Friday, March 30, 2012

2009 Joseph Jewell Pinot Noir Floodgate Vineyard Russian River Valley on TV Tuesday

Lets start this post out by saying I died and went to Pinot Heaven! Tonight on Cellars of Sonoma TV Tuesday we had the pleasure of tasting Joseph Jewell's Floodgate Vineyard Pinot while chatting with owner/winemaker Adrian Manspeaker (yes you too Scott Jordan). Present and accounted for where bloggers Dezel Quillen, Jodi Fritch and Shawn Burgert my colleagues from VA, FL and CA.

Joseph Jewell wines created by 2 very good friends in (drumroll) a garage no less. 2006 the year Micah "Joseph" Wirth and Adrian "Jewell" Manspeaker purchased a ton of pinot grapes, 2 french barrels and small basket press to produce their first vintage of 50 cases. Driven by a passion for making great wine, friends with empty glasses ready to critique the finished product, the wine was a huge hit. Six years later and going strong, the two are producing wines scored above 90. The fruit is sourced from vineyards Floodgate, Redwood Ranch, Grist, Elk Prairie, and Appian Way. Micah and Adrian work closely with the vineyard owners having built a firm relationship with the growers. What this means for you and I is quality grapes in every bottle of juice. Production includes Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rose of Pinot and the wine they are still most passionate with (and my favorite or they wouldn't call me Miles) Pinot Noir.

How was the wine you ask? Revert to paragraph 1 line 1 "heaven". The moment the cork was removed and pouring commenced, ripe cherry with cola notes scream from the glass. Bright fruit and so aromatic. Cinnamon spice with hints of clove, strawberry and cranberry as you continue to sniff and swirl. Normally on an RRV Pinot earthy mushroom is huge yet on this one it was so subtle I almost missed the aroma. Beautifully done gentlemen. By the way readers, the Floodgate Vineyard is located in the Russian River Valley next to the Mark West Creek. Each year the flat areas of the vineyard flood hence the name. This just became another of my "favorite" vineyards.

Amazing Pinot Noir. Fresh cherry, strawberry and cranberry to start off your tasting pleasure. Towards the middle of the taste here comes the spice combination which compliments the fruit but doesn't overpower. The finish is long and juicy with a slight hint of earthy oak. I can taste your passion in every sip. Silky and so elegant. Bravo!

Scott you were spot on with this selection. Folks check out Santa Rosa's favorite stop for great wine and entertainment Cellars of Sonoma
Adrian great answers to all the questions. Learned alot about the wines this evening and my compliments to you and Micah. For those wanting to learn more about them visit their website Joseph Jewell Wines


Thursday, March 22, 2012

2006 Gann Family Cellars Petite Sirah Alexander Valley on TV Tuesday at Cellars Of Sonoma

Another tasty bottle of the grape juice treated my blogger friends and I on Cellars Of Sonoma TV Tuesday. The evenings guest Winemaker and Owner of Gann Family Cellars Mr. Michael Gann. Special mention goes to local wine patron Suede who may be the luckiest wino on earth by winning the weekly wine drawing contest again (3 times in 6 months).

Petite Sirah the third wine in the quarterly wine shipment handpicked by Scott Jordan comes to us from Gann Family Cellars. Fun fact learned this evening, petite sirah is enjoyed by cabernet drinkers as both aromas and flavors closely match. Thanks for the info Michael and you are spot on.

Beautiful aromas with each swirl and sniff. Ripe blackberry, rich dark cherry, herbal notes, subtle hints of oak and spice, wild violets, plum, cocoa and cranberry. Pure elegance to my nose.

Aged perfectly and hands down one of the best Petite Sirahs I have ever tasted. Blackberry, cherry and plum fruit really came to the front. Day 2 I tasted cranberry along with hints of raspberry. Why I appreciated this wine so much may be the silky soft finish with the correct amount of oak and spice treating the palate. Michael explained one of the key characteristics of his wines they are food friendly, never overly oaked purely to compliment a dish not overpower. He really has captured the vineyard in each bottle. Drink this wine by itself and enjoy the amazing fruit.

Spoiled is the word of the evening and I am one happy wino (Dezel, Shawn & Jodi are as well). Scott and Michael you always entertain us. While in Santa Rosa a must stop Cellars of Sonoma for great wine and live music. Want to learn more about tonights wines and winemaker then visit their website Gann Family Cellars

Cheers and happy tasting.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Central Coast Wine Day Celebrated with Hahn Family Wines

How cool to have an opportunity (thanks for the invite Mark) to join others across many regions tasting and tweeting about wines of the central coast. Tonights selections come from Hahn Winery, who in my opinion deliver over the top wines at a price that will bring a smile to your face. Balanced with rich fruit and spice, easy drinking food friendly wines lightly oaked, are just a few reasons why I enjoy their varietals.

Located in the heart of the Santa Lucia Highlands (Soledad Ca), the views as you drive the central coast in Monteray County are georgeous. Ocean views that will take your breath away, rolling hills of forests, historic communities, and yes vineyards are reasons why this has been a popular destination for many years. The view from the tasting room showcases the beautiful mountains surrounding the property. They encourage you to bring a picnic lunch on your visit.....hospitality at it's finest.

Fours wines treated my palate this evening starting with the 2010 Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay. Wonderful wine exhibiting aromas of creamy vanilla, baking spice, fresh apple, tropical fruit. Picture yourself sniffing this wine overlooking the ocean from the bluffs high above. The flavor combinations were very tasty. Green apple, ripe pear with tropical fruit as the wine warms slightly. The finish is perfect with just the right touch of oak and creamy butter. We are off to a fantastic start.

Up next the 2010 Pinot Noir Monterey and you all know my love for this grape. The nose on this wine is beautiful with ripe cherries, fresh red raspberries, rose pedals, clove, cinnamon and just a slight hint of earthiness. Awesome flavor showcasing the fresh berries (cherry and raspberry) with a slight hint of strawberry followed by spice and toasty oak. Little earthiness on the end as the wine warms in the glass. I could drink this wine all day.

Wine three this evening was the the 2010 GSM Red Blend Central Coast. Excellent blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. My first time with this wine and I must say impressed. Dark and red fruit on the nose to start, with loads of vanilla, clove and cola, finishing with white pepper. The longer in the glass the wine opens bringing the fruit to the front. Love the flavor of strawberry, red raspberry, juicy cherry combining with the vanilla and spice. Slightest hint of pepper and oak on the finish but the fruit is definitely the star in this wine. This bottle did not last long.

The final wine of the evening was the 2009 Smith & Hook Cabernet Sauvignon Central Coast. Big wine both in aroma and flavor. On the nose blackberry, hints of molasses, spice, herbal notes along with raspberry and plum. Blackberry and plum dominate the taste. Slight hint of red raspberry towards the middle with warming spice on the finish. The oak is not overdone and compliments the wine very well.

Nicky Hahn you capture the fruit and region in these wines to perfection. It was a treat to taste. Mark you put on a great event and happy you included me. Looking for new wines to taste or visiting the California Central Coast I highly suggest a trip to Hahn Winery. To learn more about their portfolio of wines click the link Hahn Family Wines


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

2008 DuNah Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir Russian River Valley on TV Tuesday Live

I was stoked to hear the second wine in this series would be a Pinot from DuNah Vineyard and Winery. Over the past couple years I have become a huge fan of this boutique wine producer. Tonights guest with Scott Jordan was owner Rick Dunah and included bloggers tampawinewoman, myvinespot, awanderingwino plus yours truly.

Located just south of Sebastopol on 44 acres which includes the Sonoma Coast Appellation and Russian River Valley Appellation, the winery was founded by Rick and Diane DuNah who by the way retired from their first careers. The winemaker for their portfolio is none other than Greg La Follette known worldwide for producing award winning Pinot and Chardonnay.

Pouring the wine into the glass the aromas screamed Russian River Valley. Wild cherry combined with an earthy mushroom aroma is classic pinot. Cinnamon spice, clove with hints of herbal notes are so pleasing to the nose.

Impressive Pinot Noir and as Dezel would ask "Hey Miles you enjoy this one?" Yes I loved this one Dezel LOL. Wonderful juicy cherry from start to finish. Hints of fresh strawberry with an excellent balance of spice. So elegant and silky smooth. The wine really evolves the longer opened. Day 2 I tasted cranberry along with the cherry and strawberry. Once Rick mentioned serving salmon with this wine our mouths all watered.

Scott as always a pleasure tasting and participating in the show. Rick your winery produces some amazing pinot, thank you for sharing with us. My blogger friends we were truly spoiled tonight and I can't think of a better group to spend TV Tuesday with. Want to learn more about their wines and winery click the link DuNah Vineyard & Winery


Saturday, March 10, 2012

2010 James Family Cellars Chardonnay Sonoma Coast on TV Tuesday Live

Normally on Tuesday evening I'm glued to my computer watching Scott Jordan and participating in TV Tuesday Live from Cellars of Sonoma. Slight conflict this past week (child's choir concert and her first solo which was just awesome) so I tasted the night before in order to share my thoughts with Jeff and Judy James.

"A family owned boutique winery dedicated to the production of artisinal wines which showcase the world class grapes that we grow" is evident in each James Family Cellars bottle. Tonight's Gold Medal Winner from the San Francisco Chronicle's Wine Competition was a special Chardonnay.

In the glass the first aromas to hit my nose were the rich butter and creamy toasted oak. Ripe green apple and pear quickly follow with hints of fresh cut melon and citrus. When the wine warms slightly peach notes are present. A wine I could swirl and smell all day. Love the aromatics flowing from the glass.

Exquisite flavor. The ripe pear stays in the mouth from start to finish. Apple with hints of tangerine and peach greet you in the middle. Towards the finish the lemon citrus and soft oak combine with a beautiful minerality to complete the wine. Absolutely spoiled drinking this wine and its why I enjoy handcrafted boutique juice.

Scott you chose the perfect wine to start this segments tasting and your club members are going to love them. Jeff and Judy thank you for producing some of the finest wines on the market today.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

2010 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc + Viognier

Many of my good wine friends speak well of the Pine Ridge portfolio of wines. It's my duty as a grape juice lover to seek out such bottles. Tough job and I'm just the right fit.

Born in 1978 by Gary Andrus, Pine Ridge Vineyards has grown over the years into a 200 acre estate covering 5 well respected Napa Valley appellations (Carneros, Howell Mountain, Rutherford, Oakville and Stags Leap District). The core winemaking philosophy/belief still exists today, showcase the unique characteristics of each vineyard in every wine. A huge part of that philosophy is knowing and understanding each vineyards soil content, the weather effects on the vineyard plus the rootstocks which will produce the very best fruit. Winemakers will tell you wine is first made in the vineyard. Check out their website by clicking the link Pine Ridge Vineyards to learn more about their story.

So what did I think of tonight's bottle? Absolutely delicious! Rich vibrant fruit in every sniff. First a beautiful vanilla aroma followed by ripe pear, fresh green apple, juicy peach, lemon zest and a slight hint of melon. As the wine warms in the glass grapefruit makes an appearance.

Excellent flavor with each taste. Ripe peach followed by pear and apple. Towards the middle of the taste the melon/lemon makes an appearance and the finish is grapefruit and a slight hint of minerality with honey. Crisp, refreshing lovely white wine from Pine Ridge. My friends were correct they do produce great wine and I am on a quest to taste more.