Monday, May 28, 2012

Passaggio New Generation Pinot Grigio and Memorial Day

The weather turned hot and with the smoker loaded with meat it was time for a refreshing glass of white wine. Passaggio 2010 New Generation Pinot Grigio was just what the glass ordered. Fruit forward, crisp, refreshing and food friendly are how I describe Cindy's portfolio of wine. Born in 2007, Passaggio has been gaining fans quickly. The 2010 Pinot Grigio and Unoaked Chardonnay each won Silver Medals at the International Women's Wine Competition. Grab a bottle and you will find out why!

The 2010 Pinot Grigio treats your nose to lemon/lime citrus, red apple, fresh pear, and cut violets. You can smell the crispness of the wine and I'm excited to taste.

Right from the start a nice ripe pear quickly followed by mineral notes. Fresh sliced apples, tangerine with a juicy lemon finish that lingers long. The glasses really hit the spot (did you think I would stop at one?). The perfect wine for a hot day.

Join her new wine club Passionistas and enjoy wines delivered to your door. Live in the area, join others at the pickup party in your area. Follow your Passion for great wine and try a few bottles today. You might just hear the winemakers favorite advice "Drink all you want.....I can make more!"


Chardonnay Day 2012 With Hahn Wine

I really enjoy Chardonnay Day and how the winemakers showcase the grape in todays wine. You can enjoy a big buttery oak version, a lightly oaked more fruit forward bottle or today's new generation of unoaked chards clean and crisp.

This year was a 2010 Hahn Winery Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands. I've enjoyed this bottle before and admire the consistent characteristics in each one. Fresh aromas, ripe fruit and an affordable price make this wine an everyday choice. Fun fact: Chardonnay is a cross of an old, nearly extinct variety called Gouais Blanc and a member of the Pinot family.

When you first open the bottle your senses will tell you tropical. Pineapple, lemon citrus, pear with hints of creamy vanilla and green apple. As the wine warms mango joins the fun.

Great flavor with the pear being the star. Green apple with hints of pineapple give way to a pear/juicy lemon citrus and creamy vanilla finish. One of my favorite bottles. Pick up yours today!

Hahn Family Winery has a wonderful portfolio of wine. I highly recommend visiting their website to learn more about them.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

WineChat Wednesday Was Oregon Pinot Noir Night

Don't you just love a whole hour of wine friends getting together to talk about Pinot Noir especially from Oregon. Tonight not only was I treated to some new wine facts regarding the multiple AVA's, I had the pleasure of tasting RStuart & Company 09 Big Fire Pinot Noir and 08 Autograph Pinot Noir Willamette Valley along with an 09 Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir Dundee Hills.

Located in McMinnville, winemaker Rob Stuart and partners founded RStuart & Company in 2002. Rob's prior stops included Valley View Vineyards, Hans Kornell, Erath Vineyards and Stanton Hills. The experience has served him well because the wine was delicious.

Starting with the 09 Big Fire Oregon Pinot Noir the nose was lighter with cherry and red berries, slight hint of spice along with rose pedals. The flavor was light bodied with cherry and hints of strawberry/cranberry/spice. I see this wine as the evening starter on the patio.

Next up the 08 Autograph Willamette Valley was loaded with black cherry, a fresh cut bouquet of roses, cloves and a hint of chocolate. Wonderful pleasing nose on this wine. The flavor was a huge ripe cherry sensation with hints of strawberry and a touch of raspberry. The spice was nice in the middle and complimented by orange peel. The finish was nice and long showcased the red fruit/spice. Love this one.

The final wine of the evening an 09 Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills. Armed with a desire to succeed in an industry which did not exist, Bill and Susan Sokol Blosser first planted their vines in 1971. Still family owned and operated by Alex and Alison Sokol Blosser, the wines produced are not only award winning but continue to shape and showcase Oregon's success in the wine industry.

Beautiful earthy mushroom aroma followed by a huge dark cherry and then finishing with a bold spice. My comment "this screams pinot and now drink me" was oh so appropriate (just ask Shawn B who was also tasting). The aroma carries over to the outstanding flavor on this wine with ripe rich cherry, hints of raspberry followed by leather and spice. Pinot at it's finest.

A huge thank you to Maria Stuart, Jenny Mosbacher, Tamara Belgard and Frank Morgan for introducing me to these wonderful wines. Always a pleasure to join in the fun on Winechat each Wednesday evening 6pm pacific, 8pm central, 9pm eastern whichever region you reside.

R Stuart & Company

Sokol Blosser


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tastelive Cafe 140 Inaugural webcast with Patrick Krutz of Krutz Family Cellars and HouseBand Wines

Honored to help kick off the inaugural webcast of Tastelive's Cafe 140 from the Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa sponsored by The Wineyard. Winemaker Patrick Krutz of Krutz Family Cellars and HouseBand Wines treated the bloggers to some wonderful wine, Chef John Lyle of Hardcore Farm to Face provided some excellent food pairings and John Pita provided great songs from his Color My World release plus Joel Quigley as our host. In attendance around the US Katie Pizzuto, Grace Hoffman, Ward Kadel, Lain Bradford, Frank Morgan, Megan Kenney and yours truly.

A couple of really fun wines started our evening off featuring HouseBand Wines 375ml flex pouches. Pour in a glass or drink from the pouch, this is the winelovers travel friend. Take it to picnics, the beach or the pool (I hear mom's love it there). Chardonnay was the first wine of the evening full of aromas apple, pear, wild flower. The flavor of pear, apple, fresh peach and ripe apricot was nice. Fun wine to start the evening.

Up next flex pouch # 2 Merlot. Aromas of plum, spice, pepper and mocha. The flavor was very spicy and packed some nice red fruit with hints of dark chocolate. I believe one of the comments "wine in a pouch that doesn't suck!" What a cool idea.

Wine 3 of the evening the 2009 Krutz Family Cellars Akins Family Vineyard Pinot Noir Anderson Valley. Loads of dark cherry on the nose with cinnamon spice and clove. Crimson in color this wine is very pleasing to the nose. Wonderful flavor with fresh cherry and ripe raspberry, dark tea towards the middle of the taste followed by a nice hint of spice. The finish is both soft and elegant with the raspberry/cherry begging you to drink more. Grand slam on this one Patrick.

The final wine of the evening was the 2008 Krutz Family Cellars Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley. My first introduction to Krutz Cellars was a bottle of cabernet and to date the 07 was my favorite but now replaced with this 08. Nice dark fruit aromas of blackberry with hints of blueberry, cloves, vanilla and toasty oak. The flavor was delicious with blackberry, mocha, hints of earthiness and raspberry with a slight smokey finish. This bottle is top shelf cabernet!

Joel, Cailyn, Patrick, John and John it was a great evening and very appreciative to have joined the fun. To learn more about tonights wine, food and music click the links Krutz Family Cellars HouseBand Wines John Pita


Sunday, May 13, 2012

8th Annual Pink Out 2012 Tastelive from the Butterfly San Francisco

Real Men Drink Rose! Crisp, acidic and so refreshing these wines make a great summer time treat. Rose' wines are also very food friendly and versatile created from a variety of grapes. Pink Out 2012 brought a wide array of wine from bubbles to port and everything inbetween. Tasting this evening was an exceptional blogger panel of Katie Pizzuto, Grace Hoffman, Dezel Quillen, Amy and Joe Power, William Allen, Lain Bradford.

The night started with the always stellar Gloria Ferrer 2007 Brut Sparkling Rose. Consistent goodness with strawberry, creamy vanilla, pear, apple and lemon citrus. Made from 2 of my favorite varietals pinot noir and chardonnay, it's one of my go to bubbles for special celebration parties. The night is off to a great start.

Wine 2 the Chateau D'Esclans 2011 Whispering Angel Rose didn't arrive so unfortunately I was not able to taste.

Wine 3 was the Envolve 2011 Sonoma Mountain Rose. The winery is a result of a friendship built many years ago but todays product shows their true passion for making handcrafted wine. Syrah and Grenache make up this rose with a huge strawberry aroma and flavor and at times seems to overpower the wine. When the wine warms slightly the cherry and raspberry make an appearance. Nice acidity and tends to be a hint on the sweet side.

Last wine is the first ever Rose Port from Croft. Big cherry and strawberry on this wine both aroma and flavor. I found it interesting that the target market is the mid to early 21+ audience and best tasted mixed with soda water. I commented my college grads would love that drink. You could even sip this by a firepit with your favorite friends.

Cailyn and Joel nice arrangement of rose for the always popular Pink Out! Thanks for allowing me to participate and taste these wines! Drink Rose people!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

2009 Rodney Strong Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon

Its been a crazy spring so dinner was a pot of homemade chili and the meal wouldn't be complete unless a glass of cabernet was in hand. Tonight's wine was rich in flavor and complimented the meal perfectly.

Ripe blackberry screams from the glass surrounded by toasty cedar. Once the wine gets a little air the cedar subsides to release raspberry, cocoa, molasses and currant. Love how these aromas marry together with each swirl.

Each sip is truly special with dark fruit treating your palate. Fresh dark cherry and blackberry with hints of raspberry. The finish is a wonderful spice with a hint of oak. Elegant cabernet and under $20!

When planning your next visit in wine country make sure to stop by Rodney Strong Vineyards and say hello to Robert Larsen and all the fine folks there. Taste some award winning wine, see some beautiful scenery and even enjoy a picnic. Always a great visit.