talking. Similar to any speculative frenzy, The Secret Door Cabernet, is one to get before it’s too late. These are just a few of the secrets behind the secret door.So let's get it started!!Sit down and relax and click on the link below!Join Donald Patz and I as we discover The Secret door!Cabernet! Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy the wines of Donald Patz .
Monday, August 13, 2018
Terminin /First Vintage Collaboration Between Donald Patz And Francois Villard Of Northern Rhone Valley/2017
I recently stopped off to visit an old friend at Sugarloaf Crush.Donald Patz has been a great friend for many years. Formerly of Patz and Hall fame,this fabled vintner now has a number of new projects.We start with his smallest production,Terminim. This is the 2017 "Cepage"s d'Or",which Translate "Grapes Of Gold". The fruit is sourced from Alder Springs Vineyard in Mendocino County.Donald has sourced grapes from this amazing vineyard for 20 years,and this is a blend of Marsanne(66%) and Roussanne (34%)..give or take a little.The results are a white wine of near perfection. How to buy the new 2017 TERMINIM "Cépages d'Or" Marsanne/Roussanne white wine? IM us - or email Donald Patz... email@example.com .We have a great feature on this wine,and please click on the link below,and enjoy a visit with Vintner Donald Patz.But first Let's open this great wine and sit down,as I have prepared a couple dishes to go with this very special wine. François Villard is one of the stars of the northern Rhône. He came to winegrowing after a career in restaurants, where he caught the wine bug and moved from chef to sommelier. He went full time as a winegrower in 1991, and was entirely self taught, although he has a close friendship with Yves Cuilleron. His domaine has gradually grown, as has the range he offers, and he now owns and sources from 30 hectares across five crus. François Villard was also one of the three winemakers involved with the Vins de Vienne project, who planted vines on the wrong side of the Rhône in Seyssuel, which has a Côte-Rôtie-like terroir and had been planted in ancient times. Cook training, I am passionate about wine at the age of 20 years. Not knowing how to integrate the world of wine, I did a year of professional patent sommelier at Tain l'Hermitage. The meetings were decisive and gave me the desire to become a winemaker. Subsequently, I enrolled in Davayé, in order to obtain the Professional Agricultural Certificate, viticulture and oenology option. In parallel, I began to acquire my first undeveloped land on the commune of Saint Michel (place called Poncins) in the Condrieu appellation. The first vine was planted in the spring of 1989, when my BP was obtained. The vineyard they sourced the fruit from is very special,and a vineyard that Donald Patz has sourced fruit from for close to 20years. Alder Springs, however, flourishes in splendid isolation, an hour by car from the nearest vineyard. But the grapes grown here have attracted a who’s who of contemporary California winemakers. Arnot-Roberts bought grapes from Alder Springs, as has Rhys Vineyards for its Alesia négociant label. Jason Kesner of Kistler Vineyards bought chardonnay for his Kesner label. Dirty & Rowdy, Pax Mahle, Patz & Hall, Y. Rousseau, Bedrock, Flowers and Cruse Wine Company are among those that also bought grapes. The winemakers are drawn by the quality of the grapes, naturally, but also by the astounding breadth of Alder Springs: Its proprietor, Stuart Bewley, grows 39 varieties at last count. Some may not be surprising, like the syrah and other Rhône reds for which the vineyard is best known, or the pinot noir and chardonnay. Other grapes may require a trip to the textbooks, like petite arvine and picpoul, furmint and falanghina, counoise and tannat. Patz & Hall was founded in 1988 by four talented individuals - Donald Patz, James Hall, Anne Moses and Heather Patz. Together, they have turned Patz & Hall into one of California's most highly regarded wineries, with a celebrated portfolio of single-vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. Donald Patz now has a few new labels and we will explore all these world class wines in the very near future.For now let's join Donald and enjoy a glass of this amazing wine!Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy the wines of Donald Patz .
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Alexander Valley is just one of the many AVAs that Rodney Strong Vineyards has great world class vineyards in.Today we will explore the three Cabernets made from the vineyards of Rodney Strong in this fabled valley.First we will tell you of the history and tasting notes from these amazing wines. An early pioneer in Sonoma County, our founder, Rod Strong, was the first to craft a Single Vineyard Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the first to plant Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley and the first to produce a Chalk Hill Chardonnay. Today, Winemaker Rick Sayre and the Klein family continue their drive for innovation and devotion to Sonoma County, with 14 exceptional estate vineyards representing an exquisite range of varietal selection and regional terroir. “Terroir” a French term which by definition includes an array of variables. Grape vines can be grown nearly anywhere in the world that offers soil and sunlight. Yet, it is more important to note that certain regions outshine all others. Why? Because grape vines establish an unusual symbiotic relationship with their environment. Deeply rooted in the soils, the vines respond to tiny changes in elevation, slope, sun exposure and weather patterns, absorbing all of these elements in endless combination and delivering them with an almost magical alchemy into the fruit they produce. This is terroir. Perhaps in more than any other agricultural product, when it comes to winegrowing - place matters. “Place is not everything. But place is the most important thing. When you discover a passion for something, whether it’s golf or jazz, politics or poetry, you want to live it and breathe it.” - Tom Klein, Proprietor 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. HISTORY 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 2014 Rockaway has wonderful concentrated flavors of black cherry, red currant and plum with a hint of sage and leather. The earthy minerality of the wine is balanced out by notes of baking spices with a rich, complex structure and a long lingering finish. Enjoy this wine now or cellar it for enjoyment in 8 to 10 years. THE VINEYARDS Established in 1994, Rockaway is planted mostly to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but includes all five of the classic Bordeaux varieties. Rising up to an elevation of 750 feet, the land generally slopes northeast and southwest, with soils comprised of gravelly clay subsoil over fractured sandstone. This well-drained, low pH earth tends to encourage the production of small-berried clusters, ideal for making a bold, concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon with juicy red and black fruit character, and an elegantly round and seductive mid-palate. The 2014 Brothers is a deeply rich wine with complex dark fruit flavors. The wine is voluptuous and is bursting with blackberry, plum and wonderful chocolate notes followed by a round and seductive mid-palate and a long lingering finish. Enjoy this wine now or cellar it for enjoyment in 8 to 10 years. In the hills to the east of the small town of Cloverdale, Brothers spans 141 acres, nearly all planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, with smaller amounts of other Bordeaux varieties. The vineyard is on well-drained loam underlain by sandstone, shale, and ancient greenstone. Its elevations, surpassing 1,000 feet, and its primarily western aspect perfectly situate the vines to capture the full warmth and light of the afternoon sun, ripening Cabernet well into the chocolate and black fruit profile, with exceptional richness. Please join us as we enjoy a great audio feature with Greg ,on these fabled vineyards. Click on the link below,and thanks for joining us!Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy the wines of Rodney Strong Vineyards .
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
We have decided to open three wines from Rodney Strong Vineyards,and We would love it if you could join us.We will start with Pinot Noir Reserve,go onto Malbec Reserve,and end our tasting with The Port from this fabled winery.Let's start with the tasting notes and history,and then sit down and relax as we enjoy our audio feature. 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. The 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir has wonderful aromas of dark cherry, plum and dark raspberry accompanied by clove and cinnamon baking spice notes on the palate. The wine is lush and rich, with a silky textured mouthfeel and well-balanced acidity. Storms in late winter filled the soil with water that the vines would need in a few months. Warm days in late winter and early spring induced the Pinot Noir buds to swell during the third week of Feb, earlier than normal. The weather alternated between cool periods and warm through the summer, with a few heat spikes making the sugars climb at an accelerated pace. Harvest would yield a smaller crop than normal, averaging just over 2 tons per acre. This would be the first Reserve Pinot to come entirely off our Jane's Vineyard since the 2008 vintage, concentrating heavily on our oft favored Crinella block. Our 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir was aged in less new French oak barrels than past vintages, but also for a few months longer, in order to showcase the terroir to a higher degree, but still keep the richness that barrel aging imparts. We now will open the Reserve Malbec! A perfect wine for our next dish. Rich, lush and structured, the 2014 vintage displays intense aromas and flavors of blackberry, plum, and crushed violet. It is velvety with a smooth, lingering finish of toasty baking spices, vanilla and cocoa. Visitors to the winery often ask what “Reserve” means to us. It’s simple. Reserve means the winemaker’s careful blend of individual Malbec lots made from time tested, meticulously farmed sections of some of the very best, hillside vineyards in Sonoma County. Malbec has proven to be particularly well suited to the unique climate and soil combinations of the Sonoma County regions. Over the last four years, we have added 60 acres of Malbec to our estate vineyard portfolio throughout Alexander Valley and Northern Sonoma County. Select areas within each vineyard are hand harvested individually, fermented separately and aged in the finest French oak barrels. After about six months, each lot is tasted and graded and only the Malbec lots that display depth, richness, intensity, and age worthiness are considered for Reserve Malbec. The blend is then assembled, and the wine is returned to barrels to facilitate flavor integration. The wine is aged an additional 18 to 24 months, depending on the vintage, before bottling. The exceptional 2014 vintage started with buds pushing a little early after a very dry winter. The rain came in earnest in late February and March, filling the root zone with much needed water for growth, but the rest of the spring season continued to be warm and dry, conditions favorable for optimum fruit set. Summer brought more warmth as the grapes acclimated to the sunshine, and we picked the Dry Creek Malbec block fully ripe on Sept 17. A heat wave in early October pushed the last blocks in Knight's Valley and southern Alexander Valley to full maturity several weeks later. We now will open the port,just for you! This dark ruby color Port wine is amazing!. It opens with a mild black raspberry bouquet with a hint of raisin and faint rum. On the palate, this wine is medium bodied, balanced, smooth and does a nice job controlling its 18.5% alcohol. The flavor profile is a tasty black cherry and cocoa blend with notes rum and raisin cake. The finish is dry and it is nicely prolonged. I would serve this very good port with cherry pie. now it's time to pour a glass of each wine and listen to our audio feature with Greg Morthole !!Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy the wines of Rodney Strong Vineyards .