Wednesday, April 6, 2016

2014 Passaggio Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley Quick Sip

A wonderful purchase from Passaggio Wines the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc which was 1 of 2 Sauv Blancs produced in 2014. I've watched Cynthia Cosco owner and winemaker grow from this 150 case hand crafted production label to roughly 1000 cases today. The opening of the new tasting room in the Sonoma Square, has been a slam dunk with so many visitors. Her popularity has grow immensely and the wines well they speak for themselves. Food friendly and fruit forward, enjoy these wines paired with your favorite dishes or as you gather on the patio with friends and family.

The nose shows a nice citrus combination of  lemon, tangerine and lime zest with a subtle hint of minerality. Not overpowering there is a sense of this wine being light and crisp.

The mouth does not disappoint with lemon/lime, grapefruit with a hint of grassy character. The acidity is really nice and the wine is very crisp and refreshing. Paired with Maryland crab cakes, I found the lightness of the wine very complimentary to the dish. Once your glass is empty the palate screams more wine please.

Swing by Passaggio's tasting room in the Sonoma Square for a pleasing boutique handcrafted wine tasting on your next visit to wine country. Cindy and the staff will take great care of you.


Sunday, March 27, 2016

2012 Hunanitas Pinot Noir Truchard Vineyard Carneros Napa Valley Quick Sip

A nice gift from a a friend who knows a thing or 10 about fine wine, tonight I opened the 2012 Pinot Noir from Humanitas Wines. From the humble beginnings in a shed erected for $600, owner Judd Wallenbrock wanted the focus of his wines to "honor the vineyard" and in each bottle your heart, soul and passion shines. "Wines that are so good they change the world" and I must say this was one very special Pinot. Something else I truly respect is that 7% of all revenue is donated to solution based organizations encompassing health, hunger and affordable housing.

The nose screams pinot with cherry, raspberry and strawberry fruit exploding from the glass. Hints of cinnamon spice with herbal and wet earthy notes add character. It's as if I am standing in the vineyard with the early morning fog enjoying the beauty.

The mouth is beautiful with a red berry jam start of raspberry, cherry, cranberry and strawberry rhubarb.  As the juice rolls around you mouth a nice cinnamon spice with a creamy vanilla/caramel finish. You never want your glass empty when sipping this amazing juice.

Book a tasting today by clicking the Tasting Experience link and start enjoying Humanitas Wines today!


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2013 Campesino Cellars Baybos Sonoma Valley

Those trademark hands on the label mean a bottle of Campesino Cellars is open in the house. Always a staple in my cellar and one of my favorite labels, I look forward to my release emails to see what exciting wines Macario has created. I've told you before make sure you sign up for the mailing list to ensure you do not miss these wines. Handcrafted small lot wines with minimal intervention allow the fruit and vineyard to showcase their beauty. With each varietal and vintage you the wine lover will appreciate the quality of Macario and Griselda's label, and your palate will beg you to drink more.

Tonight's wine was the 2013 Baybos, a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. The wine was aged 20 months in 30% new oak and 70% neutral oak barrels. Aromas of dark jammy fruit with peppery spice followed by floral and earthy tones.You can smell the vineyard with every swirl. A blended masterpiece in aromatics.

The mouth is luscious with silky berry preserves balanced with herbs, baking spice, licorice and concludes with an earthy character. Love the long soft finish on this medium bodied wine. I paired with my famous bbq baby back ribs and the combination was a slam dunk. Naturally I sipped prior to dinner as well so feel free to drink by itself (the bottle lasted not nearly long enough). A steal for $32! A perfect blend Macario.

Wine friends support small local producers in your area! Some of the finest wines made come from these "hands."


Thursday, March 3, 2016

2011 Deering Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Valley Nelligan Road on TV Tuesday

*Sample Received*

Tasted a couple weeks ago on Cellars Of Sonoma TVTuesday, I had the pleasure of sipping Deering Wine's 2011 Cabernet while chatting with owner Todd Maus and show host Scott Jordan.

Deering Wine was born in 2004 with the purchase of 16 acres of Old Vine Zinfandel and the Maus Vineyard was established. Of the total 106 acres the family owns, they plan to only plant 30 acres. Currently along with the Zin there are plots of Petite Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Charbono. In the next 5 years they plan to plant the remaining 7 acres with some "interesting varietals" so we should all stay tuned for more to come.

Todd hails from a farming background where his family has made a living back to the 1800's. At a young age Todd began to experiment with fruit juice "blending" which lead to producing beer in the family garage. See where this is headed? Yep then the move to San Francisco and he caught the wine bug which lead to night classes. Today you will find him in the vineyard getting his hands dirty just like his family before him and the result are these premium wines for us to enjoy.

Right from the start rich raspberry and juicy dark cherry with blackberry, hints of plum and cloves. Allow the wine to open and a slight earthy character rises from the fruit. So elegant on the nose.

The mouth is simply divine. Blackberry, juicy cherry and plum carry long into the finish. I thought the tannins were soft and gave the wine a silky character. Paired nicely with my lasagna and meat sauce.

Scott and Todd great show and even better vino. Thanks for allowing me to "discover this wine one sip at a time"


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Tercero Grenache Blanc, Grenache and Cuvee Loco on #Winestudio Santa Barbara Wine Education

*Samples Received*

Another awesome education experience tasting and talking wine with the gang on #winestudio with special guest Larry Schaffer of Tercero Wines. "We strive to make unique wines that speak of a sense of place and varietal purity." I found his simplistic approach,  passion for his wines and the Santa Barbara winemaking community which he is proud to be part of informative and cool. Down to earth and making some very fine "Artistic Rhone Wines". I did get a kick out of the grief he was receiving for the screw cap closures. More importantly my introduction to his wines and gaining a better sense the Santa Barbara wine community makes me want to visit these winemakers even more. Nothing better than "discovering" small producers who create handcrafted gems.

Up first the 2013 Grenache Blanc Santa Ynez Valley. My favorite white wine of the night Larry lol. Wonderful aromas of pineapple, white peach and nectarine, lemon citrus, melon and toasted spice. The complex aromatics were pleasing. The mouth was lively with white peach, lemon, apricot, melon and a spice/mineral finish. The melon was really dominant the longer the wine was allowed to open in the glass. Nice acidity, complex and really refreshing. Love it!

Wine 2 the 2011 Grenache Larner Vineyard. I believe my comment was that Grenache is fast becoming a favorite of mine This wine will not disappoint your senses or your palate. Bright aromas of cherry, cranberry,  raspberry with wild floral notes, herbs and cinnamon spice. The mouth was oh so good with rich red fruit of cherry, tart cranberry and strawberry with a long lingering finish. I couldn't stop sipping this wine. If I must pick a favorite tonight this was it. Damn you Larry stop making me decide!

The final wine the 2010 Cuvee Loco Larner Vineyard. A blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Syrah, and 25% Mourvedre. The bold one of the evening this is a special tasting blend. Big fruit aromas of raspberry, blackberry and dark cherry with hints of white pepper and earthy tones. The mouth is luscious with blackberry, raspberry, hints of plum and ripe cherry along with a nice warm spice finish. Medium tannins that really soften as the wine opens over time in the glass. Maybe this was my favorite Larry?

See the Tercero Wines portfolio by clicking the store link Tercero Wine Store and purchasing these wonderful wines to share with family and friends. Larry thank you for introducing me to your tasty juice and allowing us to learn more about you and your label. Tina thank you for the #winestudio education series and so glad I have the opportunity to learn and taste wines from across all ava's.Santa Barbara is now on my radar!