6/27/2016

Quick Sip: Pedroncelli 2015 Dry Rosé of Zinfandel

Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip is Pedroncelli’s 2015 Dry Rosé of Zinfandel. Pedroncelli was the third producer to join Protocol Wine Studio’s month-long ‘Sonoma’s Rosé Revolution!’ program known on Twitter as [hashtag] #winestudio. This wine themed program runs every Tuesday at 9PM EST and is highly interactive and a whole lot of fun [so tune in!]. Pedroncelli Winery is situated in Sonoma County, and the Pedroncelli family has called the region home since 1927. Today, four generations of the Pedroncelli family oversee winery and farming operations. Pedroncelli has produced a Zinfandel-based rosé since the mid-1950s. Back then and through the 1970s, their rosés were fruit forward and sweeter in style. In the last ten years, however, their rosés have become drier and zippier. This is a style largely in demand nowadays as these rosés are enjoyed for their versatility, refreshing nature, and food-friendliness.

This rosé is an excellent choice for barbeque fare. 

Rosé can be made in a variety of ways and the 2015 Dry Rosé of Zinfandel employs two.  The first uses free run juice from grapes picked early (to preserve freshness and acidity) and this makes up 60% of the blend.  The remainder is juice bled from a fermenting tank of fully ripened Zinfandel – this is known as the saignée method. The resultant wine is ripely fruited, even a bit fleshy, with mouthwatering acidity. This type of rosé pairs wonderfully with barbecue fare, which is what I enjoyed it with. There’s a smidgen of residual sugar on the back-end that serves to complement thick, sweeter sauces, too. This rosé is affordable, fun, and ripe for summer sipping! For further information and where you can find it, please see my tasting notes below.

Pedroncelli 2015 Dry Rosé of Zinfandel

Pedroncelli 2015 Dry Rosé of Zinfandel (SRP $12): This medium-bodied rosé is produced from 40 to 65 year old Zinfandel vines grown in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley.  The wine sports a vivid, brilliant pink color, offering succulent fruit intensity, driven by fleshy red berry flavors that are underscored by juicy acidity. There are trailing hints of grapefruit and a delicate kiss of sweetness filling out the refreshingly, crisp finish. Overall, a very satisfying, no-fuss and affordable rosé suitable for picnics, cookouts, and summer pleasure. As with most rosés, the producer recommends enjoying this bottling in its youth while it is fresh, vibrant and fruity. Approximately 2,000 cases of this pink juice were produced. Region: Sonoma Country, Dry Creek Valley, California. Other info: ABV 13.9%, all stainless steel, screw cap enclosure. Click here to find this wine.


Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: This wine was provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

6/21/2016

#SummerSips with Vinkara Wines, Villa Maria Estate, and Biokult

Hello Friends,

Just about every day, as wine o'clock approaches, you can find me uncorking or unscrewing a new wine adventure. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine writer, and someone who appreciates the liquid expression of place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence, I find wine to be one of the most intriguing beverages out there. It is an area of interest where you never run out of great people to meet and new things to taste and learn.

#SummerSips with Vinkara Wines, Villa Maria, and Biokult

The summer heat is finally here, and the selections for this post are all ideal warm weather wines for lunch, picnics or just to keep cool on the porch or poolside. All three recommendations are fun, affordable, and guaranteed to refresh! For further information and where you can find these wines, please see my tasting notes below.

Vinkara 2013 Narince

Vinkara 2013 Narince (SRP $15): Narince means “delicately” in Turkish. This white grape variety is indigenous to Anatolia in north central Turkey. It is one of several ancient varieties – all native to the region, that Ardic Gursel of Vinkara seeks to introduce to the rest of the wine world. The wine pours a pale yellow, with aromas and flavors suggestive of citrus blossom, lemon peel, and dried floral notes followed by stony hints. It is medium-bodied with a refreshing lift of acidity that extends through the finish. A particularly good food wine, I enjoyed a glass with an Old-Bay seasoned shrimp salad. For those of you who have not tried a Turkish wine, this producer is a great place to start. Region: Black Sea Region, Turkey. Other info: ABV 13%, cork enclosure, imported by Winebow Inc. in NY, NY. Click here to find this wine.

Villa Maria 2016 Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc

Villa Maria 2016 Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc (SRP $14.99): Villa Maria is a well-known family owned New Zealand winery that was founded in 1961. Year-in and year-out, you can count on this producer to deliver solid and affordable Marlborough wines made from the noble Sauvignon Blanc grape variety. The 2016 growing season was relatively cool with a prolonged Indian summer providing ideal ripening conditions. The resultant wine is pale straw in color, with aromas of fresh cut herbs, lemon oil and lime. It is sleek and racy in the mouth, brimming with vibrant citrus fruit and guava flavors alongside chives, cut grass and lemongrass, ending with a lively, slightly tart finish. This is a very nice summer refresher for which the food pairing possibilities are endless. Unscrew, pour, and enjoy! Region: Marlborough, New Zealand. Other info: ABV 12.5%, screw cap enclosure, imported by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates LTD in WA. Click here to find this wine.

Biokult 2015 Zweigelt Rosé

Biokult 2015 Zweigelt Rosé (SRP $13.99): The Biokult brand is produced by the Michlits family. They are one of the most influential and creative organic wine-growing families in Austria. Zweigelt is Austria’s most widely grown red grape variety and the fruit for this rosé comes from a Demeter-certified Biodynamic vineyard in the Niederösterreich - Qualitätswein appellation. Pale cranberry in color, flavors suggest ripe cherry pulp and fresh raspberries elevated by a springy, citrus-tinged acidity. This wine is fun, straight-forward and lively, with just a smidgen of residual on the back-end. For that reason, it paired very well with my batch of moderately spicy jerk wings and fixings. Overall, this is a rosé that won’t break the piggy bank that you’ll want to pack in your picnic basket or cooler for outdoor get-togethers. Region: Niederösterreich, Austria. Other info: ABV 10.5%, all stainless, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.


Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: These wines were provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

6/13/2016

Quick Sip: Passaggio 2015 Merlot Rosé

Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip is Passaggio’s 2015 Merlot Rosé. Passaggio is based in Sonoma County, California, and owned by winemaker & certified social media rock-star, Cindy Cosco. In 2004, Ms. Cosco retired from a fifteen year career in Law Enforcement to pursue her passion for winemaking. Her winery specializes in small lots of handcrafted wines that are sourced from some of the area’s top vineyards. Last Tuesday, Ms. Cosco kicked off Protocol Wine Studio’sSonoma’s Rosé Revolution!’ program. This rosé session runs four weeks and is an open discussion about the pink wines of Sonoma County with some of the people who produce them. To join this highly interactive, Twitter-based wine education program use hashtag #winestudio.  I recommend following the hashtag and tuning in every Tuesday at 9PM EST. The subject may vary from month-to-month, but it is always wine-themed, informative, and a whole lot of fun.

Here’s a bottle that won’t disappoint on a warm, sunny day. 

The Merlot fruit for this rosé was sourced from a single vineyard in Sonoma County. Rosé is made in a variety of ways, but the fruit for this wine was picked with the intent of making rosé. After Ms. Cosco and a group of friends picked the fruit, the berries were taken straight to the winery, pressed, and fermented in cold stainless steel tanks to preserve its fresh, fruity character. For many of us, the warmer weather means a lot of outdoor parties, events and activities. This rosé is an ideal refresher to complement such summer get-togethers. Ms. Cosco says, “I believe something magical happens when you bring wonderful friends, awesome food, and great wines together." And I wholly agree with that! For further information and where you can find this wine, please see my tasting notes below.

Passaggio 2015 Merlot Rosé

Passaggio 2015 Merlot Rosé ($28): Simply put, this rosé is pretty to look at and fun to drink. A brilliant bright pink in color, this refreshing wine delivers waves of fresh red berry fruit and plum aromas and flavors. It is succulent and juicy with round acids, giving way to a slightly gripping, clean and textured finish. Delicious on its own, this wine is versatile at the table as well. I enjoyed it with Mediterranean fare, but think grilled chicken salad, tapas or picnic fare (like a ham sandwich, potato chips, and deviled eggs). Only 48 cases of this wine were produced, so get it while the getting is good. Region: Sonoma County, California. Other info: ABV 13.2%, screw cap enclosure. Click here to find this wine.


Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: This wine was provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

5/31/2016

Quick Sip: Masút Vineyard and Winery 2014 Estate Pinot Noir

Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip is the 2014 Estate Pinot Noir from Masút Vineyard and Winery. Founded in 2009 by third generation brothers, Jake and Ben Fetzer, Masút specializes in high-quality estate-grown Pinot Noir. All the grapes used in winemaking come from their certified organic Masút vineyard in Eagle Peak AVA. Eagle Peak is a relatively new appellation (established in 2014) in northern California’s Mendocino County. The brothers led the effort in petitioning for the new viticultural area; later converting an old barn to a cellar and releasing their first vintage in 2011.

This is not the brothers’ first rodeo, however. They were born into a winemaking family with their grandparents, Barney and Kathleen Fetzer, establishing well-known Fetzer Vineyards in 1968. Shortly after the sale of Fetzer in the early 1990s, their father Robert Fetzer began looking for a new farming project. He purchased a 1,200 acre ranch in 1994 with the intent of growing great Pinot Noir. He named the property Masút, a Native American word meaning “dark, rich, earth.” In 1997, Jake and Ben began planting the vineyard and several years later area vintners took note of the site’s potential. Sadly, their father passed in 2006 in a rafting accident. To honor their father, the sons moved forward with the project. Today, Masút is planted to approximately 40 acres of vines; most of it Pinot Noir. Without a doubt, Mr. Fetzer selected a great site for Pinot Noir nearly 22 years ago. This example is rock solid with admirable character. For further information and where you can find it, please see my tasting notes below.


Masút Vineyard and Winery 2014 Estate Pinot Noir (SRP $45): Medium-deep ruby purple in color, this appealingly aromatic Pinot Noir is generous yet nicely balanced with fresh black cherry and ripe blackberry flavors intermingled with notes of anise and spice box. Well-defined in structure with notable underlying tannins, a solid core of acidity lifts the fruit and holds everything together through the lasting, fruit-driven finish. There’s good concentration and depth of fruit, too. I enjoyed a glass with smoked brisket. Rack of lamb, braised duck breast, and red sauce dishes would also be excellent choices. It is also a delightful solitary sipper. Approximately 1,800 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Eagle Peak AVA, Mendocino County, California. Other info: 14.7% ABV, vineyard blocks 6,7,12,13 & 14, clones: 115, 23, 777, 2.9 tons per acre yields, unfiltered, matured in French oak for 15 months sur lie, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine. 

Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: This wine was provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

5/23/2016

Quick Sip: Ehlers Estate 2015 Sauvignon Blanc

Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip is the Ehlers Estate 2015 Sauvignon Blanc. Ehlers Estate is situated just north of the town of St. Helen in Napa County and specializes in Bordeaux-inspired varietal wines, all grown on their historic 42-acre vineyard. The property is bio-dynamically farmed and 100% certified organic. A non-interventionist approach is employed in the cellar to craft estate-grown wines that best reflect the unique characteristics of the vintage and site.

I recently poured this wine for #SauvBlanc Day, a Twitter event celebrating the noble grape variety, and it was one of the shining stars. It also served as an eye-opener of sorts for a few friends of mine. When this crowd hears Sauvignon Blanc, they usually gravitate towards Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, and Marlborough, NZ – all regions that make some very delicious examples – to satisfy their drinking needs. But in recent years, I’ve mixed Napa Valley into my Sauvignon Blanc rotation and have found a number of sleek, racy, and fresh examples with waves of vibrant fruit flavors. Many have remarkable versatility at the table and are just as good to drink on their own whilst relaxing on the deck, patio, or poolside. The recently released 2015 from Ehlers Estate is the perfect addition to your warm weather sipping rotation. For further information on this Sauvignon Blanc, please see my tasting notes below.

Ehlers Estate 2015 Sauvignon Blanc

Ehlers Estate 2015 Sauvignon Blanc (SRP $28): Made using bio-dynamically farmed, 100% certified organic grapes, this single-vineyard, medium-bodied Sauvignon Blanc pours a pale straw color. It is crisp, pure and fresh in style with a lovely finesse. Enticing aromas and flavors of orchard fruit and citrus blossom mingle with notes of sea air and white flowers. In the mouth, it’s nicely textured with an attractive fleshiness that’s propped up by a spine of bright acidity. Overall, this is a delightful wine that will make you want a second glass. Its welcoming raciness and vibrancy matches very well with many types of cuisine. Approximately 1,170 cases of this wine were produced. Region: St. Helena, Napa Valley, California. Other info: ABV 13.2%, native yeast fermentation, stainless steel and neutral French oak, no ML, 6 months sur lie, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.


Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: This wine was provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

5/09/2016

Quick Sip: Aleria XX 270 2013 Syrah

Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip is the Aleria XX 270 2013 Syrah. This wine comes from Corsica; a French island in the Mediterranean Sea that’s north of the island of Sardinia and actually closer to Italy than it is to France. The Syrah fruit comes from the coastal commune of Aléria, and is planted to a mature, hillside site with vines aged over 30 years and more. Syrah is a personal favorite of mine. Unlike more demanding varieties, Syrah has the ability to perform very well in both cool and warm climates. This example combines the ripeness and density you would expect from a warmer site, with a welcoming kick of acidity of a cooler site.

With the seasonal warmth of summer upon us, this is a fine Corsican Syrah to have ready to go when you pull the burgers, steak, or ribs off of the grill. You can find this wine under the SRP ($25) and other good deals at Cork Exclusive where shipping is included on any three or more bottles of wine or spirits. For further information, please see my tasting notes below.

Aleria XX 270 2013 Syrah 

Aleria XX 270 2013 Syrah (SRP $25): This medium-bodied Syrah pours a deep purple color with an inviting bouquet. A persistent streak of fresh black pepper runs through flavors of blackberry, plum, violets and a hint of flint. In the mouth, this wine is well-balanced with slightly dusty tannins pushing through the mid-palate and gaining momentum on the medium-long, mouth-coating finish. This is your go-to red for grilled fare, gourmet burgers, and steak-frites. My vegan friend says grilled or smoked Mediterranean vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini and tomato over pasta or rice would be a great match, too. This Syrah delivers on quality while maintaining an affordable price point – an island treat you are sure to enjoy! Region: Corsica, France. Other info: ABV 13.5%, cork enclosure, imported by Monsieur Touton in NY.

Click here to find this wine. It has a suggested retail price of $25 and is available for as low as $18.99 on CorkExclusive with FREE SHIPPING on any 3 or more bottles of wine or spirits!

This review is sponsored by: 

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Get the Aleria XX 270 2013 Syrah for just $18.99 with FREE SHIPPING on any 3 or more bottles of wine or spirits!"

Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned -- more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: This wine was provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

5/02/2016

Springtime Sipping with M. Chapoutier, Royal Tokaji, Passaggio Wines, and Biokult

Hello Friends,

Just about every day, as wine o'clock approaches, you can find me uncorking or unscrewing a new wine adventure. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine writer, and someone who appreciates the liquid expression of place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence, I find wine to be one of the most intriguing beverages out there. It is an area of interest where you never run out of great people to meet and new things to taste and learn.

With warm weather on the horizon for many of us, the four wines selected for this post are perfect picks for spring and summertime sipping. In these wines you will find an agreeable companion to light seasonal fare and bottles to enjoy at outdoor events on the lawn or backyard get-togethers with family and friends. For further information and where you can find these wines, please see my tasting notes below.

Maison M.Chapoutier Domaine Tournon 2015 'Mathilda' Rosé 

Maison M.Chapoutier Domaine Tournon 2015 'Mathilda' Rosé (SRP $16): Made from Grenache grapes, this pale salmon colored rosé is deliciously fresh with light touches of bright strawberries and watermelon, rounded off by notes of rose petal and peach. The palate is lean with refreshing acidity, ending in a crisp dry finish. This wine is delightful on its own, but truly versatile on the table with lighter fare. It would make an excellent picnic companion, too. You may have noticed the circular bumps on the label. Since the mid 90s, producer Michel Chapoutier has put Braille on his labels as tribute to Maurice de la Sizeranne, who invented the first abbreviated version of Braille and whose family owned Mr. Chapoutier’s renowned Hermitage vineyard, La Sizeranne. Region: Victoria, Australia. Other info: ABV 12%, screw cap enclosure, imported by The Country Vintner in VA. Click here to find this wine.

Royal Tokaji 2013 "The Oddity" Dry Furmint 

Royal Tokaji 2013 "The Oddity" Dry Furmint (SRP $19.99): Furmint is one of the key white grapes used in making the world-famous botrytized dessert wines of Tokaji. Furmint is also vinified into a dry wine, which is what we have here. This medium-bodied example offers bruised apple, floral, and subtle mineral [stony] aromas that merge with tangy citrus flavors and trailing hints of almond. It’s well balanced with a firm spine of acidity, giving it a crisp, medium-long tart finish. This wine is versatile and a ready partner to a wide variety of foods. Consider adding a few bottles of dry Furmint to your spring and summertime sipping rotation this warm weather season. Region: Tokaj, Hungary. Other info: ABV 13%, screw cap enclosure, imported by Wilson Daniels LTD in CA. Click here to find this wine.

Passaggio Wines 2014 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc

Passaggio Wines 2014 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc (SRP $28): Based in Sonoma County, Passaggio Wines is owned by winemaker & certified social media rock-star Cindy Cosco. In 2004, Ms. Cosco retired from a fifteen year career in Law Enforcement to pursue her passion for winemaking. Her winery specializes in small lots of handcrafted wines; sourcing quality fruit from some of California’s top sites. The 2014 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc is fresh and lively with aromas and flavors redolent of lime zest, lemon curd, and tangerine, with a dash of hay and a discreet underpinning of minerality. This wine is light and streamlined in the mouth, with crisp, mouthwatering acidity that keeps you coming back for more. Enjoy this delicious refresher with summer salads, cold dishes, and picnic fare. Only 48 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California. Other info: ABV 13%, screw cap enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

Biokult 2015 Rosé Secco 

Biokult 2015 Rosé Secco (SRP $16.99): The Biokult brand is produced by the Michlits family who are one of the most influential and creative organic wine-growing families in Austria. This refreshing example is produced from organically grown 100% Pinot Noir grapes. For this sparkler, a second fermentation took place in stainless tanks. The resultant wine is sleek, lively, and effervescent, with aromas and flavors of sweet red cherries and ripe strawberries followed by potpourri-like qualities and floral notes. Racy acids and an understated spritz, cleanses the palate and readies you for another sip. I enjoyed a flute while gardening one afternoon and later with a grilled chicken & seasonal fruit salad. Serve chilled and pair this wine with picnic fare, summer salads, or tapas. On its own, this wine is an ideal refresher for a warm summer day. Region: Neusiedlersee, Austria. Other info: ABV 11%, all stainless, cork enclosure, imported by Natural Merchants, INC in CA. Click here to find this wine.


Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: These wines were provided for review (save for the Furmint). Thoughts are my own.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

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