Sunday, January 20, 2019

Concha y Toro Marques Casa Concha 2014 Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon

*Samples Received*

Couple of wonderful wines of Chile for this post. A single vineyard Chardonnay and a dual vineyard blend Cabernet Sauvignon. The winemaker is Marcelo Papa who is one of the 5 lead winemakers at Concha y Toro.

The 2014 Chardonnay comes from the Limari Region in the Llanura de Camarico Vineyard. The growing season lasts 7 months in mineral rich soil with loads of sunlight and cool breezes from the Humboldt Current. The nose on this wine shows ripe green apple, white peach with a hint of tangerine and baking spice. The mouth is full of bright fruit with tart apple, juicy pear and a kiss of spice and oak on the finish. Really nice wine for $22 and a steal.

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced from the Puente Alto and Pirque vineyards in the Maipo region of Chile. This area is known for producing some of the very best Chilean Cabernet. The nose shows nicely with blackberry, raspberry, black currants with hints of wild violets and crushed cherries. The mouth is elegant with the dark fruit and red fruit intertwined with spice, vanilla and a slight hint of toasted oak. Outstanding $25 Cabernet.

 Swing by your favorite wine shop today and grab a bottle from Chile. See how they are producing some very nice wine for your palate.


Saturday, December 29, 2018

2015 Passaggio Connect 69.23.8 Red Wine Coplan Vineyards Sonoma County

Tonight's wine is a creation from winemaker Cynthia Cosco owner/winemaker of Passaggio Wines in Sonoma Ca. The 2015 Connect Red Wine is a blend of 69% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot. This wine clocks in at 14.5% but is so soft.

For those of you who might be wondering who Cindy is how about a little background. The year 2004 and her venture from the East Coast to the West. Walking away from a 15 year career in law enforcement to make wine. I never asked her if anyone thought she was nuts to walk away from stability to the unknown. She worked her first harvest that fall of 2004 and moved into the lab after the harvest. Classes till 2007 and she was well on her way to making her own wine. Hello Crushpad and while the Lab Manager there she launched Passaggio. Let's fast forward to today and those original 50 cases of unoaked Chardonnay have turned into 1700 cases of both whites and reds in many different varietals. Her own production facility and tasting room are open and she has become a household name in the California wine circles. Passion, drive, nurturing are just some of the descriptors which in my opinion define her success. Oh and she makes really great wine too!

The nose shows fresh blackberries and blueberries with dried herbs and cloves. The mouth is lush and rich with blackberry, plum, raspberry and blueberry followed by a hint of leather and herbs. I love the fruit on the finish with just a hint of spice. Allow the wine to open in the glass and you get this splash of red fruit which compliments the dark fruit in perfect harmony. Cindy please never stop making this wine!

Swing by her tasting room at 25 E Napa St Suite C Sonoma in the Sonoma Plaza the next time you are out for a sip. I think you will love what you taste.


Saturday, December 15, 2018

Lautenbach's Orchard Country and Winery Seyval Blanc Fish Creek Wisconsin

Door County Wisconsin the beautiful peninsula home to shops, excellent restaurants and some of the best views of both Lake Michigan and Green Bay along with sunsets to die for. September was the perfect time to visit with families picking fresh apples, leaves turning colors and a crisp wind blowing off the lake. A stop at Lautenbach's and I swear the entire state might have been visiting at the same time. The apple orchard was full of pickers and inside the market the lines were gigantic. No economic issues here. The tasting bar is a horseshoe and people were 5 deep tasting the many wines they have to offer. Naturally I'm snooping the shelves looking for a couple bottles to bring to my daughter for watching the pooch and me because well I like wine LOL. (By the way she took the Frontenac Rose the little thief)

A bottle of Seyval Blanc caught my eye as I scoured the room. The grape known for it's ability to grow and produce in colder climates, I thought what a perfect way to taste "Wisconsin Wine". Screw cap closure and under $14 for this refreshing sipper. Produced and bottled in Fish Creek Wisconsin.

I paired this with shrimp this evening and would highly recommend any seafood dish with this Seyval Blanc. The nose shows green apple and a hint of lemon zest with fresh honey and wild flowers. The mouth is crisp and clean full of citrus and acidity. Green apple, lemon the kiss of honey with a slight sweetness all zip across your tongue leaving you wanting more. 

I'll need to swing back next year grab more Wisconsin Wine when we pay another visit to this beautiful state. Several wineries to tour and taste along with Lautenbach's I need to visit. Hurry up spring!



Sunday, December 9, 2018

2014 Cornerstone Cellars Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon Napa

*Sample Received*

The year 2010 and my visit to the Cornerstone Tasting Room. I had been sampling their wines for some time and drinking through their portfolio and just amazed at the quality and consistency of each vintage. Cornerstones Cabernets come from some of the best vineyards and in each bottle you feel and smell the character of the soil/vines. Kari Auringer is indeed creating some very memorable wines.

Tonight I opened the 2014 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon to pair with my beef stew recipe. I will also tell you I do not decant. I love to see the wine open in the glass and evolve just like it would age in the bottle. I'm swirling and smelling for 20 minutes at 10 minute intervals to take in the beauty of the aromas. A rush of ripe blackberries when first opened intermingled with spice and a dusting of cocoa powder. Allowed to open at 20 minutes the fruit and spice have married together and then there is this small puff of cedar. Just beautiful on the nose.

The mouth is amazing with intense chewy dark fruit clusters bursting from the seams . As the layers of dark fruit and spice gently caress the mouth along comes a hint of red berries, chocolate and vanilla oak. A sophisticated elegant cabernet. The pairing with the beef stew you ask. Heaven!

Make sure on your next visit to Napa you stop at one of the tasting facilities to enjoy your own sip or 10 of Cornerstone Cellars.


Sunday, November 4, 2018

2012 Ceja Vineyards Pinot Noir Napa Valley-Carneros

Ceja Vineyards is a Latino family owned winery located in beautiful Carneros. The Ceja family produces a wonderful selection of varietals from whites to reds to blends and even a dessert wine coming from their vineyards in Sonoma and Napa. The owners are first generation Mexican - American winegrowers. They understand the land, soil and the grapes which transfers to every barrel of juice they create and a true expression of the vineyards from which they care and harvest.

The 2012 Pinot Noir is pouring nicely with aromas of ripe plum, cherry preserves with earthy tones and flowering herbs. So pleasing on the nose.

The mouth is spectacular with clusters of wild red berries rolling across the tongue with intermingled accents of dried herbs, black tea and barrel spice. Bright, elegant rich flavors with a soft lingering finish. This is 100% pinot noir aged 24 months in French barrels from their Las Amigas Road vineyard. Beautiful expression of pinot noir and Carneros.

Wanting to taste some Ceja wine then I recommend stopping by their tasting room located in Sonoma (click the link for directions and the address). Have you already tasted and found your cellar is missing their wine then click the shop link and head right to their wine page to order yours today.