Thursday, February 25, 2010

2007 Archery Summit Premier Cuvee Pinot Noir

Couple weeks ago my posts out on the net said that I was very excited to receive samples from Archery Summit in Dayton Oregon. The wine rested long enough after it's travels or I have become impatient take your pick. A big thanks to Chris Nagy and the folks at Archery Summit who by the way if you don't know are one of the finest producers of Pinot Noir in Oregon. "Great winemaking begins in the vineyard" their guidepost since the winery began in 1993. Trust me when I say the wine is as good if not better than advertised.

Once in the glass a beautiful black cherry aroma filled my nose followed by spice. My next breath was if I just stuck my nose in a rose garden which by the way I am an expert on (well only slightly from gardening and purchasing for the 4 lovely women in my family). Really enjoyed breathing in this wine but my mouth was watering.

Excellent flavor with the black cherry from start to finish with a perfect hint of spice. In the middle a quick vanilla and plum combination then right back to cherry. Smooth and elegant with flavors/aromas in absolute harmony. I was hoping this was an endless bottle of fine wine but not the case. A toast to the winemaker and staff for a wonderful creation.

Every Pinot Noir fan should spoil themselves with a bottle or 2 from Archery Summit. I know I will.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Planning the Napa Trip

What a surprise when my wife completely shocks me with a pre-paid trip to Napa/Sonoma for Valentines day. Our trip will be in June and it cannot come soon enough. Something about wallowing in the land of wine, sun and great food gets the heart racing. While I start to plan our visit I'm asking readers for suggestions on restaurants, shops, sites and naturally wine tasting. Each of our stops will be blogged including pictures, interviews and all the wonderful wine folks we meet. So help us out both wine and non wine activities. Rest assured my wife does not drink so I have a designated driver :) but maybe we can find a sweet wine for her.

Day 1 arrive in Napa around 4pm but I am told a stop to Domaine Carneros is a must for bubbly and the view off the patio. After that someone suggested a visit to In N Out Burger or my Cali visit is a bust. But what to do the rest of the evening? The hotel does have a wine bar (would you think anything less)! Help

Day 2 so far starts off with a visit to my friends at Cuvaison at the Carneros tasting room (should I also visit the winery in Calistoga). From there we head to Ceja Vineyards and a nice visit with Amelia Ceja and a chance to see the winery. By then it may be a quick bite to eat so can anyone suggest a nice little cafe or lunch stop? Once done we are off to see Rick Bakas and the fine folks of St Supery. No plans for the rest of the day so I really need your suggestions.

Day 3. I promised my wife a trip to stand on the beach and dip her toes in the ocean so off to Bodega Bay we go in the morning. First wine stop of the day Hook & Ladder to see Jason Deloach and yes taste some wonderful Pinot. Great Pinot doesn't stop there so our next visit is to the folks at John Tyler to meet Katey & Nicole. Not enough wine well then we are off to Ferrari Carano to meet Cheryl and a nice tour plus some great Chardonnay.
Dinner suggestions and additional site seeing needed

Day 4 I have no clue yet so I really need your help readers.

Day 5 I cry as we venture to the airport to head back to Iowa. Almost think we need to detour into San Fran for a quick stop but never been there.

You can see I've started a plan but it comes with a lot of holes. I'm counting on my great followers and readers to help me out. Can't wait to see all of you.

Cheers friends

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

2007 Cleavage Creek Merlot-Shiraz Tracy Hills

My second sample from Cleavage Creek was the 2007 Merlot-Shiraz blend. This wine would be my first merlot-shiraz combo and truthfully had no idea what to expect.

When I first poured this wine into the glass I get a pronounced berry aroma of fresh raspberry and dark fruit(almost as if a black raspberry). Peppery spice finishes the aroma and now it's time to taste this wine.

Nice full bodied wine in my opinion with juicy raspberry followed by black raspberry and a spicy finish. Very impressed with the combination and the flavor of this wine. Raspberry/spice really holds at the finish. I think this wine would be great with a nice seasoned beef filet.

I can't thank Budge and the staff enough for the opportunity to taste/blog Cleavage Creek Wine.
One can only hope you find his story and those of the survivors inspiring and choose to support their fight against breast cancer by purchasing Cleavage Creek wine. Please join me and help win the battle.


2008 Cleavage Creek Reserve Chardonnay Tracy Hills

My new friends at Cleavage Creek asked me to sample a couple wines and I couldn't refuse such a request. While reasearching Budge Brown's wines I read his story and became very impressed with one man's desire to beat such a horrible disease.
For those of you who do not know, Budge Brown lost his wife Arlene to breast cancer after 48 years of marriage. Budge's comment sums up this disease very clearly "My wife died for no damn good reason." Your absolutly right Budge and because of his spirit folks, 10% of gross sales go directly to cancer research. What's more impressive on each label there is a picture of a survivor and on the website you can read each ones story. The website where I encourage you to visit and discover some remarkable individuals. Over $72,000 has been raised and donated to research and hopefully one day in the very near future, doctors will find a cure. Thank you Budge for the heart and passion to beat this disease.
Ok now how was the Chardonnay you ask? Much different than your typical Chardonnay. When poured in the glass sweet melon was the dominant aroma followed by oak.
When I tasted the wine I expected as always in a Chardonnay apple but none was found. Instead the first taste brings the melon flavor at the start and finishes with orange followed by a hint of oak. Unique twist on Chardonnay. I encourage you to try a bottle and leave your comments on the blog, letting me know how you liked the wine.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

2008 Montaluce Chardonnay from Georgia

My next entry comes from the State of Georgia where I assumed the only thing produced was peaches and The Masters. We all know what happens when you assume :)
What a surprise when a friend brought me a bottle of the 2008 Montaluce Chardonnay (hint and you shall receive). Chatted with the folks multiple times plus my new wine friends in Ga bragged about the wine and how good it tasted. Please visit their site
When poured into the glass the aroma of ripe green apple hits your nose like a fresh bowl of fruit. Follow that up by pear and a very crisp smell. I appreciate the absence of oak because the fruit aroma is now enhanced.
Folks this is a very very good chardonnay. Apple in the beginning followed closely by pear and then what I feel makes the wine a lemon citrus finish with a hint of mineral. The flavors blend perfectly together and the wine is very refreshing. I could drink this wine every day all day.
Wine lovers in Georgia or visitors stop out at Montaluce Winery and sample all their varietals. I hope you enjoy their wine as much as I did. Mention the Iowa Wino and give them a big hello.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cedar Ridge Vineyards 5 Seasons Red

Our local winery was my next addition to the Iowa Wino blog as I think its important to support local. I've had this wine on multiple occassions both at the winery and in the comfort of my own home with friends.
5 Seasons Red is a blend of St Croix, Marechal Foch, Frontenac, Geneva Red and Merlot. To me this wine is close to a Pinot but more full bodied.

In the glass I get a smell of cherry and raspberry with a hint of spice at the end. The taste in the beginning is very raspberry, dark cherry and a spice/earth finish. I've spoken with a few Iowa wine makers and asked why all reds (or what seem to me all reds) have a bitter/earthy taste on the finish. Multiple explanations dealt with the vines and how these hybrid vines are developed to withstand our at sometimes extremely cold Iowa winters. The vines are hearty and this leads to a very earthy red wine. Distinct unique flavor and one you should try. Check out their website at