Tuesday, May 29, 2012

2011 Rose of Memorial Day Weekend

and a big birthday celebration for me. So here's what pink wines went down the hatch without hesitation.  Loved every single drop.  Cheers to a summer full of Rosé ahead, many more suggestions to come...Ali

2011 Copain "Tous Ensemble" Anderson Valley Rosé $19

2011 Origine Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Rosé $16

2011 Ameztoi "Rubentis" Rosé Getariako Txakolina $20


Thursday, May 24, 2012


Today has been named over the world-wide-web as "International Chardonnay Day".  Whether this post is read by 2 or 2 million, I'm going to let you in on one of the best kept Chardonnay secrets on the West Coast!

Drum Roll Please................................!

Introducing 2010 DANIEL "Soberanes Vineyard" Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay, 66 cases created by Dan Fitzgerald who's the winemaker for Brack Mountain Wine Company.

Dan's been chatting me up about how wonderful Daniel Soberanes Vineyard's been evolving for a while now during his trial tastings and check-ins with the wine. "Not quite ready yet", so said Dan a few months ago. But let me tell you now, during a recent tasting with the Brack Mountain Wine Company team this chardonnay is mind-blowing good. 

Right after the cork was pulled my eyes popped with disbelief, the aromas were magical hits of bright citrus blossoms and baked lemon bread. Next, the complexity of flavors made my head shake, a beautiful mouthfeel of balanced acidity, a touch of minerality with a layers supple fruit with twist of almond croissant on the fantastically long finish. 

A big deal.  A new and exciting joint venture between the Pisoni and Franscioni families. The site is planted to 40 acres of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah and sits on the Santa Lucia Highlands bench just South of the Garys’ Vineyard. 

Stats from Dan about the wine: 

pH- 3.45

TA- 0.74 g/100ml

alc- 14.5%

$45 a bottle

66 cases produced, brand new release - so please contact me for more information -  alison@brackmountainwine.com

Cheers to drinking really good Chardonnay today everyone.  I'm breaking out some blanc de blanc bubbles later and finishing off this beautiful bottle of DANIEL Chardonnay - oh yeah! Ali

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Open Your Mouth

and your mind in order to expand your wine knowledge. PLEASE! 

Nothing and I mean nothing bugs me more than friends who have not tried a new wine since the inaugural release of Sonoma-Cutrer.  I love your loyalty but it's time to expand your drinking pleasure people.  I taste a lot of wine. I spit a lot of wine. I read my ass off about wine.  I don't drink to get drunk, I drink to enjoy the taste and I fall in love with new wines and learn about them almost daily.  No secret really,  it starts with opening your mouth and mind at the same time and constantly reaching for unfamiliar producers, varietals you can not remotely pronounce correctly and not being afraid to try something you know absolutely nothing about.
Quick Advice: Notice what the wine blogs are talking about, turn the bottles while shopping in a store to the back labels - read read read. Follow importers that you've found a few goodies from and keep it going. Ask the Sommelier "what's something really cool you've tasted recently" next time you're out for dinner.  Learning then discovering a whole new world is what wine drinking is all about to me. Join the club if you dare, it's an incredibly interesting and delicious group. 

So what am I honestly drinking outside my beloved Sonoma County producers? You name it really.  Our house is full of wines from all over the planet and we've enjoyed almost every single region at some point...don't be afraid, just go for it.  Funky town is fun! 

Big thanks to the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, Arlequin Wine Merchant and K&L Wines yesterday for helping me create quite the birthday celebration stash yesterday! 

Left to right from back to front: 

2011 Mas de Daumas Gassac Rose Frizant, Languedoc, France

2010 Hirsh Vineyards The Bohan-Dillon, Sonoma Coast, California

2006 Annie et Philippe Bornard Cotes du Jura Savagnin Ouille les Chassagnes

2010 Matthiasson, White Wine, Napa Valley, California

2009 Paolo Bea Santa Chiara Bianco, Montefalco, Umbria, Italy

2010 Luigi Baudana Chardonnay, Piedmonte, Italy

2011 La Clarine Farm, Sierra Foothills Rose, Somerset, California

2011 Ameztoi "Rubentis" Rosé Getariako Txakolina

2009 Hirsch Vineyards Reserve Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, California

2010 Brovia Roero Arneis, Castiglione Falletto, Italy

2010 Monasterio Suore Cistercensi Coenobium Bianco Lazio, Italy

2009 Chanin Wine Company Chardonnay, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley, California

2011 Copain Rose of Pinot Noir "Tous Ensemble", Anderson Valley, California

2010 Arnot-Roberts Ribolla Gialla, Napa Valley, California

2011 Edmunds St. John Bone-Jolly Rose of Gamay Noir, El Dorado County, California

2010 Villa Locatelli Friulano Isonzo del Friuli, Italy

2010 Monasterio de Corias Joven Vino de la tierra de Cangas, Asturias, Spain

2009 Domaine J. Chamonard Morgon, Le Clos de Lys, France

2009 Michel Tete Domaine du Clos du Fief Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais, France.

***not a single wine above 13.5% alcohol***

Cheers and thanks for listening!  - TexaCali Ali

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wine Rocks

Travel is one of the greatest perks in the wine business.  Typically when a person either represents a certain wine region as a buyer or as a salesperson they visit the vineyards, break bread with winemakers and of course taste the goods.  I could write forever about these life-changing trips, today is about ROCKS!  When packing my bags for wine trips, I most always leave a few extra pounds free to bring back a small token from the vineyards I walk through.  Besides the wines themselves, the vineyard rocks provoke an exact sense of place for many years to follow with just a glance.   A big glass bowl of  "wine rocks" acting as a centerpiece on our coffee table is a living-room staple.

The eight rocks above are the most recent addition to our home collection.  Big thanks to Eman for lugging this collection back for me!

  1. Blue Slate - Mosel Erdener Treppchen
  2. Mixture of crushed red slate, volcanic and limestone - Pflaz
  3. Blue Schiste - Savennières
  4. Silex - Pouilly Fume
  5. Chalk - Sancerre
  6. Red Slate - Mosel Urziger Wurzgarten
  7. Soft Red Slate - Pfalz
  8. Gray Schiste - Savennières
It's the little things such as rocks that bring the most interesting chit-chat to describing a bottle of wine, we often talk about the minerals and terroir of the land - this is where is begins. One of my favorite wine descriptors is "wet rock", you know, that smell of limestone or slate after a summer rainshower???  Wine Rocks, love them!  Cheers - Ali

Monday, May 07, 2012

A Sweet Mother's Day Wine Suggestion

Well, I'm off the hook this year for the best Mother's Day present for my own Mom..big thanks to my little brother and his wife for bringing her Grandson #3 last night!   

However, when I think of the perfect glass to sip and celebrate Mother's Day with Mom an Italian Moscato always comes to mind.  Here's a longtime favorite of mine and is sure to please anyone this Mother's Day...slightly sweet and tiny crisp bubbles that are perfect for afternoon sipping with only 5.5% alcohol. "Liquid Cake" I like to call it, try it alongside fresh strawberries and cream.

2010 La Spinetta Moscato d'Asti Bricco Quaglia, $20 a bottle and should be easy to find or just ask for it from your favorite wine shop.

Cheers to Mom, Happy Mother's Day to all!  - Ali