Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer Wines from the Anderson Valley

Porch Pounders, Camping Wines, Poolside Sippers, BBQ Reds - we all have our favorite summer wines and our favorite places to drink them.  I've found many new ones recently now that summer has hit full stride I must open. I'm calling these my "Hammock & Garden Wines" since my little backyard oasis is kickin' cool these days. 

On a recent trip to the Anderson Valley I came home with these beauties:

Toulouse Vineyards is always a must stop for many reasons...I love the owners, their dog Tess, the views and of course their beautiful wines.   I seriously like all their wines, but gathered a few bottles of their new 2010 Rosé of Pinot Noir up first.  Vern sent me home with a special bottle of Riesling as well.

Handley Cellars as you know has been near and dear to me for years.  I only tasted wines that are not available in Texas.  The 2010 Sauvignon Blanc-Semillion,  2008 Viognier & the 2007 Ranchhouse Red were standouts.  So of course, I love their pink wine too. The Handley 2010 Pinot Noir Rosé is made with organically-farmed grapes from Handley’s Estate Vineyard. DELICIOUS!

Not much to say about Navarro Vineyards that you don't already know - just buy the stuff.  They have the best winery direct to consumer program and wine club in all of California.  I walked away with a mixed case  - this was my favorite for the Garden wine for this summer: 2010 Edelzwicker

Meyer Family Cellars was such a new treat for me.  I was turned onto wine years ago after reading Justin Meyer's "Plain Talk about Fine Wine" and haven't stopped since.  They are known for their hand-crafted Reds (love their Syrah!) and fantastic Port which I couldn't resist buying...but for the Hammock and Garden selection I loaded up on their new 2010 Rosé of Syrah.  The bottle after drained I shall keep around and use as a cold water bottle too, gorgeous.

Big surprise of the day was the Drew Family Wines bottle of Albarino. I had no idea Albarino was growing in Anderson Valley.  What a kick!  I've had at least 100 bottles of Albarino in my lifetime and this one was spot-on.  A fun discovery  - who knew?

Last stop of the day, minutes before closing time was at Phillips Hill Estates. And am I glad we made it!  Toby Hill is an artist and has now taken his "art" to an entire different form - winemaking.  BRAVO!  I liked every wine and that rarely happens.  His 2009 Valenti Vineyard Pinot Noir made the hair on the back of my neck standup after sipping.  I also walked away with bottles of Gewurtraminer and unoaked Chardonnay.  

I have a feeling I'm a lifer for this winery now too.  His dog "Jackson" sat on my feet while I rubbed his head...yeah, I love that about good dogs. 

Cheers to some Hammock time this weekend...what are your favorites places to sip your favorite wines?  -  Ali

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