Month: September 2022

2021 Acquiesce Winery Cinsaut Rosé

Posted on Updated on

What is Cinsaut?

Cinsaut (sin-soh) also spelled “Cinsault” is a red wine grape varietal that is found in the hot and sunny climate of Southern France and typically goes into red wine blends in Southern Rhone, Languedoc, Roussillon and Provence. In California, Cinsaut thrives in the Lodi region of San Joaquin Valley as well as along parts of the Central Coast where temperatures can be very warm. Cinsaut is used to generally produce red wines with aromatic and floral qualities and if well-made are typically smooth with subtle tannins. Acquiesce Winery elected to complement their white and rose line up with whole cluster pressing and sur lie aging in the tanks of this grape. A great wine just added to their Provence line up.

The Winery

Acquiesce Winery, Susan Tipton makes so many wines that have topped the wine charts with high ratings. Her latest claim came from the International Women’s Wine Competition being named Best Woman Winemaker in 2022! You can read more about this and her wonderful and unique white wines coming out of the Central Valley at:

https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2022/05/23/2019-acquiesce-winery-picpoul-blanc-verses-2019-acquiesce-winery-roussanne/

Among my personal favorites are her Picpoul Blanc, Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc, Ingénue (blend) and Clairette Blanche. All of which are proudly stocked in my wine cellar.

The 2021 Acquiesce Cinsaut Rosé

The Bad news first: only 50 cases were produced for the 2021 and it sold out in two weeks. Now the good news, with such success they planted another two acres for the future and will be releasing the 2022 vintage in May of 2023. This truly is a heads up on this delicious wine.

First on the eyes, a golden/copper coloring that is unique and enticing just to view! It has a medium viscosity in the glass. On the nose, the aromas of honeydew melon, strawberry and summer fruits arise to greet the palate. Once in the mouth a light but lively wine opens up to the fruits and a slight mineral flavor. Each sip beckons one to dissect the aromas and convert to their favorite summertime fruit such as watermelon, guava, papaya, etc. The finish is dry and a hint of cantaloupe sneaks in for a soft and round finish. Tannins are not present to help with the subtle fruit finish.

The Food & Wine Pairing

We paired the wine with Ahi Tuna from Fiji quickly sautéed in white wine, oil, red pepper flakes, ginger paste, garlic salt, etc. Then served with a topping of fresh minced papaya, pineapple, Mandarin oranges and slice green onions. Accompanied with long & short brown rice and sliced of fresh massive Beefsteak tomatoes from a farm in Brentwood. The fish and toppings enhanced the wine and made a spectacular meal. In fact Susan Tipton’s food pairing for this wine suggest “sushi, Thai food, or a fresh fruit dessert”.

BTW, the fresh Ahi Tuna came from Ohana Seafood in Modesto.

Sláinte,


Michael

https://californiawinesandwineries.com

https://www.acquiescevineyards.com/

http://ohanaseafood.net/

2018 Lavender Ridge Vineyard Roussanne – A Mouth Filling Wine

Posted on Updated on

The Winery

2018 Lavender Ridge Vineyard tasting room is located in the town of Murphys in the lower Sierra Nevada foothills. To read more about Lavender Ridge, see a previous article:

https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2020/04/08/traveling-to-wine-regions-while-staying-in-place-today-lavender-ridge-vineyard-in-murphys-california-in-the-sierra-foothills/

The Wine

The Roussanne is powerful with floral aromatics, with hints of peaches, pears and with a rich and silky smooth mouthful texture, almost creamy. Roussanne on the eyes is a light golden straw color with medium to medium heavy viscosity. On the nose floral aromatics, hints of pear, apricots waft into the senses. On the palate, you are treated to a silky smooth mouthful texture. The finish provides a soft nutty almond, compounded with a hint of honey and distinct minerality. Lavender Ridge Vineyard Roussanne has made my Best Wines of the Year since 2019. The current vintage 2019 retails for $30

                                                                                                                                                               ,

The Food and Wine Pairing

While enjoying this wine last evening by itself, it is a perfect wine for fish and shell fish. It also works with spicy dishes with its mouth filling texture and flavors.

Lavender Ridge Vineyard 2018 Roussanne is always displayed in the wine cellar as an exceptional wine. This wine is one of the least expensive wines on the display row in the cellar, but is still one of my all-time favorites!

If you have never tasted Roussanne, you are missing a delightful experience in wine.

Sláinte,

Michael


https://californiawinesandwineries.com
https://lavenderridgevineyard.com/

2019 Wood Family Vineyards Syrah – Perfect Compliment for Triple Digit Temperatures

Posted on

The Winery

Here is a link to hear more about this remarkable winery and their award winning wines!  https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2016/02/10/wood-family-vineyards-2/

The Wine

This wine is destined to be one of the Wood Family Vineyards quick sellers. First on the eyes, a deep almost “blackish” color but with a rim of mesmerizing magenta/purple hue and medium heavy viscosity. On the nose, berries, leather and spices are the predominate aromas that waft into your senses. But on the palate is where robust, dense and lively blackberry and blueberry flavors engulf the mouth with the fruit and black pepper/sweet pipe tobacco. On the finish, velvety texture and very subtle tannins caress the back of the mouth to provide a long lasting enjoyable tasting. Listed at $36/bottle and only 110 cases produced.

The Food and Wine Pairing

When the temperature hits triple digits, the food choices get paired down quickly. Correspondingly, the red wine choices follow. Last night had a taco salad with lettuce, fresh diced tomatoes, sliced purple onion, meat sautéed in a “taco mix”, cheese and covered in a chipotle salsa. Paired with the 2019 Syrah made a refreshing and enjoyable meal combination.

Sláinte,

Michael

https://californiawinesandwineries.com

https://woodfamilyvineyards.com/

2012 Lineage Wine from Steven Kent Mirassou – The Winemaker and Mission

Posted on

The Wine Maker

Steven Kent Mirassou as a 6th generation family winemaker has set high goals. He set as his pinnacle development to produce the best “Bordeaux style” wine California could produce. A lofty and perhaps extreme goal for one man in Livermore Valley. After many years as a successful winemaker at Steven Kent Winery, he decided to make 3 to 5 barrels a year of the absolute premier “Bordeaux style” wine. We just opened his 2012 vintage, which is the sixth of the Lineage releases. The blend which changes year to year based on flavor profiles, consisted of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon (Clones 30 & 7); 14% Cabernet Franc; 10% Merlot; 4% Petit Verdot.

While blending is an “artistic” endeavor, Steven also is analytical in his pursuit of the perfect Bordeaux blend. Here is Steven’s write up on why these varietals and clones were chosen. It is like an artist mixing paint colors for the right shading and expression of a painting.

 
Cabernet Sauvignon, Clone 30: Dark cherry and cassis flavors, fine-grained tannins and acidity. Less opulent but more age worthy than Clone 4.
Cabernet Franc: Not as “big” as CS but with more finesse and an aromatic palate of sandalwood and chocolate. Acidity is the watchword of this variety. Its acid-based red fruit flavors marry well with the darker more tannic Cabernet Sauvignon to enliven and length Lineage’s finish.
Petit Verdot: Contributes tannin, color, and grapey aromas and flavors of violet and black fruit. This variety helps to build density in the mid-palate of the wine.
Merlot: Noble variety of Bordeaux’s Right Bank; as counterpoint to CS’s austere structure, Merlot is fleshy and opulent; ripe red/dark cherry flavor, a touch of herbal complexity which adds to Lineage’s rich mid-palate.”

 
The key take way on blending is that it is extremely selective and requires rigorous decision making of not only varietals, but the correct Clones of the varietals to get the flavor profile. Add another step of both winemaking and personal craftsmanship and abracadabra you have a gorgeous and refined Bordeaux blend called Lineage. I am sure Steven wished it was that simple, but this is the shortened version.


Two of many other detailed undertakings are his hand selection of French oak barrels (Taransaud, Le Grand and Francois Freres) and his constant monitoring of the development of the wine in the barrel.

The Wine

2012 was marked by nearly perfect weather throughout the growing season, and the temperate year produced perfectly ripe and balanced fruit. Cabernet Sauvignon contribution had a significantly larger role by percentage than it did in the previous releases and shows in Lineage and generous structure. Again, Cabernet Franc beautifully serves its role as the contributor of verve, style, and vitality. Merlot provides a great mid-palate roundness while Petit Verdot adds tannin and exotic fruit. The overall feel of Lineage is one of beauty and elegance with a fairly low alcohol level of 13.9%. The suggested maturity of this wine is recommended from 2018 to 2030. The wine was harvested from the Ghielmetti Estate and Home Ranch Vineyards in Livermore Valley. This library wine today from Lineage goes for $245. The current release is the 2018 and available for $175. The 2018 was given 97 points immediately by Wine Enthusiast and the 2017 received 100 points from Steve Heimoff.


The flavor profile and experience of this wine is truly remarkable. First on the eye you see a medium to medium dark red tint and medium viscosity wine. Very different than some of the bolder Cabernet Sauvignon’s coming out of Napa Valley. Your first impression is perhaps this may be a bit light. But hold on until you get your first whiff which reveals “black fruits, exotic woods and spice aromatics”. On the palate, you get all the above characteristics that Steven purposed in his selection of varietals and clones to produce a crescendo of semi-sweet mocha, dark cherry, dark roasted coffee, sweet tobacco, violets, black fruit, etc. You are a bit mesmerized in trying to dissect each essential trait in this wine drinking experience. But it is a wine to simply enjoy and savor the existential engagement and relationship of such a rare and eloquent treat.

The Food and Wine Pairing

Last night our Friday Night Wine & Dine group ventured to Verona18 in Copperopolis. Paired with an eight ounce pan seared filet mignon with herb encrusted Gorgonzola compound butter cooked medium rare. Served with steak fries and a medley of fresh vegetables.  The wine embraced the exquisitely tender filet mignon and was a perfect dinner companion.

Sláinte,

Michael


https://californiawinesandwineries.com

https://www.coppervalleygolf.com/
https://www.lineagewine.com/

2018 Acre Wines Cabernet Sauvignon – Ultra Smooth

Posted on

The Winery


“One Acre, One Guy, One Wine” slogan is the quintessential meaning behind their wines and success. It started in 2002 with Dave Becker, who founded the One Acre label with just one acre of Cabernet Sauvignon planted at his family home in the Oak Knoll region of the Napa Valley. The success of One Acre led to the launch of Acre Wines, a portfolio of classic wines from sustainably farmed, family-owned estate vineyards in Napa Valley.

Industry veterans, Mike and Talley Henry purchased the winery in 2017. Together, with well-known consulting winemaker Richard Bruno, they continue to carry on the One Acre and Acre Wines legacy that Dave created nearly two decades ago. Today, the One Acre portfolio includes an Oak Knoll Cabernet sourced from Dave’s original one acre vineyard, and a Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon, planted on one acre with identical clones, varietal, spacing and row orientation as the Oak Knoll Cabernet to be able to understand and appreciate the differences of “terroir”. The highly acclaimed Acre portfolio includes a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc sourced from family-owned vineyards within the stellar AVA’s of Oakville, Yountville, Calistoga, and Stags Leap.

While not a big “wine label” person, their wine bottles are unique and a piece of art! They researched out many ways to get their label on the bottle and chose Bergin Screen Printing & Etching in Napa. The process is “glass printing” with proprietary colors and have perfected the glass printing process. The printing process uses a steel screen with the ink applied to the glass. They are able to screen around the entire bottle 360 degrees. The bottle is then baked in a Lehr at temperatures of 1160 degrees permanently fusing the label with the glass. This makes for a decorative bottle on the outside to hold some exquisite wine.

The Wine – 2018 Acre Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Acre Cabernet Sauvignon follows the pedigree of the 2017 in many remarkable ways. The wine comes from the organically farmed single vineyard Mill Race Vineyard in Yountville. It is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.  On the eyes a deep crimson color almost black and medium heavy viscosity. On the nose, aromatics of black cherry and luscious blueberries invites you to taste the wine. On the palate, layers of spices and structure greets one initially. Then texture of mild chewiness and flavors of soft new leather, light oak, currant and a tinge of licorice swell up in a beautiful crescendo in the mouth along with the aforementioned fruits. The finish of tannins is soft, velvety and caressing not harsh and edgy like some Cabernet Sauvignons of Napa Valley. A wine to be enjoyed by itself or with a spicy dish to help “calm it down”. The 2018 is just now being released and is $60/bottle. A truly remarkable offering.

The Food and Wine Pairing

Our Friday Night Wine & Dine group at Verona18 and enjoyed various dishes. I ordered the 12 ounce Blackened prime rib with topped with citrus-Pico de Gallo. Served with mashed potatoes and vegetables. The spiciness of the blackened steak along with the mellower Acre Wines Cabernet Sauvignon was truly a perfect match for the evening.

Sláinte,

Michael

https://californiawinesandwineries.com

https://www.acrewines.com/wines

https://www.coppervalleygolf.com/

https://berginglass.com/screen-print/