Sunday, April 20, 2014

2010 Pali Riviera Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

Pali Wine Company Pinot Noir was a purchase on Lot 18 a few weeks ago. The winery located in Lompoc Ca was created in 2005 by Tim Perr and Scott Knight as both were passionate about producing small lots of artisan Pinot Noir.

On the nose ripe cherry and cranberry with a huge clove note. As I allowed the wine to open cinnamon spice and a hint of earth. There is this amazing level of richness with each sniff.

The mouth is full of dark cherry, tart cranberry and blackberry. The earthy cinnamon warms me and compliments the fruit perfectly. As I continue to taste the blackberry becomes more pronounced. Wonderful flavor and very appealing. $22 and well worth the money and a screw cap closure.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

2010 Wine By Joe Pinot Noir Oregon Winemaker Joe Dobbes

A real palate pleaser for a Pinot I purchased under $20 from winemaker/owner Joe Dobbes. Enjoyable easy drinker which has some nice character and flavor. Joe by the way is the sole owner of Dobbes Family Estate (Luxury Wines) and Wine By Joe (Really Good Wine).

Excellent nose of ripe cherry, raspberry with cinnamon and white pepper spice. I get some earthy tones as well when I allow the wine to sit and open in the glass.

The mouth is wonderful with cherry and strawberry both very juicy. Cola and pepper spice which really warms the mouth with a hint of cranberry on the finish. Tastes more like a $30 + Pinot. I'm headed back to the store for more of this hidden Oregon gem. Well done Joe!

 I enjoyed while helping whip up a sausage zitti bake and then paired with the dish.No problem sipping this wine everyday!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cornerstone Cellars Sauvignon Blanc vertical 09, 10, 11 Napa Valley

*Tonight's wines were samples received from the winery*

I can honestly say when it comes to Sauvignon Blanc I have never in my dreams ever considered allowing it to age. Like many my first thought is drink white wines young and let the reds age. Craig Camp of Cornerstone Cellars opened my eyes and I have a new found love for this grape. All 3 wines were paired with fresh crab cakes and creamy risotto drizzled lightly with fresh lemon juice and a dusting of parsley.

I started the evening off with the 2009 and all I can say is wow! On the nose a nice lemon/lime citrus with cantaloupe and fresh melon. Hints of creamy vanilla and grapefruit notes followed by minerals. There was this richness on the nose that carried over to the taste. Loads of lemon citrus and melon with rich creamy vanilla. Slight hint of grapefruit and mineral and the finish is lingering. Amazingly soft wine and I almost forgot I was drinking Sauvignon Blanc. The food pairing was superb with the creamy crab/risotto complimented by the richness of the wine.

The 2010 was equally nice with a bit more acidity and fruit. On the nose lemon, grapefruit with some white peach and orange zest. This one too had the stone fruit/mineral character but the fruit was bigger than the 09. The mouth was full of lemon, lemon and lemon citrus. White peach, creamy vanilla and the orange citrus along with more of the grapefruit notes. Mineral character on the finish which again lingered. Well balanced. The dish paired equally as well with this wine and more with the risotto seasoned with saffron. My palate is singing.

The 2011 was the green wine of the three and to me with the fresh cut grass notes and big huge grapefruit notes. Lemon citrus and melon. As I tasted this wine it was by far the more acidic of the group. The mouth was very citrus with lemon, melon and grapefruit. Would love to see how this wine softens over the next 2-3 years but was very good. Great with the crab cakes!

I'm convinced great Sauvignon Blanc can be laid down for a few years courtesy of Craig and Cornerstone Cellars. Quality wine making from these folks and I'm really impressed with all 3 wines this evening. Stop by their tasting room in beautiful Yountville next time your in the Napa Valley. First class hospitality and exquisite wines. What a great way to spend an afternoon. Craig as always thank you for treating me to these delicious gems.

 *Tonight's wines were samples received from the winery*


Sunday, April 13, 2014

2012 King Estate Pinot Gris Signature Collection Oregon

It's been way to long since I've had King Estate wine in my cellar and after tonight's sipping it will always be in there. Pinot Gris has become one of my go to white wines along with Oregon varietals. A nice purchase from my local wine store for $16.99.

On the nose honeydew melon, cantaloupe, with fresh grated lime zest. Wild flowers and grapefruit notes with a kiss of honey. Nice little pleaser.

In the mouth lime and grapefruit dominate with a hint of tart apple. Peach and apricot with allspice in the middle finishing with the juicy grapefruit. Nice spring time sipper paired well with my fresh shrimp dish.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

2011 Ceja Vineyards Chardonnay Napa Valley Carneros

Springtime has finally arrived and I chose to celebrate with one of my favorite family wineries Ceja Vineyards. Sitting at the vineyard sipping the varietals while listening to Amelia tell her family history from those humble beginnings in Mexico to the success they enjoy today, you can easily see why they are so well respected. Each visitor is treated as one of the family, and you become an extension of the Ceja's where ever your home. The wines are elegant and reflect the region and vineyard where the grapes were born.

The moment I pulled the cork from the bottle there was a rush of sweet creamy vanilla racing from my glass. Ripe apple and pear with fresh chopped mint. Crisp citrus notes almost give the wine a tropical feel. Just a beautiful nose.

The mouth is creamy and rich yet full of ripe bright fruit. Sliced pear and green apple with hints of creamy vanilla and caramel followed by a citrus kick on the finish. I thought for a moment I was standing in the vineyards of carneros sipping while cooking a baked chicken/wild rice dish. Armando another vintage another beauty. Well done and an excellent wine club selection.

Check out Ceja Vineyards Tasting Salon and Art Gallery in downtown Napa on 1st Street. For those Giants fans did you know Ceja Wines are now poured at the ballpark? A great way to watch a baseball game. Family, wine and food Ceja style!