Friday, February 12, 2016
A fun evening talking Santa Barbara Wine on WineStudio with Dan Kessler of Kessler-Haak Winery in the Sta Rita Hills Region along with several folks across the country. The opportunity to learn from the experts on climate, soil, grape types, wine making philosophy and overall landscape is so interesting. The bonus was tasting the 2014 Estate Chardonnay and the 2012 Ohana Pinot Noir both from Sta. Rita Hills. Love these varietals.
I started with the 2014 Estate Chardonnay as we kicked off the evening discussion. The nose was crisp and refreshing with aromas of sliced apple, ripe pear with hints of lemon, tangerine and toasted baking spice. The mouth was lively, young and nice acidity. The lemon zest, apple and juicy pear combined with baking spice give this wine a wonderful crispness. I could feel the ocean breeze as I sipped this beauty.
See the many opportunities you can taste for yourself the wines of Kessler-Haak by clicking the Events Link. Thanks to Winestudio and Dan Kessler for introducing me to Santa Barbara and these beautiful wines.Stay tuned for next week as we continue this education series.
Sunday, February 7, 2016
A cool evening with Scott Jordan host of TV Tuesday Live from Cellars of Sonoma with special guest Chris Taddei winemaker at Super Sonoman. Really enjoy these "taste with the winemaker" shows where we sip, ask questions and learn about both the wine and the winemaker. Along with me were a few fellow tasters Dezel, Cliff, Melanie, Michelle and Shawn from across the country. The wines Scott provides are wines we have never tasted and are included in the Cellars Of Sonoma Wine Club shipment.
Chris has a passion for fine winemaking and I found it interesting how he enjoys working with "mountain" fruit. The contrast in climate from valley to hillside was eye opening and made you think how different the regions fruits are to work with from temperature to moisture. Smart winemaker here folks. The total case production for all his varietals combined is 1000 cases. Ultra boutique hand crafted juice.
The 2011 Meritage is a blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Carmenere and Cabernet Franc with a nose that is truly outstanding. The grapes come from the northwest slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains where the Bordeaux clones were planted for the Super Sonoman wine program. Blackberry with hints of plum and blueberry followed by vanilla, dried herbs and spice. What a bouquet of aromatics circling the nose.
The mouth is luscious, juicy and well balanced. Blackberry, cherry, raspberry, plum and blueberry fruit with hints of dried mint, thyme, vanilla and a spicy kick on the long juicy finish. So silky smooth with soft tannins. I would expect this young wine to be big but oh how it fooled me. Can you imaging Scott how good this will be in 10 years? A really nice red blend from Chris.
Keep tuning in for more sips with the winemakers each Tuesday 6pm on TV Tuesday Live hosted by Scott Jordan "Where you discover wine one sip at a time".
Sunday, January 31, 2016
Rodney Strong Vineyards the family owned winery who's focus is on artisan winemaking from the sonoma county. Committed to protecting the resources for future generations, they're certified sustainable and the first carbon neutral winery in Sonoma County.
First wine this evening was the 2013 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Made from 90% Cabernet and 10% Malbec the wine was aged 18 months in french oak. Retail $35 and clocking in at 14% alcohol. The vineyards in Knights Valley are perfect for Bordeaux grapes with its volcanic rock and alluvial soils.
The nose screams dark jammy fruit with blackberry and plum. Hints of blueberry and raspberry followed by a black currant spice. A faint hint of vanilla, cocoa and a touch of earth as the wine opens. The mouth is rich with dark fruit, vanilla and a spicy soft finish. Paired with a pepper crusted grilled beef filet.
The nose also shows rich dark fruit of plum and blackberry followed by vanilla bean, dried herbs, cocoa powder and pepper spice. Big layered aromas. The mouth is bold with the blackberry and pepper spice finishing with a soothing earthy chocolate tone. Paired nicely with my beef roast.
Thanks to the Rodney Strong Team and The Larsen Projekt for introducing me to these delicious wines.
Saturday, January 23, 2016
The wines of Cornerstone Cellars vintage after vintage are some of the finest crafted in the Napa Valley. Working with many superb vineyards in the area allows Cornerstone to make their wines from some of the very best fruit available.
Which comes to today's wine the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Michael's Cuvee. "Michael’s Cuvée is named for founder Dr. Michael Dragutsky, whose spirit and passion have fueled Cornerstone Cellars since our founding in 1991" says Cornerstone. A beautiful wine consisting of 91% Cabernet and 9% Merlot. The juice came from grapes in the following vineyards Oakville Station Vineyard 57%, Kairos Vineyard in Oak Knoll 28% and 9% from the Ink Grade Vineyard on Howell Mountain. Priced at $75, this wine will age and grow over the next 10 + years. I would love to re-taste in 10.
The moment this wine hit the glass the aromas intertwine with each other giving you a sense of richness and elegance. Dark luscious blackberry with hints of raspberry and cherry followed by a faint plum note. Cloves, fresh vanilla bean and toasty barrel spice. Pour a glass and sniff the wine at intervals and watch how amazing this wine is as it opens over time.
The mouth resembles the richness of the aromatics. The black fruit showcases the taste and then there is this splash of red juicy berry highlighting the wine. Flavors of blackberry, dark cherry, red raspberry with a touch of plum and the faintest hint of blueberry. The spice complimented by creamy vanilla and a subtle tannin finish, bring both balance and complexity. A special Cabernet indeed!
Make sure you stop by for a visit with Craig and the fine folks at Cornerstone Cellars and pick up your favorites after a sip or 2.
Saturday, January 16, 2016
Tonight's wine was the 2012 Ceja Vineyards Merlot from my adopted Carneros Family. Many times I have written how special their wines and how much I enjoy them. I'm going to let the wine do the talking this evening. Well priced at $48 it was a wine in my club shipment and worth every dollar and then some.
The nose is luscious with ripe red and black fruit. Juicy raspberry and blackberry with plum notes followed by red currants. Not overpowering on the nose but a sense of elegance as you swirl and sniff.
The mouth as always is beautiful with the juicy raspberry and blackberry with a hint of plum. The red currant spice gives a nice little warm feel to the wine. The tannins are so incredibly soft. Such a beautifully balanced wine. Yes Amelia I love your Merlot too!
Check out the Ceja Vineyards website to purchase yours today by clicking the Buy Wine link. Visiting Sonoma then stop by their new tasting room located at 22989 Burndale Road. Enjoy an afternoon of wine tasting and learning about the Ceja Family.