Last Friday, we were again asked to help out at the Altadena Public Library’s Art Salon – part of the library’s fabulous Art on Millionaire’s Road annual art show.
If you were at last spring’s fundraising wine and cheese event, then you’ll probably recognized most of the whites. We did have leftovers from that event and wanted to use these delicious wines up. When you add the four reds we found, we poured a total of nine wines for a truly expansive experience.
Segura Viudas Cava Brut Reserve NV
Type: Dry sparkling white wine What
Continue reading Nine Wines Nine! Library Tasting Notes
Type: Dry white What makes it special: Italian grape finding a great home in Santa Barbara county. Plays well with: Salads, seafood, creamy sauces. We are celebrating this humble, but lovely treat of a wine for a couple reasons. First up, we do want to make note of the TAPAS Grand Tasting in San Francisco this weekend, one of the wineries pouring is winemaker Richard Longoria, who made this pinot grigio – even though it’s not one of the wines featured by the Tempranillo Advocates Producers and Amigos Society. TAPAS is, of course, about the Spanish grapes –
Continue reading Longoria 2009 Pinot Grigio
Type: Dry white Made with: Viognier Plays well with: Cheese, light sauces, chicken dishes
We’re always on the lookout for grapes in unusual places. So Michael was pretty stoked when he found the Sawtooth 2007 Viognier from Idaho among the bottles he’d won in a silent auction to benefit the Southern California chapter of the Rhone Rangers. The Sawtooth vineyards are in the Nampa region along the Snake River. They’re fairly new and there is a lot of interest in finding out what will do well there as time goes on. So keep Idaho on your radar screens and
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Type: Dry white Made with: Verdelho Plays well with: Cream sauces, sharp cheeses, non-oily fish
If folks know about verdelho, they know it primarily as a blending grape in its native Chianti, Italy. But winemakers in Portugal have been making a pretty tasty white out of it for… Well, a really long time. And several California growing areas are starting to include it in their own blends or as a varietal of its own – including the nice folks at Dancing Coyote, in Acampo, California, part of the Clarksburg appellation.
The 2009 Verdelho has a nice floral nose. The
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Courtesy La Motte
Type: Dry red Made With: syrah and viognier grapes Plays Well With: Chili and other hearty fare
Shiraz. Syrah. It’s the same grape, just a different name. The Australians made the shiraz term familiar to us in the U.S., and according to La Motte Winemaker Edmund Terblanche, the South Africans are just as likely to say shiraz as not. Which means the following is going to get a little confusing unless we chose a name and stick with it. And, by gum, we’re sticking with syrah, since we’ll be referring to the grape as it’s
Continue reading La Motte 2007 Shiraz/Viognier
Type: Dry red
Made With: the mourvedre grape
Plays Well With: Hearty meats, such as herbed leg of lamb.
Call the mourvedre grape the stinky cheese of the wine world. While it’s a good, hearty wine that does pair well with strong cheeses, like they do about some cheeses, folks will complain about funk in the nose or taste. Which is probably why it’s getting more and more common to see US. wines blended with the lighter grenache and fruitier syrah – the GSM you sometimes see on labels – like they do in the Rhone valley of France.
Continue reading Rideau 2007 Mourvedre
red wine stock pic
Type: Dry redMade with: Tempranillo, Mourvedre and a field blendPlays well with: Southwestern cuisine, grilled meats
There are several different points in the winemaking process where different varietals can be blended into one wine. Many winemakers prefer waiting until right before bottling, then combining all the young, single grape wines into different formulations to hit on just the right taste – and, damn, that’s a fun process. We know. We’ve been doing it for the past several years with all the different wines Michael makes at home.
But the Dos Cabezas 2008 El
Continue reading Dos Cabezas Wineworks 2008 El Campo
Type: Dry redMade With: Pinot Noir grapesPlays Well With: Salmon, pork or grilled beef.
This is a wine that is all about balance – no mean trick when it comes to the notoriously finicky pinot noir grape.
Winemaker and founder Joshua Klapper started with some amazing fruit – from farmer and winemaker Peter Cargasacchi’s vineyards in the ever-so-hot Santa Rita Hills. Cargasacchi has his own Point Concepcion label (which we have had the good fortune to taste), but does sell a fair amount of his crop to several local vintners – including La Fenetre. In fact, one of our
Continue reading La Fenetre 2006 Cargasacchi Pinot Noir
Courtesy Tablas Creek Vineyards
Type: Dry rosé Made with: Mourvedre, Grenache, Counoise Plays well with: duck, figs, cheese, nuts and picnic fare.
Let’s be clear. This is not a sweet wine. Alas, US rosés, in particular, have that bad rep from the cheap box wines that were so popular in the 1960s and ’70s. But this ain’t your daddy’s Lancers. The Tablas Creek 2009 Rosé was pink, as in the color a fresh rosé should have. The nose was fruity with watermelon and strawberry, and the fruitiness continued into the taste, even though it is
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