03.26.2013 Wine Reviews: Kramer Vineyards, Alexandria Nicole Cellars, and Passaggio Wines

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.

Two Flutes of Kramer Vineyards 2010 Brut

Below are a few of my recent sips accompanied by my tasting notes and a picture I snapped of each bottle. All three of these white wines are ideal for springtime/summer sipping and come from relatively small [production] producers. At $20-$26 these wines are at fairly accessible price points and all three, in my opinion, are meant to be enjoyed in their youth (and preferably with family, friends, and fine nibbles). 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!

Kramer Vineyards 2010 Brut 

1) Kramer Vineyards 2010 Brut (SRP $26): I had an opportunity to taste this sparkling selection during a recent #tastekramerwine virtual wine tasting with winemaker Kim Kramer. This refreshing sparkling wine is a blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay from the producer’s 20-acre estate vineyard in Yamhill-Carlton (a sub-appellation of the greater Willamette Valley AVA in Oregon). It is made in the traditional method – the same process used to make Champagne. Inviting and vibrant scents of golden apple, pear, and pie crust fill the nose alongside orange zest and faint bread dough notes. The palate is light-to-medium in body with a somewhat creamy mousse and a steady but scant bead of medium sized bubbles. It’s tasty and fresh with (food-partnering) mouth-watering acidity and a pleasing mineral edge that persists through to the medium-length crisp and clean finish. Only 165 cases of this wine were produced. We enjoyed a few flutes of this bubbly with smoked salmon pinwheels, but it’s versatile enough to pair with a wide variety of foods. I’m saving a bottle to match with a beautiful spring day and picnic fare. Click here to find this wine.

Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2012 Crawford Viognier 

2) Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2012 Crawford Viognier (SRP $20): This is a bright and refreshing Viognier from Washington State (Columbia Valley). In the glass, it displays a medium straw color with pleasant scents of peach, apricot and wild flowers amid citrus blossom, subtle Asian pear notes and a faint touch of hay. The aromas extend to the palate with well-balanced acidity and delicate yet vibrant fruit flavors that end with a clean, medium length finish. I enjoyed this bottle on its own and with my friend’s tasty version of Dynamite Shrimp – which was a nice match. With warmer days ahead, this is a nice wine to pair with the patio (which the producer's tasting-notes suggest), deck, or backyard get-togethers with family and friends. Click here to check out the producer’s entertaining ‘Harlem Shake’ video and click here to find this wine. 

Passaggio New Generation Unoaked Chardonnay

3) Passaggio New Generation Unoaked [California] 2011 Chardonnay (SRP $23): Pale straw in color, this delightfully refreshing Chardonnay offers a vibrant melody of citrus fruit, melon, and tree fruit aromas/flavors complemented by brisk, food-friendly acidity with pleasing mineral notes and a clean, medium-length finish. I enjoyed this Chardonnay on its own and with a grilled chicken salad. While I enjoy all styles of Chardonnay, this is a pleasant example of how the grape can express itself “au natural" sans the influence of oak. Winemaker Cynthia Cosco, whose label reflects her Italian heritage, left a 15 year Law Enforcement career on the east coast to pursue her passion of making wine back in 2004 and hasn’t looked back. Cynthia is pretty well-known in social media circles and has an inspirational “Follow Your Passion” story and solid juice to boot. Click here to read Cynthia’s story and click here to find this wine. 

Happy Sipping with Passaggio! 

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 samples. Thoughts are my own.

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