4/18/2016

#WinesOfRoussillon with M. Chapoutier, Chateau Planeres, Gérard Bertrand, Domaine Cabirau, Domaine Cazes and Domaine La Tour Vieille

Hello Friends,

I recently had an opportunity to join a virtual roundtable with Snooth and friends to explore the Roussillon region of southern France. Not to be confused with the greater Languedoc-Roussillon, the southern province of Roussillon sits within the Languedoc but is a much smaller wine-growing area. The Roussillon curves around the Mediterranean coast to the east and is surrounded by three mountainous areas to the north (the Pyrenees), west (the Mont Canigou), and south (the Albères). The region’s varied landscape, ample sunshine, and warm-to-hot climate are good for the cultivation of vines. The Roussillon contains 14 Appellation d'Origine Protégée (AOP) wines produced from upwards of fifteen grape varieties and produces dry still wines and fortified sweet wines. Varieties include Grenache Blanc, Muscat, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Carignane - - all of which are known and sought out (in blends or on their own) by many wine savvy US consumers.

#WinesOfRoussillon Tasting with Snooth & Friends

Once known for mass produced ordinary wines, a move from large cooperatives to small-scale quality production; lower yields; improved vineyard management and cellar techniques, have ushered in a renaissance in the region’s wine industry with a focus on quality and wines that show a sense of place. All of the wines I sampled for this tasting were under $30 and each possessed very good quality-to-price ratio. Whether bright and white, rich and red, or scrumptious and sweet, consider adding wines from the Roussillon to your dinner table. The region’s red wines will go well with just about anything off the grill (hint-hint). For further information and where you can find these wines, please see my tasting notes below.

M. Chapoutier 2014 Bila-Haut Blanc

M. Chapoutier 2014 Bila-Haut Blanc (SRP $16): This is a consistently enjoyable and affordable wine. A blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, and Macabeu, this wine offers soft notes of citrus zest, bright yellow-fleshed fruit, bruised apple, and a suggestion of wet stone on the nose and palate. It is medium-bodied, clean, and fresh in the mouth, with well-placed acidity that will complement a wide variety of foods. It sips nicely on its own, too –particularly on a warm spring or summer day outdoors with friends. I’ve seen this wine under the SRP and it’s a great candidate for a house-white, so be sure to stock up. You may notice 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: Roussillon, France. Other info: ABV 13%, all stainless, cork enclosure, imported by HB Wine Merchants in NY. Click here to find this wine.

Chateau Planeres 2013 Les Aspres La Romaine

Chateau Planeres 2013 Les Aspres La Romaine (SRP $25): Grown in the foothills of the Albères Mountains on clay and gravel soils, this appealing blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Mourvèdre, and 20% black Grenache has a supple entry leading to blackberry, plum, and ripe raspberries followed by a dusting of white pepper and cocoa powder. The flavors are underpinned by a firm core of acidity and supported by a frame of refined tannins that gain momentum through the lingering finish. There’s some richness, a lot of freshness, and a bright streak that extends from start to finish. This wine opens nicely the longer it stays in your glass and becomes quite enjoyable, especially when paired with food. It’s also a good cellar candidate, as it has all the right components to develop additional bottle complexity and further integrate. Region: Les Aspres, Roussillon, France. Other info: ABV 13%, manual harvest, maturation in new Burgundy barrels for 12 months, cork enclosure, imported by The Wine Source, Inc. in CA. Click here to find this wine.

Gérard Bertrand 2011 Grand Terroir Tautavel 

Gérard Bertrand 2011 Grand Terroir Tautavel (SRP $18): Grown in the small village of Tautavel, this wine is composed of 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 15% Carignane. Tautavel is steeped in history and situated in the Roussillon between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea. Ripe juicy flavors of black cherries, red plum, and blackberry preserve are nicely wrapped in a ribbon of mocha spice and pepper. In the mouth, it is full-bodied and well-proportioned; somewhat concentrated, yet light on its feet thanks to a nice lift of acidity. Medium-firm tannins anchor a medium-long, satisfying finish. While delightful on its own, it would be even better with anything off the grill. Region: Les Tautavel, Roussillon, France. Other info: ABV 15%, manual harvest, vinified separately before blended, 10 months in barrel, bottle aged before release, cork enclosure, imported by USA Wine West in CA. Click here to find this wine.

Domaine Cabirau 2013 Serge & Nicolas

Domaine Cabirau 2013 Serge & Nicolas (SRP $26): Wines of the Maury Sec appellation must be blends of at least two varieties. This wine is composed of 60% Grenache, 28% Syrah, and 12% Carignane. The Cabirau is a 13.5 acre vineyard in the Roussillon. This site includes a prized 3.5 acre parcel of 60 year-old vines, which is where the Grenache fruit comes from. Deep ruby in color and aromatically pleasing, an enticing mixture of spiced black cherries and dark skinned fruit tones coat the mouth with an appealing but slight mineral layer and undertones of bitter cacao. The flavors are framed in dusty tannins; particularly on the mid-palate, with a medium-long peppery finish. This robust wine would be a wonderful addition to any feast with substantive fare. Region: Maury Sec, Roussillon, France. Other info: ABV 14.5%, manual harvest, Grenache unoaked, Syrah & Carignane undergoes ML and 5 months maturation in 500L demi-muids, cork enclosure, imported by Hand Picked Selections, Inc. in VA. Click here to find this wine.

Domaine Cazes 2011 Muscat de Rivesaltes

Domaine Cazes 2011 Muscat de Rivesaltes (SRP $15): This selection delivers a lot of appeal for a very reasonable price. A 50/50 blend of Muscat d'Alexandrie and Muscat à petit grains, this wine is made with organic and biodynamic grown grapes. The Muscat de Rivesaltes is a Muscat-based appellation specializing in naturally sweet, fortified wines. Medium amber in color, an inviting nose leads to flavors of dried stone fruit, white flower, honey, and citrus peel with an intriguing nutty component. Ample acidity gives balance to the wine’s rich texture and sweetness, inviting another sip. Enjoy as an after dinner sipper with fruit tarts, pound cake or blue-veined cheeses. I should note that this is a 750ml, not a half-bottle. Region: Muscat de Rivesaltes, Roussillon, France. Other info: ABV 15.5%, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

Domaine La Tour Vieille 2014 Banyuls Rimage

Domaine La Tour Vieille 2014 Banyuls Rimage (SRP $30 / 500ml):): Banyuls is a fortified, sweet wine produced at the southern edge of the Roussillon in southern France. This selection is a ‘Banyuls Rimage,’ meaning the fruit comes from the same vintage. Such wines are only made in great years. A blend of Grenache Noir and Carignane, this wine is rich and concentrated with leading flavors of dried cherries, blackberry preserve and molasses, followed by bittersweet chocolate and a wisp of brown spices. It’s full bodied, nicely structured and harmonious, ending in a long, luscious finish. Banylus wines are served as dessert wines as well as aperitifs throughout France. This selection could be enjoyed by itself as an after dinner sipper or pair with chocolate-based desserts, pecan pie or caramelized nut tarts. Approximately 500 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Banyuls, Roussillon, France. Other info: foot-pressed, extended maceration, ABV 15.5%, cork enclosure, imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants 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. Thoughts are my own.

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

4/11/2016

South African Wine Flight: Ken Forrester, Paul Cluver, Groot Constantia, Creation & Lammershoek

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.


The five wines selected for this post are all from South Africa. The region has a diverse landscape with a wide range of growing conditions, allowing for a good mix of cool and warm climate grape varieties. From indigenous varieties like Pinotage and regional staples such as Chenin Blanc, to welcome surprises like Gewürztraminer, there is something to suit just about every palate preference when it comes to South African wine. Many of the region's wines offer good value and will suit your pocket preferences, too. For further information and where you can find these wines, please see my tasting notes below.

Ken Forrester 2013 FMC

Ken Forrester 2013 FMC (SRP $65): South Africa has the most Chenin Blanc plantings in the world and Ken Forrester crafts several nice examples. In fact, their vineyards are often referred to as the “Home of Chenin Blanc.” FMC is their flagship bottling produced from low-yielding old bush vines planted in 1974. It is a mouth-filling and generous wine that exhibits a rich mixture of sweet melon and ripe stone fruit flavors merged with citrus peel, honey, and notes of spice. The texture has an unctuous quality to it which is balanced and lifted by a fresh, zesty acidity that drives through the long, satisfying finish. This is a [very] delicious solitary sipper that can also stand up to more substantive foods such as scallops in cream sauce, lobster with garlic butter, or risotto dishes. Region: Stellenbosch, South Africa. Other info: ABV 14%, wild yeast fermentation in new French oak 400L barrels, maturation on lees, total of 12 months in barrel, screw cap enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

Paul Cluver 2014 Gewürztraminer

Paul Cluver 2014 Gewürztraminer (SRP $16.99): Grown in the cool-climate Elgin Valley; situated just south-east of Cape Town, South Africa, this wine is fresh and beautifully aromatic. Estate plantings of Gewürztraminer date back to 1987 and the Culver family has owned the property since 1896. The cool 2014 vintage resulted in a sleek and streamlined wine that’s unmistakably Gewürztraminer – though you won’t see much coming out of South Africa (at least on US store shelves). This wine is clean and precise, with bright aromas and flavors of rose petals, lychee fruit, stone fruit and lemongrass. There’s a hint of sweetness that’s nicely balanced by crisp acidity. Enjoy this delightful wine with moderately spicy ethnic cuisine; particularly Chinese or Thai fare. Region: Elgin Valley, Western Cape, South Africa. Other info: ABV 12.6%, 2,950 cases produced, screw cap enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

Groot Constantia 2013 Sauvignon Blanc

Groot Constantia 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (SRP $18): Steeped in history, Groot Constantia was founded in 1685 and is South Africa's oldest wine farm. Sauvignon Blanc is the second most widely planted white wine grape variety in the region. This example is all about texture and freshness. On the palate, flavors of vibrant citrus fruit, chopped herb, kiwi, flint, and a whisper of green pepper combine to deliver a racy wine with pronounced mouth-feel and a medium-long, crisp finish. This wine is a great match for grilled white fish, shellfish, and other light dishes. I enjoyed a glass with pan-seared sea scallops. Region: Constantia, Western Cape, South Africa. Other info: ABV 13.5%, all stainless, aged sur lie for three months, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

Creation Wines 2013 Pinot Noir

Creation Wines 2013 Pinot Noir (SRP $30): This is a delicious, well-crafted Pinot Noir from the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley in the Cape South Coast region of South Africa. The area’s cooler climate produced a supple and expressive wine, chock full of ripe black cherries, dried cranberries, and brown spices, with a kiss of sweet oak and vanilla bean, backed by a wisp of minerality. It is fuller-bodied and nicely textured in the mouth, and there’s a refreshing kick of acidity from start to finish. Overall, this is a charming, harmonious wine that’s meant to be served at the dinner table. Grilled rack of lamb comes to mind first, but I totally agree with the producer’s recommended pairing of grilled tuna. Region: Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Walker Bay, South Africa. Other info: ABV 14.3%, 12 months barrel again – 25% new, 75% 2nd & 3rd fill, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

Lammershoek Winery LAM 2013 Pinotage

Lammershoek Winery LAM 2013 Pinotage (SRP $15.99): Rightly or wrongly, most people I know tend to have a love-hate relationship with Pinotage (a red grape unique to South Africa that’s a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault). I don’t have an issue with the variety myself, but I understand why it has such a dubious reputation. I always tell people who have a less than favorable experience, that if you don’t succeed with the first bottle, try, try again, because there are some nice examples out there. This sustainably farmed, 100% Pinotage is defined by delicacy: in color, aroma, and flavor. It is lean and very streamlined, with tart cherry and raspberry flavors, followed by a smidgen of cigar box and smoke, finishing with a refreshing pop of acidity. It can be served slightly chilled (around 55°F), particularly in the warmer months. Overall, this is a somewhat atypical but welcomed example of Pinotage that will partner nicely with tomato-based pasta dishes, gourmet burgers, or pizza. Region: Swartland, South Africa. Other info: ABV 12.5%, certified sustainable, agglomerated cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

To learn more about the wines of South Africa, I highly recommend the Wines of South Africa website. Follow them on Twitter at @WOSA_USA.

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!

4/04/2016

Quick Sip: Haden Fig 2013 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip is the Haden Fig 2013 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. When it comes to finding good quality Pinot Noir at super value prices, I can often sound like a broken record. Over the years, and countless bottles of Pinot later, my thoughts remain unchanged: you generally get what you pay for when it comes to Pinot Noir. An ‘Andrew Jackson’ — i.e., $20, is usually the ticket to a satisfying entry-level bottle. Pinot Noir, often called the 'heartbreak grape' for its finicky & fickle nature, is not the easiest grape to grow or produce, and it is very picky about where it will thrive. The Willamette Valley of Oregon is one of several wine producing regions widely regarded for producing world-class examples of Pinot Noir.

The fruit for this wine was sourced from Cancilla Vineyard, Bjornson Vineyard, and Croft Vineyard; all of which are dry farmed. Both Cancilla and Croft vineyard are certified organic. The resultant wine is delicate and feminine with subtle characteristics. It is an overall satisfying and good value-priced Pinot Noir for the money. You can find this wine well under the SRP ($28) and other good deals at Cork Exclusive where free shipping is included on any three or more bottles of wine or spirits. For further information on this Pinot Noir, please see my tasting notes below.

Haden Fig 2013 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Haden Fig 2013 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir (SRP $28): Medium ruby in color, this is a relatively delicate, streamlined, and restrained Pinot Noir. Cranberry and dried cherry aromas extend to the palate and are combined with earth tones and underbrush accents. Light to medium in body, the wine has pleasantly tart acidity, gentle tannins, and a medium-long lingering finish. This is a very drinkable, well-balanced Pinot Noir that won’t break the piggy bank. It would make a nice addition to any dinner table or backyard cookout, so stock up now! Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon. Other info: ABV 13.5%, 10 months aging in 27% new French oak, 1, 025 cases produced, cork enclosure.

Click here to find this wine. It has a suggested retail price of $28 and is available for as low as $21.99 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 Haden Fig 2013 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir for just $21.99 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!

3/24/2016

Tempranillo Flight: Lee Family Farm, Irwin Family Vineyards, and Six Sigma Ranch

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 blogger, 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 that you never run out of new things to taste and learn.



The wines selected for this post are all California wines made from the Tempranillo grape variety. An important grape to Spain, particularly Rioja and Ribera del Duero; Tempranillo is the sixth most widely planted grape variety in the world. It is a versatile variety that is capable of producing a wide range of styles, from fresh and easy-drinking, to highly concentrated, dense, and well-structured. The three examples featured in this post are expressive, limited-production wines that are well worth seeking out. They are all wonderful food wines and great partners with grilled fare. For further information and where you can find these wines, see my tasting notes below.

Lee Family Farm Arroyo Seco 2013 Tempranillo

Lee Family Farm Arroyo Seco 2013 Tempranillo (SRP $20): Lee Family Farm is a second label from Morgan Winery, created to explore alternative red & white varieties in an approachable, food-friendly fashion. The fruit for this bottling was sourced from Ventana Vineyard in Central Monterey County. Garnet-red in color, this medium-to-full bodied wine boasts aromas and flavors of purple stone fruit and black cherries mixed with barrel spice, anise, and dried herbs. It is expansive and slightly rich in the mouth, with adequate acidity and refined tannins that melt into a satisfying, medium-long textured finish. This enjoyable wine would be a nice addition to any dinner table. Only 99 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Arroyo Seco, Monterey Country, California. Other info: ABV 14.4%, 10 months aging in 27% new French oak, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

Irwin Family Vineyards 2012 Piedra Roja Block 22 Tempranillo

Irwin Family Vineyards 2012 Piedra Roja Block 22 Tempranillo (SRP $34): Irwin Family Vineyards specializes in Spanish-inspired wines produced from California-grown fruit. Their specialty is Tempranillo and Verdejo. This wine is deep ruby in color with lifted aromas and flavors of purple stone fruit, black cherry, blueberry, and spices that give way to firm tannins and a long, fruit-driven finish. Overall, a deliciously robust wine that stays light on its feet thanks to a fine backbone of acidity. It begs for grilled meats, particularly a well-marbled rib-eye. Only 60 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Sierra Foothills, California. Other info: ABV 13.8%, matured in large format oak barrels for 32 months – 95% FR & 5% AM, matured in bottle 2 years, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine. 

Six Sigma Ranch 2012 Reserve Tempranillo

Six Sigma Ranch 2012 Reserve Tempranillo (SRP $48): Located in Lake County, California, Six Sigma Winery is situated on a 4,300 acre historic cattle ranch and specializes in small-lot, high quality wines. Still young but with good potential, this wine is masculine and robust, with excellent density and grainy tannins framing a concentrated core of dark skinned and [dried] red berry fruit flavors that are held together on a backbone of firm acidity. Dusty earth notes linger on the long, chewy finish. If you are looking for a wine that begs to be paired with grilled red meats, then look no further than this Lake County Tempranillo. With that being said, this is a wine that will reward patient cellaring; so get a few bottles to enjoy now, and a few bottles to stash away in a cool, dark place. Approximately 284 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Lake County, California. Other info: ABV 14.1%, 100% estate-grown, 24 months maturation in new French oak, 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!

3/18/2016

Quick Sip: Yalumba Patchwork 2012 Barossa Valley Shiraz

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Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip is the 2012 Barossa Valley Patchwork Shiraz from Yalumba Family Vignerons. Shiraz, which rhymes with pizzazz (for pronunciation purposes), is the name Aussies call wines produced from the Syrah grape. It is the most popular and widely planted red variety in Australia. Rich fruit, accessibility (i.e., easy-drinking), and affordability, are all hallmarks of numerous examples of Australian Shiraz. With warm weather on the horizon, many of you will be firing up the grill and enjoying the great outdoors with family and friends. Shiraz in general, but particularly this richly-fruited, juicy pick from Yalumba – Australia’s oldest family-owned winery – is an ideal match for grilled meats like burgers, ribs, brisket, chops, links, etc. This wine also sips nicely on its own so stock up for spring and summertime backyard cookouts. You can find it for $16.99, well under the suggested retail price, at Cork Exclusive, and free shipping is included on any three or more bottles of wine or spirits. For further information, please see my tasting notes below.

Yalumba Patchwork 2012 Barossa Valley Shiraz 

Yalumba Patchwork 2012 Shiraz (SRP $22): Aptly named, ‘Patchwork’ combines fruit from warm climate areas with cooler climate sites in Australia’s Barossa Valley. The resultant wine is deep purple in color with dark fruit tones on the nose and a plush core of purple stone fruit and dark skinned berries on the palate. The fruit flavors are joined by sweet oak notes and mocha spice. A faint wisp of mint and black pepper on the back-end adds some complexity. Medium-to-full bodied, the wine is round in the mouth with ripe tannins and adequate acidity, closing out with a medium-long, fruit-driven finish. It is quite enjoyable for the money and an ideal complement to veggies and meats cooked on the ‘barbie’. Try it! Region: Barossa Valley, Australia. Other info: ABV 14.5%, matured 15 months in a combo of American, French, and Hungarian oak barrels, screw cap enclosure.

Click here to find this wine. It has a suggested retail price of $22 and is available for as low as $16.99 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 Yalumba Patchwork 2012 Barossa Valley Shiraz for just $16.99 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!

3/15/2016

Quick Sip: Emeritus Vineyards 2013 Pinot Hill Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip is the 2013 Pinot Hill Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir from Emeritus Vineyards. Emeritus Vineyards was established in 1999 by Brice Jones, original founder of well-known Sonoma-Cutrer. A former Vietnam fighter pilot and thoughtful story-teller, Mr. Jones also has a passion for fine wine that goes back to his days serving our great country in the Air Force. Where Sonoma-Cutrer specialized in Chardonnay, Emeritus Vineyards focuses on growing high-quality, single-vineyard Pinot Noir from estate fruit. The fruit for this bottling comes from Pinot Hill, which is situated in the Sebastopol Hills area of the Sonoma Coast appellation. Pinot Hill is a dry-farmed, steep slope site with very cool temperatures and moderate diurnal swings. The climatic factor extends the growing season, allowing the berries to fully mature while retaining very good levels of natural acidity and freshness. Pinot Hill was planted in 2008 and the first vintage bottled was 2013. Though young, stylistically, this wine embodies all of the qualities I’ve come to expect from Emeritus Pinot Noirs: balance, purity of fruit, elegance, charm, and great acidity. If you have a penchant for Pinot Noirs that show restraint and finesse, then this is a winery to put on your radar. For further information and where you can find this wine, please see my tasting notes below.


Emeritus Vineyards 2013 Pinot Hill Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (SRP $55) This elegant and expressive Pinot Noir starts with a lovely medium ruby color, followed by enticing aromas and flavors of macerated cherry, raspberry, and cranberry, joined by a charming wisp of perfume and allspice like qualities. It is impeccably balanced with fresh fruit, refined tannins, and a vivid underpinning of acidity that lifts the texture and carries through the lingering finish. This Pinot Noir is drinking beautifully in its youth and will develop soundly in the cellar. I enjoyed a glass with seared duck breast, but it will also complement a wide variety of foods at your dinner table. Approximately 500 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Sonoma Coast, California. Other info: ABV 12.9%, dry farmed, matured in French oak – 25% new & aged 10 months, 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!

3/02/2016

LaMontagne Winery 2014 Marshall Vineyard Malvasia & 2013 Kessler-Haak Theron Pinot Noir

Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip features two wines from LaMontagne Winery. I was introduced to this winery through a virtual tasting put on by Protocol Wine Studio. The tasting highlighted small-production Santa Barbara producers for the entire month of February. You can join Protocol Wine Studio’s wine themed conversation every Tuesday at 9PM EST by following #winestudio on Twitter.


LaMontagne Winery was founded by foodie and wine lover, Kimberly Smith. Over the years, Kimberly had become quite fond of Pinot Noir, charmingly referred to as “the heartbreak grape,” for its temperament, fickleness, and delicacy. In 2006, that devotion led to college courses, hands-on-work at the highly-regarded Close Pepe Vineyard, and aspirants to become a winemaker. Her first vintage, which she says was an excellent growing season, would go into barrel in 2010.

"May each sip bring you joy!” ~ Kimberly Smith

Today, along with her son Alec, the winery produces small lots of single-vineyard, single varietal Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills; Syrah from Ballard Canyon; and Tempranillo, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Merlot, and Primitivo from Paso Robles. Their Malvasia comes from Kern County (Bakersfield). Wine production is low; therefore, Kimberly sells directly to the consumer. With a passion for crafting wines of exceptional quality, there is no wonder why her motto is, “May each sip bring you joy!” I recommend visiting the winery’s website and joining their mailing list. For further information and where you can find these wines, please see my tasting notes below.

LaMontagne Winery 2014 Marshall Vineyard Malvasia

LaMontagne Winery 2014 Marshall Vineyard Malvasia (SRP $30): This is a lovely example of Malvasia. The aromas are simply intoxicating; suggesting hibiscus, chamomile, honey, bruised pear, and citrus peel, along with a delicate mineral underpinning. The aromas extend to the palate with a pleasing, rounded texture that’s lifted by a zesty beam of balancing acidity. This wine has good depth and length and becomes more charming as it warms in the glass; 60°F is ideal. Only 100 cases of this wine were produced so get it while the getting is good! Region: Kern County, California. Other info: ABV 12.9%, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine. 

La Montagne 2013 Kessler-Haak Sta. Rita Hills Theron Pinot Noir

La Montagne 2013 Kessler-Haak Sta. Rita Hills Theron Pinot Noir (SRP: $65) This expressive Pinot Noir opens with an inviting burst of raspberry, kirsch, warm brown spices, and a very pretty floral perfume. It is beautifully ripe and fruit forward, with waves of fresh red berry fruit flavors that are supported by a firm acid spine and refined tannins. The mid-palate has a nice, streamlined texture that continues into a medium-long, fruit-driven finish. This is a delicious wine that will hold your interest until the very last sip. Only 75 case of this wine were produced. Region: Sta. Rita Hills, California. Other info: ABV 13.5%, 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!

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