2/26/2013

02.26.2013 Wine Reviews: Flora Springs Winery



Hello Friends,

I know you would never believe this, but I uncork or unscrew a new wine adventure just about every day. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine blogger, and someone who thoroughly appreciates and enjoys the liquid expression of a place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence, I often tell people that wine is one of the most intriguing beverages in the world. It’s a hobby where there is always something new to taste and learn as well as great people to meet in real life or via those wonderful social media portals called Facebook and Twitter.

 Corks Out, Time to Sip!


Below are a few of my recent sips accompanied by my tasting notes and a picture I snapped of each bottle. All of these sips come from Flora Springs -- a family-owned Napa Valley producer that has been growing and producing wine in the area for over three decades. Variety, so they say, is the spice of life, so keep an open mind and an open palate and enjoy the experience. Drink well, my friends!

Flora Springs 2009 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay


1) Flora Springs Winery 2009 Napa Valley Barrel Fermented Chardonnay (SRP $30): Pale gold in color with tropical fruit, baked pear, and toasty oak notes with touches of crème brûlée and butterscotch. The aromas carry over to the palate with a nice mouth-filling richness that’s complemented by softly balanced acidity with a touch of toasty [sweet baking] spice in the lingering finish. I enjoyed this selection with a delicious crab cake dinner. Two things you can never have enough of: Crab cakes and good Chardonnay. Click here to find this wine.

Flora Springs Winery 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


2) Flora Springs Winery 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $40): I had an opportunity to taste this wine during a recent CellarPass virtual wine event. This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from 3 Napa Valley appellations: Oakville, Rutherford, and St. Helena. This wine is a deep ruby color with purple highlights in the glass with blackberry, blueberry, cedar and sweet spice scents alongside shy red fruit undertones, subtle vanilla bean notes and a touch dark cocoa. The palate is round, supple, and [fairly] full-bodied with soft, fine-grain tannins, a somewhat fleshy mid-palate, and a touch of dusty cocoa powder in the medium length finish. I enjoyed this wine three ways: on its own, with wasabi crusted meatloaf and garlic mash, and with a delicious (fat-free and healthy) chocolate cupcake from Cuvee Napa (my long-distant Valentine). A Cabernet that is well worth seeking out and one that you can find at even better price points if you search the web. Click here to find this wine.

Flora Springs 2009 Trilogy


3) Flora Springs 2009 Trilogy (SRP $75): I had an opportunity to taste this wine during a recent CellarPass virtual wine event. Trilogy is one of the original Meritage wines (it actually pre-dates the use of the term by approximately four years); this year's blend is composed of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, and 5% Malbec. The 2009 vintage marks the 25th year Flora Springs has made this wine. The wine displays a nice ruby-purple color in the glass with aromas of boysenberry, blackberries, currant fruit, and spice box amid mocha scents and light red fruit undertones.  The Trilogy is a semi-rich wine that’s light on its feet with supple tannins, balanced acidity, and a smooth lingering finish. This wine is drinking nicely now and will more than likely evolve and get more interesting with proper cellaring. I’ve seen this wine at lower price points at wine shops and on the web. Keep your eyes peeled and find a few bottles to enjoy now while securing a couple of bottles to savor at a later date. Click here to find this wine.

Color Me Trilogy!


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: Two of these wines were received as a media sample for an event. Thoughts are my own.

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2/18/2013

02.18.2013 Wine Reviews: Rodney Strong, Tangent Winery, and Jean-Charles Boisset


Hello Friends,

I know you would never believe this, but I uncork or unscrew a new wine adventure just about every day. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine blogger, and someone who thoroughly appreciates and enjoys the liquid expression of a place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence, I often tell people that wine is one of the most intriguing beverages in the world. It’s a hobby where there is always something new to taste and learn as well as great people to meet in real life or via those wonderful social media portals called Facebook and Twitter. Below are a few of my recent sips accompanied by my tasting notes and a picture I snapped of each bottle. Variety, so they say, is the spice of life, so keep an open mind and an open palate and enjoy the experience. Drink well, my friends!

Rodney Strong Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc


1) Rodney Strong Vineyards' Charlotte's Home 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (SRP $15): The 2011 vintage kept Sonoma grape growers on their toes with an unusually cool and damp growing season. In spite of that, Rodney Strong Vineyards produced a well-made, crisp and clean Sauvignon Blanc that's fresh and vibrant. Pale straw in color, this light-to-medium bodied wine exhibits bright fruit forward aromas and flavors of citrus fruit [namely grapefruit, but covers a pretty wide range], lemongrass, and melon with mild nuances of wild herb with nice acid structure and a medium-length, palate-cleansing finish. This is a pleasantly refreshing and tasty wine for the money that would be a good match with everything from a warm and sunny day to light seafood dishes (especially shellfish). Click here to find this wine.

 Tangent Winery 2010 San Luis Obispo Viognier


2)  Tangent Winery 2010 San Luis Obispo [CA] Viognier (SRP $17):  Tangent Winery is part of Niven Family Wine Estates and is dedicated to producing balanced, food-friendly white wines. I initially tried this wine as part of a gift membership to The California Wine Club and since then, have enjoyed a few more bottles with friends and food (probably just as the winemaker intended). In the glass, the wine is light straw in color with honeydew melon, pear, and citrus peel/flesh aromas with a touch of stone fruit. The aromas extend to the palate with refreshing acidity, vibrant fruit flavors, and a clean refreshing finish. It was fermented and aged in 100% stainless steel and has a nice freshness and brightness about it. My favorite pairing for this wine was a plate of coconut shrimp and pineapple dipping sauce. It also drinks nicely on its own and could be enjoyed with a wide selection of foods. This wine retails for $17, but California Wine Club members can re-order it for the pocket-friendly price of $10.99 – which in my opinion is a berry good deal. Tip: This is a buy now, drink now kind of wine. Click here to find this wine.

JCB No. 21 Cremant de Bourgogne


3) JCB No. 21 (SRP $25): (non-vintage) Cremant de Bourgogne (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) from Boisset Family Estates portfolio that I enjoyed for a #CellarPassTV virtual tasting event with Jean-Charles Boisset, the CellarPass folks, and fellow wine blogging friends. Each JCB wine is numbered, as the numbers have some significance. For this wine, 21 is the French government’s “Department” number for Burgundy’s famous Côte d'Or appellation and pays homage to Jean-Charles Boisset’s homeland. This is a medium-weight wine with initial flavors of tree fruit (namely apple) followed by creamed honey, soft brioche notes, and a hint of toasted almonds towards the back end. Medium sized bubbles that dissipate somewhat quickly in the glass, give way to brisk acidity and a refreshing, palate cleansing finish. The JCB No. 69 pictured in the background is a Rosé Brut made exclusively from Pinot Noir. It’s simple, yet satisfying -- exhibiting dominant dried strawberry fruit flavors and refreshing acidity with a touch of sweetness on the finish. Remember -- any day is a good day for bubbly! Click here to find this wine.

My backyard feathered friend: The Northern Cardinal


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!

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

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2/11/2013

Boisset Family Estates Tasting: Buena Vista, DeLoach, Jean-Claude Boisset, and Raymond


Hello Friends,

I recently had an opportunity to jump on Twitter (my favorite little blue bird) and participate in #BWEChat (Boston Wine Expo) wine chat and virtual tasting. I tasted with Janet Fouts (aka The “Social Media Coach”), several fellow bloggers, and the man with a personality that’s as bright and bubby as the JCB sparkling wines in his portfolio -- Jean-Charles Boisset of Boisset Family Estates.

 Boisset Family Estates Line-up


Jean-Charles Boisset, who is from a wine-making family in Burgundy, France, owns Boisset Family Estates (along with his family). It is one of the leading family-owned wine companies with some pretty well-known – even historic, names in its collection (as you will notice below). See the wines I tasted and my notes below. To keep up with the latest happenings at Boisset Family Estates I recommend following them at @Boisset_Wines on Twitter.

Buena Vista Winery 2009 Carneros Chardonnay


1) Buena Vista Winery 2009 Carneros Chardonnay (SRP $20): Buena Vista Winery is a pioneer in the California wine industry; planting wine grapes in (a not so well-known) Carneros in 1969. The winery was acquired by the Boisset family in 2011. The 2009 Chardonnay is medium straw in color with inviting apple, pear, lemon peel, and toasty butterscotch aromas. The aromas extend to the palate with softly framed sweet oak accents that are complemented by good balancing acidity that finishes with a rounded, somewhat creamy medium length finish. This bottling, in my opinion, marries richness, brightness, focused fruit, and barrel influence  -- resulting in an expressive and tasty Carneros Chardonnay. Click here to find this wine.

 DeLoach Vineyards O.F.S. 2010 Pinot Noir


2) DeLoach Vineyards O.F.S. 2010 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (SRP $40): De Loach Vineyards was one of the first wineries established in the Russian River Valley in 1975. The winery was acquired by the Boisset family in 2003. Dark ruby-colored in the glass, this Pinot Noir offers inviting scents of cherry preserve, raspberry jam, cherry cola, and [sweet] baking spice with underlying black tea notes. The palate exhibits a round, fleshy fruit quality with a smooth texture and a medium-length fruity finish. This selection was one of the table’s most-liked wines during the tasting event. Click here to find this wine.

 Jean-Claude Boisset Bourgogne 2010 Pinot Noir


3) Jean-Claude Boisset 2010 Bourgogne Les Ursulines (SRP $20): Soft red fruit core, “particularly, maraschino cherry,” says my friend Mike, with nice spice qualities, fruited perfume accents and soft mineral undertones set on a delicate frame with (softer, almost subdued, flavors than the nose would suggest), plush tannins, and a medium length, spice-driven finish [with a pleasant sprinkling of white pepper too]. Click here to find this wine.

 Raymond Vineyards 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


4) Raymond Vineyards 2009 Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $35): Early-to-mid 1970’s Napa Valley pioneering estate located in St. Helena which was acquired by the Boisset family in 2009. In the glass, she displays a nice deep purple color with rich and inviting dark cherry, black currant, and mixed berry aromas with hints of cedar and sweet [baking] spice and just a light dusting of cocoa powder. The palate is smooth, [fairly] ripe, and fruit-focused with soft-to-middling acidity, a velvety/rounded texture, delectable tannins and a pleasant medium-length finish. I have had this particular vintage several times in recent months and my notes remain [almost] unchanged. In my opinion it is good juice for the money and if you search hard enough you can find it at the low-to-mid 20’s on the web. Click here to find this wine.

 Sitting on a rock off the bay, watching the tide roll away ...


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 received as a media sample for this event. Thoughts are my own.

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2/08/2013

02.08.2013 Wine Reviews: Freixenet Elyssia, Gatinois, and Blandy's


Hello Friends,

I know you would never believe this, but I uncork or unscrew a new wine adventure just about every day. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine blogger, and someone who thoroughly appreciates and enjoys the liquid expression of a place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence, I often tell people that wine is one of the most intriguing beverages in the world. It’s a hobby where there is always something new to taste and learn as well as great people to meet in real life or via those wonderful social media portals called Facebook and Twitter. Below are a few of my recent sips accompanied by my tasting notes and a picture I snapped of each bottle. Variety, so they say, is the spice of life, so keep an open mind and an open palate and enjoy the experience. Drink well, my friends!

Elyssia Pinot Noir Brut


1) Elyssia NV Pinot Noir Brut (SRP $18): This Cava comes from Freixenet -- Spain's premier sparkling wine house. I enjoyed a glass to kick-off the recent Baltimore Ravens versus San Francisco 49’ers Super Bowl. A blend of Pinot Noir and a touch of Trepat (Spanish grape), this salmon colored wine exhibits fresh red berry aromas complemented by honeyed brioche notes. She’s medium-bodied, lively, and fairly frothy on the entry with balanced acidity and [appealing] light citrus overtones in the lingering finish. This wine paired nicely with our Cajun game-day hot-wings and was also enjoyable on its own. Overall, this is a respectable Cava to enjoy any day of the wine week at a price point that won’t break the bank. Click here to find this wine.
Gatinois NV Brut Grand Cru


2) Gatinois NV Brut Grand Cru (SRP $25 / 375ml): This is a pleasant entry-level’ish Champagne showing spicy yeast, baked apple and lemon zest alongside biscuit like accents with a pleasant nutty quality and a firm backbone of acidity.  Half-bottles are great for mid-week sipping (I mean, who can drink a whole bottle of Champagne by themselves) and you cannot go wrong with [a well-made] Champagne. Recommended snack pairing: Popcorn drizzled with truffle oil and tossed with freshly ground black pepper and shaved parmesan. Click here to find this wine.

Blandy's 10 Year Old Malmsey Madeira


3) Blandy's 10 Year Old Malmsey Madeira (SRP $44): Breakfast of champions and wise men, Malmsey is the sweetest and richest of the four varieties. It’s also the wine that was used by the Founding Fathers to toast the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The remaining [main] three grapes listed from dry to sweet are: Sercial, Verdelho, Bual. This particular example offers fig, caramel, a pleasing nutty component, brown sugar, and honeyed flavors with a mouth-coating richness. Since Madeira is fortified and exposed to air and heat, it will keep for a very long time after you open it. It’s far from fragile, so buy a good bottle and enjoy a splash after dinner or as a night-cap. This bottle should last me a good 2-3 months – remember -- all you need is a splash (preferably served in a small cordial glass). Sip, savor and enjoy at a slow pace – this selection is 19% ABV. Click here to find this wine.

My backyard feathered friend: The Northern Cardinal


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!

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

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2/04/2013

02.04.2013 Wine Reviews: Lamoreaux Landing, Forge Cellars, and Shelton Vineyards


Hello Friends,

I know you would never believe this, but I uncork or unscrew a new wine adventure just about every day. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine blogger, and someone who thoroughly appreciates and enjoys the liquid expression of a place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence, I often tell people that wine is one of the most intriguing beverages in the world. It’s a hobby where there is always something new to taste and learn as well as great people to meet in real life or via those wonderful social media portals called Facebook and Twitter.

Below are a few of my recent sips – all from eastern United States (New York and North Carolina) accompanied by my tasting notes and a picture I snapped of each bottle. Generally speaking, Portuguese white wines are light and bright, low in alcohol, compatible with a wide variety of foods, and won’t break the bank. For those of you unfamiliar with the wines of Portugal; I encourage you to pick up a bottle the next time you visit your local wine shop. Variety, so they say, is the spice of life, so keep an open mind and an open palate and enjoy the experience. Drink well, my friends!

Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 2011 Grüner Veltliner


1) Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 2011 Grüner Veltliner (SRP $19.95): This wine exhibits a pale straw color in the glass with light-to-medium weight and soft, somewhat non-descript aromas and flavors that lean towards citrus fruit with clean mineral-laced acidity that leads to a touch of orange zest on the short and refreshing finish. I enjoyed this wine as an aperitif and with light appetizers (garlic flat bread with smoked mozzarella) before dinner. I do not think there is a lot of Grüner Veltliner coming out of the Finger Lakes, New York, but the region is well-suited to cool climate varieties and is well known for their success with Riesling. Therefore, I’m not surprised to see Austria’s most important white wine grape variety show up in the Finger Lakes. I recommend this bottling to those particularly curious about in experiencing what the Finger Lakes can do with this variety. Click here to find this wine.

Forge Cellars 2011 Pinot Noir


2) Forge Cellars 2011 Pinot Noir (SRP $23.99): Admittedly, the Finger Lakes, New York is not a wine region I typically look to for Pinot Noir (and probably couldn’t find on the store shelves here in Virginia anyway). However, it’s always good to think outside the box and experience something new. After all, you just might find a new favorite from an unlikely wine producing region, right? In the glass, this wine displays a light ruby color with reserved red fruit aromas – namely raspberry and cranberry, and just a wisp of floral perfume. The palate is light-to-medium bodied with delicate red fruit flavors that’s balanced by fine acidity and a dash of spice in the short-to-medium length finish. I enjoyed this with herb roasted chicken and red potatoes. Overall, an approachable, light and bright cool-climate Pinot Noir from my friends up north. While the Finger Lake have the potential to produce great Riesling wines, I would recommend this selection to those interested in discovering what this region can do with Pinot Noir. Click here to find this wine.

Shelton Vineyards 2007 Yadkin Valley Cabernet Franc


3) Shelton Vineyards 2007 Estate-Bottled Yadkin Valley Cabernet Franc (SRP $12):  At first sniff, it's unmistakably Cabernet Franc, exuding red berry fruit aromas with herbal/leafy nuances and faint dark fruit undertones with spicy accents. It's [fairly] light in body with soft tannins, good balancing acidity, and a medium-length finish. In my opinion, this wine offers good QPR (Quality-Price-Ratio) at the pocket-friendly price of $12. Shelton Vineyards was founded in 1999 and is the largest family-owned estate winery in North Carolina. While I didn’t have this with food, I can see it partnering nicely with a plate of North Carolina pulled-pork barbecue. Click here to find this wine.  Note: This vintage may be sold out at the winery. I found this bottle at a wine shop.

"Love thou the rose, yet leave it on its stem." ~ Edward Lytton


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!

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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!
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Thanks for reading and please tell your wine-loving friends about the blog. Cheers!

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