Saturday, January 28, 2017
All sorts of excitement when Robert Larsen owner of the highly regarded pr firm The Larsen Projekt came calling asking ( I keep telling him don't ask just tell me you're going to do this lol) if I would be interested in joining a tweet up featuring Pedroncelli Wines 90th Celebration and a dish (Parmesan Polenta with Sausage Ragu) paired with their Mother Clone Zinfandel. For those who know me you 1. Know I love to cook and 2. Drink wine with just about any dish. I would be honored was my answer but all of you knew that already from the title of the post.
The Pedroncelli Family has been growing grapes in the Dry Creek Valley since 1927 and making wine since 1934. Over the years the acres expanded with additional purchased land which then led to expanded winery operations and a creation of varietals that everyone could enjoy. Today it's still a family winery with 2nd and 3rd and now 4th Generation family members working side by side to ensure the best possible wine is produced and the family legacy lives on.
The family farms 105 acres of vineyards in Dry Creek Valley and then has sought out growers in their region for additional grapes. These vineyards also share the Pedroncelli beliefs that the grapes need to be "perfectly balanced and varietally correct." Wines are created to be shared with friends and family as well paired with your favorite dish. What I really enjoy in these wines is the versatility of sipping for enjoyment or paired with food the results are dead even....so good.
First wine while cooking was the 2015 Chardonnay Sonoma County Dry Creek Valley. The grapes were sourced from 3 vineyards in the southern end of Dry Creek Valley and picking was completed over 10 days. 89% of the wine was fermented in stainless steel highlighting the fruit flavors while the remainder in American oak for 6 months and then blended giving the wine it's creamy character. The nose is refreshing with tangerine, lemon, hints of peach and a refreshing floral note. The citrus fills my mouth followed by tart apple, peach, juicy lemon and a hint of tropical fruit. Crisp, clean and your glass begs to be refilled. Lovely chardonnay.
Second wine was the 2014 Mother Clone Zinfandel Sonoma County Dry Creek Valley along with our signature dish Parmesan Polenta with Sausage Ragu. The original Zinfandel vines are located on the hills surrounding the winery which is part of the property originally purchased in 1927 by John Sr. Some of the grapes used were from these 100 yr old vines with other fruit harvested from Home Ranch, Bushnell and Buchignani Vineyards. The wine is aged 12 months in American oak with a touch of petite sirah added for color and structure. Loads of dark fruit on the nose with plum, blackberry and blueberry with hints of baking spice and wild violets. The mouth is is all about the fruit and spice with blackberry, blueberry and plum with a pepper spice and a touch of smoke and vanilla. Opened nicely the longer it sat in the glass. When paired with the dish the fruit was pulled from the wine and the spice and alcohol were absent. Outstanding!
The final wine of the evening the 2014 Petite Sirah Sonoma County Dry Creek Valley. Some of the grapes were harvested from vines planted on the property in the 1900's with the remainder harvested from the Bushnell Vineyard. The fruit was crushed in stainless steel with multiple pump overs to enhance the flavor of the wine. Aged for 12 months in new oak (about 1/3) with the remaining in seasoned barrels. Zinfandel was also added for enhancing the fruit in this wine. The nose was full of plum, toasty oak and vanilla with hints of pepper. The mouth was robust with blackberry and plum followed by a pepper spice. Dark chocolate and mocha notes compliment a long warm finish. I also paired this with the dish and it worked equally well.
If your in the Dry Creek Valley swing by their Tasting Room for a taste and a bit of history. Want to see what others talked about Thursday then check out the tweet up using hash tag #Ped90th. Julie, Ed and Robert thank you for including me in this tasting and getting to know more about Pedroncelli Wines. More of these fine recipes too please!
Monday, January 16, 2017
Glasshaus Wines is the exact reason why I am a devoted angel on Cellar Angels. Martin and his staff find these small production wineries who like Cellar Angels have a philosophy to give back. I like other angels get the opportunity to purchase these wines and support charity.
Owner/winemaker Rodney Gagnon gave birth to Glasshaus Wines upon his move to Petaluma in 2011. He had one simple goal "to make great wine for the greater good." He built his winemaking knowledge in Bordeaux France, Boston University Wine Appreciation and Business studies and UC Davis.
The grapes for Glasshaus Pinot were harvested from vineyards located in the Petaluma Gap. The vineyards heat during the day and the cool coastal air flows from the ocean inward to the San Pablo Bay. For the 2013 vintage, the grapes used were clone 115 from the Frederick Vineyard and the Pommard clone from the Roberts Road Vineyard. Fermentation in open top stainless steel tanks and the wine was then barreled in french oak both new and used for 14 months. Case production 203.
The nose screams pinot noir with a wonderful earthy tone, ripe cherry with hints of raspberry, wild violets and vanilla cream. The mouth luscious and majestic with dark cherry, tart cranberry that explodes on the palate with dusty earth on the long juicy finish. Rodney this Pinot is amazing!
Supporting Glasshaus wines allows them and you to give back to the community. Plus you enjoy some outstanding wine. Cellar Angels is free to become an angel and gives you a sense of purpose. Sip Save Give what a wonderful concept.
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Born from Ponzi's Live Certified Sustainable Vineyards, a selection of grapes from all vines become the Tavola 2014 Pinot Noir. The price point of the wine is a fooler coming in around $20-$25.
The 2014 Tavola Pinot Noir is an aromatic burst of lush dark cherry with hints of dark fruit, cola and vanilla. The mouth is juicy and rich with dark cherry, cinnamon spice, cola, a hint of earthiness and a creamy vanilla caramel on the finish. The quality of this wine at this price point is a steal.
Swing in for a visit on your next venture to Oregon wine country and enjoy the beautiful scenery and tasty wine!
Saturday, January 14, 2017
A dip into the cellar and I pulled these two gems from a couple previous Ceja Vineyards wine club shipments.One of my first wineries I had the opportunity to visit on my initial trip to wine country several years ago. Tonight's lineup includes the 2013 Carneros Chardonnay and the 2013 Metzli- The Aztec Goddess Of the Moon a rich round red blend.
The 2013 Carneros Chardonnay is showing beautifully with mouth watering fruit and acidity. Aromas of apple and pear with hints of wild floral notes, lemon citrus and honey. The palate is bright and succulent loaded with ripe fruit, honey and hints of vanilla. There is a beautiful richness and texture to this wine. Excellent when paired with food or just sipping with friends.
The 2013 Metzli was a wine club exclusive. A wonderful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The nose exhibits layers of cherry, raspberry and plum with intermingled notes of black current and rich vanilla.The mouth shows luscious character with the red and dark fruit giving way to anise and mocha. Soft finish for a wine with such character. Beautiful blend Ceja's.
For their available wine visit the Buy Wine Page on the Ceja Vineyards website by clicking the link.
Sunday, January 1, 2017
I was asked by the publisher if I would be interested in reading a revised version of Vertical by author Rex Pickett. This is the official edited version. I definitely enjoyed reading the book naturally with a Pinot Noir in hand. How else does one read about Miles Raymond?
I'm a big fan of Miles and Jack and their childish yet most of the time crazy behavior. Miles with his crazy idea of kidnapping his crooked finger chardonnay drinking mom from the assisted living center, taking her with him as he headed to Oregon Pinot Country. Taking his mothers nurse who mom says is always off smoking her "mary jane" and is "no good" along with yep his side kick Jack who is now divorced and broke. Mom was on her way to Wisconsin to live with her sister.
Naturally as the journey started with a stop on the old "shameless wine tour" the book which put Miles on the map yielded additional autographs, women tossing phone numbers and business cards and a couple of women who would head to Paso Robles with the adventurers. Mom rocketing down the hill toward the vineyard full speed ahead with a wine bottle and glass never spilling a drop. A bad tooth pulled by a vet because Mrs Raymond refused to go to the hospital because you die there, Jack with his organ problem and finally Snapper losing a leg because he ran off and got whacked by a car. Even Miles in Oregon being dunked in a vat of Merlot but not before a fowl language laced protest with his agent.
The money and fame though never really made Miles happy and he was as lost before the fame as he was with it. Eventually moms nurse could no longer deal with her and Jack after having to help clean up Mrs Raymond up one night bolted as well. What Miles found was someone really needed him and he needed her...his mom. Finally arriving in Wisconsin she suffers another stroke and Miles helps her "go home to be with Dad". How fitting that he and Snapper are sitting in the chair on the beach that she used for the remaining 5 years of her life feeling as if they were with her. "Come on Snapper let's go home."