Sunday, December 29, 2013

Vinho Verde Arca Nova Loureiro Colheita 2012 Quick Sip

My quarterly sample taste from Vinho Verde was another enjoyable inexpensive sipper from Portugal. Digging the tropical character of the wine.

On the nose lime citrus, honeydew melon, tangerine with a hint of lemon zest. Crisp and fresh. The mouth is full of mineral notes, tangerine with a dominant lime and honeydew melon emphasis. Hints of white peach and apricot as you continue to taste. The finish is nice and juicy.

The wines of Vinho Verde are fun enjoyable everyday wines that won't break the bank. Sold at most retail wine shops. Give them a taste!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

LaCrema Monterey Chardonnay and Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir on Snooth

My first Snooth.Com tasting and really impressed with the live video feed and interaction between participants and hosts. Great conversations about distinct variations in regions, climate and it's affects on the grapes. Plus some pretty nice wines this evening from LaCrema Wines and from the comments I think folks enjoyed the evening. I know I did!!!

Up first the 2012 Monterey Chardonnay which I dubbed the tropical beauty. On the nose loads of citrus, butterscotch, fresh lemon, pineapple and orange zest. The mouth carried the tropics and made me feel the coastal breeze in every sip. Pineapple and lemon citrus with hints of green apple. Slight hint of oak on the finish. Sitting here in this cold climate my heart warmed with this wine. I felt like I was sipping on the beach.

The 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir our second wine of the evening was another excellent selection. Big fan of sonoma coast juice. Bright cherry notes with a deep cola and cinnamon spice. Strawberry and creamy vanilla as the wine opens. Jammy fruit in the mouth with cherry, red raspberry and cranberry. Sweet toasty vanilla, cola and warm cinnamon finishing with a long juicy red berry finish. Beautiful.

Great holiday tasting and a huge thanks to Greg Dal Piaz and LaCrema for including me. Really enjoyed myself this evening.

Happy Holidays

Saturday, December 14, 2013

2009 La Sirena Le Barrettage Napa Valley by Winemaker Rockstar Heidi Barrett

I had the pleasure of tasting this full bodied red wine over the course of 2 days discovering a wine which revealed it's character with each glass and breath. Heidi has been known as one of the premier winemakers which is nothing new to many of you who visit these posts or wine lovers across the globe. Her attention to detail from the harvest of the fruit to the keen sense of knowing the progression of each wine in the different stages of aging (vine to barrel, to bottle) it's why she has been so successful in her career and sought after as a winemaker. Let's call it the "Golden Touch" of winemaking.

Pouring my first glass after just opening the bottle I noticed a young wine on the nose.  Remember above when I said time revealed the character? Initially the aromas of earthy herbs, pepper, smokey notes, leather and molasses didn't flow and I remembered when speaking with the winemaker she talked about allowing her wines to open in the glass instead of decanting. About every 5 minutes I revisited the swirling sniffing process to have my eyes opened to this amazing bouquet. The plum and blackberry jammy notes start to appear along with licorice and a hint of wild flowers followed by cloves. Every visit revealed this magical inner child coming out and each glass did the same. By the last glass you absolutely fell in love with this wine and it's balance of lush fruit complimented with these amazing spice notes.

The mouth is full of rich dark fruit and becomes more pronounced on the later pours and glass time. The harmony between the layers of fruit (plum, blackberry) and spice (anise, toasty oak,  cloves, molasses) coupled with the silky finish is superb. I found it difficult to let the wine sit so long but so worth the wait. Ironically I enjoyed a lasagna dish with a couple glasses and loved the pairing. How amazing will this wine be in another 3-5 years?

Visit La Sirena Winery website to secure a few bottles for your cellar or stop by Cellars of Sonoma where you can taste and buy a bottle or 3. You're going to love it.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

2007 Gann Family Cellars Alexander Valley Merlot TV Tuesday "In My Glass"

Merlot the wine many say was ruined by the movie Sideways yet remains as a staple in Bordeaux Wines. Can anyone name the wine Miles sipped from a paper cup after the wedding? Actually I think the popularity of merlot was decreasing long before the movie based on the huge supply of marginal juice in the marketplace. There was still some very good wine being produced I was just having a hard time finding them. Now lets fast forward to tonight's wine from Gann Family Cellars and you have merlot A+. Michael allows the vineyard to shine in each bottle and creates a wine which is rich, silky and elegant.

Awesome nose with the ripe plum and dark cherry followed by a fresh poultry spice (thyme, sage and rosemary).  Allowing the wine to breathe adds a nice cinnamon, cocoa and toasty oak character to the aroma. All throughout the fruit is very dominant and the balance of fruit and spice is refreshing in this merlot.

Wonderful silky mouth feel with layers of fruit and spice so well rounded. Juicy plum and cherry followed by cinnamon, dried herbs and light chocolate notes. Soft tannins even though the fruit is big and the spice bold. Michael was meticulous with his barrel aging and this wine rewards him  and us with this beautiful elegant juice. Price point of $28 is "grab all you can pricing" before its gone. A couple of months ago when the winemaker was a guest the consensus was the wine showed very well. Still does Michael.....well done.

Tune in tonight at Cellars Of Sonoma  TV Tuesday Live and watch a special telecast of all 8 Vintners in the house pouring and talking wine. 6pm pacific.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

2010 Joseph Jewell Appian Way Vineyard Pinot Noir RRV for TV Tuesday "In My Glass"

Excited for this weeks Gala at Cellars of Sonoma featuring all the Vintners who's wines are poured in the tasting room. As part of the festivities it is my civic duty to taste some of the featured wines Scott chose for the wine club shipments. I'm adding Joseph Jewell Wines to my "In The Glass" holiday series but feel free to drink this Appian Way Pinot Noir anytime. From the first vintage tucked away in a garage in Windsor Ca 2006,  Micah and Adrian have made a name for themselves by creating wines "with distinct noses and finishes that reflect their unique style of winemaking."

As you pour this wine in the glass I couldn't help but smell this wonderful rich earthy mushroom aroma. For a moment I felt like I was deep in the forest harvesting fresh mushrooms. Bright cherry and fresh cranberries, dried herbs and cloves with hints of red raspberry and cinnamon. The layers of fruit and spice are complex and compliment each other. Wonderfully aromatics which evolve and change with each swirl. Well done gentlemen.

Each sip reveals a distinct red fruit quality of cherry, tart cranberry and fresh picked raspberries. Layers of crushed cloves, green tea and earthy notes treat the palate mid taste with the finish long and reintroduces the tart cranberry/cherry. Elegant with a masculine kick. Pair with your holiday pork or turkey dish and have your guests smiling. Price point $45 and every bit delicious

 Micah and Adrian you have a delectable Pinot Noir from the Appian Way Vineyard. Scott always spoiled when I open these wines. Tune in Tuesday at 6pm pacific to speak with all the vintners. We will have a great time and you might just hear Scott "This is where you discover wine one sip at a time"


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

2010 Cornerstone Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon "In My Glass"

Welcome to a new little twist for the blog called the "In My Glass" series of wines for the holidays. These promise to be tasty treats like tonight's Cabernet from Cornerstone Cellars which kicks off our fun. My friends in Yountville are knocking it out of the park with this wine. Classic complex juice which they describe as "Showcasing the authentic varietal character of this incomparable cabernet sauvignon is an important part of the Cornerstone Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon legacy."

Great nose with deep rich dark cherry, fresh plum and raspberry, soft blueberry notes, cinnamon spice and dried rosemary. Day 2 and 3 the spice/herbs open even more and compliment the dark fruit aromas. A level of elegance only the finest cabs can achieve.

Each sip fills your mouth with dark fruit (cherry, black raspberry, creamy blueberry and plum) followed by a warm cinnamon spice. Hint of cocoa as you head for the finish which is soft for a cab with loads going on. Sipping heaven for me with the layers of fruit and spice treating the palate. Tasted 3 straight days and the wine was even better on day 3. I would rate this a must for the holidays but plan to carry it in your cellar all the time. Price point $65 and a value.

Whether you pair with a meal or sip by the fire like I have, Cornerstone Cellars is a great choice to spoil you or your friends. So what are you waiting for ....get over to see them today. Well done my Yountville family,  happy to kick off the holidays with you.