Saturday, December 7, 2013
Excited for this weeks Gala at Cellars of Sonoma featuring all the Vintners who's wines are poured in the tasting room. As part of the festivities it is my civic duty to taste some of the featured wines Scott chose for the wine club shipments. I'm adding Joseph Jewell Wines to my "In The Glass" holiday series but feel free to drink this Appian Way Pinot Noir anytime. From the first vintage tucked away in a garage in Windsor Ca 2006, Micah and Adrian have made a name for themselves by creating wines "with distinct noses and finishes that reflect their unique style of winemaking."
As you pour this wine in the glass I couldn't help but smell this wonderful rich earthy mushroom aroma. For a moment I felt like I was deep in the forest harvesting fresh mushrooms. Bright cherry and fresh cranberries, dried herbs and cloves with hints of red raspberry and cinnamon. The layers of fruit and spice are complex and compliment each other. Wonderfully aromatics which evolve and change with each swirl. Well done gentlemen.
Each sip reveals a distinct red fruit quality of cherry, tart cranberry and fresh picked raspberries. Layers of crushed cloves, green tea and earthy notes treat the palate mid taste with the finish long and reintroduces the tart cranberry/cherry. Elegant with a masculine kick. Pair with your holiday pork or turkey dish and have your guests smiling. Price point $45 and every bit delicious
Micah and Adrian you have a delectable Pinot Noir from the Appian Way Vineyard. Scott always spoiled when I open these wines. Tune in Tuesday at 6pm pacific to speak with all the vintners. We will have a great time and you might just hear Scott "This is where you discover wine one sip at a time"
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Welcome to a new little twist for the blog called the "In My Glass" series of wines for the holidays. These promise to be tasty treats like tonight's Cabernet from Cornerstone Cellars which kicks off our fun. My friends in Yountville are knocking it out of the park with this wine. Classic complex juice which they describe as "Showcasing the authentic varietal character of this incomparable cabernet sauvignon is an important part of the Cornerstone Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon legacy."
Great nose with deep rich dark cherry, fresh plum and raspberry, soft blueberry notes, cinnamon spice and dried rosemary. Day 2 and 3 the spice/herbs open even more and compliment the dark fruit aromas. A level of elegance only the finest cabs can achieve.
Each sip fills your mouth with dark fruit (cherry, black raspberry, creamy blueberry and plum) followed by a warm cinnamon spice. Hint of cocoa as you head for the finish which is soft for a cab with loads going on. Sipping heaven for me with the layers of fruit and spice treating the palate. Tasted 3 straight days and the wine was even better on day 3. I would rate this a must for the holidays but plan to carry it in your cellar all the time. Price point $65 and a value.
Whether you pair with a meal or sip by the fire like I have, Cornerstone Cellars is a great choice to spoil you or your friends. So what are you waiting for ....get over to see them today. Well done my Yountville family, happy to kick off the holidays with you.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Kimberley Kramer winemaker periodically holds virtual tastings showcasing Kramer Vineyards Wines. A 2 hour block was scheduled to discuss 2 of her 2010 single block Pinots.....Rebecca's Reserve and Cardiac Hill with several wine lovers across the country. Kim in my opinion is one of the best when it comes to engaging her audience. We talked at great length about soil characteristics, vine spacing, climate, harvest, location of the vineyards and the evolution of the wines. You can really tell she loves her job and understands the technical aspects of wine making. Not a dull moment in the whole time slot.
We started with the Rebecca's Reserve a 100 case production from vines planted in 1992. The spacing on these vines are 4x4 and with the increase in vine density comes stress resulting in unique characteristics in the wines. The wine was aged 18 months in french oak prior to bottling. A nice lively nose on this wine that kept changing as the air opened the wine up. We commented how the fruit to spice dominant aromas kept reversing over the 2 hrs of tasting. As I first opened the wine earthy characteristics along with the bing cherries fills the nose. Continue to swirl and raspberry, plum with a big cassis notes followed by cloves/cola. Like I described before 30 minutes into the taste the aromas flipped and the spice was dominant and wait another 30 and back to the fruit coming to the front. The wine was very delicious. Cherry, raspberry with hints of earthiness along with the cloves. Towards the middle even a hint of herbs (thyme) along with plum. Nice long finish. I kept going back to this wine and like the aromas the flavors also flipped more towards spice dominant. The wine is good now and you can cellar for 10 years (I'm lucky to let wine age a year due to no patience) and lets see how many of you can allow that to happen. Great start to the evening.
Hour 2 brought us to the Cardiac Hill another 100 case production wine with the vineyard named for the steep clay hillside where the grapes are grown. The wines from this site tend to be floral and elegant. I would agree with my fellow participants that this wine was the more aromatic with the ripe red cherry and wild violets notes. As the wine was introduced to more air fresh cut rose pedals and hint of forest along with red raspberries/dark licorice made an appearance. The floral and fruit character of this wine was so pleasing and then toss in some spice and you could swirl and sniff this baby all night. The flavor was equally outstanding with loads of fresh cherry, raspberry followed by cola and spice notes. Still get a little hint of the earthiness with this wine as well but the finish with all that is going on complexity wise, is soft and elegant. Really beautiful bottle of wine. Guess what.... this one can age for 10 years too (insert again Dan has no patience).
Great wines start in the vineyard and these 2 bottles this evening were no exception. There is a lot of handcrafted love in each wine and bravo to Kim both in her wine making skills and customer engagement. Her passion comes out loud and clear as she talks about the wines produced and the vineyards which allow these super delicious wines. I believe my comment "Kramer Vineyards produces drop dead delicious wines" was very appropriate for this evenings taste. Or as my buddy Dezel Quillen would say "It's OMG juice" Kim thanks again for including me in tonight's discussion. I learn so much from these sessions and instills my love of small production wine. Stop by and visit with Kim and the staff and see for yourself what many of us are enjoying.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Just what the doctor ordered to bring me out of the fog I was in. Over the last couple months I've just been drinking wine, not giving much thought to the grapes or the winemaker, how the wine aged or even where it originated. One email I received asked if I had given up tasting and sharing my thoughts. No inspiration maybe, or just a chance to step back and evaluate why I started this blog, who reads it and why. So I surfed the cellar and grabbed the oldest bottle of Pinot Noir I owned a 2002 Eric Ross RRV.
I imagine your asking yourself how can a Pinot be 11 years old and still drinkable. After all shouldn't one drink them up to 4 years past their birth? When you know the winemaker and the quality of the wine they produce, opening an aged bottle is a treat.
First thing I notice is the color. Deep maroon as if the wine was just bottle 6 months ago. Black cherry and cranberry with huge cola and cinnamon notes treat the nose. Hint of dried herbs and plum. Amazing how the fruit and spice blend so well together to create this beautiful bouquet even after all these years.
Eric Ross is why you should drink small production wine. Cherry and tart cranberry with crushed clove and cinnamon. Plum and cola notes round out the soft finish. Still shows an elegant character and a nice complexity. The wine has aged nicely Eric. Well done.
I want you to open the oldest bottle you own and treat yourself this week. Let's see who wins the "I drank the oldest bottle this week" contest. Make it a small production wine will you.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
How many times have you tasted a wine and said "Damn I wish I could taste this again in a year?" The exact reason I purchased multiple bottles of the wines I tasted tonight. Over the past year both have evolved into this elegant bouquet of fruit and spice and gives you the sensation of standing in the vineyards surrounded by beauty. Maybe that's why I just go nuts over pinot noir. Rose pedals, earthy dew laden forest floor, cherries, raspberry, strawberry, cloves, cinnamon and cola. How can you not love those aromas and flavors dancing across your senses/palate.
Up first the 2011 Code Seven Passaggio Wines Pinot Noir Fagan Creek Single Vineyard. Right from the bottle rich dark cherry and clove with hints of fresh cut roses. The herbal notes really calmed with aging and a faint hint is evident today. The mouth is full of rich ripe dark cherry and clove with juicy strawberry. A soft silky finish awaits you as this lovely wine ages. I have 1 more bottle to sip next year. Oh so good! I would rate this an 88-89
Cindy and Macario choose exquisite grapes for their superb wines. Their fans get to spoil themselves with each bottle. Try them both today if you love small production handcrafted pinot noir. Special juice from gifted winemakers.