Thursday, January 22, 2015
Tonight's wine was courtesy of the Westerberg's and their Hardball Cellars Merlot. Harvested from the Sonoma Valley Copeland Vineyard, the grapes were hand picked and sorted, cold soaked and aged 18 months in french oak.
When first uncorked the wine exhibits big white pepper, oak and plum notes. As the wine sits the fruit comes to the front with with plum, cherry and a hint of raspberry. Bold with a touch of elegance.
The mouth is big with plum, dark cherry and a kiss of raspberry along with toasty oak. The longer in the glass the wine mellows into a soft silky finish. Very nice Merlot!
Shop online by clicking the link Hardball Cellars Wine and pick up a bottle or 2. They even have a wine club for your sipping pleasures. Join, sip and enjoy today.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Ceja Vineyards a premium Latino owned winery of the Ceja Family founded in 1999 (Amelia, Pedro, Armando and Martha) actually was first started in 1983 with the purchase of 15 acres in Carneros. 1986 brought the first plantings of 13 acres of Pinot Noir and a vineyard was born. Today many of the family members are involved in the business and contribute to its success.
Tonight's wine was a club purchase and one of my favorite Syrahs. The nose is full of rich blackberry jam and pepper. Raspberry with a hint of toasty oak. Luscious aromatics.
The mouth is beautiful with blackberries, dark cherry and raspberry so juicy from start to the long finish. Slight hint of toasty oak followed by white pepper spice and a hint of leather. Paired very nice with my minestrone soup. Lovely Syrah Ceja's!
Make sure you stop by the new tasting room 22989 Burndale Road Sonoma Ca open 11-5 Wednesday through Sunday. When you're finished sipping the grape juice stop next door to their sister business Carneros Brewing Company for a refreshing beer. Be prepared to be treated like family.
Thursday, January 1, 2015
Hardball Cellars the winery created by Mike and Cindy Westerberg originally started as Mike experimented with home wine making long ago (did you know they are originally from Oregon). Funny how that happens when you live and work in wine country.....the I'm going to make wine bug. Not just the living but the many trips and tastings the Westerberg's embarked on created the passion today known as Hardball. Coming from families of entrepreneurs, Mike and Cindy were involved in part-ownership of a collective tasting room which taught them the ins and outs of owning a small business from marketing to operations. Mike is very active in social media relentlessly promoting his brand, holding tastings and publishing his events. He credits a couple books important to his wine making knowledge The Art Of Making Wine and Jim and George's Home Wine Making and as an added bonus, his friend and consulting winemaker Cynthia Cosco of Passaggio Wines is teaching him how to create great small production wines. It would not surprise me if Mike and Cindy bought their own vineyard one day to grow and harvest their own grapes for their wines.
The nose on the 2013 Chardonnay is very tropical with pear and apple followed by honeydew melon and pineapple. Lemon citrus, vanilla custard and toasty oak round out the aromas. Really nice and pleasing.
The mouth is full of juicy fruit with apple and pineapple followed by melon and lemon zest. The finish has a kiss of pear and oak. Really enjoyed the layers of flavor as the wine opened. Nice fruit forward Chardonnay and I found it very versatile with my baked herb chicken dish. While aged in oak to give it a little character, I appreciate the absence of the butter bomb effect as I am a big fan of the "new chardonnay's." Well done Michael!
Keep an eye on this new up and coming winery. Plus follow their website for up to date events, tastings and special offerings. Great family, great wines Hardball Cellars.