03.07.2013 Wine Reviews: TR Elliott Winery and Bonneau Wines with Cellars of Sonoma

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.

At @CellarsOfSonoma sipping Chardonnay

Below are a few of my recent sips accompanied by my tasting notes and a picture I snapped of each bottle. All of these wines are crafted by small, family-owned and operated Sonoma producers whose wines are sold and poured out of Cellars of Sonoma wine bar and tasting room in Santa Rosa, California. 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!

 TR Elliott Three Roses 2011 Chardonnay

1) TR Elliott Three Roses 2011 Chardonnay (SRP $32): This is a selection of seven barrels from a one-acre block of the Herrick Vineyard in Healdsburg, California. Theodore R Elliott, the vintner behind this label, specializes in producing small lots of Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. Both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are well suited to the appellation’s cooler marcoclimate. I had an opportunity to enjoy a bottle of this Chardonnay when I visited Cellars of Sonoma wine bar in Santa Rosa's historic Railroad Square district a few weeks ago. In the glass, the wine displays a [medium] golden straw color and offers up a tasty core of citrus fruit and Asian pear aromas and flavors along the side of brown baking spices and a subdued mineral component. It is smooth and supple on the palate with a nice creamy richness, yet good acid balance with a deft touch of oak spice in the lingering finish. I paired this wine with bacon wrapped sea scallops and buttermilk-fried quail starter dishes and from neighboring restaurant Jack and Tony’s. While sipping and eating, I enjoyed good company, conversation, and the sounds of the talented and soulful local artist, John Pita. Overall, this is a pretty tasty Chardonnay that brings the richness (texture, mouth-feel), the brightness, good fruit flavors, and [pleasing] integrated barrel influenced components. Click here to find this wine.

TR Elliott Winery Burgonet 2010 Pinot Noir

2) TR Elliott Winery Burgonet 2010 Pinot Noir (SRP $44): This is a selection of nine barrels from O’Connell Vineyard in Sonoma’s cool-climate Russian River Valley. Medium-deep ruby in color, she boasts expressive aromas of dark cherry, tart cranberry fruit, citrus peel, sweet spice, subtle earthy tones, and fennel seed accented notes. It’s medium-bodied and velvety textured on the palate with a nicely nuanced core of red fruit flavors over a [moderately] elegant frame with a dollop of baking spice in the delightful, lasting finish. Approximately 170 cases of this wine were made. Personally, I have always experienced satisfying results when uncorking Ted’s single-vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. Good balance has always been a trademark. Click here to find this wine.

Bonneau Wines Rockpile 2009 Zinfandel

3) Bonneau Wines Rockpile 2009 Zinfandel (SRP $50): The little-known and small Rockpile appellation (established in 2002) is located in northern Sonoma and has (… I think) approximately 200 acres under vine. The area has gravely soils, cool, but not cold, moderate temperatures, and the majority of the plantings are at fairly high (1000 ft.) elevations. For these reasons, John Bambury of Bonneau Wines says the appellation is well-suited to the uniquely American Zinfandel grape variety. In the glass, the Rockpile Zinfandel displays a medium [clear] garnet color with blackcurrant, boysenberry, anise, and (light) raisin aromas with cherry/red fruit undertones and subtle cedar and spice notes. The aromas extend to the [medium-to-full-bodied] palate with middling acidity (yet balanced), a [somewhat] round mouth-feel, and moderate tannins that persist through to the medium-length finish. I enjoyed the remainder of the wine with a smoked brisket sandwich and fixings the following day. This Zinfandel is not over-the-top or jammy and is from a small appellation that Robert Parker called ... "One of the finest Zinfandel sites in Northern California." Click here to find this wine.

Happy Sipping from Cellars of Sonoma!

About Cellars of Sonoma: Cellars of Sonoma is a wine bar and tasting room located in the heart of Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square. They specialize in featuring select hand-picked wines from small production Sonoma producers (with very few exceptions). Co-owner Scott Jordan and staff, host an entertaining live streaming broadcast every Tuesday at 9PM EST that showcases some of the small artisan boutique producers whose wines are poured and sold in the shop. The show also features local chefs and people in the hospitality business. I recommend tuning in if you have the time. Click here to visit the site for the show and save it in your favorites. The Twitter hash-tag for the live broadcast is #TVTuesdayLive. Cheers!

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