Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2008 Gloria Ferrer Carneros Estate Chardonnay

The weather turned steamy and in my stash was a chardonnay from some friends who visited Napa last year. I have tasted this vintage before and love how well the wine aged. Honestly does Gloria Ferrer ever produce a bad bottle..... No!

On the nose creamy vanilla custard, baked apple and warm pear, citrus with hints of fresh cut spring flowers. Lovely inviting aromas.

In the mouth juicy pear, buttery, ripe pineapple, spiced apple, lemon citrus, with a toasty oak mild finish. What I enjoy about Gloria Ferrer Chardonnay, the wine is not overoaked and really showcases the fruit of the vineyards.

Check out the winery and wines by clicking the link Gloria Ferrer Winery  Handcrafted juice to please your palate.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

2010 Rodney Strong Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Tasty treat this evening with a selection from Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards and their 2010 RRV Pinot Noir. Even my buddy Dezel Quillen was wishing he had a glass! Honestly I'm a big fan of the RS portfolio and find their quality excellent with a wine lovers price point. This was a sample I received.

Aroma on this beauty showcases many of the classic pinot characteristics. Cola, fresh cut rose pedals, vanilla, cherry, baking spice, pomegranate and a hint of earthy mushroom. Oh this is why I could smell the wine all day!

Excellent flavor with loads of red fruit. Cherry, tart cranberry, fresh strawberry with toasty oak, vanilla and spice on the finish. Perfect balance of fruit and spice with the layers very pleasing to the palate. Winemaker Rick Sayre this is one delicious wine!

Learn more about the story, wines and people behind the success of the winery click the link Rodney Strong Vineyards and schedule a visit the next time your in NorCal Wine Country. Tom, Rick, Robert and all the staff kudos!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

2011 Cline Cellars Cashmere

Cline Cellars Cashmere is like an old friend who will never disappoint you. A blend of Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah, the wine is elegant and the velvet finish sweeps you off your feet. Consistent quality wines in each bottle.

The aroma starts with fresh cherry and ripe raspberry followed by milk chocolate. Clover and wild violets with hints of plum and just the slightest touch of oak. When the wine warms a nice layer of cloves and pepper.

In the mouth layers of cherry, chocolate, spice, raspberry, plum and toasty spicy oak. Great balance of fruit and spice with each complimenting the other. Wonderful red blend which I enjoyed. Daughter tasted as well "Dad this smells and tastes like fresh cherries" (and she only claims to like white wines). You're correct now give your Dad back his glass LOL.

You will notice the pink bow on the label which represents Cline Cellars commitment to the fight against breast cancer. They have proudly contributed over $200,000 to breast cancer foundations to comfort and find a cure. Thank you Cline Cellars!

*Today's wine was a sample I received*

I encourage you to learn more about the fine folks at Cline Cellars Winery by clicking the link. I'll be stopping by again on my next visit to Sonoma and you should too. Beautiful setting, beautiful wines!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Vinho Verde Wines of Portugal

We intended to taste 3 wines of Portugal tonight but unfortunately one had other plans. What I have found from these wines are fruity, crisp value wines which pair as conversation wines or with lighter dishes.

Up first the Arca Nova Alvarino 2011. Aromas of nectarine, pear, pineapple, hints of vanilla with lime zest. The flavor has loads of pineapple, melon, pear with a lemon finish. Nice start to the evening.

Second wine was the spoiler tonight the Vinho Verde Cruzeiro Branco. Unfortunately it was badly corked so no review.

The final wine the Quinto de Gomariz Loureiro which was the favorite of the night (both daughter and wife are fans of this one). Aromas of lemon lime, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, pear with a hint of fresh daisy's. Flavor was layers of fresh fruit (melon, cantaloupe, tangerine) with a lemon/lime finish. Sipped this one on the back porch to finish the evening!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

First Avenue Wine House Presents An Evening With Dutcher Crossing Winery

Hot weather greeted Dutcher Crossing owner Deb Mathy and winemaker Kerry Damskey on their return visit to The First Avenue Wine House in Cedar Rapids Iowa. Huge turn out for the event and reinforces the number of fans they have courtesy of my favorite wine house owner Traci Weber. She along with husband Ron and even her parents, head to wine country every February to scope out potential wines for her store. We her loyal customers, are treated to some tasty juice. Tonights food pairing was fresh grilled pizza. My compliments to the chef/griller (aka Ron) but the best job of all last night had to be the always positive door host Jim (Traci's Dad) who was stuck in the cool a/c!

Three stations of wine were set up with Deb pouring at 1 and Kerry at 2. These two were ribbing each other all night and I was one of the messengers. Deb first poured the Costello Chardonnay which was a great starter to the evening. Honeysuckle, apple, creamy creme brule with a nice little mineral finish. Next up Proprietor's Zinfandel with its deep dark fruit of blackberry and blueberry. Petite Sirah in the wine really softens the finish and I would never have guessed I was drinking Zin. Up next Proprietor's Syrah which was full of deep rich blackberry, cherry and vanilla. How the heck do you pick a favorite? The last wine Proprietor's Petite Sirah. Dark berry, raspberry with black pepper notes, leather, mocha and a touch of earth on the finish. I was instructed to go tell Kerry the wines at table 1 are better!

I wandered over to table 2 where the winemaker was pouring and chatting with all the guests. Before my glass was filled, I passed the message on and his response "Go ask her when she is going to learn to fish?" My first wine at this station was the Winemakers Cellar Chardonnay full of white peach, green apple and creamy buttery oak. Back to deliver the news to Deb who laughs and responds with "Who caught more fish and big ones?"

By now the line is huge as Kerry is chatting more than pouring lol. Traci to the rescue helping pour and the line moves fast. Maple Zinfandel was next in my glass and believe it or not my and everyone elses favorite of the night. Blackberry, cherry, chocolate notes with a nice pepper finish. Message delivered his response "She is full of it!" Into my glass the Taylor's Reserve Cabernet with ripe raspberry, cherry, blackberry with hints of smokey oak. Steak anyone? The final wine at station 2 was the Cooney Cabernet from Alexander Valley. Again loads of rich ripe fruit. Blackberry, dark cherry with a hint of smokey cedar.

On my way to station 3 and its refreshing Sauvignon Blanc. Nicely chilled as the temp is still hitting 90+. Lime citrus, grapefruit, pineapple and lemon zest on the finish. Just what the wino ordered. Proprietor's Cabernet is next. Creamy vanilla, dark cherry, ripe raspberry and blackberry with a slight smokey finish. There was not a wine this evening that ever disappointed the nose or palate. Finally the port which I always picture in front of a fire sipping.

My purchase this evening the Costello Chardonnay and the Maple Zinfandel. I asked Deb and Kerry to each sign a bottle which they naturally agreed. She is an absolute hoot and Kerry reminds you of the mischievous little kid next door just seeing how much he can get away with. Deb was right too Kerry.... get a haircut!

Traci and Ron it was a great evening of music, wine and food. Deb and Kerry it's always great to see and talk with you! Check out my favorite wine store First Avenue Wine House and attend the next tasting. You will love it!

Dutcher Crossing Winery learn more about their winery and portfolio of wines.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

2008 TR Elliott Queste Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

TV Tuesday Live the weekly wine program from Cellars of Sonoma featured Ted Elliott winemaker/owner of TR Elliott. Love Ted's passion for creating Pinot but more importantly his knowledge of winemaking which he shares with us on each program he is a guest. Influenced by the pioneer of California Pinot Richard Graff, he meticulously chooses the grapes for his Queste, Burgonet and Three Plumes. Definately shows in each vintage and I am happy to say we bloggers were in "Pinot Heaven."

The 2008 Queste is a 16 barrel cuvee with 11 barrels coming from the Hallberg Vineyard and 5 barrels from the O'Connell Vineyard. On the nose earthy mushroom, ripe cherry, hints of raspberry, cinnamon spice, cloves and fresh roses. The layers of aroma were so pleasing to the nose and the wine really opened up day 2.

Elegant classic pinot noir. Juicy dark cherry with hints of red raspberry and tart cranberry followed by warm spice on the earthy finish. Soft silky juice. The flavors were even more pronounced the longer the wine was allowed to breathe. Amazing bottle of wine!

Folks I highly suggest tuning in Tuesday's at 6pm pacific on the Cellars of Sonoma website. Here is the link Cellars of Sonoma which takes you to the live broadcast link. Talk directly with Scott and the winemakers via the chat box. We have a ton of fun. Scott and Ted thanks for a great evening of conversation and wine!