Wednesday, September 5, 2018

2015 Squadra Rosso Alcamo, Sicily Italy

Many things have changed over the years but one thing remains in Sicily and that is the grape varietals and winegrowing traditions remain a part of the culture. The meticulous attention to both vineyard and winemaking allow some of the best Italian wines to come from this region. Sicilian wines are sought after around the world as they can be paired with a variety of dishes.

The 2015 Rosso is a blend of 75% Nero d' Avola and 25% Nerello Mascalese which are 2 red grapes from the region. The grapes for this wine are organic. On the nose red berry clusters, dark cherry, blackberry and plum with barrel spice, black licorice and leather.

The mouth is lush and fruity with cherry and strawberry, dark berries followed by spice and a hint of licorice. Such an easy drinker and paired nicely with my san marzano tomato marinara over linguine. I could serve this wine with every meal of the day everyday!

This was a purchase from my friends shop First Avenue Wine House. I better go grab more.


Sunday, September 2, 2018

2015 Campesino Cellars Grenache Steel Plow Vineyard Sonoma Valley

Grenache just happens to be a grape that is grown in many parts of the world. The vines thrive in hot dry conditions where water stress becomes the vines friend. Typically Grenache has a high alcohol content and needs a very long growing season to mature. Versatile, the wine can be made on it's own or used in blends (GSM or Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre) just to name one. The Steel Plow Vineyard is located at the base of Adobe Canyon Road in Kenwood and is organically farmed.

Opening a bottle of Campesino Cellars wine is like visiting an old friend. With each cork pulled, you taste the meticulous handling of the grapes from vineyard to bottle. You feel and smell the vineyard characteristics picturing yourself standing among the vines. I just made the hair on your arms stand up didn't I.

The 2015 Grenache opens up with fresh herbs and spice with hints of dusty earth followed by bursts of fresh sliced strawberries and cherries. Continue to swirl and the aromas of fruit and spice float like clouds. So beautifully aromatic. Aged 20 months in used French oak barrels.

The mouth sings red fruit with bright cherry, strawberry, cranberry and a splash of raspberry rounding with cola and spice. The finish is long and juicy. A really wonderful bottle of wine Macario and my favorite Grenache!

Small production wines at their finest.  Only 65 cases produced. Check out their offerings by clicking this wine link and enjoy your own Campesino Cellars wines.


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Rodney Strong Vineyards Trio Sonoma County Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet

*Samples Received*

Family owned and operated for 55 years in Sonoma County, Rodney Strong Vineyards is committed to preserving the land for generations to come. They have one of the largest solar energy systems in the wine industry today and are always looking to test and implement new sustainable farming practices.

The 2016 Chardonnay ($17) shows nicely on the nose. Sweet vanilla pops from the glass followed by apple pie and sliced pear, tangerine and lemon zest with a hint of baking spice. The mouth is full of pear and apple with lemon accents, a kiss of vanilla cream and baking spice. Nice long finish and I paired with grilled chicken over greens.

The 2014 Merlot ($20) was next. Black cherry and plum with waves of dried thyme and oregano. The mouth is all merlot with rich ripe plum, a splash of cherries, toasted vanilla and a dusting of cocoa. Beautiful soft finish.

Finally I finished with the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon ($20). The nose showed fresh crushed clusters of wild berries, hints of wildflowers and spice. The mouth loaded with fruit. Raspberry, cherry and plum finishing with a dark spice and smokey oak. Rich flavors with a long lingering finish. Well done.

Grab yourself a bottle of Rodney Strong wine today. Wines of quality without breaking the pocket book and this trio was rock solid!


Sunday, August 19, 2018

2016 Passaggio Wines Pinot Noir Black Knight Vineyards Sonoma Coast #PinotNoirDay

Celebrating her 11th Anniversary of Passaggio Wines, Cynthia Cosco owner/winemaker has not only survived but she has excelled at her craft of creating small lot exquisite juice. I remember that day several years ago when I met her on the Silverado Trail and I saw the lab she was working in while also making her own wine. At the time only 2 varietals graced the barrels an Unoaked Chardonnay (her signature wine) and a Pinot Grigio. Production was maybe 100 cases tops. We talked about her vision and dream to build her label and how one day she would have her own winery and a place for friends of her wines to gather. Talking varietal expansion she boldly told me "I am not going to make red wine" to which I chuckled. Guess what she not only makes red wine today but it rivals some of the best wines in Sonoma and Napa.

The 2016 Pinot is pouring nicely with earthy herbal notes, wild cherry, crushed cranberry, orange peel and cloves. Wonderful aromatics. The mouth screams pinot with juicy cherry and tart cranberry followed by a kiss of earthy herbal tones and a splash of clove spice. The long silky finish is so elegant. Love this wine and the fruit from the Black Knight Vineyards. Nicely done winemaker.

Remember above when I said Cindy had this vision of a place where she would make her wine......well that is now reality at the winery 22020 Carneros Vineyard Way Suite 2 in Sonoma. She even has a tasting room located at 25 East Napa St Suite C in Sonoma where fans/friends new and old gather to taste and talk Passaggio Wines.


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

An Attune Wines Trio For Your Palate

Attune (v.): to bring into balance or harmony. It's the first words you see on their website and sets the tone for every bottle of their wine you taste. I would also agree with balance but as well sophisticated, elegant, fun and very enjoyable. I have not tasted a bottle of Attune Wines I haven't loved.

My trio starts with a lovely 2015 Pinot Noir Eighth Street Vineyard. Aromas of dark cherry and raspberry with hints of cinnamon, cloves, dried oregano and fresh cut violets.The mouth is rich with cherry, pomegranate, plum followed by leather, toasted vanilla, barrel spice all wrapped into a long velvet finish. Absolutely beautiful wine,

Now for a trip tropical with the 2016 Station Ranch Chardonnay. Aromas of granny smith apple, lime rind and lemon zest. The mouth is crisp and fresh with the green apple, a kiss of sweet sliced pear, lemon and lime zest and a hint of pineapple. So refreshing and pleasing. (Note daughter after tasting "I'll take the rest of the bottle").

The final wine of the trio the 2016 Station Ranch Reserve Chardonnay. Beautiful aromas of lime, green apple sweet vanilla and stone. The mouth screams green apple and pineapple with hints of fresh squeezed lime and vanilla creme. Very nice fruit forward yet elegant chardonnay!

Small production handcrafted wines created from a passion to provide exquisite juice. Attune nails it every time and those who wish to sip exceptional wines must sip Attune!