Thursday, September 5, 2019

Upshot Blends Sonoma County Rodney Strong Vineyards Red, White Or Both


*Samples Received*

I've tasted a few vintages of Rodney Strong's Upshot White Blend and Red Blend, always come away impressed with the flavors as well as the drinkability of these wines. Blending wine is an art to find the balance between varietals and vineyards. These wines today nailed the balance.

I started with the 2018 Upshot White Blend ($28) which consists of 27% Chardonnay, 21% Grenache Blanc, 18% Gewurztraminer, 17% Pinot Noir, 11% Viognier and 6% Sauvignon Blanc. The grapes were harvested from Sonoma County, Monterey County and Mendocino County. Once you pop the screw cap you get a tropical feeling with this blend. White peach, apricot, honeydew melon, grapefruit dance around your nose with a kiss of floral and citrus zest notes. The mouth is bright with cantaloupe, honeydew melon and a splash of sliced peach wrapped around notes of wet stone. Sipped on the porch and paired with a grilled white fish for dinner. You will love this wine friends.

Up next the 2017 Upshot Red Blend ($28) which comes 100% from Sonoma County (Alexander Valley & Knights Valley) and encompasses the varietals 31% Merlot, 31% Zinfandel, 30% Malbec, 5% Riesling and 3% Petit Verdot. The nose is dominated by dark fruit with blackberries, plum, dark cherry with a hint of raspberry and white pepper spice. The nose carries over to the mouth with the rich dark fruit showcasing the wines character. Lush with a hint of spice and vanilla on the finish. The tannins are soft. I sipped while making BBQ Ribs and then enjoyed with dinner. another excellent wine and pairing.

Swing by taste some wine and check out their Summer Concert Series and enjoy all they have to offer.

Cheers
Dan


Saturday, August 17, 2019

Cameron Hughes Pinot Gri and Rose


*samples received*

First time that I have sipped any of the offerings from Cameron Hughes. The business model to me is challenging but very interesting at the same time. Buying good wine in a barrel or "shiners", protecting the winery from which this juice is purchased then passing the savings and wine onto the consumer who ultimately could be drinking an award winning wine for under 20.00 without knowing the source. Let's pop the corks shall we.

First up the Lot 631 2017 Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Gris. I started with this wine as a prelude to traveling for the first time to Oregon on a business trip that also including tasting Oregon Wines (Hey when in Rome). Once in the glass aromas of apple and pear with hints of almond crème, honeysuckle and citrus treat the nose. The mouth is lively with the pear, tart apple and honeydew melon with a kiss of baking spice. Crisp and clean a really nice wine for $12.00 and especially this region of Oregon.

Second up the Lot 639 Arroyo Seco Monterey County Rose. Pour this wine in the glass and your nose tells you you're laying in a field of strawberries and roses with a sprinkle of cherry juice for good measure. The mouth is full of juicy strawberry almost as if you have a jolly rancher in your mouth followed by a slight tartness but finish with a splash of sweetness. $13.00 for a nice Rose'.

Cheers
Dan


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

2012 Ceja Vineyards Oxomo Red Blend Napa Valley


Popping the cork on this wine is like visiting and old friend in Napa. I always enjoy a bottle whether a Pinot, Syrah, Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Rose' or the multiple other varietals being produced by this wonderful Carneros family. Yes we are talking about Ceja Vineyards and the first generation Mexican-American family winegrowers in the Sonoma and Napa Valleys.

I've talked about their story in the past, from the first grape harvest job to the owning of a vineyard and then today a world class wine portfolio. Humble beginnings yet they have never forgotten what it takes to create and maintain a successful family business. The wine this evening will not disappoint.

The 2012 Ceja Vineyards Oxomo blend of Cabernet and Merlot, is full of lush fruit and spice aromas. Once the cork is pulled there is this beautiful puff of rich vanilla followed by dark blackberry, raspberry, dark cherry, plum with hints of blueberry and spice. An outstanding nose. The mouth is rich with dark, red and blue fruit with a perfect balance of spice and vanilla. With blackberry, cherry and blueberry rolling across the tongue to this beautiful long soft finish. Amazing red blend my friends. I paired this with homemade lasagna and oh how it complimented the sauce and beef in the dish.

Check out their current releases at their online wine shop by clicking the link. If you plan a visit to Sonoma I highly recommend swinging by the tasting room for a few sips of this wonderful wine.


Cheers
Dan







Monday, July 15, 2019

2018 Isa Rose' Campesino Cellars


I've blogged several of Macario's and Griselda's wines from Campesino Cellars so this label is not new to you or me. Well maybe those of you new to the blog. All I can say is buy this wine and drink it slowly because you will run out and wish you had more. This rose', they produced only 100 cases and damn is it good. Small hands on production wines are my favorite and this label regardless of varietal will not disappoint your palate.

Pop the cork and the fruit races from the glass. Cherries, fresh sliced strawberry with hints of melon and floral notes. The mouth is crisp and refreshing with juicy strawberries and crushed cherries surrounded by splashes of honeydew melon and a pinch of barrel spice. Nice acidity and I love the dry elegant finish. Again amazing juice produced by Macario year after year. A steal at $20.00 per bottle.


Swing by the website and purchase some of this rose' before it's too late. You won't be sorry. Macario we will be sharing a glass together in a few months.

Cheers
Dan

Saturday, June 29, 2019

2016 Runquist Wines 1448 California Red Table Wine


I had the opportunity and introduction to these wines a few years ago when my local wine store held a meet the winemaker and their wines event. I have been a fan of Jeff Runquist Wines ever since, and have come to the realization that you better buy early because typically his wines sell out (I might have learned my lesson on a tasty Cab Franc just saying). This was a purchase from First Avenue Wine House and an excellent blend.

Once the screw cap enclosure was removed the bouquet of aromas release gently from the glass. Red, black and blue fruit intertwined with floral and herbal notes are pleasing to the nose. Plum, black raspberry, blueberry, cherry with hints of violets and dried herbs finishing with a nutty toasted vanilla character. The mouth is seductive and juicy showcasing the exquisite ripe fruit of cherry, raspberry, plum and smooth blueberry. As the wine wanders on the palate a quick hint of toasted oak with a finish of creamy vanilla. Fantastic blend and one I could drink daily.

Guess on a next visit I need to stop by the tasting room for a few mores sips.

Cheers
Dan