Thursday, August 17, 2017
This bottle may have been perfect timing to pop the cork as my friends at Ceja Vineyards are celebrating 16 years of making ultra premium wine in the Napa Valley. They were my first winery visit on my initial trip to Napa and I have continued to follow and support their journey. I know that every time I open a bottle with the trademark bell "vinum, cantus, amor", special juice will be flowing into the glass.
The 2011 Vino de Casa Red Wine is a blend of Syrah, Pinot Noir and Merlot. The nose shows nicely and starts with fresh herbal notes followed by dark cherry, ripe plum and blackberry with hints of currants. The mouth is luscious with clusters of red and dark berries followed by soft plum and blueberries. A beautiful pepper/herbal spice greets the fruit as it flows across the palate.So easy to drink and I paired with spaghetti and organic marinara. Easily could be my everyday wine!
Make sure you swing by the Ceja Vineyards Tasting Room located at 22989 Burndale Road, Sonoma Open 11-5 Friday-Sunday and taste some Vino de Casa along with their other delicious varietals. Mucho amor a mi familia de Ceja!
Sunday, August 6, 2017
The celebration continues at Pedroncelli Winery and we were treated to 3 special wines along with a great steak recipe to pair with either of the reds. Always special to talk and sip wine with the winery as well as tasters across the country. I even hear Ed and the gang kidnapped some unsuspecting tasters who wandered into the tasting room during the event. I'm told they were spoiled.
We started with the 2016 Friends Sonoma Country White Blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztrminer. I believe my first comment was "tropical love" and boy does it feel like your sipping in the tropics, and as the label indicates share with friends (love the smiley face on the screw cap). On the nose the aromas of peach, melon, pineapple give way to hints of honey, daisy's and lemon zest. The mouth is as I said tropical and so refreshing. Little sweetness on the pineapple with juicy melon and a touch of pink grapefruit followed by the lemon citrus. Crisp, refreshing fun wine. Even my daughters (who are hard to please) even enjoyed this one asking "any more?" Great start to the evening.
We moved after 20 minutes to the 2015 Pedroncelli Merlot Sonoma County Dry Creek Valley Bench Vineyards. The nose was rich with dark fruit giving way to a hint of spice, violets and a subtle oak nuance. The mouth was enticing with juicy plum, dark cherry followed by a sprinkle of baking spice and white pepper finishing with a kiss of oak. As I tasted the beef with this wine the plum was accented tremendously both by the meat and the spinach. My only regret is not making 2 sauces one with merlot and the other with cab. Guess I need to remake and get more wine :). A fan of the merlot!
I could not believe we were 40 minutes in and it was time for the 2014 Pedroncelli Wisdom Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Creek Valley Estate Vineyard. The aromas of dark fruit (blackberry, black raspberry, plum) circle the nose while currents and toasty oak intertwine. The mouth is oh so rich and elegant with clusters of dark berry fruit and spice. The tannins are so soft at times I didn't even think I was drinking cabernet and before I knew it the bottle was empty. For the steak dish sauce I chose the Cab. Perfect pairing Ed. The cab reduction combined with the porcini mushrooms slathered over the steak (I chose a black angus beef filet), pulls the plum and blackberry flavors from the wine. Delicious.
Ed and Robert thank you for the invite to the tasting and sharing these wines and recipe. Once again my palate was spoiled. Readers and sippers if you're in Dry Creek and looking for a fun interactive tasting then look no further and stop at the Pedroncelli Tasting Room for your sipping pleasure.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Lasagna night so naturally I opened this 2015 Cusumano Nero D'Avola sample which prices out at a $12.99 bargain. Huge fan of Italian wine and how inexpensive yet flavorful they are. If I ever traveled to Italy I may never come back. Reminds me why I need to drink more Italian juice.
On the the nose intense red and dark berry clusters with a not so subtle black pepper spice rounding out with hints of wild violets.
The mouth shows succulent pressed jammy red and dark fruit which leads to a juicy long finish.The black pepper spice is not at all overpowering and the tannins soften the longer the wine sits in the glass. Really enjoyable and pairs perfect with lasagna by the way.
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Nearing the 10 Year Anniversary of Passaggio Wines, Cynthia Cosco owner and winemaker continues to follow her passion and it's truly evident in each bottle and varietal. "I believe something magical happens when you bring wonderful friends, awesome food, and great wines together." are her words to live by. From day one those first 25 cases the quality is so consistent as it is today and almost 1700 cases produced in 2017.
Passaggio Wines is all grown up with a beautiful tasting room to introduce wine lovers to her varietal offerings located at 25 East Napa Street Suite C in Sonoma. It is here where you will find Cindy chatting with customers about her story and wines. I have even heard her rock star status offers "signed" bottles. Not far away is her newest accomplishment "my very own production facility." Here is where the magic continues (22020 Carneros Vineyard Way Suite 2 Sonoma) as she meticulously creates and nurtures each barrel produced.
Tonight's 2014 New Generation Pinot Grigio is welcomed with the heat we are experiencing in the Midwest. Aromas of sweet pear, ripe cantaloupe with hints of fresh lemon and wild daisy's leap from the glass. Love the crisp character on the nose.
The mouth is a citric blast with juicy pear, pink grapefruit and ripe melon with hints of lemon zest.The finish is long and full of fruit. Really nice refreshing Pinot Grigio Cindy.
A stop on the Sonoma Square is always a treat and so is a stop at Passaggio Wines!
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
A wine club purchase, The Ceja Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon is both rich and elegant on my palate.
If you know the Napa wine scene then you are well aware of the Ceja Family. Featured many times in magazines and various wine articles about their story as immigrants, even having the opportunity to travel to Washington DC talking wine and history. The head of the family is none other than Amelia Ceja, President of the family winery. From the early years of picking grapes to what she and the family have grown this label to be today, it's a remarkable journey and the accolades well deserved. I also love the fact the entire fmily is involved in the business.
The nose on this wine shows stunning fruit aromas of dark cherry with black raspberry and plum. The spice is a bold anise which races from the glass. Ripe fruit, perfect spice nice inviting aromas.
The mouth is rich with juicy cherry and raspberry followed by hints of plum which softens the wine. The finish is long and the fruit lingers with the anise spice accent. The wine was aged 36 months in french oak and grapes were harvested from Napa Valley, Silverado Trail, La Loma Vineyards.
Make sure you swing by on your next trip to Napa/Sonoma and stop in to see my Ceja friends and taste some of their delicious wines.