12/29/2011

TasteLive: Wineyard at Santa Rosa Vintners Square


Hello Friends,

I recently had the pleasure of participating in a fun online event to kick-off the opening [January 2012] of The Wineyard at Santa Rosa Vintners Square [California]. The Wineyard, formerly a strip mall, is an urban winery village with full on-site production and tasting room facilities. The Wineyard will host and showcase select Sonoma winery partners and local farmers. Owners Dino and Maria D’Argenzio have partnered with TasteLive to produce live interactive wine, food, and music related webcasts. The kick-off event included a live streaming demonstration webcast and a virtual tasting with the winemakers from the Wineyard’s first cooperative of wine producers. During the virtual tasting event a select panel of wine bloggers and I had the opportunity to taste a diverse selection of wines from the following four small-production artisan producers: Shone Farm Winery, Flocchini Winery, Atascadero Creek Winery, and Jazz Cellars. Overall, these wines offered good quality at fairly reasonable price points. See my comments as well as the link to the wines and winemaker interviews below. I would like to thank the D’Argenzio family for the invite and wish them good luck and success with the new business. Cheers! [Click here to watch the initial TasteLive broadcast with Dino D’Argenzio about the Wineyard.]

Shone Farm Winery 2010 Estate Sauvignon Blanc


Shone Farm Winery 2010 Estate Sauvignon Blanc [Russian River Valley] (SRP $18): Shone Farm is a 365-acre outdoor learning laboratory for the Santa Rosa Junior College. Seventy acres are under vine and the students get to assists with all aspects of the operation. Upon opening, the nose is dominated by methoxypyrazines [fresh green herbs, bell-pepper, and jalapenos] with bright underlying citrus and white pitted fruit scents and a hint of flintiness. The wine has bright acidity and a refreshing citrus/herbal finish. Stylistically, this wine would appeal to Sauvignon Blanc drinkers who don’t mind a higher than normal level of MP’s, which are typically not found in California Sauvignon Blanc wines. That said, this selection is light and bright and very food-friendly. Click here to view the winemaker interview on Ustream.

Flocchini Winery 2006 Andrea La Rue Pinot Noir


Flocchini Winery 2006 Andrea La Rue Pinot Noir [Sonoma Coast] (SRP $22 ...Good QPR): This Pinot Noir – a real crowd pleaser during the tasting -- offers inviting aromas of ripe cherry, pomegranate and cranberry with nuanced baking spice, tea, and violet notes. On the palate, it has a smooth texture and soft tannins with a round mouth-feel, but retains a pleasing, zesty acidity ending with a clean medium length finish. The suggested pairings, which I agree with, are roasted duck or mushroom risotto. The 2006 was the second vintage from the producer and approximately 300 cases were produced. Click here to view the winemaker interview on Ustream.

Jazz Cellars 2007 La Madres Vineyards Syrah


Jazz Cellars 2007 La Madres Vineyards Syrah [Carneros] ($34): Jazz Cellars Winery is named after the owners’ love of music. Their operation is focused on producing handcrafted, small-lot, single vineyard wines. The Syrah is deep purple in color, nearly opaque, with expressive red fruit scents and additional (complex) notes of spice, soy, graphite, white pepper and subtle floral/perfumed aromas. This Syrah is nicely balanced with a velvety texture, supple tannins, good fruit concentration, yet [pleasing] bright and zesty acidity with a nice long finish. My “seasonal” music pairing: Ella and Satchmo - "Baby It's Cold Outside." Cheers! Click here to view the winemaker interview on Ustream.

Atascadero Creek Winery 2008 Haun Ranch Zinfandel


Atascadero Creek Winery 2008 Haun Ranch Zinfandel [Russian River Valley] ($28): Atascadero Creek (the creek pictured on the label) is a small winery in west Sonoma County operated by Bob Appleby. The winery specializes in crafting small lots of single vineyard wines. Bob uses native yeast, no sprays, the vineyard is dry farmed, and the vines produce approximately one ton per acre. This Zinfandel is dark (nearly opaque), big, bold, and ripe with a mouth-coating texture. Currant, ripe black plums, blackberry, baked pie scents and a sprinkling of sweet spice fill the nose. The wine is full-bodied, dense, and concentrated with ripe/namely baked fruit-driven flavors, smooth tannins, medium-low (leaning low) acidity and a lengthy finish. Besides making wine … Bob plays in a band called Bottle Shock. I wonder if any of their songs are about wine. Cheers! Click here to view the winemaker interview on Ustream.

To visit The Wineyard at Santa Rosa Vintners Square website click here.

Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come.

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

My Vine Spot

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12/24/2011

A Merry Christmas To All :-)

Santa Clause sighting at @LansdowneResort


May your days be filled with joy, and glasses filled with wine this holiday season.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, friends.

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

Warm Regards,

Dezel

12/22/2011

Pine Ridge Vineyards: Wines for Your Holiday Table


Hello Friends,

Last week I had the pleasure of joining a panel of guest wine bloggers and participating in Pine Ridge Vineyard’s “Wines for Your Holiday Table” TasteLive virtual tasting event. The tasting was put on by the Crimson Wine Group, who owns and operates a small portfolio of premium wine producers, including Archery Summit Winery, Seghesio Family Vineyards, and Chamisal Vineyards. The tasting featured a live video broadcast that was led by Pine Ridge Vineyard’s winemaker Michael Beaulac and assistant winemaker Jason Ledbetter. Michael and Jason guided us through the tasting of four of their wines, answered questions, and provided some very good information about what was going on from ground to glass for each wine. I’ve included the video in this post and encourage you to review it. A few of the wines we had an opportunity to taste are widely available and reasonably priced, so grab a bottle and check out the video. Pine Ridge included holiday food pairing ideas in the notes which I’ve included in my tasting notes [below]. Overall, this was a very nice tasting experience – both in the quality of the wines and the personal touch the video-based tasting added. We batted 4 of 4 on the wines and since several local shops carry these wines, I will be sure to have some Pine Ridge Vineyards on my holiday table. See my notes and comments below. Cheers!

Pine Ridge Vineyards: Wines for Your Holiday Table


* Pine Ridge 2010 Chenin Blanc + Viognier (SRP $14) - This is a blend of 79% Chenin Blanc and 21% Viognier that marries the brightness and fruitiness of the Chenin Blanc with the texture and aromatics of the Viognier. On the nose this wine offers white stone fruit, bright citrus, and honeydew melon scents. It’s clean and refreshing with crisp food-friendly acidity. Pine Ridge is right on the money with their food pairing suggestion: Dungeness crab cakes or fresh oysters. I would also add grilled calamari or steamed mussels in a white wine sauce. For those of you in Virginia, Total Wine carries this selection for $9.99.

* Pine Ridge 2009 Dijon Clones Chardonnay [Carneros] (SRP $34) – This Chardonnay offers a harmonious composition, citrus and tree fruit flavors, with sweet toast and baking spice overtones. The wine was barrel-fermented, but malolactic fermentation was blocked; therefore, the wine retains a pleasant brightness while the corners are nicely rounded. The palate is well-balanced, nicely textured, and has seamless fruit and oak integration marked by smoothness and elegance. The suggested holiday food pairing is a turkey dinner. I will stick with the poultry theme and add grilled or baked chicken (minimal spices). For those of you in Virginia, Total Wine carries this selection for $26.99. [NOTE: If you're having trouble playing the video below please click here.]

Pine Ridge Vineyards Video Broadcast


* 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $54) - This Cabernet Sauvignon was crafted from Napa fruit sourced from Pine Ridge Vineyard’s multiple appellations throughout the valley. The wine offers inviting aromas of raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, chocolate/mocha, and softer toasty/vanilla scents. Supple tannins give structure to the fruit-driven palate with good balancing acidity and a nice long finish. Pine Ridge notes this wine's versatility and says it will pair wonderfully with a number of dishes. I’m thinking this wine would complement a nice lamb dish and also sip nicely on its own.

* Pine Ridge 2008 Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $80) - Since 1978, Pine Ridge Vineyards has produced appellation specific Cabernet Sauvignon wines that showcase the unique characteristics of Napa Valley AVA’s. In the glass, this wine displays a gorgeous deep purple color, nearly opaque, with (very) inviting aromas of ripe blackberry, dark cherry, spiced plum, and caramel with a sprinkling of cocoa and mocha. After some time in the glass I picked up on baked pie scents and pretty [floral] underlying perfumed nuances. This wine coats the mouth, has good structure, a well-integrated texture, round tannins, complex aromas/flavors, and a long-lasting finish. Pine Ridge recommends sharing this selection with close friends and family over a special holiday gathering. For food, they suggest prime rib, with which I agree.

To visit the Pine Ridge Vineyards website click here.

Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come.

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

My Vine Spot

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12/14/2011

Quick Sip: Clos Fardet 05 Cuvée Moutoué Madiran

Hello Friends,

Today’s ‘Quick Sip’ is the Clos Fardet 2005 Cuvée Moutoué Fardet (98% Tannat, 2% Cabernet Franc) from Madiran. I had an opportunity to taste this wine during a recent South West Wines of France tasting seminar with Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer. Madiran, as you’ve probably guessed by now, is a wine producing region in southwest France. Madiran has a winemaking history that dates back to ancient times. The region’s main grape variety is Tannat – and as the name suggests, it’s known for high tannin levels. The wines of Madiran used to require extended aging, but nowadays you can find examples that are approachable when young, as well as those that are well-structured and age-worthy.

Clos Fardet 2005 Cuvée Moutoué Fardet


It’s fairly easy to sell someone on a Tannat from Uruguay or even some of the local examples here in Virginia. But mention Madiran and you may get a puzzled look. This is because US consumers generally prefer to purchase wine with varietal labels (grape name) as opposed to appellation (region). The wines of Madiran are dominated by the Tannat grape, so if you like wines produced from Tannat, give this region a try. The Clos Fardet 2005 Cuvée Moutoué Fardet is well-structured with deep flavor concentration and offers excellent aging potential. The 2005 is still very young, offering rich aromas of blueberry, blackberry, cocoa powder, spice, and pretty violet scents with a round texture, a firm spine of [dusty] tannins, and a lengthy finish. It had a [pleasing] touch of funk/earth that dissipated by day two. For $27 this wine delivers and over the course of the evening, and into the next day, the wine opened up nicely. This is a wine that you should let breathe/decant for at least two hours before serving. If you enjoy Tannat, check to see if your local wine shop can recommend a good Madiran wine. Let me know what you find. Cheers!

Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come.

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

My Vine Spot

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Dezel's My Vine Spot © 2006-2011. All rights reserved.

12/08/2011

Pinot Paragon with Benziger Family Winery

Hello Friends,

Last week I had the pleasure of joining my fellow wine bloggers for Benziger Family Winery's virtual “Pinot Paragon” wine tasting. Benziger Family Winery is located in Glen Ellen, CA, and specializes in small-production, certified sustainable, organic, and biodynamic wines. The tasting featured a live video broadcast with winemaker Rodrigo Soto who has nurtured the Pinot Noir program at Benziger for several years now. Having listened to Rodrigo during a previous tasting, I must say, the guy exudes pure passion for his work and adopts a non-interventionist approach to winemaking. We had the opportunity to taste four Pinot Noir wines that showcased the unique personality and characteristics of four distinct single-vineyard sites. These wines were sourced from the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast – two cool-climate regions where Pinot Noir and Chardonnay thrive. Our tasting focused on the 2009 vintage, which consisted of moderate to cool temperatures with a few late summer heat spikes. Of the four wine tasted, the 2009 Signaterra San Remo was fullest in body and showed some oomph. The other three flirted with delicacy and finesse, were well-balanced and had good, food-friendly acidity. With Pinot Noir in particular, I find that you generally get what you pay for. These Pinot Noir wines delivered and are very nicely done and priced between $49 and $75. Some may call these special occasion wines --- but the special occasion in this case is when you remove the cork and enjoy the wine. See my tasting notes, price points, and links to the wines below. Cheers!

Pinot Paragon with Benziger Family Winery


2009 de Coelho Terra Neuma (SRP $75): This is a single-vineyard, bio-dynamically grown Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. The wine reflects the moderate-to-cool 2009 growing season. The nose offers inviting and complex aromas of bright red cherries and cranberry that comingle with berry/violet perfume notes and a pleasing mineral component. The palate shows restraint and delicacy with a slender frame, soft tannins, balanced acidity, and a smooth lingering finish. This wine clocks in at a low/moderate 13.0% ABV. I’m ready to hit the rewind button and revisit this wine with Thanksgiving dinner.

2009 de Coelho Quintas (SRP $75): This is a bio-dynamically farmed, single-vineyard wine from the Sonoma Coast that offers inviting cherry and raspberry scents with soft orange peel notes, floral perfume, and a hint of cola. The palate is medium-bodied with soft tannins, a smooth / lean texture, yet full-flavored and curvaceous ending with a nice lingering finish. (13.0% ABV)

2009 Signaterra Bella Luna (SRP $49): This is a certified and bio-dynamically grown single-vineyard Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. It’s lean and bright with a silky texture and vibrant red fruit that's complimented by complex lavender/floral notes with soft earthy undertones. A versatile food-friendly (lovely acid) wine that has me thinking about sautéed duck breast. (13.8% ABV)

2009 Signaterra San Remo (SRP $49): This is a single-vineyard certified sustainable Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. The nose offers inviting and rich red fruit scents with spice notes and a touch of sweet perfume. The palate is medium (leaning full) bodied with smooth tannins, a round mouth-feel, and a nice balance between ripeness, acidity, and structure. A nice moderately complex sipping wine that’s also quite versatile and food-friendly. (14.5% ABV)

To visit the Benziger Family Winery website click here.

Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come.

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

My Vine Spot

  • Please Click Here to vote Dezel's My Vine Spot as your favorite wine blog - You can vote 1x per day!
  • Friend me up on Face-Book here.

Happy Sipping Friends - Tell your friends about the blog and thanks for your support and kind emails !

Dezel's My Vine Spot © 2006-2011. All rights reserved.

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