Monday, May 29, 2017

2012 Viszlay Vineyards Five Vines Estate Red Blend Russian River Valley

Located in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County, this small production boutique winery is a hidden gem. I was introduced to Viszlay Vineyards through my affiliation with Cellar Angels. The winery produces these small lot estate wines with grapes harvested from their 10 acres of vineyards. Varietals grown on the property include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir (yes after this blend I can only imagine how good their pinot is), Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Alicante Bouschet and Prosecco which is the only vineyard in Sonoma County growing this grape.

Not a large operation by any means, you will find owner John Viszlay wearing the hat of wine maker and winery operations head honcho. Son Tony handles the marketing and finance aspect of the business. I can tell you both you brought a smile to my face as soon as I tasted this beauty.

The 2012 Five Vines Red Blend consists of 42% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Malbec, 8% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot. From the moment the cork was pulled there was this rush of a fruit bouquet followed by hints of earthiness, dried herbs and spicy currants. As you continue to swirl I was completely mesmerized by the complexity of the layers of aroma dancing through my nose. Not even a drop had touched my palate and I was already in love with the wine.

The mouth is silky and juicy with cherry showing off throughout the taste. Plenty of dark ripe fruit with each sip but the cherry makes another appearance so you don't forget about her. The spicy currants with a slight kiss of creamy vanilla lead to a long soft finish. I tasted this at various stages over the course of 5 hours and it was tight when first opened but with each passing hour it reached a point where my only thought was WOW. I have a second bottle to let age for another 5 years and can only imagine how good this will be.

Tasting at Viszlay Vineyards is by appointment only and I highly recommend making one. This my friends is some special juice. Don't miss another opportunity like this and sign up to become an Angel on Cellar Angels. It's free so don't wait.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Celebrating 90 Years Of Pedroncelli Wine #ped90th

*samples provided & recipe*

Its always fun to help celebrate milestones with wineries but even better when the fun lasts all year. Happy 90th Pedroncelli Wines and to many more. Tonight's festivities included tasters from the east coast, midwest, south midwest and west coast. Ed you need to stop inviting Thea....she tries to show off LOL

The family has farmed for 90 years in the Dry Creek Valley with many generations learning the family craft. They take things a step farther preserving the land for their future generations. Yes you guessed correctly sustainable farming.

It all began back in 1927 with the purchase of 25 acres planted on a hillside outside of Geyserville. In 1934 the family applies for a winemaking license and starts selling wine to stores and families. Think about a bottle today and tell me if you would trade by going back in time, driving up to the winery, and filling a gallon bottle for $0.45. Pick me pick me. Then in 1949 the first Zinfandel is bottled under the Pedroncelli label. In 1954 they were one of the first wineries to use the Sonoma County Appelation. Over the next several years more varietals are produced, more acres purchased and the sons purchase the winery and begin their journey. We will continue this section on our next post.

We started the evening off cooking the recipe provided Feta and Kalamata Lemon Chicken paired with the first wine of the evening Pedroncelli Eastside Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc. I on the other hand became wrapped up in the wines and burnt the dish. I remade the following evening (still not my best effort) and thought the wine worked really well. The melon complimented the lemon and feta on the chicken nicely even on day 2.

Up first was the 2016 Eastside Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc. Pressed, cold soaked and fermented in stainless steel and bottled shortly after harvest to showcase the fruit of the vineyard. Bright and crisp the succulent melon intertwines with a subtle tart grapefruit and lemongrass. You had me at melon my friends.

Wine 2 is the 2016 Dry Rose Of Zinfandel. Made from 100% free run juice and fermented in stainless steel, this dry rose' just dances across the palate. Strawberry and cherry with hints of orange zest and floral notes. A kiss of spice on the finish compliments the fruit. Drink this rose for any occasion.

Final wine of the evening the 2015 Alto Vineyards Sangiovese. After the first sip I was walking around the house talking like the godfather. Ripe cherry and red berry clusters with hints of baking spice and toasted vanilla. Jammy with well defined tannins. Loved this wine.

I was honored to taste and help celebrate with a group of tasters who are rockstars in wine. Ed and Robert thank you for including me in this stellar tasting. Folks check out all the twitter chatter at #ped90th and enjoy.