Monday, July 30, 2012

NOCO Chardonnay Unoaked North Coast California

My wife who after we attended the local theatre, has decided that unoaked chardonnay is pleasing to her palate. Tonight's wine was purchased from my favorite wine store First Avenue Wine House on the advice of owner Traci Weber.

NOCO is short for North Coast and the fruit for this wine is sourced from the counties north of beautiful San Francisco (Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa, Lake and Solano). Founded in 2009 by Matt Licklider and Kevin O'Conner, their philosophy is to produce authentic wines which deliver value by allowing the wine to showcase the fruit. This bottle was under $15 and yes it delivered.

On the nose ripe pear, vanilla, lemon citrus, hints of pineapple and melon, with a little white peach as the wine warms. Nice crisp refreshing aromas!

The little devil packs some excellent flavor with pear, tangerine, pineapple, honeydew melon with a hint of grapefruit and minerality on the finish. Excellent recommendation Traci!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

2010 Grenache Blanc Highflyer Somerston Vineyards

Tonights stellar wine comes from Napa Valley and the folks at Somerston Wine Co with Craig Becker's Highflyer Grenache Blanc. A neat little white wine on this hot summer day and such an easy drinker. Production for this varietal is 700 cases with the grapes coming from 6 acres of Somerston Vineyards 1628 acre property. Cool labels on these bottles.

A vibrant nose which includes wild flower notes, orange peel, fresh melon, big ripe lime and pear. As I continue to allow the wine to open up, the citrus notes just explode from the glass.

Wonderful mouth with nectarine and melon complimented by juicy lime. Nice little mineral notes on the finish of this crisp refreshing white wine. When the wine warmed a hint of grapefruit added to the mix of tropical fruit. One of the must wines you should keep stocked in the cellar!

Visit their website by clicking the link Highflyer


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

2010 Amorosa Bella Russian River Valley Chardonnay on TV Tuesday Live on Location

Scott and Angie were on location in beautiful South Lake Tahoe this past week visiting friends and what a great idea to shoot TV Tuesday Live from the deck. While many of the bloggers were baking in 100 degree temps, the weather on location appeared much colder ( Scott with mics turned on blasted "It's freezing here"). The grill was fired up and the pairings ranged from oysters to jerk chicken and plantains while Scott tasted the Amorosa Bella wine portfolio with his hosts daughter.

Huge fan of Amorosa Bella juice and tonight's Chardonnay is very good. Aromas of pineapple, red delicious apple, pear, baking spice, orange peel, vanilla and citrus. Wonderful crisp aroma sensation.

Wow flavor packed awesome wine. Apple, pear, pineapple, allspice, touch of oak and a huge lemon citrus long finish. While watching the show I sipped on it's own but day 2 paired with a zucchini/yellow squash/red onion/cherry tomato veggie saute over whole wheat pasta drizzled with fresh lemon juice. Charlyn's wines are always so food friendly and compliment many dishes. Killer Chardonnay!

Scott I hope you had a great time in Tahoe. The pictures looked gorgeous!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

2008 Highflyer Centerline Red Wine

Always special when I'm introduced to a new winemaker and portfolio of wines. Tonights selection comes from Winemaker Craig Becker and his Highflyer portfolio which can be tasted by visiting the Somerston tasting room in Yountville. Unique labels, so naturally I have to research more about this winemaker and history.

Craig Becker founding member, is the General Manager/Director of Winemaking and Viticulture for Somerston Wine Company. He has extensive knowledge in plant and soil science which enables him to understand the vineyard and create exceptional wines. Educated at The University of California Davis, Craig produces Highflyer from fruit grown at small family owned single vineyards throughout California. By piloting his plane over the vineyards, the winemaker can visit the locations at peak times throughout the growing season to monitor the grapes progress.

Tonights wine is a blend of 81% Syrah, 12% Petite Sirah, 3% Zinfandel and 4% Tempranillo. Wonderful aroma of plum, blackberry, cherry, raspberry,  white pepper, clove and a slight hint of oak. Love the layers of fruit aroma as the wine opens in the glass. Rich ripe fruit.

Excellent flavor with some nice tannins. Fresh cherry, blackberry, blueberry, huge plum, ripe red raspberry with a nice pepper/oak/spice soft finish. The balance of fruit and spice is perfect. Tastes like a $40 wine yet easy on the pocket book ($20 on their website). I paired this wine with meatloaf and it was a great pairing with the beef, peppers and fresh herbs.

Craig love your wines. Your philosophy and knowledge of the vines/soil is showcased in the bottle.

Readers watch for my tasting notes on the Pinot Noir and Grenache Blanc coming up very soon. For more info on Somerston, Highflyer and Priest Ranch make sure you check out the link Somerston Wine Co and when in California make sure to plan a visit to both the St Helena and Yountville locations.


Friday, July 13, 2012

2008 Bonneau Los Carneros Hyde Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon on TV Tuesday Cellars of Sonoma

Absolute treat to taste and enjoy these fine wines from Bonneau's Vintner John Bambury. TV Tuesday from Cellars of Sonoma is a weekly show where owner/host Scott Jordan showcases the wines/winemakers in his establishment with the viewers. On weeks where winemakers may be just too busy making wine, Scott incorporates food pairings and even aroma sessions. Shows are full of wine knowledge and viewers are encouraged to ask questions. Tonight's guest is full of wine facts and a great guest. The 08 Cabernet is a beauty full of rich dark fruit, elegant aromas and pairs well with food. Joining me tonight Dezel, Grace, Jodi, Shawn & Brad all blogger

I opened 2 hours before show time to give the wine enough breathing time. Aromas of blackberry, plum, red raspberry with a nice clove spice treats the nose. The longer this wine is open the more defined and big the fruit is on the nose. Quality juice.

I paired with olive oil/rosemary crackers with roast beef and a dollop of creamy horseradish on one side of the plate and smoked cheddar cheese on the other. Delicious with this wine. Flavors of juicy plum, raspberry and blackberry followed by a slight smokey oak/spice finish. Love the dark fruit which lingers long in the taste.

John I thought the 07 was magnificent but this 08 is even better. Scott nice job spoiling your wine club members and bloggers with this selection.
Tune in next week to see what tasty morsel is in the glass at Cellars of Sonoma TV Tuesday Live and maybe you will have a chance to win wine for $1.00 per bottle. Snooze you lose!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Amorosa Bella Brut Rose Sparkling Wine Mendocino County

Sparkling Rose is making its way into my wine routine especially during the hot summer months here in the midwest. Amorosa Bella makes a mighty tasty offering with their Brut Rose.

Born from my 2 favorite grapes chardonnay and pinot noir, the aroma of strawberries, cream, vanilla, spice and citrus tickle the nose.

Love the bubbles. Creamy strawberry with a nice splash of vanilla and baking spice treat the palate. Crisp and so refreshing the perfect wine for sipping with friends

 Learn more about the wines of Amorosa Bella and Dr Charlyn Belluzzo by clicking the link. Her wines are always a wise choice.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

2008 Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Chardonnay Sonoma Coast

Several months back you may recall I participated in a tastelive where I was introduced to the portfolio of wine from Flowers Vineyard and Winery. Ever since that day I have not failed to keep a bottle of their juice in my cellar. Rich aromas, ripe fruit forward wines that treat the palate every time.

The 08 Camp Meeting Ridge Chardonnay fills the nose with floral notes, fresh peach, honeydew melon, creamy carmel, hints of toasty oak and citrus zest. Gives you a tropical coastal sensation.

Wonderful flavor with the ripe melon, hint of fresh apple, tangerine, vanilla carmel cream, lime and a touch of oak. Love how the fruit has evolved from a previous bottle I tasted. The layers of flavor with each sip are superb.

Learn more about the great things happening at Flowers Vineyard and Winery by clicking the link today.