Sunday, February 28, 2016

Tercero Grenache Blanc, Grenache and Cuvee Loco on #Winestudio Santa Barbara Wine Education

*Samples Received*

Another awesome education experience tasting and talking wine with the gang on #winestudio with special guest Larry Schaffer of Tercero Wines. "We strive to make unique wines that speak of a sense of place and varietal purity." I found his simplistic approach,  passion for his wines and the Santa Barbara winemaking community which he is proud to be part of informative and cool. Down to earth and making some very fine "Artistic Rhone Wines". I did get a kick out of the grief he was receiving for the screw cap closures. More importantly my introduction to his wines and gaining a better sense the Santa Barbara wine community makes me want to visit these winemakers even more. Nothing better than "discovering" small producers who create handcrafted gems.

Up first the 2013 Grenache Blanc Santa Ynez Valley. My favorite white wine of the night Larry lol. Wonderful aromas of pineapple, white peach and nectarine, lemon citrus, melon and toasted spice. The complex aromatics were pleasing. The mouth was lively with white peach, lemon, apricot, melon and a spice/mineral finish. The melon was really dominant the longer the wine was allowed to open in the glass. Nice acidity, complex and really refreshing. Love it!

Wine 2 the 2011 Grenache Larner Vineyard. I believe my comment was that Grenache is fast becoming a favorite of mine This wine will not disappoint your senses or your palate. Bright aromas of cherry, cranberry,  raspberry with wild floral notes, herbs and cinnamon spice. The mouth was oh so good with rich red fruit of cherry, tart cranberry and strawberry with a long lingering finish. I couldn't stop sipping this wine. If I must pick a favorite tonight this was it. Damn you Larry stop making me decide!

The final wine the 2010 Cuvee Loco Larner Vineyard. A blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Syrah, and 25% Mourvedre. The bold one of the evening this is a special tasting blend. Big fruit aromas of raspberry, blackberry and dark cherry with hints of white pepper and earthy tones. The mouth is luscious with blackberry, raspberry, hints of plum and ripe cherry along with a nice warm spice finish. Medium tannins that really soften as the wine opens over time in the glass. Maybe this was my favorite Larry?

See the Tercero Wines portfolio by clicking the store link Tercero Wine Store and purchasing these wonderful wines to share with family and friends. Larry thank you for introducing me to your tasty juice and allowing us to learn more about you and your label. Tina thank you for the #winestudio education series and so glad I have the opportunity to learn and taste wines from across all ava's.Santa Barbara is now on my radar!


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

2014 LaMontagne Malvasia and 2013 LaMontagne Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills on WineStudio

*Samples Received*

Another informative #Winestudio show with winemaker Kim Smith of LaMontagne Winery. I enjoy hearing the winemakers journey and their passion for making wine. To have the itch to go back to school to find out why you love pinot noir then to proceed to build a successful brand is a special talent. Sales are direct to consumer and sold thru her wine club so tonight's tasting was a chance to introduce my palate to another small production boutique winery.

The first wine of the evening was the 2014 Malvasia a wonderful aromatic white wine. The nose exhibits tropical notes of pineapple, white peach, pear, with lemon citrus and floral notes. Love the complex aromas. The mouth was lively with pear, peach, pineapple with hints of melon, lemon and a nice minerality on the finish. I sipped this baby while I cooked pasta, shrimp all drizzled with fresh lemon and then paired with the dish. Kim this was such a great wine. Priced at $30 and only 100 cases produced.

Up next was the 2013 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills which was amazing. The nose was so full of ripe red fruit with rich red cherry, strawberry and rhubarb with hints of earthy tones and cinnamon . Sniffing this wine took me back to my days harvesting rhubarb from the garden and my grandmother making pie. The mouth with juicy cherry, cranberry, sliced strawberry and baking spice was so elegant. A delicate hint of the earthiness  as you move to the long silky finish. I'll place this in my top 5 favorite Pinots. Nicely done Kim!

Check out #winestudio every Tuesday night for an informative wine discussion and tasting.


Friday, February 12, 2016

An Evening With Kessler-Haak on Winestudio

*Samples Received*

A fun evening talking Santa Barbara Wine on WineStudio with Dan Kessler of Kessler-Haak Winery in the Sta Rita Hills Region along with several folks across the country. The opportunity to learn from the experts on climate, soil, grape types, wine making philosophy and overall landscape is so interesting. The bonus was tasting the 2014 Estate Chardonnay and the 2012 Ohana Pinot Noir both from Sta. Rita Hills. Love these varietals.

I started with the 2014 Estate Chardonnay as we kicked off the evening discussion. The nose was crisp and refreshing with aromas of sliced apple, ripe pear with hints of lemon, tangerine and toasted baking spice. The mouth was lively, young and nice acidity. The lemon zest, apple and juicy pear combined with baking spice give this wine a wonderful crispness. I could feel the ocean breeze as I sipped this beauty.

Second wine was the Ohana Pinot Noir 2012. Dark cherry, cranberry, dried herbs with earthy tones and cloves plus hints of cinnamon on the nose. The aroma on this pinot was extremely inviting. The mouth I completely enjoyed with strawberry, cherry, tart cranberry with cloves and herbal earthy notes. Nice long finish.

See the many opportunities you can taste for yourself the wines of Kessler-Haak by clicking the Events Link. Thanks to Winestudio and Dan Kessler for introducing me to Santa Barbara and these beautiful wines.Stay tuned for next week as we continue this education series.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

2011 Super Sonoman Meritage Knights Valley on TV Tuesday Live Cellars Of Sonoma

*Sample Received*

A cool evening with Scott Jordan host of  TV Tuesday Live from Cellars of Sonoma with special guest Chris Taddei winemaker at Super Sonoman. Really enjoy these "taste with the winemaker" shows where we sip, ask questions and learn about both the wine and the winemaker. Along with me were a few fellow tasters Dezel, Cliff, Melanie, Michelle and Shawn from across the country. The wines Scott provides are wines we have never tasted and are included in the Cellars Of Sonoma Wine Club shipment.

Chris has a passion for fine winemaking and I found it interesting how he enjoys working with "mountain" fruit. The contrast in climate from valley to hillside was eye opening and made you think how different the regions fruits are to work with from temperature to moisture. Smart winemaker here folks. The total case production for all his varietals combined is 1000 cases. Ultra boutique hand crafted juice.

The 2011 Meritage is a blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Carmenere and Cabernet Franc with a nose that is truly outstanding. The grapes come from the northwest slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains where the Bordeaux clones were planted for the Super Sonoman wine program. Blackberry with hints of plum and blueberry followed by vanilla, dried herbs and spice. What a bouquet of aromatics circling the nose.

The mouth is luscious, juicy and well balanced. Blackberry, cherry, raspberry, plum and blueberry fruit with hints of dried mint, thyme, vanilla and a spicy kick on the long juicy finish. So silky smooth with soft tannins. I would expect this young wine to be big but oh how it fooled me. Can you imaging Scott how good this will be in 10 years? A really nice red blend from Chris.

Keep tuning in for more sips with the winemakers each Tuesday 6pm on TV Tuesday Live hosted by Scott Jordan "Where you discover wine one sip at a time".