Monday, February 28, 2011

2008 Cliff Family Winery The Climber White Wine

This selection comes courtesy of my friends monthly wine store newsletter and the wine she chose for Feb was a wonderful white blend from Cliff Family Wine. The Climber White wine is a blend of 88% Sauv Blanc, 2% Chenin Blanc, 4% Muscat, 3% Chardonnay and 3% Reisling. Loved how this was such a crisp refreshing wine and yes my first from these fine folks.

Once in the glass there was just an absolute abundance of aromas starting with ripe melon and tropical fruit. Citrus, lemon zest and a hint of floral notes. Aromas blend well and very pleasing to the nose.

I was afraid the wine would be sweet but wrong I am. The Sauvignon Blanc being the dominant used grape in this wine starts the tasting fun off with the grapefruit/melon combo. Towards the middle a hint of mineral, some wonderful citrus zest of lime and then the finish is so smooth yet maintains a crispness throughout. Nice refreshing white wine so well balanced. I can see this in my glass often.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pinot Noir To Me Heaven In A Bottle

The 9th Annual Pinot Summit will be in full swing this Saturday in San Francisco with many small production wines on hand for pinot lovers tasting pleasure plus a ton of informative sessions about the wine. While I'm sad I cannot attend it takes me back to my first discovery of Pinot and why I continue to love this wine today.

No I did not start drinking this because of "That Movie". My love of this grape started long before Sideways mainly because I'm a sucker for the flavor cherry. Cobbler, pie I can still smell my grandmothers fresh cherry creations (she was damn good at apple too and chardonnay is another story). You shove a wine with cherry, spice, red berry and add some earthiness or leather and I'm yours for life. Perfectionists make great Pinot and settle for nothing less.

While the pinot grape is high maintenance and difficult to make into wine, some say its best grown in France, California's Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Carneros, Santa Barbara and up in Willamette Valley Oregon. Cool regions with sun and fog allowing the grape to thrive and produce are ideal. Walking the vineyard at various times of the day gives you an appreciation of "a grapes life" and the contrast between warm and cool throughout the day. Seeing those "pine cone" clusters of deep purple grapes beautifully hanging from the vines makes the heart race knowing what lies ahead for these beauties.

The first 2 bottles of Pinot both introduced by friends Adelsheim Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley in Oregon and La Crema Pinot Noir from Sonoma County California. That started off my "pinot" quest to discover every bottle produced and rarely will you see my small cellar with zippo bottles of this fine juice (except for now which I blame on the wine gremlins). Visiting with the likes of Eric Luse at Eric Ross Winery sipping that beautiful Saralees Vineyard Pinot, Jason Deloach of HookNLadder Winery tasting both bottled and barreled Russian River Valley Pinot, Amelia Ceja of Ceja Vineyards and the wonderful earthy Pinot of the Carneros Region of Napa, Cuvaison's Carneros tasting room on the patio overlooking the vineyards gives you an appreciation for the different characteristics of the regions. Santa Barbara Cambria or Highliner from the famous Hitching Post, Cartlidge and Browne, John Tyler Wines, Owen Roe, Bouchaine the list is endless. Smooth, silky light to medium bodied its why I say "Heaven In A Bottle"

This weekend in honor of the 9th Pinot Summit I shall raise a glass and toast my many friends attending and hope they share some of their thoughts on the event. Some even have orders to remember the wines they tasted and email me a list. To the winemakers may you all enjoy success, gain many new "friends" of your wines but most of all have a great time sharing your story. Afterall without all of you we wouldn't have this wonderful juice to enjoy.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

2005 Bouchaine Pinot Noir Carneros

In honor of reading Vertical I felt the need to enjoy a wonderful pinot noir for such a special occasion. I chose Bouchaine partly because I love Carneros wine and from reading about them in the book A Moveable Thirst. Scouring the Pinot aisle at Benz Beverage Depot I spotted this new wine never tasted by yours truly. "Hey Matt this is your last bottle" and with a smile he informed me it was also good :)

Bouchaine Vineyards is located in Southern Napa Valley and specializes in delicious Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in a region perfectly suited for these varietals. Located at 1075 Buchli Station Road in Napa, the winery is open for tasting from 10:30am to 4pm daily.

What a wonderful nose on this wine. The dark cherries really come to the front quickly followed by a fresh red berry combination. Prior to the wine opening up the presence of the orange peel which I have never experienced in a pinot was very evident. The aroma finishes with that wonderful earthiness of carneros.

Ok I'm in heaven. The dark cherry flavor combined with the wonderful warming spice and ending with a hint of earthiness makes this one outstanding Pinot Noir. Elegant, smooth and rich this wine will spoil the pinot lover.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Broman Cellars A Great Family Wine

Imagine my excitement to have an opportunity tasting and writing about a small production winery located in beautiful St Helena California Broman Cellars. Striking up a conversation with daughter Lisa, I found the history of family and winemaker very interesting. Great time to share a story and drink wonderful wine.

The winery has a family flair with daughter Lisa being the only "paid" employee. Guess that means Bob and Deborah are in the business for the sheer joy! No just kidding, Bob has been a winemaker all his adult life and and a darn good one. His first job and his "break" in the wine business started as a cellar worker at Martini. Other well known wineries Concannon, Stags Leap, Guenoc and St Supery have been graced by Bob's wine creations. Even stints in France, Republic of Georgia, Italy and Chile have added tremendously to his wine knowledge and skill.

Meeting Deborah a realtor by trade for the first time something sparked for Bob. One twilight picnic in the vineyards later..... that's where we are today. Production of Broman Cellars wine is 1400 cases with a goal to increase slowly while still maintaining that personal touch. Winery permit in hand, plans are being drawn up to build the winery on their 11 1/2 acres in Deer Park. Can't wait to visit. Now how was the wine you ask? Drop dead good Cabenet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah.

First up the 2005 Boman Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon. Grapes for this wine were picked from 2 vineyards Dr. Crane in Saint Helena and Georges III in Rutherford. When I initally poured the wine the black cherry and currant were dominate aromas. As the wine opened up the blackberry came to the front with a splash of what I swear is cola/currant. What a nose! The flavor so good. Ripe fruit, perfectly balanced juicy long finish. I loved the black cherry/blackberry combination and the wine was so smooth. Slight spice on the end. Only 626 cases produced so hurry before they sell out this outstanding Cabernet.

Second wine was the 09 Broman Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley. These grapes were harvested from the Beckstoffer property Melrose Vineyard in Rutherford. Excellent crisp refreshing wine. Aromas of lemongrass and lime zest hit my nose first. Swirl 2 finished with a slight hint of grapefruit. Very pleasing to the nose. Enjoyed this wine tremendously. The white peach starts out your taste followed by fresh apricot. Citrus balance is wonderful and the crispness of the wine so good. Only 397 cases produced and one of the best Sauv Blanc I have tasted.

The final wine was the 05 Broman Napa Valley Syrah. The grapes were picked from Page Nord Vineyard in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley and aged in French oak for 28 months. No wimpy wine here folks but a full bodied syrah. Once in the glass the aromas of fresh blueberries and blackberries fill the nose finally finshing with a hint of earthy leather. The wine was very warming and the blueberry/blackberry combo absolutely perfect. Deep rich color and taste. The finish long and the slight hint of earthiness pleases the palate. 229 cases produced of this gem.

There you have it folks your and my introduction to Broman Cellars hand crafted wines. Each bottle showcases the family passion for creating delicious wine. Lisa a big thanks to you for introducing me to your family and their wines. Bob you have a wonderful gift and both my palate and I thank you. Please visit their website by clicking the link Broman Cellars to place your wine order!