Sunday, October 23, 2016

2013 Passaggio New Generation Grenache Paso Robles

My friends chirp at me all the time about being spoiled drinking small production wine. All I can say is "guilty as charged!" Today we sip the 2013 Passaggio Wines Grenache. The grapes for this gem came from Paso Robles and really showcases Cindy's versatility as a winemaker. Give her great grapes and she will make great wine.

I've watched and sipped her wines for better that 9 years now and the growth of her brand is inspiring. From the early days of Crushpad, to the excitement of increased production at Dogpatch and now her own winery close to her tasting room in Sonoma (picture caption "I have to make a lot of wine to fill this place up"). Today, the smile is big and the popularity of her wines is ever increasing. Just recently her tasting room was full of fans tasting and purchasing some recent new release wines. The pick up parties are a gathering of old and new friends of Passaggio in an inviting warm tasting room. A must stop when in the Sonoma Square.

The first thing I notice is how light the color of this wine is in the glass. Aromas of raspberry, strawberry and cherry with a nice white pepper spice treat the nose. The flavors are soft and elegant with juicy cherry, raspberry and a nice tart cranberry. The white pepper spice is faint on the finish. An all around delicious wine from Cindy's portfolio and drinking so well right now. I would say this is a 90+ rated wine!

Purchase your very own bottles of Passaggio Wines online or by visiting the tasting room. Either way you are in for a real treat.


Monday, October 10, 2016

Dynamic Duo Concha Y Toro Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Carmenere and Sauvignon Blanc

*Samples received*

Always solid wines from this producer and tonight's offerings are no exception. We sipped the 2014 Carmenere from the Peumo Vineyard and the 2015 Sauvignon Blanc from the Ucuquer Vineyard. Both wines are grown near the rivers of Chile formed by the rushing meltwater of the snow on the peaks of the Andes Mountains. The result is rich soil perfect for growing grapes.

The Carmenere is my favorite for its rich aroma and equally elegant flavor. The nose showcases dark fruit with ripe blueberry with a hint of blackberry and plumb. A subtle pepper spice with a hint of earthiness round out the wine. The mouth is dominated by blueberry, cherry, blackberry, raspberry and plum followed by a hint of vanilla. A quick splash of pepper spice on the finish with ultra soft tannins. I could drink this all day.

The Sauvignon Blanc is another equally delicious wine. Loads of lime citrus and tropical grapefruit with hints of stone fruit. The mouth is vibrant with lime citrus and fresh squeezed grapefruit and tangerine.Crisp with a nice long juicy finish. I paired this with chicken on a bed of lime cilantro rice. Excellent pairing

These wines are ideal on the pocketbook yet flavor packed. If you like wines of Chile then these are a must.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

2014 Achaval Ferrer Malbec Mendoza Argentina on Winestudio

*Scholarship sample received*

Interesting to learn the wine making philosophy and techniques of other regions along with soil makeup and climate interaction with the vineyards. It was fast and furious tonight with questions coming from all directions. I learned that bud break was a couple weeks early which is very interesting considering the same thing has happened here as well. Do we have an overall climate change in the world? Maybe too early to tell but sure seems that way. I like many had heart failure when 2 weeks ago a heavy 2 day frost hit the region. Thankfully the vines were dormant or this would have been disastrous. I also learned they taste barrels daily up to 1100! Sign me up I'll help with the "breakfast of champions" task.

The wine has some very nice aromas of wild flowers, dark cherry and raspberry with hints of blackberry. Nice smoke and spice notes along with a dusting of cocoa compliments the fruit on this complex gem. The mouth is fantastic with the raspberry, cherry and plum fruit so juicy. A pepper spice with a nice oak influence provide balance into the long silky finish. Loving this Malbec tonight and it was even better night 2!!!!

Tune in Tuesday for another edition of wine education at it's finest #Winestudio and see what we are sipping and talking about this week.


A Trio Of Troon The Journey Continues

*Samples Received*

Back in July I posted my first tasting of Troon Wines  Troon Vineyards A New Journey Has Begun  where I gave a little history on the vineyard and winery. Today I wanted to focus on the wines but if you would like to read more about the winery and team, check out their new website  Troon Vineyard by clicking the link.

First wine was the 2013 Troon Blue Label Malbec, Rogue Valley with a SRP of $29. The fruit for this 216 case production wine originated in the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon from the Varner-Traul Vineyard in Talent as well as Troon's Vineyard. While the juice was fermented separately, the wine was then blended together and aged in oak barrels. A wonderful expression of both vineyards in aromatics and taste. The nose expresses the ripe fruit of raspberry, black cherries and blackberry enveloped by a rush of violets and herbs. As the wine continues to open in the glass spice notes, vanilla with a hint of plum appear. The mouth is beautifully layered with tart cherry, juicy raspberry and blackberry with an earthy/dusty nuance followed by toasted vanilla and herbal spice. Soft on the finish. Beautiful wine.

Second wine was the 2013 Troon Black Label MT Reserve co-fermented 55.67% malbec and 44.33% tannat with a SRP $50. Just 195 cases bottled the grapes were harvested in mid September of 2013. The winemaker comment "Co-fermented a unique blend of Malbec for it's intensity of fruit, and Tannat with powerful embracing tannins." When first pulling the cork and pouring my nose quickly picked up this beautiful floral, spicy and smokey aroma followed by rich cherry and raspberry with a hint of vanilla bean. Continuing to swirl a touch of mocha and dark chocolate make a quick drive by. Really nice layers and aromatics. I loved the mouth on this wine with its wild cherry, strawberry and raspberry complimented by the vanilla notes and a quick splash of allspice. This will age nicely in the bottle for several years.

The final wine tonight 2013 Troon Blue Label Estate Tannat Applegate Valley with a SRP $29. With just 213 cases produced, the fruit was harvested from the vineyard high above the Applegate River near the snowfields of the Siskiyous Mountains. Cool Pacific winds provide the perfect climate for these Southern Oregon Tannat vines and allow the fruit to perfectly ripen. On the nose big red and dark fruit notes with spicy undertones and forest floor. Reminded me of swirling wine among the morning dew in the vineyard. The mouth was very nice with black and red raspberry complimented by dark cherry giving you a jammy/chewy sensation. Spice and earthy notes on the elegant finish. I did take Joe Powers lead and tasted this wine with some smoked gouda cheese. Perfect combination.

The Applegate Valley is becoming very popular for wines produced in Southern Oregon. Planning a wine trip then a stop by Troon is a must. Nicely done Craig!


Monday, September 5, 2016

2015 CannonBall Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County Quick Sip

*Sample received*

I had to chuckle when receiving this sample because I wondered if they looked into my childhood when we would "cannonball" off the high dive to get the female lifeguards soaked. But Cannonball Wines is serious about their wines which they feel should be affordable and enjoyed by all. While they may not take themselves to serious, they do have a passion for spreading the word about their fun wines and you should always "share a splash" with friends. Now lets open and enjoy.

On the nose nectarine and grapefruit with a touch of floral and citrus rind. Definitely crisp on the nose. The mouth shows the acidic character of the wine. Loads of grapefruit, nectarine, pineapple, melon and lemon/lime with a clean finish. This wine will work well as a patio sipper. Remember to share a "splash" with a friend and then head for the diving board!