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Fog Crest Vineyard

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A winery that has it all! From unique vineyards, beautiful tasting room, gorgeous views, excellent winemaker and distinctly affordable and delicious wines.

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Fog Crest Vineyards established in 1998 and is located just outside Sebastopol in the Russian River Valley AVA. On property they have planted 5 ½ acres of Chardonnay and just over 3 ½ acres of Pinot Noir. They have a finely appointed tasting room with exceptional views of the area.

The tasting room offers besides the normal walk up tasting counter, sit down sessions with the staff and/or winemaker and outside chairs to capture the views of the area. If you plan in advance, you can set up a vineyard/winery tour, enjoy a platter of artisan cheeses or even have them arrange a luncheon.

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Met Jerome Chery briefly who is originally from Chateauroux France. He got his degree from University of Burgundy and like many has traveled extensively to hone his craft. Travels include: Provence, Australia’s Swan Valley, Newton Winery in Napa, Littorai Winery featuring his passion for Pinot’s and Chardonnay’s and lastly as Director of Winemaking at Saintsbury Winery. In 2014 he arrived at Fog Crest Vineyards as Winemaker. Typically for his Chardonnay, he presses whole clusters and uses 55-60% Burgundian new oak. It is bottled some 18 months after harvest. For the Pinot’s he releases them 16 months after bottling using 40% new French oak. Both varietals are unfiltered.

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I tasted a variety of wines at Fog Crest, but two wines separated themselves as extremely noteworthy. The first outstanding one was the 2013 Russian River Chardonnay from Laguna West with 100% malolactic fermentation – but not sappy or too buttery.  This received only 90 points but is a genuine sleeper! The second wine is the 2012 Russian River Pinot Noir.  Out of the bottle it has a bright Ruby red color and strawberries on the palate. Both wines were extremely moderately priced for the quality.

Fog Crest Vineyards on a bright sunny day is definitely worth a leisurely afternoon visit and stay.

Slainte

http://www.fogcrestvineyard.com

****Don’t forget the article on some unique offers from three wineries as the time frame to “collect” will expire.****

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Progeny

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Progeny is hands down the best wine thus far in 2016. While I know that is a bold statement, I have smelled, swirled and tasted over 300 wines this year already and I gave this my highest marks without hesitation.

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If that wasn’t enough this winery is situated on a pristine Mt Veeder property. They have 260 acres with only 32 planted in vineyards. At first glance, you might think of yourself back in the “ode sod” of Ireland. The hillsides were strikingly green with the recent rains.

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Betty and Paul Woolls, wanted to take their experience with O’Shaughnessy one step further and purchased the land which had been a cattle farm since 1885. While predominately plantings are Cabernet Sauvignon the also have Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot and St Macaire on the property. Also in some remote areas they have a small portion planted in Grenache, Mourvedre and Counoise grapes.

Additionally they enlisted the “stars” of O’Shaughnessy to put Progeny on the map. Sean Capiaux continues as winemaker, Alan Pierson once again is making the vineyards into art work. The charming and engaging Blanca Preciado will be running the hosting of guests as Hospitality Manager.

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They are in the midst of construction of their production facility which is slated to be completed in August 2016. This September/October will be their first production on site. Their hospitality building will start this summer and hope to have it completed by fall of 2017.

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Now about their wines. I want to mention two only, but all four wines were near perfect. The first is their 2014 Trinity Blanc which is just in time for summer enjoyment. It combines Marsanne (46%), Roussane (46%) and Viognier (8%) producing a classic white Rhone blend. The golden color is exquisite, the aromas of peaches, apricot and soft melon are evident with flavors of honeysuckle and cantaloupe — a complete white refreshing wine.

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The second wine is their first release of Special Selection Reserve (SSR), a 2009 Progeny 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. This was the WINNER! Only 100 cases were produced. This wine was aged in French oak barrels for 30 months and then aged 2 years in bottle before release. This was perhaps one of the darkest and voluptuous Cabs I have come across in years. This was described as “a mouth filling wine of power and elegance” and I can only second that statement.

2010 only 50 cases were produced, 2011 it was not made and 2012 will be their next release in fall of 2017. It is not too early to make a note on your calendar for fall of 2017 to get a wonderful wine.

Slainte

http://www.progenywinery.com/

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Three Promotions for Readers of California Wines & Wineries

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Three wines have agreed to a “special promotion” for the readers of California Wines & Wineries. I have done a story on each of these during Q1 2016. Each of these wineries will honor this promotion for a limit time and then it will end.  The wineries listed have recently won awards or have a solid track record for their wines so they are sharing their good fortune.  This is not moving out “non-saleable inventory”, it is an opportunity to buy and taste some exceptional wines. Use code CAWINEQ2 when placing an order on their website or in person in the tasting room.

Incendium Wineshttps://californiawinesandwineries.com/2016/03/29/incendium-wines/

Winemaker/owner Vince Kalny just won Silver & Gold Medals at the SF Chronicle tasting. Above is the link to the article I wrote about Incendium Wines. 20% discount on 2 bottles or more with no limit, on the following wines below:

  • 2013 IW Cabernet Sauvignon 100% Napa Valley — Gold Medal Winner for 2016 Winemaker Challenge and Critics Challenge
  • 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon 100% Napa Valley – Silver Medal Winner for 2016 SF Chronicle, Winemaker and Critics Challenge
  • 2014 Chardonnay Carneros – Oaked – Silver Medal Winner 2016 SF Chronicle and Sonoma Grand Harvest
  • Other specifics:

o   You must use the coupon when ordering

o   Any other discounts for number of bottles purchased or club membership will not apply

o   Starts 4/7/2016 and ends 5/1/2016

o   Minimum of 2 bottles purchased

o   Shipping charges will apply

 

Kent Price Wines   https://californiawinesandwineries.com/?s=kent+price+wines

Owner Kent Price and winemaker Rudy Zuidema have made exceptional wines for years now. Rudy is a winemaker who is one of the top winemakers in Napa. Above is the link to the article I wrote about Kent Price Wines.  Kent Price Wines are offering an exclusive opportunity only to our Readers to purchase their “pre-release” of 2012 Kent Price Venant du Coeur and 2014 Venant du Coeur Blanc. Both wines are limited in quantity and have a dedicated following among the Kent Price Wines Friends and Family followers.  Complimentary shipping on 6 bottles or more with no limit (you can mix):

  • Other specifics:

o   You must use the coupon when ordering

o   Starts 4/7/2016 and ends 5/7/2016

o   Minimum of 6 bottles purchased

o   Shipping charges are complementary

 

McKahn Family Cellars   https://californiawinesandwineries.com/?s=mckahn+family+cellars

Winemaker/owner Charles McKahn and his family team just won Silver & Gold Medals at the SF Chronicle tasting. What is surprising, this was his first production release! His future as a winemaker is extremely bright. Above is the link to the article I wrote about McKahn Family Cellars.  10% discount on any of their award winning wines, but you must purchase at the tasting room in Livermore in person which is open Saturday and Sunday.

  • 2014 Chardonnay – Sonoma – 2016 Gold Medal Winner SF Chronicle Competition
  • 2014 Zinfandel – Mendocino  
  • 2014 Syrah – Napa Valley – 2016 Silver Medal Winner SF Chronicle Competition
  • Other specifics:

o   You must use the coupon when ordering at the winery

o   Any other discounts for number of bottles purchased or club membership will not apply

o   Starts 4/7/2016 and ends 5/7/2016

o   No minimum

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Shadybrook Estate purchases Chateau Lane Winery

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Shadybrook Estate owners Alice and David Alkosser, just took a new bold step purchasing Chateau Lane Winery in Coombsville. Today they have some exciting and large plans/ideas how to move forward with this choice location and vineyard. The winery has a full modernized winery production plant including optical sorting, large presses with built in bladders and pump over capabilities, etc.

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First, the vineyard which is planted in 12 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon is as tranquil as one could imagine. The estate is on 25 acres in total. The planted clones are 337, 338, 191 and 15 on property. Rudy Zuidema of Shadybrook Estates will again be the winemaker, vineyard manager and even forklift driver (saw him doing this while there). Karen McFarland also from Shadybrook Estates will be the General Manager of this property.

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While not going too deep into the details (which are under wraps today), they will use the full service kitchen and private outdoor tasting areas in the future. This new facility will augment a tasting venue for Shadybrook Estate. Opening date for production and tasting under the Shadybrook Estate brands is targeted for October 2016.

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More to come as the soft opening happens later this month and the grand re-opening in October. Besides taxes, put April 15th on your calendar to see firsthand this lovely facility and hear about their plans from Karen and/or Rudy! 

http://www.chateaulanewinery.com/

http://www.shadybrookestate.com/

Slainte

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Wine Ratings & Award for Q1 2016

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Wine Ratings & Awards for Q1 2016

I wanted share with you some of the wineries that I have wrote about or recommended, on their updated wine ratings or awards received in Q1 2016. This shows that many of those wineries and winemakers who I published an article on in the last twelve weeks have done extremely well. Personally, I am pleased that they have achieved or received these accolades.  

One or more will be featured shortly providing a “promotional incentive” to celebrate their good fortune with the viewers of “California Wines & Wineries” via Facebook, website or Instagram. Be on the lookout for the announcement and code CAWINEQ2 to save on those wineries offering special deals (discounts and/or complimentary shipping) on their award winning wines!

Winery Vintage Wine Scores/Awards
Alyris Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay – The Audition Double Gold Medal Winner SF Chronicle -January
Incendium 2014 Chardonnay- Carneros Napa Silver Medal 2016 SF Chronicle – January
Incendium 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Gold Medal Winemaker Challenge Int’l Wine Competition – Jan
Incendium 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Silver Medal 2016 SF Chronicle – January & Silver Medal Winemaker Challenge Int’l Wine
Incendium 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon IW 90 pts from 2016 Critics Int’l Wine Challenge
McKahn Family Cellars 2014 Chardonnay – Knights Valley Gold Medal 2016 SF Chronicle – January
McKahn Family Cellars 2014 Syrah – St Helena/Napa Valley Silver Medal 2016 SF Chronicle – January
Mia Nipote 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Silver Medal 2016 SF Chronicle Wine Competition
Mia Nipote 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Silver Medal2016  SF Chronicle Wine Competition
Mia Nipote 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Gold Medal 2016 SF Chronicle Wine Competition
O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – Howell Mountain 95 Pts Antonio Galloni, Vinous
O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – Mt Veeder 97 Pts Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery 2014 Chardonnay – Oakville 94 Pts Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Revana Winery  2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – Estate 94 Pts -Wine Spectator
Saxon Brown 2013 Chardonnay – Carneros, Sangiacomo Vineyard 92 Pts Wine Spectator
Saxon Brown 2013 Chardonnay – Napa Valley, Carneros Hyde Vineyard 91 Pts Wine Spectator
Saxon Brown 2013 Chardonnay – Santa Lucia Highlands, Rosella’s Vineyard 92 Pts Wine Spectator
Saxon Brown 2013 Zinfandel, Fighting Brothers 93 Pts Robert Parker
Saxon Brown 2013 Pinot Noir, Gap’s Crown 91 Pts Robert Parker
Wood Family Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – Especial Gold Medal 2016 SF Chronicle Wine Competition – January
Wood Family Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – Livermore Valley Silver Medal 2016 SF Chronicle Wine Competition
Wood Family Vineyards 2013 Zinfandel – Big Wood Gold Medal 2016 SF Chronicle Wine Competition
Wood Family Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay “Para Mas Amigas” Silver Medal 2016 SF Chronicle Wine Competition
YoungInglewood 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Tasting Panel 93, Q1 16. American Fine Wine Competition Double Gold 

Slainte

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Incendium Wines

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When is having HEAT good for wine? Actually never, but for Incendium Wines it is FINE. Incendium is the Latin noun for “fire, wildfire, (heat of) passion”. This is true of Vincent Kalny’s wines as the owner and winemaker. Where did the name come from? Simple —Vincent has worked for Cal Fire out of the Napa Unit for 10 years. When you are on the front lines, feeling the heat, he turned that energy into his passion, winemaking. Through a unique opportunity in 2011, Vince ended up back in college educating himself in this captivating art form.

I met Vince some number of years ago and while his first release was good out of the gate, he tipped the scales drastically this year with major ratings and awards. Here are a few of them over the last quarter:

2014 Chardonnay-Carneros Napa Silver Medal, Jan 2016 SF Chronicle Wine Competition

2013 IW Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Gold Medal, Jan 2016 Winemaker Challenge Int’l Wine Comp.

2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, Silver Medal, Jan 2016 SF Chronicle Wine Competition

2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, Silver Medal, Jan 2016 Winemaker Challenge Int’l Comp.

Those awards for a winery putting out 50-100 cases of each varietal is SMOKING HOT!

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They use a “custom crush” facility in Napa and Vince is there providing his direction diligently.  His wife Deanna (one in the middle), handles the marketing and social media perspectives of the business.

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One of the key items and why I personally was drawn to Incendium Wines, is with Vince’s support and concern for his “band of brothers” in that he provides a portion of the profit’s to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and contributes to local fund raising events. With last year’s recent fall fires in the Northern California portion of wine country, Vince has also contributed to those firefighters (some who are friends and co-workers of his) who were injured and lost their homes.

My favorite wine is his 2013 IW Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa. This is their flagship wine even from a small lot artisan producer! The color is a dark ruby and the aroma provides a balance between a powerful cherry and leather. The alcohol content is 14.4% and pH of 3.79, both combine to provide a very drinkable wine.

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Bring a little heat and passion out next time you want a distinctive wine – Incendium Wines!

http://incendiumwines.com

Slainte

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Dutton-Goldfield Winery

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Steve Dutton and Dan Goldfield have teamed up to deliver some of the best Pinot Noir’s in Sonoma County. Perhaps the key to their success is sourcing grapes from 17+ unique and diverse vineyards scattered around Sonoma County and Sonoma Coast line. Most are located in the Green Valley (Russian River), with one also in Mendocino County. No wonder why in 2014, they were named as one of the “Top 100 Wineries” by Wine & Spirit Magazine.

There is however other varietals that they offer like their award winning Chardonnay, Sarah and Zinfandel. Also small lots of Riesling (300 cases), Gewürztraminer (262 cases) and Pinot Blanc (367 cases) are offered. Their tasting room is located in Sebastopol which has both inside and outside seating available.

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On the day that I was there, we focused primarily on the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varietals.  Perhaps one of their flagship wines is their Rued Vineyard Chardonnay. It is a bright, citrus-primarily lemon, with a hint of butterscotch taste. It is aged 17 months in 50% new French oak and presented unfiltered. For the 2013 vintage, they produced 800 cases. They received a deserving 93 points for this refreshing Chardonnay. I purchased a few bottles for my cellar!

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We tasted three of their Pinot Noir’s from varying vineyards: Fox Den, Emerald Ridge and Freestone Hill. Fox Den and Emerald Ridge received 93 and 92 points respectively. My favorite was the Freestone Hill with its dark cherry color, featuring ripe blueberries and blackberries on the palate. This wine is aged 17 months in 55% new French barrels. They use Clone is 667 and has become one of my favorites. Only 478 cases were produced.

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My suggestion would be to visit them early in your tasting day with a fresh palate to taste their diversified portfolio, especially the Pinot Noirs.

https://www.duttongoldfield.com

Slainte

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