Month: December 2019

Arroyo Cellars 2016 Chardonnay

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A new winery in 2019- Arroyo Cellars located in Livermore, but getting grapes from a variety of sources from Dry Creek to Napa to Livermore. Will need to spend some time to understand their role in the market. This evening was a 2016 Chardonnay from Carneros AVA in Napa Valley which was bright and clear. More moderate between old world and new world as butter & sweetness is concerned. Minerality and a soft lemon citrus were the distinguishing traits. Solid mid length finish. An excellent stand alone Chardonnay. #arroyocellars #chardonnay #livermorewines #napachardonnay https://californiawinesandwineries.com/

 

Slainte,

Michael

https://californiawinesandwineries.com

https://www.arroyocellars.com/

2016 Garnacha de Fuego

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2016 Garnacha de Fuego paired this evening with garlic butter baked pork chops and cheese potaoes. This wine comes from the mountains of Spain around 3,000 feet elevation from Bodegas Breca in the Calatayud D.O. from the Aragón area. 100% Garnacha de Aragón, the oldest clone of Garnacha (Grenache) in the world. The vineyard is dry farmed and with an arid climate, produces an unique characteristics of raspberries & cherries and with a dry minerality/earthy finish. #grenacha #spanishwines #spanishwinelover https://californiawinesandwineries.com

 

Slainte,

Michael

https://californiawinesandwineries.com

 

 

 

2015 Nickel & Nickel Stiling Vineyard Chardonnay

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On the eye, a light golden straw/hay coloring with medium body. On the nose, floral notes and minerality. On the palate, pear, green apple, citrus and honeydew dance in the mouth. Acidity is managed well with a hint of vanilla and a touch of oak on the finish. This is a refined and perhaps elegant Chardonnay. Stiling Vineyard, located in the Russian River Valley was planted in 1988. The vineyard is famous for the Goldridge sandy loam soils and ten acres planted in Chardonnay.
Slainte,
Michael

https://californiawinesandwineries.com

https://nickelandnickel.com/

2011 Crocker & Starr Stone Place Cabernet Sauvignon

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Christmas Eve dinner of tri-tip, potato and salad. Paired with a 2011 Crocker & Starr Stone Place Cabernet Sauvignon. Dark purple and heavy viscosity on the eyes. Raspberries, tobacco and licorice on the palate. A great lasting finish with a faint vanilla and oak. Now on to watch Miracle on 34th Street. Merry Christmas! #crockerandstarr #cabernetsauvignon #pamstarr #napacabernetsauvignon #https://californiawinesandwineries.com

 

Slainte,

Michael

https://californiawinesandwineries.com

https://www.crockerstarr.com/

Laura Michael 2015 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

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Laura Michael 2015 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon. From this quite boutique winery just outside downtown Calistoga heading east. A beautiful dark red on the eyes with a medium viscosity. Aromas of red fruits. On the palate, additional smooth French oak coat the mouth. The famous Rutherford dust is dominated each perfect sip. Laura over the years has always produced excellent and enjoyable wines which are stocked in the cellar. This one will be hard to keep long in the cellar! #lauramichaelwines #calistogawines #napacabernetsauvignon

 

Slainte, 
Michael

https://californiawinesandwineries.com

https://www.lauramichaelwines.com/

 

Three Unique features of Foursight Wines, 2018 Sauvignon Blanc From Boonville, California

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First is that it comes from Boonville, California in the Anderson Valley AVA. This area is known for Pinot Noir and white wines. Mostly due to the topography and with warm inland areas and summer cooling in the late afternoon with fog rolling in from the Pacific Ocean. The elevation goes to almost 1700 feet in western Mendocino County. It is also consider one of the cooler AVA’s in California. Additionally only 558 acres of vineyards are planted out of 56,155 acres in the AVA or roughly only 1%.

The second most intriguing aspect of this AVA, specifically Boonville, is their language called Boontling. It is a dying language or dialect known to have developed in the area. It is a mixture of English, Scottish, Gaelic, Irish and even Pomoan and Spanish. It was believed to have started in the 1800’s to talk behind each other backs and has strong sexual undertones. Less than 100 people today speak the language. Here are some key words and transliteration of a couple of phrases (G-rated):

 

buckey walter: n. A pay telephone {Combination of buckey (nickel) and “Walter.” A man named Walter Levi owned the first phone in the valley; as a result Walter Levi is a telephone. Early pay phone required only a nickel.}

kilockety: v. To travel by train. {Imitative of the sounds of metal wheels on rails.}

wess: v. To fib; to exaggerate. {A Boonter named Wes often “stretched” the truth, esp. in telling stories.}

fratty shams: n. Grapevines. {Combination of fratty (wine) and shams (brush).}

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And thirdly for Boonville, and most importantly, it is the home of Foursight Wines. While only three acres are planted Sauvignon Blanc they must be carefully groomed in this cooler climate zone. This 2018 is 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes and they use both stainless steel and neutral French oak. It won a Gold Medal in the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Perhaps one of the more unique Sauvignon Blancs in California with a almost pale yellow clarity. Thinking it was initially going to be weak, it burst open with lime citrus, lemon custard and minerality. Yet in the background a soft pear and subtle apple concoction lingered.  The finish was strong and enjoyable. Paired with sautéed scallops, risotto and fresh garden salad made a wonderful meal. Additionally,  a seared Ahi steak was enjoyed with this wine the next evening.

 

Slainte, 

 

Michael

https://californiawinesandwineries.com

http://foursightwines.com/

 

 

 

 

Vinum Cellars 2013 Chenin Blanc – A Versatile Wine for All Tastes!

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Chenin Blanc has a long history with the first recording in a land-grant dating back to  845. Chenin Blanc originally from Loire Valley in France now can be found in many areas like the United States, Argentina and today South Africa, where 50% of worldwide vineyards are planted. In South Africa it is known as Steen, but also around the world goes by the names of Vouvray, Savennieres and others. 

 

Personally speaking, this was one of the first grape varietals I was exposed to and always enjoyed it as a refreshing wine. Today, with a further bit of education, I now understand that Chenin Blanc is a versatile grape ranging from cooler climates (providing more acidity) to warmer weather (giving more body) in general characteristics. Thriving with this range of terroir, Chenin Blanc can be sweet, dry, semi-sweet, and posses a light to medium heavy body.

 

This Vinum Cellars 2013 Chenin Blanc showed a pale straw yellow on the eyes and a medium viscosity. On the nose, aromatics of apple, honey dew and minerality appeared as the leaders on the senses. On the palate, jasmine, honey, lime citrus dominated in the mouth. The acidity was strong but not overpowering. Another unique characteristic especially of this wine, was the change over temperature. For every few degrees, you experienced an intriguing change of flavor profiles. The predominant flavor lead switched between lime, apple and lemon as well as honey, pear and minerality.  Surely not to be confused as a chameleon but a wine steeped in strong transitional variations over temperature.

 

Admittedly, before doing this story, I had not a single bottle of Chenin Blanc in the cellar. I do believe, next summer and spring it will show up as a nice alternative to Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Roussanne, Picpoul and other refreshing white wines.

 

Slainte, 

 

Michael

https://californiawinesandwineries.com

https://www.vinumcellars.com/