Monday, July 26, 2010

2007 Cuvaison Pinot Noir BlockF5 Carneros

I had the pleasure of visiting the tasting room of Cuvaison in Carneros to start my Napa visit back in June. What a wonderful experience tasting great wine, relaxing on the patio overlooking the vineyards. My purchase was the 2007 Pinot Noir Block F5 a truly awesome wine.

In the glass the aroma of raspberry and cherry are very pronounced. Slight hint of vanilla and spice. Beautiful color.

Classic Pinot and absolutely love this wine. Juicy cherry starts your taste off followed by strawberry and finishing with a nice warm spice. Perfect balance of flavors and they flow nicely from start to finish. You will feel spoiled drinking this Pinot, it's that good.

Bravo Cuvaison for a wonderful Pinot Noir! Folks stop by the tasting room in Carneros and enjoy the beautiful scenery, the friendly tasting room hosts and some outstanding wine. Tell them hello!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

2007 Ceja Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma Coast

I'm guessing the readers of the Iowa Wino can tell what a big fan I am of Ceja Wine. Meeting Amelia and Dalia on our trip to Napa, spending quality time talking with them and tasting Ceja's offerings, you come away impressed with their story and a love of their wines. What a great family and I am proud to call them my Carneros friends.

Tonight I chose the 07 Sauvignon Blanc (which I purchased on our visit) wanting a crisp wine to enjoy during what feels like our endless humid season. In the glass the aroma of the key lime fills the nose on each sniff. A slight hint of peach and grapefruit compliments the lime nicely. The wine smells very crisp and time for a taste.

What a great citrus flavor from start to finish. The lime, grapefruit, peach combination really tickle the taste buds. A little minerality along with the lime showcase a nice long finish. Very crisp and refreshing and just as good when I tasted this wine in California.

On any trip to Napa you must stop by Ceja Vineyards tasting room in downtown to enjoy great wine, conversation and a chance to purchase your new favorite wines. Once you're finished, stop by Amelia's sons new restaurant Bistro Sabor and enjoy great food and wine to complete your visit. Gracias Amelia para hacer grandes vinos and I can't wait to visit again. Friends tell the folks at Ceja hello for me on your next visit.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

2009 Titus Sauvignon Blanc

Since the weather had been hot here in the Midwest it was a perfect time to enjoy a crisp white wine and what better than my Titus 09 Sauv Blanc. I picked this beauty up while on my trip to Napa and my stop visiting Christophe at Titus Vineyards tasting some amazing wine.

Once in the glass, a wonderful aroma of lemon and lime starts your senses craving more. Next the citrus/nectarine refreshed the nose. So crisp I'm ready to taste.

First flavor is the lemon which carries throughout the taste start to finish. The nectarine enhances the middle of the wine perfectly and the finish is the lemon/lime combination. Refreshing wine and some amazing fruit in this creation. Perfect balance of flavor and acidity. Sad the bottle is gone but that just means I'll need to order more Christophe.

Wine friends I encourage you to pick up a bottle of Titus Wine today. Outstanding quality wines from Eric and Phillip Titus will treat your palate!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

2007 Hartman Lane Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

While visiting Jason Deloach at Hook and Ladder Winery tasting some very good Pinot (and many other varietals), I had the opportunity to purchase this gem. What amazes me is the enthusiasm of Jason and his passion for creating over the top wine. The 07 Hartman Lane will not dissapoint.

Just as it did in the winery, the aroma of ripe cherry fills your nose. Sniffs 2 and 3 yield the perfect blend of spice with a slight oak/vanilla character at the end.

Classic elegant Pinot Noir. Cherry starts your taste off and lasts from start to finish. The spice starts warming the tongue slightly and quickly moves to a hint of vanilla. I'll describe this wine as "liquid silk" so smooth and rich. I served this wine with a grilled pork tenderloin seasoned with olive oil, fresh cracked pepper and thyme. I also chose this wine to start my night off for the Pinot Noir Twitter Tweetup sharing my thoughts with other Pinot fans.

Jason kudos on a great Pinot Noir. You have a big fan of your wine here in the Midwest.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

2005 Selene Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Another of my very excellent samples from Selene Wines was this 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet. I chose to enjoy this wine with beef filets I grilled one night and felt it would pair very nicely. Right on the money with this beauty.

I opened the wine an hour before I poured. Once in the glass the aroma of fresh blackberry tickles your nose followed closely by raspberry, slight hint of vanilla and oak at the end. Nice deep color and you can really smell the ripe fruit.

Wow! Great wine Mia. The blackberry is very pronounced in the beginning of the taste. Jammy raspberry blends nicely with the blackberry and both carry long into the finish. Vanilla and oak round out this very full bodied cabernet. The flavor of the steak complimented the wine perfectly or the other way around take your pick. I'm a great cook but the wine was the winner by a long shot!

Mia and Tracy thank you for sharing this wonderful cabernet. Folks next time your serving steak grab a bottle of Selene Cabernet to serve to your friends. They will thank you!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

2007 Eric Ross Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Poules D'Or

Wine Wednesday as the wine drinkers of twitter and facebook proclaim each "hump day", I decided it was a night for Pinot Noir. Watching Top Chef and listening to Wine Biz Radio I chose the Eric Ross RRV Pinot Noir which I purchased on my recent visit to see owner and winemaker Eric Luse. My wife loved the picture on the bottle which incidently was a photograph taken by Mr. Luse, and said either we buy the bottle or a print of the picture. Yes dear but the picture doesn't hold 4 glasses of heaven :). Guess who won and the bottle is signed!

Pouring this baby into the glass the aroma of cherry fills your nose. Sniff again and pick up some spice and even a hint of coffee but cherry is the dominant aroma as it should be. Nice hint of oak not overpowering.

Just like it tasted at the winery this Pinot is everything you want and more. Bing cherry fills your mouth followed by the suttle spice finish with the hint of oak. Little coffee flavor in the middle. Juicy but so elegant and smooth. Silky from start to finish. Eric relies on great fruit to produce his wines and this one must have golden fruit, its that good.

If you are not a fan of Eric Ross Wine then you should definately taste their award winning wines. Excellent, affordable or damn good take your pick. The winemaker is kind of a nut :) but visit their tasting room and say hello to Diane, Eric or both for me. You will have a blast and get to drink some awesome wine. Thanks Eric for producing some very outstanding juice. I'll always have your wine on hand.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

2009 Passaggio New Generation Unoaked Chardonnay

You have to love the motto of owner and winemaker Cindy Cosco when it comes to her Passaggio Wines: "Drink all you want, I can make more". Keeping true to her Italian roots, Cindy is continuing the family Italian winemaking tradition by producing award winning wines. The 2009 Passaggio New Generation Unoaked Chardonnay will impress you.

I love the aroma's this wine produces and each sniff encounters a different combination. First the nose picked up the pear/lemon-lime aroma followed by the tropical fruit and pineapple. Second sniff was opposite with the pineapple/lemon-lime finishing with the pear/tropical fruit. The concentration of fruit and crispness on the nose told me this was going to be one tasty wine.

I told Cindy my first reaction was WOW. So much fruit in the front of this wine starting with the ripe melon. Middle of the wine produces the lemon which carries through to the finish and beyond. Right before the finish is the hint of red grapefruit and the minerality combines nicely at the very end. Each flavor flows perfectly in every glass. Never wanted this bottle to empty. Just means I must order more!

Cindy has a great talent for making amazing wine. I cannot thank her enough for introducing me to her Chardonnay but more important I have gained a friend in her. I will continue to keep her wine on hand in my cellar. Incidently as we were talking about wine regions on my visit, she informed me at no time has she ever tasted an Iowa wine. Well this week Cindy will be receiving a bottle of Cedar Ridge Vineyards Geisenheim grown and produced here locally.

Cheers my friend.