Sunday, May 20, 2018

Rodney Strong Vineyards Dynamic Duo 2017 Rose Of Pinot Noir and 2017 Sauvignon Blanc

*Samples Received*

Spring time wines you ask? Nope I would sip these two anytime of the year. As a matter of fact Rodney Strong wines are some of the best pocket friendly exceptional wines on the market today.

Starting with the 2017 Rose of Pinot Noir. 100% Russian River Valley Pinot Noir this wine was fermented in stainless steel and clocks in at 12.5% alcohol which I really love. Winemaker Justin Seidenfeld nails this wine with a beautiful expression of rose. Wild strawberries dance from the glass followed by a bouquet of fresh cut flowers. As it opens raspberry and cherry clusters envelope the nose with a splash of the peach. The wine is so juicy with mouth watering strawberry and cherry. Each time the wine hit my lips it was as soft as a rose pedal. The finish is so long and invites you to pour more. Stock up on this wine folks before it's all gone.

Up next the 2017 Charlottes Home Sauvignon Blanc. 100% Sauvignon Blanc from Northern Sonoma County the wine was 90% fermented in stainless steel and 10% barrel fermented in french oak. I've tasted this wine over the years and the consistency year after year is amazing. If you're a fan of citrus then twist and sip. Fresh squeezed grapefruit and lime with sprinkles of lemon zest. Continue swirling and tropical notes of melon and pineapple greet the nose. The mouth is a citrus blast full of grapefruit, lemon/lime zest followed by slivers of cantaloupe. Crisp, refreshing yep that's how I love my Sauv Blancs.

Sonoma County is a great place to visit. So is Rodney Strong Vineyards located at 11455 Old Redwood Highway in Healdsburg CA. Open daily from 10am to 5pm. Stop and sip for a while.


Saturday, April 28, 2018

2015 Balletto Vineyards Rose Of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

Originally vegetable farmers on 5 acres, John Balletto was thrust into the family business upon the death of his father. Along the way the business grew and so did the challenges eventually leading to the planting of grapes on the advice of a friend and neighbor. Today you have your pick of 20 varietal/vineyard designate wines to choose from.

The 2015 Rose Of Pinot Noir shows nice on the nose with wild strawberry and watermelon with hints of fresh silky rose pedal and lime zest. Mouth watering with strawberry, cherry, jolly ranger watermelon and lime zest. Beautiful acidity and paired with my sausage baked 3 cheese Ziti dish.


Monday, April 9, 2018

2015 Attune Station Ranch Chardonnay Carneros Sonoma County

*Sample Received*

There are those wineries, boutique in nature who you run across from time to time. The key is finding them before the world does because when it does, that juice will become hard to come by and sold out in a moments notice. I've said it before if not for Martin Cody and Cellar Angels, I might not know Attune Wines. The perfect discovery for wine lovers outside of California. Cellar Angels showcases these wonderful creations and tells their story to the world.

The story like many small wineries, acquaintances and friends come together to make the very best wine they can in small batches. Hand harvested by the light of the moon, carefully transported to protect the fruit which will be made into liquid gold, fermented slowly and finally to the barrels to grow up. Small production at it's finest. Said Martin Cody "Few people recognize how ridiculous this wine is. Oh my, it makes me weep it's so damn good." The only word I could utter after the nectar hit my lips "WOW."

The nose flows with green and yellow sliced apples, poached pear, fresh cut impatiens, vanilla bread pudding, lemon citrus and a slight hint of toasted oak. Pleasing on so many levels.

The mouth is juicy, satisfying and one of the best Chardonnay's tasted in the past couple years. Juicy apple and pear with splashes of lemon and slight drive by of spice and vanilla cream. The finish lingers long with beautiful acidity. I could go for some lobster ravioli and another splash of this wine right now.

Swing by the shop for Attune Wine link  and grab some of yours today before it's all gone. Wines you won't want to miss.


Sunday, April 1, 2018

2013 Rodney Strong Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley

*Sample Received*

At Rodney Strong Vineyards the term "Reserve" refers to their ability to craft wine from the very best barrels from the very best of their Cabernet vineyards. The grapes for these wines are hand harvested from selected lots within the vineyard,  fermented separate of each other in french oak. After 6 months the barrels are tasted and graded (oh let me be part of this process please), of which only the most worthy are then blended together and returned to the barrels to grow up and become exceptional wine. The growing season was close to perfect in 2013 with minimal heat spikes, warm summer sun but cool evenings and little to no rain as harvest approached. Picking of grapes commenced early around mid September and finished by the end of the month in Alexander Valley.

Pop the cork and pour and the richness of this wine races from the bottle. Ripe blackberry and raspberry fruits fill the nose. A hint of molasses and fresh vanilla bean with big currants and toasted oak. So appealing.

The mouth is elegant with the blackberry front and center with splashes of  raspberry intertwined. The molasses and vanilla add a smooth rich mouthfeel followed by a dusting of baking spice and currants giving it a grown up feel. The finish is long and your mouth begs for more from the glass. I paired this with a nice beef roast and the flavor profile was to die for.

Swing by Sonoma County and visit their tasting room nestled in the Russian River Valley and experience these wonderful wines of Rodney Strong Vineyards.


Saturday, March 31, 2018

#Tasteup2 Pedroncelli Wine Paired With "Chicken with Prunes and Chiles"

*Samples Received"

Never miss a chance to join with folks around the states and my friends at Pedroncelli Winery when we taste and pair the wines with great conversation. Unfortunately I was late to the party this go round but still managed a couple interjections and loved seeing how others enjoyed the dish and wines as I did. Can't stress enough how these inexpensive wines over deliver on every bottle. Yes you should order some or stop by the tasting room ( I knew you were going to ask).

We start the tasting festivities off with the 2017 Friends White Wine Blend. A fun little wine I like to call party on the patio or in the sand with Jimmy Buffet playing on the speakers. Tropical goodness both on the nose and in the glass with peach, pineapple, melon, tangerine and a hint fresh honey complimented by a nice splash of mouth watering citrus. Such a fun crisp wine. Every party should start with this little beauty.

Next is the 2017 Dry Rose Of Zinfandel which was additionally paired with tonight's dish. The fruit leaps from the glass to your nose showcasing cherry, strawberry followed by bursts of floral notes, orange peel and a nice pepper spice. The mouth says red fruit with cherry, raspberry and wild strawberry clusters with a dusting of baking spice and white pepper. The fruit is really bright and wine lover appealing. Paired this with the dish and boy does it tame the chiles and lift the chicken flavor. One of my favorite rose wines!

Final wine is the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Creek Valley Three Vineyards scrumptious red. Clusters of dark berries on the nose with blackberry, dark cherry and rich plum. Earthy and herbal tones with toasted almonds. Very appealing nose. The mouth exhibits the ripe dark fruit from the nose (dark cherry, blackberry, plum and black raspberry) with a perfect balance of dried herbs and a kiss of oak on the finish. Paired with the chicken with prunes and chiles , loved how it was all about the plums in the sauce and tamed the tannins in the wine. Elegant my friends. For a finish a chocolate fudge brownie pairs well with the cabernet too :)

Sorry to see it end but that means you need to be on the lookout for #tasteup3 coming to a computer near you soon. Ed and Julie loved it and thanks for including me. I'm accumulating some wonderful recipes and wine pairings (let's not forget the delicious wines too).