Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy Prosperous New Year!

It's been quite a year and I have many of you to thank. Building friendships on twitter and facebook has introduced me to so many wonderful winemakers, winery owners, bloggers, wine public relation social media folks, and friends just as nuts about wine as myself. Your friendship, insight and encouraging words are so much appreciated that saying thank you doesn't seem enough.
Over the past year having the opportunity to travel to Napa/Sonoma and meeting Amelia & Dalia Ceja of Ceja Vineyards, Rick Bakas formerly of St Supery, Christophe Smith of Titus Vineyards, Cindy Cosco of Passaggio Wine, Eric Luse of Eric Ross Winery, Jason Deloach of Hook and Ladder Winery, Craig Camp and the staff at Cornerstone Napa, the staff at Cuvaison in beautiful Carneros your kindness and generosity I will always cherish.
I am very excited about 2011. Using technology I hope to meet many more of you this year and look forward to live tastings online. So many ideas, so much energy around promoting great wine its going to be an awesome year for The Iowa Wino.

May all of you and your families have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

2007 Sharecroppers Pinot Noir Owen Roe

Once having the opportunity to meet David O'Reilly of Owen Roe Winery (located in beautiful St Paul Oregon) on both his visits here to Iowa, taste an outstanding portfolio of wines I was blown away and became an immediate fan. Each bottle that I purchase at the event tends to be consumed at an early age (wine is meant to be enjoyed right!) but this particular bottle aged a few months. Having my discussion with David he said it will be even better 3-5 years down the road. Guess I better locate a few more!

Honestly I could smell this wine all day long. Wonderful red cherry aroma as you first stick your nose in the glass. Cola as I swirl a second time followed by a wonderful spice and a hint of earthiness. Beautiful color on the wine and it's screaming "drink me now"!

Excellent Pinot Noir. The cherry and red raspberry fill your mouth like an explosion of fresh fruit. The hint of cinnamon spice warms the mouth and a slight touch of pepper at the end begs you to drink more. The finish is long and smooth. I purchased this bottle for $17.99 but it drinks more like $25.00.

Folks if you have an opportunity to partake in an Owen Roe wine tasting do not pass it up. Even better if David O'Reilly is there to sign your bottle and chat about his philosophy on wine making. Cool winemaker outstanding wines.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Charity Case Wine 2008 Napa Valley Rose and 2009 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc

Imagine my curiosity when a box arrived a few weeks ago with 2 bottles of wine produced for the Charity Case Foundation. Who are these folks behind the scenes and what kind of wine do they produce? Before I get into their story may I just say the individuals involved have a heart as big as California and wines that are outstanding.

Jayson Woodbridge of Hundred Acre, Layer Cake and Cherry Pie wines had an idea to create wines which could be sold to benefit Napa Valley Charities. As I learned that vintners were more than happy to contribute juice to produce these wines, it reminded me of my own travel this past June and the wonderful folks of Napa. Pat Woodbridge, Jaysons mother gathered the info to form the foundation. Add in Helen Mawson, Sheila Daugherty and Peggy Garcia. All services volunteered, the wines donated to the foundation are produced throughout Napa Valley and labeled with the Charity Case logo. Isn't it wonderful to know that all monies received are distributed to the charities ( The Wolfe Center , Cope Family Center, Aldea Children and Family Services and Foster Kids Fund). Yes generosity and good will still exists!

I chose to start my tasting with the 2008 Charity Case Rose' which is 100% pure Napa Valley. Lovely strawberry aroma hits the nose first. As a kid we grew rhubarb and I will never forget how pleasant the smell and the wine reminded me of being young again. The taste is to die for. The ripe berry flavors of cranberry, strawberry, raspberry are so juicy. I loved the little hint of white pepper at the end. Outstanding!

Wine 2 was the 2009 Charity Case Sauvignon Blanc which again was 100% pure Napa Valley. Nice citrus aroma of lemon zest, melon and apricot. Really smelled crisp and full of wonderful fruit. Pineapple and melon combine perfectly to start your taste off. The finish is a wonderful creamy coconut. Loved this wine as well. So refreshing!

Please visit their website CharityCase Foundation to order great wine and support a wonderful cause not only during this holiday season but all year long. To the folks at the Foundation, volunteers and all the vintners I applaud you for donating your time so that those less fortunate have opportunities to live happy successful lives. Special thanks to Laura Kirkham for introducing me to these wonderful wines.