Sunday, July 27, 2014

2011 Cornerstone Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Black Label Stepping Stone Cuvee

*sample received*

On my journey to find that perfect bottle of juice I get to taste some pretty nice wines. Tonight's post is another beauty from the gang at Cornerstone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Black Label Stepping Stone Cuvee. The wine is composed of 88% Cabernet and 12% Merlot. Priced at $45 per bottle I would recommend grabbing a few bottle and tasting them at various age intervals and watch this wine evolve. Definitely a very nice young wine today and pairs nicely with an amana ribeye.

The nose is full of ripe raspberry with deep black currant spices. Cocoa powder with a combination of dried spice (thyme, oregeno and rosemary) along with a touch of oak and plum. Pleasing aroma and love the layers of spice and fruit.

The mouth at times is both juicy and jammy. Juicy raspberry and rich plum treat the palate. Mid palate introduces the herbal notes and a hint of chocolate and where it tasted a little jammy which I loved. The finish is plum with a little tannin. Revisiting the wine over a 4 hour period I really enjoyed it's complexity and how the wine changed with the flavors marrying nicely and interchanging. Elegant with a little attitude.

Check out the Wine Club to have these wines delivered right to your door or make plans to stop by the tasting room at 6505 Washington St Yountville on your next wine country trip. Open 7 days a week 12pm to 6pm. Experience the beauty of Cornerstone Cellars Wines.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Home Wine Storage

I'm asked from time to time about home wine storage whether I prefer the quiet thermoelectric units or those with a compressor. I can say that both serve their purpose of keeping your wine collection properly stored but I tend to lean towards those with a compressor like the NewAir AWC-330E 33 bottle compressor wine cooler with digital temperature. Thermoelectrics are just fine it's the preference of the buyer.

The design of the AWC-330E is very user friendly. Sleek design which fits under your counter, in your home wine bar or kitchen. the unit is free standing and not a build in which is another huge plus. Your friends will be able to view the wine collection through the insulated smoked glass door with interior light to illuminate the bottles. The lock is another great feature to ensure if you have children the bottles remain safe. Big bonus stainless steel (everybody seems to want this now) with black accents. The digital temp control is very easy to use and the unit keeps the temp very consistent.

The one drawback is if you are a pinot and sparkling wine drinker then it will hold slightly less than 33 bottles. I have the same problem and because I receive so many bottles like these I have 2 units....1 for standard bottles and one for over sized. I'm not advocating you purchase two I merely want you to understand it will hold less.

I receive favorable feedback from wino's who have purchased as a result of a fewof my referrals:

Aaron K Columbia Missouri- Dan this by far is the best wine cooler I have owned. My wine is always safe and served at the correct temp. Thanks for the tip.

Sue B Des Moines Iowa- My husband bought the cooler for my birthday. I can't imaging how I lived without it. Thanks for telling me about Air N Water

Darren S Dallas Texas- Thanks for the tip on the cooler Dan. Love the look and performance. Now my wife and I go through twice as much wine.

You can save 20% by using the code Prime at checkout  though this direct link to Air N Water Save on coolers  and then click on coolers. Save big today from Dan's Cellar Sips.

*Cooler owner and advertiser for Air N Water


Friday, July 18, 2014

2012 Seven Of Hearts Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Oregon

Picked this beauty up when winemaker Byron Dooley and his wife Dana from Seven Of Hearts Wine stopped by for a meet and greet at my friends wine store First Avenue Wine House I had tasted Byron's wines prior to the visit and looked forward to chatting with him. By the way $20 for this wine is an absolute steal and if you find some buy it all. Yes the bottle is signed by the winemaker and will be added to my shrine.

The wine is a blend of all five Willamette Vineyards Eola-Amity Hills, Yamhill-Carlton District, Chehalem Mountains, Ribbon Ridge and Dundee Hills. Byron captures the character of each vineyard to create a wine with layers of complexity.

On the nose dried cherry, tart cranberry with hints of cinnamon and cloves. Mild earthy character with herbal notes and a touch of oak. Beautiful aromatics.

The mouth is full of ripe cherry and sliced strawberries. Cranberry with the earthy notes and barrel spice. The finish is long and juicy with touch of clove. The layers of fruit and spice compliment each other nicely. The wine is aging perfectly Byron.

Seven of Hearts - A special place, The pursuit of a dream, A little luck, And alot of heart. Stop by for a visit with Byron and Dana the next time your in town. Taste wines that are elegant with loads of character.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

2010 Ceja Vineyards Vino de Casa Red Wine Napa Valley

Tonight's wine is the latest club shipment from Ceja Vineyards their Vino de Casa Red Wine a blend of Pinot Noir and Syrah. Amelia Ceja President and matriarch of the family calls this juice "our breakfast, lunch and dinner wine." She is undoubtedly one of the hardest working women in the wine industry logging many miles promoting Ceja Vineyards and the Napa Valley. You can find her in the tasting room greeting and pouring tasting samples to customers who are treated as if they were family or preparing food to pair with the latest released wines when she is not traveling to industry events. Armando Ceja is in charge of both the vineyard and wine making at Ceja Vineyards. You will find his wines to be full of bright fruit which stay balanced and are very versatile with food pairings. Pedro Ceja better known as Amelia's husband and founder of Ceja Vineyards is the practical and analytical eye of the business. Dalia Ceja is Director of Marketing and Sales. She takes after her mother with an energy level and passion that rivals Amelia.

Wonderful aromatics on this wine with plum and black pepper spice followed by dark cherry. Earthy dusty soil notes with hints of cocoa powder. As the wine opens red raspberry fruit becomes apparent. Beautiful on the nose.

The mouth is plum dominant with dark cherry and cranberry. Creamy blueberry and chocolate  notes in the middle of the taste with a spicy pepper juicy finish. Love the layers of fruit and how well balanced the wine. I paired with pizza and then with spaghetti and marinara sauce night 2. So delicious Armando!

If you are looking for quality wine from a winery who believes wine should be shared with family and friends then choose Ceja Vineyards. To the Ceja Family Happy 13 years of producing award winning wines and I raise a glass to the next 13 years. I can't wait till the new winery is complete.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

David Pack's Napa CrossRoads A Collaboration Of Beautiful Wine Songs

I'm always looking for easy listening music and I'm really impressed with David Pack's Napa Crossroads a collaboration with Silver Oak, Far Niente, Pride Mountain Vineyards, Gargiulo Vineyards & Casa Piena. I can honestly say I've sipped the grape juice while listening and I love to play it in my car on the way to work.

David's quote "Wine is important to culture and civilization. It's used Biblically in sacraments and miracles and for me Napa Valley has been a source of infinite inspiration and wonder"

The lyrics in each song have a special meaning and there is an inspiration message in the words. A booklet inside takes an in depth look into each song and lyric giving background on the winery. I learned new facts about each winery and vineyard and how each song relates to it. Every song is awesome but my favorites include O' Blessed Vine, Full House Full Heart, Every Time I Look At You, April Born In May just to name a few.

The cover captures the beautiful Napa countryside as well as the cast involved in the creation both at work and play. Well done to each of the collaborators and especially you David. You have reinforced my love of Napa! Check out the link Napa CrossRoads to learn more and purchase your own copy. You won't be disappointed I promise. "Crossroads Bound" and happy listening.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

2010 Ousterhout Dry Creek Bradford Mountain Zinfandel Sonoma County

Drawn to the wine country and it's relaxing beauty, Dr Doug Ousterhout and his wife purchased their dream property in Healdsburg with 5 acres of planted vines. Meeting Micah Wirth winemaker was key as he and the good Dr. both shared a common passion for wines in Alexander Valley. The result is a portfolio of balanced and elegant wines from Ousterhout Wine and Vineyard

The nose is rich with dark cherry, raspberry, and plum fruit. Spicy currant, forest pine with dried herbal mint. Love the layered aromatics which are so pleasing to the nose.

The mouth is complex with a sophisticated elegance. Juicy dark cherry and spicy dark currant with jammy raspberry. Slight hint of pepper and clove. The finish is silky soft. Beautiful bottle of Zinfandel and pouring amazing Micah and Doug.

Carried in fine restaurants and shops link or direct from the Ousterhout Website Hurry before they sell out!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

2013 Campesino Chiquis Rose Sonoma Coast

A few years ago I was introduced to Campesino Cellars wines and I immediately became a huge fan. Every varietal and vintage is absolutely amazing and Macario Montoya has a gift for making wine. He owns the winery with his wife Griselda and  they are one of the nicest families in the valley.  I highly encourage you to join the mailing list so that you have the opportunity to purchase these wines before they are sold out and yes they do quickly. Tonight's Rose was a great deal at $16 per bottle and I took full advantage of the offer.

On the nose strawberry rhubarb, fresh sliced watermelon, and a subtle spice character. As the wine opens tropical citrus notes. Wonderful aromatics and pleasing to the nose.

The mouth is beautiful with tart rhubarb cobler, fresh raspberries, strawberries and juicy watermelon. Nice balance of fruit and acidity. The finish is long and juicy. Definitely a dry rose` but oh so good. My grandmother was the best at making strawberry rhubarb cobbler and the first sip reminded me so much of her dessert. Macario and Griselda the bottle went quickly :)

Order direct from the winery at the link provided above but don't wait too long or you will miss out. One of the best Rose` wines of the year.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

2011 Cornerstone Napa Valley Cabernet Franc, Black Label Stepping Stone Cuvée

*Sample Received*

Big fan of Cabernet Franc and tonight's wine from Cornerstone Cellars in beautiful Yountville. I love the area of the tasting room with the many shops and restaurants sprinkled in the relaxed atmosphere. The wines are not about statistics or points, but the vision of Jeff Keene, Michael Dragutsky and Craig Camp. Its about the vineyards and capturing the balance and character of each with every glass. Always a special time when a guest're treated like royalty.

Really nice nose with ripe cherry and raspberry. Floral notes of wild violets and lavender. Spice is dried herbs of rosemary and thyme. Beautiful layers of aromas and as you sniff you picture yourself on a bluff overlooking the vineyard with a crisp breeze in your face.

The red fruit really shines in the mouth. Raspberry and cherry intertwined with each sip. Wild violets, black tea with hints of blueberry and vanilla. The finish is so soft and silky. Complex yet elegant. Seriously great wine and a steal for $45.

A trip to wine country is an experience you will never forget. Tasting exceptional wines at Cornerstone Cellars is a must.

*Sample Received*