Thursday, January 22, 2015

2012 Hardball Cellars Merlot


*Sample Received*

Tonight's wine was courtesy of the Westerberg's and their Hardball Cellars Merlot. Harvested from the Sonoma Valley Copeland Vineyard, the grapes were hand picked and sorted, cold soaked and aged 18 months in french oak.

When first uncorked the wine exhibits big white pepper, oak and plum notes. As the wine sits the fruit comes to the front with with plum, cherry and a hint of raspberry. Bold with a touch of elegance.

The mouth is big with plum, dark cherry and a kiss of raspberry along with toasty oak. The longer in the glass the wine mellows into a soft silky finish. Very nice Merlot!

Shop online by clicking the link Hardball Cellars Wine and pick up a bottle or 2. They even have a wine club for your sipping pleasures. Join, sip and enjoy today.

Cheers
Dan

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2010 Ceja Vineyards Sonoma Coast Syrah


Ceja Vineyards a premium Latino owned winery of the Ceja Family founded in 1999 (Amelia, Pedro, Armando and Martha) actually was first started in 1983 with the purchase of 15 acres in Carneros. 1986 brought the first plantings of 13 acres of Pinot Noir and a vineyard was born. Today many of the family members are involved in the business and contribute to its success.

Tonight's wine was a club purchase and one of my favorite Syrahs. The nose is full of rich blackberry jam and pepper. Raspberry with a hint of toasty oak. Luscious aromatics.

The mouth is beautiful with blackberries, dark cherry and raspberry so juicy from start to the long finish. Slight hint of toasty oak followed by white pepper spice and a hint of leather. Paired very nice with my minestrone soup. Lovely Syrah Ceja's!

Make sure you stop by the new tasting room 22989 Burndale Road Sonoma Ca open 11-5 Wednesday through Sunday. When you're finished sipping the grape juice stop next door to their sister business Carneros Brewing Company for a refreshing beer. Be prepared to be treated like family.

Cheers
Dan

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2013 Hardball Cellars Chardonnay


*Sample Received*

Hardball Cellars the winery created by Mike and Cindy Westerberg originally started as Mike experimented with home wine making long ago (did you know they are originally from Oregon). Funny how that happens when you live and work in wine country.....the I'm going to make wine bug. Not just the living but the many trips and tastings the Westerberg's embarked on created the passion today known as Hardball. Coming from families of entrepreneurs, Mike and Cindy were involved in part-ownership of a collective tasting room which taught them the ins and outs of owning a small business from marketing to operations. Mike is very active in social media relentlessly promoting his brand, holding tastings and publishing his events. He credits a couple books important to his wine making knowledge The Art Of Making Wine and Jim and George's Home Wine Making and as an added bonus, his friend and consulting winemaker Cynthia Cosco of Passaggio Wines is teaching him how to create great small production wines. It would not surprise me if Mike and Cindy bought their own vineyard one day to grow and harvest their own grapes for their wines.

The nose on the 2013 Chardonnay is very tropical with pear and apple followed by honeydew melon and pineapple. Lemon citrus, vanilla custard and toasty oak round out the aromas. Really nice and pleasing.

The mouth is full of juicy fruit with apple and pineapple followed by melon and lemon zest. The finish has a kiss of pear and oak. Really enjoyed the layers of flavor as the wine opened.  Nice fruit forward Chardonnay and I found it very versatile with my baked herb chicken dish. While aged in oak to give it a little character, I appreciate the absence of the butter bomb effect as I am a big fan of the "new chardonnay's." Well done Michael!

Keep an eye on this new up and coming winery. Plus follow their website for up to date events, tastings and special offerings. Great family, great wines Hardball Cellars.

Cheers
Dan


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2009 Ceja Vineyards Brut Sparkling Wine Napa Valley Carneros


Happy New Year! Apparently Ceja Vineyards is my go to sparkler for saying goodbye old and welcome new because another bottle was enjoyed saying hello 2013. I think you may have me hooked Amelia or the fact this was a great wine club selection and I had to buy more. My final bottle and a perfect night to open.

The wine is made from 2 of my favorite grapes 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir. Bubbles should be enjoyed anytime not just for celebrations. Offer this wine as a starter with your guests with light cheese and fruit platters. You will be popular trust me on this.

The nose has loads of lemon citrus, fresh apple a touch of vanilla along with spiced ginger. A crips nose tickler along with pleasing aromatics. I believe this sparkler became better with age.

The mouth is refreshing with apple, pear and a kiss of lemon on the finish. This wine is why I love sparklers! The only way this would taste better is if Amelia and Dalia were sipping with us.

If you're in Sonoma stop by the tasting room at 22989 Burndale Rd Sonoma on the same property as their sister business Carneros Brewing Company. If you would like these wines shipped to you direct click here Wine Club and sign up today.

May 2015 be prosperous, healthy and full of great wine.

Cheers
Dan


Sunday, December 28, 2014

2013 Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and Pinot Noir


*Sample Received*

50 years ago the vision began and what is known as Rodney Strong Vineyards when Mr. Strong settled in Sonoma County. The passion to make exceptional wine is a key driving force among every winemaker. I am amazed with the notion many walk away from a career to start producing wine and the success they achieve.I raise a glass to you all.  In 2013 RS Vineyards was named Wine Enthusiast Winery Of The Year.Cheers to RS Vineyards Tom Klein, head winemaker Rick Sayre and the entire staff.

Tonight's wines come from the Sonoma Coast Appellation known for its cool climate and higher than average rainfall. The vineyards are above the fog line allowing the sun to fully ripen the fruit to ensure quality wines.

Up first the 2013 Pinot Noir. The nose is full of bright cherry, strawberry and hints of cranberry jam. Fresh cut pine needles with a hint of cloves. The mouth is very nice with tart cranberry and juicy strawberry and a little bing cherry. The finish is long and juicy. Classic Sonoma Coast character!

 Second wine was the 2013 Chardonnay. The nose is greeted with tropical pineapple, sweet pear and ripe apple. I love the vanilla creme aroma when the wine first pours along with a hint of baking spice. The mouth has loads of juicy apple and pear with a hint of lemon zest. A touch of pineapple and toasty vanilla round out the wine and enhance the long finish. This was a holiday favorite and I could drink it everyday. Well I could drink both of them everyday.

Stop by for a visit and taste at 11455 Old Redwood Highway Healdsburg from 10-5 daily. Schedule a tour or have a picnic in the relaxing atmosphere. Great times and great wines.

Cheers
Dan