Monday, September 26, 2011

Wine of the Week

2010 Cyprus Russian River Chardonnay 

From one of the oldest vineyards in the Russian River AVA - vines are planted on the old AXR1 rootstock. It's not often I taste a California chardonnay that I enjoy this much! The wine has great acidity, lemon cream pie flavors with a pinch of minerality and finishes long and supple.

100% barrel fermented on new and neutral French Oak. Fermentation was long and cool resulting in wines that did not go dry until January (Harvest date: Oct. 20th). Lees were stirred in barrel every two weeks until bottling to develop its rich mouth feel and layers of complexity.  100% French Oak, 40% new and aged on fermentation lees for 9 months. 

Case production: 230   $24 a bottle

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Golden Gate Bridge

loves to thrill us! Shot this around noon today on my way back up to Sonoma County. This was Henley's favorite place to play catch in the world.  What a life he had! Cheers to a fun weekend everyone - Ali

International Grenache Day!

More like International Grenache Year for TexaCali Ali!  Kicking off my new found love for Grenache with Mulan Chan in the Rhone Valley last spring to sipping my latest "find" last night while chiming in on the very cool Grenache Woot Off!  I'm slammed today, but here are a few of my favorites grenache producers and travels so far this year in pictures.  Cheers to Grenache!  Ali

The new 2009 release of a tribute to Grace is now available...send Angela an email here:

Chateauneuf du Pape on a perfect spring day, while visiting Daniel Brunier of Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe 


Broc Cellars - haven't tried a bottle that I didn't absolutely love this year made by Chris Brockway. This was a perfect pairing one night with lamb burgers hot off the grill.

 The hillside vineyards of Domaine Saint Jean du Barroux in the Rhone... 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Allen Vineyard

Spent a few minutes walking Allen Vineyard last weekend while waiting for Ziggy the Wine Gal to arrive home...popped a grape that was full of big sweet juicy flavors. Heard they brought in all the fruit this morning!   Read up on the history of Allen Vineyard here. Cheers - Ali

Saturday, September 17, 2011

All the other kids

Tuning in from Cali all weekend.  Foster the People was so fun to watch, a great new discovery this summer for me.  This truly is the best way to "attend" ACL if you're not into gigantic music festivals.   Cheers to all my friends attending ACL and especially to all the restaurants in Austin bustin' it this weekend!  - Ali

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cheers to a little Frank on the way...

One of the best things about living in Austin over the past few years is becoming friends with Jenn & Daniel. Boy we've had some great times and cool adventures together over the years.  Couldn't be more proud, you guys are going to be great parents!  No doubt about it - the whole world is cheering you two Superheros on! LOVE YOU!! - Ali

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A blast of a job - are you worthy?

Wine.Woot Grunt

Work for Wine Country Connect - Sonoma, California (San Francisco Bay Area)

Job Description

So you think you want to work in the wine industry.
Seeking gullible, starry-eyed plebe for entry-level, total-immersion, life-sucking procurement and sourcing position to feed the insanely popular, pioneering website
What's in it for you? An underwhelming salary, all-but-unobtainable commission structure, hellishly long hours, and scant opportunity for upward mobility. Excited yet? There's more! You'll report to a  demanding, overworked boss and answer to the ridicule of a merciless, unrelenting 24/7 online community dissecting every curated wine selection you’d help bring to the worldwideweb.
Applicant must be have a superb track record, be wicked smart, Internet savvy, possess strong attention to detail (can you spell?) and a natural ability to evangelize in person, on the phone, and via the keyboard. Of course, a strong interest in wine and top-shelf writing skills are necessary, too.     
Get your foot in the door to what may be, despite the above, the best entry level job in the wine industry. Send resume to:

Company Description

Wine Country Connect founded and operates the wine division of ecommerce juggernaught Wine.Woot, considered one of the most successful and innovative enterprises in the wine industry. Wine Country Connect offers unique industry positioning and the opportunity to expand a winery’s audience beyond traditional channels.

Additional Information

September 9, 2011
Entry level
Business Development 
Marketing and Advertising, Wine and Spirits, Internet 

Wine Country Outings

Whew - a busy few months for TexaCali Ali organizing "insiders tours" for friends & corporate groups out in the Bay Area.  I've even done the same for Californians who are visiting Austin this fall (Perlas for cocktails, Congress for Dinner, Curra's for's a long long list of goodies). 

Yesterday's "team-building" outing included 26 Google groovers & shakers who spent the day learning about wine  - oh and tasting a few bottles too.  It was a day- long party for sure, everyone dressed to the "day-party nines" and were glued to their Androids - though I did see a few working their iPhones. Side note - I've been told over and over the Android rocks.

Many thanks to Enos Vineyards, Michel-Schlumberger & Davis Family Vineyards for making the day such a hit! 

Cheers - Ali

Friday, September 02, 2011

Winery of the Labor Day Weekend

So just about a year ago I headed out West for a bit of a "reset" after a brutal start to 2010.  Among everything that I'm over the moon about since California welcomed me back (see Back in Cali post ) meeting Jason Enos and his team behind Enos Vineyards and Brack Mountain Wine Co.  has been such a pleasure.  

I have to laugh, Jason and I are the same age, exactly one day apart actually and pretty much everything he has created in his life has been a close (yet distant) day dream of mine.  Married, 2 kids, Labrador Retrievers, house in the vineyards, pool in the vineyards, pizza oven overlooking the pool in the vineyards, his own winery and of course his ability to create and produce world class wines from California. Yep,  Jason pretty much has my dream life.  So helping him with building his dream is totally cool yet very inspiring for me to get after it and go for it too.  Most fabulous "side-project" ever for TexaCali Ali!   Nice and refreshing after dealing with some severe egomaniac & bat-shit-crazy jerks over the years in the wine biz too.  Jason and his team have their feet and the ground and are great fun to be around!

So Texas, the wines you are sipping on draft at Whole Foods - Bar Lamar and Frank for starters are those of Brack Mountain Wine Co.  Also, bottles of Cyprus, Tramonto and Bench are starting to appear in the best restaurants and wine shops all over Texas.  They certainly are killin' it all over California, Chicago, NC and New York City.  Bay Area-  K&L Wine Merchants is currently rollin' through their 2009 Bench Cabernet Sauvignon - you can find the deepest selection at D&M on Filmore in Pac Heights.

I'll be sipping on the Estate Enos Cabernet, Enos Girasole, Cyprus Chardonnay this holiday weekend - the back story of all the hard work by Jason and his team is so incredibly inspiring and I raise my glass to them!  Cheers - TexaCali Ali  

PS - Favorite Brands (formerly Avante) is their Texas distributor.