Saturday, January 6, 2018

2013 Passaggio Pinot Noir Code Seven Single Vineyard Warnecke Ranch

Happen to find this gem hiding in the back of the cellar (actually forgot it was there but don't tell the winemaker). I've known owner/winemaker Cynthia Cosco of Passaggio Wines for several years and have watched her rise as an outstanding winemaker. From the early years on the Silverado Trail to her own winery and tasting room today, she still believes "something magical happens when you bring family and friends together and share a glass of wine."

The label on this wine is a tribute to the men and women who work in law enforcement risking their lives for our protection. 5% of the selling price was directly donated to charities benefiting the families of fallen peace officers in the line of duty.

The nose on this wine screams bright cherry and cranberry along with a nice clove spice. A faint little herbal character appears as you allow the wine to open. There is the rich character with every swirl and your palate screams "let me have it now."

The mouth starts with juicy cherry surrounded with tart cranberry and a nice kiss of warm spice. The finish lingers long and soft. Round, simple elegant pinot noir. Sure glad you decided to craft red wines too Cindy.

Swing by the tasting room at 25 East Napa Street Suite C Sonoma California. It's a beautiful place to spend an afternoon.


Monday, January 1, 2018

2015 Rodney Strong Vineyards UPSHOT Sonoma County Red Wine Blend

*Sample Received*

Super cool red blend from Rodney Strong Vineyards the 2015 Upshot. The wine consists of Zinfandel, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Riesling. The grapes were harvested from the vineyards of Alexander Valley and Knights Valley during the dates August 24th through October 7th. As with all Rodney Strong Vineyard wines,  the winemaker captures the essence of Sonoma County with this beauty.

The nose starts off with blackberry, dark cherry and hints of plum with a nice peppery spice to compliment the fruit. Love the accent on the ripe fruit as you allow the wine to open.

The mouth is lush with blackberry jam, ripe dark cherry, raspberry, blueberry and a hint of soft plum before a dash of pepper spice. The fruit rolls across the mouth in waves which is so pleasing to the palate. Well done Justin!

Swing by Rodney Strong Vineyards Tasting Room and ask for a sip of this awesome blend and all the other varietals in their portfolio of wine. A must stop in Sonoma.


Monday, December 25, 2017

2014 Concha Y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere Chile Quick Sip

*Sample Received*

Lovely sample from Chile the 2014 Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere. Aged 16 months in french oak, the wine exhibits dark fruit notes of plum and blackberry with intense black currant, black pepper and a toasted vanilla nuance. The mouth is structured with dark fruit bounding through each sip. Dark chocolate and vanilla bean compliment the warm spice finish. While rich and intense gives way to lush and elegant, the round tannins provide balance. A sipper to keep on hand.


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Pedroncelli #PED90th The Final Taste Up Celebration 2017

*Samples Received*

A sweet Taste Up (port and desert) greeted us on this #5 and final tasting in the year long celebration of Pedroncelli Winery and their 90 Years of growing and producing award winning wine. Each wine tasting session included history on the family and wines along with a wonderful recipe to be paired with the offerings. What a great way to spend an evening.....sip eat and learn all things Pedroncelli. These wines will be a staple in my cellar for years to come.

We learned the Pedroncelli's have been farming the Sonoma Dry Creek Valley Vineyards since 1927 with generation after generation joining this Italian family business producing exceptional quality wines which are easy on the pocket book. They are committed to sustainable farming and now over 70% of the ownership of the business is held by women. Did I mention they also have a female winemaker?

Hearing the history of the vines and soil while tasting the various varietals and how the flavor profile mirrors the character of the vineyard is super wine geeky. I love it. Mother Clone Zinfandel with polenta and sausage ragu, Chardonnay, Petite Sirah, Sauvignon Blanc with lemon chicken, Rose, Sangiovese, Friends White Blend, Merlot, Wisdom Cabernet with a beef filet smothered with mushroom, lasagna paired with Zinfandel all just spoiled us. Which leads to our final wines Sonoma Classico and Four Grapes Vintage Port along with Port fruit bars.

The evening started with the 2015 Sonoma Classico. A beautiful red blend of Merlot, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Syrah. The nose is a wonderful mix of fruit, spice, earth and oak. Rich plum, cherry, dark berry clusters followed by peppery notes, a hint of dusty earth with a touch of oak. The mouth is elegant with intense berry clusters bursting with flavor followed by a nice warm pepper nuance and a drive by of toasty oak. The tannins were soft but do not go unannounced. The amazing part of this wine is when I paired with the port fruit bars the tannis flat disappeared. I picture the Pedroncelli's at a family gathering with classic italian food and this wine on every table. Ed I'll look for my invite because any chance missed to drink this wine well is a terrible thing.

On to the 2012 Four Grapes Vintage Port (for those Mash fans in the voice of Charles Emerson Winchester III) LOL. Living in the Midwest, Port is a wonderful wine sipped after dinner by the fireplace or anytime near the fireplace with a good book. I have never baked with it until today with our pairing of Port Fruit Bars. The 4 grapes for this wine include Tinta Madeira, Tinta Caio, Touriga Nacional and Souzao. The 4 acre vineyard was first planted in 1995 and each grape varietal matures differently but they are harvested together. 2012 is the 21st vintage produced. Port on the nose is an intense majestic work of art with rich fruit, dark chocolate and caramel notes. The mouth is lush with plum and red berries intermingled with creamy caramel, dark chocolate and a beautiful warm spice on the finish. Absolutely delicious paired with the fruit bars and a cap off to the evening. I'll need to grab a couple more bottles and let them age the 10 years to see how this wine evolves.

To Julie, Ed, Robert and the entire staff at Pedroncelli Wines a tip of the fedora to you all for including me in this year long celebration. It's been fun discussing with others across the country and helping you celebrate 90 Years of growing grapes and making wine. Plus I love being spoiled with great wine and food! Raising a glass to the next 90 Years!


Saturday, December 2, 2017

2014 Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Quick Sip

*Sample Received*

I do enjoy wines from Chile and tonight's offering is no exception. From the northern banks of the Tinguiririca River, you will find the vineyards which produce the grapes for these balanced Cabernet Sauvignons. The grapes were harvested late April and aged 12-14 months in American Oak. Chilean wine is also very economical and tastes more expensive than its shelf price.

The nose shows nicely with blackberry, plum, cherry with hints of earthiness and currants. The mouth so good with red raspberry and cherry followed by plum and rich blackberry. Hints of currant, dusty earth and toasty oak round out the mouth. I could sip this wine every day

Time to explore more wines of Chile.