Friday, July 22, 2011

Flowers Winery TasteLive From the Sonoma Coast

What a great tasting this evening with Jason Jardine Winemaker and Christopher Barefoot Estate Director overlooking the Flowers Winery Vineyards on TasteLive via Ustream. We were truly spoiled this evening with 5 outstanding wines starting with the 2009 Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, the 2008 Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Chardonnay, the 2009 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, the 2008 Flowers Sea View Ridge Pinot Noir and finishing with the 2009 Flowers Perennial. While the terrain may be rugged the wines are pure elegance. View their website by clicking Flowers Winery to learn more about their wines, history and georgeous views.

We started with the 09 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. Lovely nose of pear and fresh lime. Others said it smelled like fresh key lime pie. I have to agree. The feel in the mouth was fresh pear, again the key lime, vanilla cream and mineral. Wonderful citrus and acidity. Really excellent wine both in aroma and taste.

Next up the 08 Camp Meeting Ridge Chardonnay. Slightly different than the Sonoma Coast with vanilla, carmel, pear and oak aromas. The citrus lime/lemon were softer, pear and a hint of melon and the finish a full vanilla/oak. Loved the style of this chardonnay as well.

On to the Pinot Noir starting with the 2009 Sonoma Coast. A very pleasing nose of bright cherry, red ripe fruit, floral notes, the slightest hint of spice and orange peel. I like others could smell these wines all evening they are that aromatic. Outstanding flavor of strawberry, raspberry, cherry with a touch of spice on the soft juicy finish. The red fruit lingers long at the end. Heaven!

The second Pinot Noir of the evening was the 2008 Sea View Ridge. Earthy aroma followed by cherry, cola and a heavier spice. The flavor is amazing with a jammy dark cherry, warm spice, hint of red raspberry, chocolate finishing with earth and oak. From the comments this may have been the fan favorite of the evening. I can tell you in my house this bottle never made it to midnight. Amazing pinot.

The final wine was the 2009 Perennial a blend of Pinot Noir, Syrah and Pinot Meunier. Normally there is a splash of Chardonnay but I believe the winemaker Jason said he omitted from this vintage. Floral aromas along with cherry, dark berry, a hint of pepper but very light, toasty oak. The flavor was more full bodied than the other 4 wines and the red berry was chewy, blackberry, cherry traces of plum all were very nice.

Well another successful TasteLive event showcasing the amazing wines of Flowers Winery. Cailyn and Joel a big thank you for organizing the event. Jason and Christopher I can't thank you enough for allowing me to taste these awesome wines and learning about your winery. You have a new fan.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rootstock Festival Tastelive July 16th

Ok I have to admit this was one of the more interesting Tastelive events I have participated in. Chef Bob Blumer cooking 5 wine paired dishes from his newest cookbook and the segment was correctly named "Eat the Clock. The hilarious part was poor Bob having issues with the butane burners staying lit while good natured Ziggy Eschliman (ZiggyTheWineGal) was just hammering him "Come on Bob tick tock tick tock). So while my fellow wine bloggers and I are watching the first half hour we are tasting the wines paired with todays meals. Today's wines were the 2009 Sauvignon Blanc Benziger Family Winery, 2008 Reserve Chardonnay Russian River Valley Rodney Strong Vineyards, 2009 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Sequana Vineyards, 2007 Stagecoach Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley from Krutz Family Cellars. The 5th wine due to shipping issues never arrived so the 2006 D"Argenzio Zinfandel Russian River Valley will be a post all its own. The wines were all very tasty and I was definately spoiled drinking them.

Thinking I was a tad off this evening because on a couple of the wines my fellow bloggers seemed to identify a couple flavors and as well a couple aromas which I didn't. We started with the 2009 Sauvignon Blanc Benziger Family Vineyards. Initially the aromas of lime/lemon zest, grapefruit were dominant for me with the juicy lemon, mineral and grapefruit once in my mouth. I went back though as my fellow bloggers were picking up some tropical fruit notes and I could sense some melon towards the middle of the taste. Crisp, refreshing and perfect for this heat wave we are having. I commented I think this wine would pair well with a pan fried tilapia I make crusted in panko with lemon thyme. A nice start to the evening.

Next up the 2008 Reserve Chardonnay Rodney Strong Vineyards. A perfect chardonnay. The aroma of baked apple, spice, vanilla was as if my grandmother was here baking her famous apple pies and apple crisp. The pear, apple were layered with a creamy vanilla and the oak finish terrific. Elegant wine and one that will be in my cellar for the future. Definately spoiled me with this wine.

The third wine of the evening the 2009 Sequana RRV Pinot Noir. As my buddy Dezel (MyVineSpot) would say "How was that Pinot Miles" LOL. I really enjoyed the aroma of the earth/dust combined with the ripe cherry and fresh cut rose pedal finishing with spice. The flavors flowed nicely from the juicy cherry to the red raspberry/strawberry followed by the warming spice and finishing with the classic earthiness. I felt like I was in the vineyard smelling the soil and vines as I tasted the wine.

The final wine of the evening the 2007 Krutz family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyards. I opened this wine an hour before tasting, decanted and my fellow bloggers were identifying a couple different aromas. Trust me when I say this was an outstanding cabernet. When I first opened the bottle the smoke and oak came racing out. Once in the glass the rich dark fruit aroma of blackberry, a hint of tobacco, leather, smokey vanilla and oak. The flavor of blackberry, some dark cherry, a hint of molasses finishing with a touch of smoke and oak. A perfect prepared steak would be awesome with this wine. I am keeping another bottle in the cellar and want to in a month revisit and taste to see if I identify additional aromas.

What a great week of wines. The opportunity to taste Krutz Family Vineyard wines for the first time, Sequana, Benziger, to the old friends of Rodney Strong Vineyards and Gloria Ferrer Winery all having outstanding portfolios, each glass was a treat. Cailyn and Joe thank you for allowing me to participate. To the wineries again my thanks for allowing me to drink exceptional wine.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July 12th TasteLive California Chardonnay & The Summer Grill

Its been awhile since I was on a TasteLive panel but very honored to be part of  California Chardonnay & The Summer Grill featuring the wines of Gloria Ferrer Vineyards, Krutz Family Cellars and Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards. It was an excellent lineup of chardonnay and one I really enjoyed with many of my blogger friends from across the country.

The first wine we opened the 2008 Gloria Ferrer Carneros Chardonnay. I thoroughly enjoy each bottle from their winery as the flavors and aromas are well balanced and the wine is easy to drink. Once in the glass a very nice citrus and pear aroma. Next ripe apple and an excellent spice which tickled my nose. Green apple starts your tasting pleasure with a long juicy lemon citrus finish. As the wine warmed in my glass tropical fruit appeared. Love Carneros Chardonnay and a big thanks to Steve & Gloria Ferrer.

The second wine we opened was the 2008 Krutz Family Cellars Chardonnay Sleepy Hollow Vineyards Santa Lucia Highlands. Excellent wine and one I thought was much better the longer the wine opened up. This would be my first bottle of the Krutz Chardonnay and definately not my last. The aroma of pineapple, spice and creamy vanilla were very pleasing to my nose. The flavors were awesome with spiced apple, pear, pineapple and as the wine warmed the citrus and creamy vanilla. Patrick thanks for allowing us to taste this beauty and I will have to try this with maple syrup for breakfast!

The final wine was the 2009 Rodney Strong Vineyards Chardonnay Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards. I have tasted Rodney Strong wines a good number of times and always find them excellent and very food friendly. Right away there is a big pear aroma that hits your nose followed by apple. Spice and oak are present towards the end of the smell. Ripe fruit (pear, apple and a slight hint of melon) with a creamy finish of vanilla and toasty oak are a perfect combination. Justin thank you as well for an awesome offering.

Well there you have it another successful Tastelive event with 3 very good Chardonnays. A big thanks to Cailyn McCauley and Joel Quigley for an excellent evening. Thank you to the wonderful winemakers for creating the juice we all enjoyed this evening.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

2007 Boedecker Athena Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Oregon

Today's post comes courtesy of the Oregon wine country and a purchase of the 07 Boedecker Athena Pinot Noir. Founded in 2003 in Carleton Oregon and then 5 years later a move to their own winery in Portland, the winemakers Stewart and Athena, are committed to producing small lot, naturally crafted, small production Oregon wines. The wines they produce have minimal intervention as many a great winemaker will tell you its all about the fruit. Interesting is from the creation of the winery the closure on the bottle has always been a screw cap. Their Pinot Noir is aged 18 months, bottled then held for an additional 6-9 months before being released.

Nice aroma on this wine with black berry and dark cherry at first. Spice and earthiness greet your senses next with a slight hint of smokey oak at the end. Classic Pinot aromas and gets me excited for the taste.

Wonderful fruit flavor, well balanced just a joy to drink. The begining brought the ripe lucious cherry followed by raspberry and a hint of strawberry. The combination of spice on the finish and that touch of oak/earthiness was excellent. As I continued to taste the flavors changed places with raspberry and strawberry taking their place at the front. Quality wine and one I highly recommend. Another bottle of the same sits in my cellar and I will age it one year and can't wait to see how the wine gets even better.

If you're visiting Portland stop by 2621 NW 30th Ave for a taste. You can also visit their website Boedecker Cellars to learn more about them and purchase wine.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

2010 Stepping Stone (By Cornerstone Cellars) Rocks White Wine Napa Valley

Cornerstone Cellars tasting room located at 6505 Washington Street in Yountville has a very relaxed/friendly setting to taste some very good wine. Visitors have the opportunity to taste both Cornerstone and Stepping Stone wines at their leisure. Craig and the staff do a wonderful job and its a must stop for me on my visits to Napa.

Tonights wine a sample received was the 2010 Napa Valley Rocks White Wine. In the glass the multiple fruit aromas were awesome. The wine started with a lemon citrus zest, a hint of grapefruit, a blast of tropical fruit all on day one. The next day pear, green apple and peach were the dominant aromas. Loved how this wine evolved from one day to the next.

I served the wine first with grilled yellow squash and zucchini drizzled with olive oil plus a garnish of lemon thyme. The meat was grilled chicken. The lemon citrus flavor was perfect at the beginning. A hint of grapefruit in the middle followed by the fresh tropical fruit. Great pairing. The next day I tasted the wine green apple and pear were present and the finish ripe peach/nectarine. Crisp, clean and refreshing love the versatility.

To learn more about Cornerstone and Stepping Stone wines visit their website today.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

2006 Spell Wine Spellonu Red Napa Valley

Today's wine comes courtesy of my friend Traci as a new wine in her store. The 2006 Spellonu Red is produced by Kristen Spelletich as a second label (Spell Wine) at the family business Spelletich Family Winery. Time for a little research.

Started in 1994 by winemaker Barb Spelletich along with Tim Spelletich and joined in 2004 by daughter Kristen, the winery produces 3000 cases under the namesake label from some of the finest napa vineyards. Spell Wine produces around 5000 cases per year. All three of them have an extensive backround in the wine and hospitality industry and its no wonder they produce some very tasty juice. I encourage you to read their story more Spelletich Family Winery

The 06 Spellonu is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon and 41% Merlot. Loved the aroma on the wine with the dark berry really coming to the front. Blackberry, plum, a hint black raspberry, leather and spice all were pleasing to the nose.

The longer in the glass the more the wine mellowed. Big dark fruit at the beginning of the wine taste. The blackberry so bold and the plum softened as you got to the middle where I found a nice hint of sweet juicy raspberry. The finish was earthy/oak with some spice and then the bitter sweet chocolate.

Kristen a very nice wine and great price point! Love the quote on the website "My generation are visual buyers (referring to the edgy labels she created). The label, the price point is what’s important to us. We don’t read reviews."  Just like wine should be......simply enjoyed!