Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cab Franc for Life!

Whew, I tried over a dozen or so bottles of wine during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Most went very well with turkey dinner and all the fixings.  Some standouts from California - 2010 Jelly Jar Rose, 2007 Keller Estate Chardonnay (magnum) and the 2005 Davis Family Vineyards RRV Pinot Noir that I've been saving for a few years. 

On Saturday night, a healthier meal of grilled pork tenderloin and quinoa salad was cooked and paired magically with a 1986 Pierre et Catherine Breton "Perrieres" Bourgueil Cabernet Franc from Loire.  I loved it! Outstanding bright fruit, popping acidity and a touch of spice.  Very fresh tasting - which I didn't expect.

You can find this at K&L Wine Merchants, less than a case available today, don't even question the price - a nice holiday provision for yourself or would be a great stucking stuffer for your special wine collecting (drinking) friends and family members. 

From the K&L website: 

Catherine and Pierre Breton are the real life bon vivants vignerons of lore. They are passionate about what they do, they enjoy sharing it with others, and they entertain with a generosity and charm. That they make great wine with such integrity makes our appreciation of them complete. The Bretons farm eleven hectares of vines just east of Bourgueil in the village of Restigné. Bourgueil are destined for long life in your cellar. A 1964 made for unforgettable drinking in 2008! Each of the Breton cuvées is unique, with differences in soil, vinification, and élévage all playing a role while still demonstrating a familial resemblance. Catherine and Pierre are fighting the good fight in a competitive market, adding work to their busy days all in the name of authenticity. Their Perrieres is from 40 year old vines, and this 1986 is still drinking beautifully.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Perfect Thanksgiving Wine for Texas Turkey!

2010 Tramonto Rose of Pinot Noir
one of my very favorite California rosés of all time! Can't wait to sip this alongside our Greenberg Smoked Turkey on Thanksgiving.

The Pinot Noir  grapes for this wine are sourced from three of the most sought-after vineyards along Westside Road, in the northern Russian River Valley. The vines are mainly Dijon clones 115,667,777 with small amounts of Eden and Swan Clones. 
Color is light peach, a true vin gris. Aromas of watermelon rind, wild strawberries and jasmine. Flavors of peach, cucumber, citrus and a mineral, wet slate finish. Found both on tap and bottle.  

Whole Foods Texas carries this bottle, but you can ask for it at your favorite shop anywhere in the Lone Star State. $12-14 a bottle. (Distributed by Favorite Brands-formerly Avante Beverages)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Alexander Valley Vines

November is my absolute favorite time of year in Sonoma County, one of my favorite shots taken over the years was near Chalk Hill Road. More soon...Cheers - Ali

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

New Arrival of an Old Friend

Received the "New Arrivals" email from K&L Wine Merchants this morning. If I had the budget, I'd go in for a bottle or two.  By far my favorite First Growth producer while visiting Bordeaux last spring.  Ahhh, what a thrilling time!   Here's the blurb about their Chateau Margaux "new arrival".  On my wish list for sure...

1995 Margaux, Margaux - 9 available ($575.00) 

100 points and a Cellar Selection designation from the Wine Spectator: "Dark color. Black licorice, coffee, currants and black olives. Complex nose. A full-bodied, chewy blockbuster of a wine that is not giving anything at all away. It is like buried treasure still; you have to search for the gold. And it's there. Fabulous. Please give this time." (2007) 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Medium garnet colour going brick at the rim. The nose is beginning to showing signs of evolution with aromas of leather, game, warm cassis, dried plums and cloves. Medium to high acidity, medium body and medium to firm, fine tannins support earthy, blackcurrant-preserve fruit. Long finish. Drink now - 2030+. 

Tasted February 2009." (05/09) 94(+?) points Stephen Tanzer: "Excellent deep ruby color. Very complex aromas of blackcurrant, wild plum, violets, minerals, tar and smoky oak. Dense and supple, with great sweetness of fruit. Doesn't have quite the sheer power of the '96, but the flavors build and build. Substantial tannins are chewier than those of the '96 but hit the palate later. 1986 was the vintage with the highest level of polyphenols ever recorded at this estate, but '95 was the runner-up, according to Pontallier. Because this big, tannic wine needed longer barrel aging, it was bottled later than normal, in November of '97." (05/98)

Read more about this beautiful producer on their website:   http://www.chateau-margaux.com

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Zin is IN!

Just in from our friends at Porter-Bass in the heart of the Russian River Region. 

Friday we picked the last of the Zinfandel.  Two weeks ago it was looking like 2011 would be the third year in a row that we would not be able to make any Zinfandel.  Rain had already taken a toll on the already small chardonnay crop.  Fortunately we have had enough warm weather to allow the Zinfandel to ripen which thrills me and the chardonnay that is fermenting is filling the cellar and the house with the most delightful aroma.  It is these moments that make me realize that everything works out in the end.  Read the full article and more happenings at Porter-Bass here:

Oh and a few cases left - easy to purchase & ship directly from the winery. 

2007 Dot's Garden Estate Zin - 48 cases available

2009 Estate Chardonnay - 181 cases available

2009 Estate Pinot Noir - 51 cases available

Love these wines! Cheers - Ali