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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

2013 Gallegos Chardonnay Charmer Vineyard Yountville Napa Valley

The story is similar to many, a family immigrating  to America where they build a business based on hard work and determination to succeed. The Gallegos family is no exception and their passion for growing grapes and understanding the vineyards is second to none. Learning the basics of grape growing was key and the family was one of the first Mexican farming families to settle in St Helena (grandfather in the 1950's with the entire family in the 1960's). Making wine from vines planted over 30 yrs ago by Eric's father adds a little special love to each bottle. Case production for all varietals is 1000 and if not for Cellar Angels and their showcase of this wonderful family winery, many outside California like myself would never have an opportunity to taste these beautiful wines so Martin well done. This was a great Cellar Angels buy for me.

The minute you pull the cork the quality of this wine is evident. Layers of caramel/vanilla, fresh apple and pear, tropical mango and pineapple. Big fruit and crisp on the nose. Swirling and sniffing is as gratifying as tasting.

The mouth is full of beautiful fruit with pear, tart apple and a kiss of pineapple finishing with a soft creamy vanilla custard. So luscious and elegant this handcrafted gem is so unbelievably good. Ignacio you and your family are making outstanding wines.

Support small family wine operations like the Gallegos Wines who pour their heart and soul into each bottle. Have an opportunity in the future to taste boutique wines by becoming a Cellar Angel and taste what Martin Cody is finding in wine country. Both are opportunities you can't pass up.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Daily Double Dose Rodney Strong Vineyards 2013 RRV Pinot Noir and 2013 Sonoma County Chardonnay

*Samples Received*

Easy drinking everyday wines to sip or pair with your gourmet meal you cannot go wrong with a bottle of Rodney Strong Vineyards Tonight I sampled 2 of my favorite varietals Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Known as a winery which protects it's resources they are certified sustainable and solar powered. It's about green and reducing your carbon foot print.

Up first the 2013 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Swirl and it's complete harmony with luscious cherry and strawberry followed by a bouquet of fresh cut roses. Allow to open and a hint of earthiness, vanilla with a touch of clove. Wonderful expression of the Russian River Valley and Pinot Noir. The mouth explodes with cherry, strawberry and pomegranate and silky smooth. The finish showcases a perfect splash of spice and toasted vanilla with the fruit still juicy and inviting. I could drink this all day. I like pairing this with my pork medallion dish and so do my guests. Robert just plant me under a barrel will you.

The 2013 Sonoma County Chardonnay is another favorite in the house. The nose takes me to the tropics with melon, green apple, lemon zest and a hint of pineapple. The citrus is crisp on the nose and the baking spice notes compliment the fruit nicely. The mouth is fresh and lively with the tart green apple, fresh pear, lemon and pineapple followed by vanilla with baking spice. Love sipping on the back porch and paired with any chicken dish!

Swing by the winery on your next visit to Healdsburg for some quality tasting.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Rocks By Cornerstone

*Samples Received*

Always enjoy this time of year when the new releases hit the streets especially  Rocks by Cornerstone.....White, Red and Rose. Versatile fun food friendly wines meant to drink now. Share these with friends at your next dinner party or cocktail get together. They taste more expensive than their price tag!

I started with the 2014 White Rocks a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Orange Muscat. Aromas of peach, grapefruit and tangerine with a citrus zest. Crisp and tropical on the nose. The mouth explodes with flavor sweet peach, pink grapefruit, ripe pear and sliced tangerine, with a lemon zest finish. The longer I taste a hint of green apple. Intriguing complexity of flavors and really tasty. I paired this with Mongolian Chicken. Quality juice Craig!

Up next is big brother 2013 Red Rocks a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Pinot Noir. Nice earthy aroma . The fruit is big with blackberry, cherry, raspberry and blueberry with a white pepper spice. Excellent juicy character with cherry and blackberry followed by smooth blueberry. The finish is long with a nice earthy/spice tone. I paired this with bbq baby back ribs and I declare a home run!

Last wine of the tasting was the 2014 Rocks Rose a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet, Pinot Noir and Syrah. At first glance this is a deeper red colored rose not your salmon or light red. The nose exhibits aromas of strawberry, cherry, black raspberry and a hint of black pepper, anise and liquorice. The mouth is full of red juicy jammy fruit with the strawberry and cherry flowing nicely into a spicy finish. Simple and soft. Might just be my favorite of the evening. Paired with fresh salmon patties and wild delicious.

Now who wants to stop by Cornerstone Cellars and grab your own bottles of Rocks!


Saturday, July 25, 2015

2014 Passaggio New Generation Barbera Rose Lodi

Passion is defined as an intense emotion, a compelling enthusiasm or desire for something. Imagine leaving a 15 year career and fully immersing yourself in a new career which can be both challenging and rewarding at the same time. Ladies and gentlemen meet Cindy Cosco winemaker/owner of Passaggio Wines

Following her family heritage in 2004, Cindy has set out to create wines which showcase each years harvest. The end result is award winning wines which should be shared with friends over conversation and dinner. Just recently she was named one of the Rising Stars for 2015 by the National Organization Women For Wine Sense. She will also be celebrating her 1st Anniversary of Passaggio Wines Tasting Room located on the historic Sonoma Square where wine lovers can enjoy a relaxed atmosphere of tasting and being with friends.

Tonight's wine the 2014 Barbera Rose is an interesting wine. Aromas of strawberry and watermelon with a hint of anise. Simple and intriguing at the same time. It's my first Barbera Rose.

The mouth is really good with an initial ripe strawberry and a crisp melon tropical feel. When you allow the wine to open on day 2, there is this tart strawberry rhubarb sensation with hints of creamy vanilla. Beautiful and well priced at $26 per bottle.

Swing by for a visit on your next tasting adventure at 25 East Napa St Suite C in Sonoma. Sip, relax and enjoy Passaggio Wines.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

2013 Jessup Cellars Rose` Napa Valley

Leave it to Martin Cody of Cellar Angels to find these small production ultra premium wine producers for his weekly offerings to the army of angels. Today's wine was an angel purchase from Jessup Cellars and their 2013 Rose.

Located off Highway 29 in Yountville, Jessup Cellars story is one of family, passion, hard work and some beautiful wine. Known as one of the friendliest tasting rooms, Jessup Cellars loyal followers spread the word among family and must drink this wine! Owned by Roy and Cheri Eisiminger, Becky and Dan Blue, Jana and Vance Thompson, Kelly and Jim Mazzo the story how these folks came to be partners in the wine business and the success they enjoy today is truly inspiring.

The pinot noir grapes for this wine were grown by the Truchard Family in Carneros. The aromas of wild strawberry, cherry with a hint of cinnamon spice on the nose. Nice floral notes of fresh picked rose pedals. Just a beautiful nose on this rose.

The mouth is so refreshing and crisp. Candied strawberry with a kiss of sweetness followed by ripe watermelon and sophisticated pink grapefruit. Dry with a perfect balance of acidity, I paired this with chicken stir fry and so delicious.

When in Napa this is a must stop at 6740 Washington St in Yountville to taste, sip and savor Jessup Cellars portfolio of wines. Amazing juice from this talented producer.