Wine of the Week; 2005 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection

Every Thursday I feature a wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out.  For this week, since today is #CabernetDay my Wine Of The Week is the 2005 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection.

The Winery

Caymus Vineyards is a part of the Wagner Family of Wine along with Mer Soleil, Conundrum, Belle Glos and the newest label, Emmolo.

The Wagner family has a long history in the Napa Valley that dates back to 1906 when Carl Wagner, an immigrant from Alsace, and grandfather of Chuck Wagner, purchased farmland in Rutherford in the Napa Valley.

Chuck was just 19 when he joined his parents in 1972 to create Caymus Vineyards, and they produced their first Cabernet Sauvignon.  In 1975, the Wagners produced their first Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (click here for the Caymus timeline).

The Wagners are serious about the ‘family” in the Wagner Family of Wine moniker. Chuck’s children, Charlie II, Joseph, and Jenny perpetuate a proud family tradition of farming and winemaking.

The Wine

This bottle of wine was a gift from my most generous boss – Phil.  Prior to opening the wine last week, it had been in my “cellar” for about 3 years waiting for the right time.  We opened it and it enjoyed it with a friend who is convalescing from knee surgery.

Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon is the only wine in the world twice honored as “Number one wine in the world” by Wine Spectator Magazine….In addition, this wine was honored with the highest average score rating by the same magazine over the last 15 years. – Caymus Vineyards

One of the most allocated and collectible Cabernet Sauvignon in the world, Caymus Vineyards Special Selection is crafted from the outstanding barrels of the vintage. Special Selection is produced only in vintages that proprietor Chuck Wagner feels are suitable for this designation. >>Find this wine<<

The 2011 Vintage of this wine retails for $130. 15.2% alcohol

Wine of the Week; 2005 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon Special Select

 My tasting notes follow:

Garnet color with very appealing plum, cassis, blueberry, a hint of leather, and sweet oak aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, focused, intense and refined with a lush texture and well-integrated oak, and soft sweet tannins. It shows plum, blackberry, mineral and a bit of vanillin spice flavors. Long finish.

Rating: A:  This wine is drinking beautifully now, but it has plenty of years ahead of it! Beautiful now with plenty of years ahead of it.

Pair with: Of course a nice rib-eye comes to mind with a Cab, but other options include Slow-braised beef – or venison, a great burger (Gott’s anyone?), lamb or mushroom stroganoff!

Ratings Key:

(A+) – 95-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 92-95/Outstanding
(A-) – 89-91/Very Good to Outstanding
(B+) – 86-88/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail
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Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Wine of the Week: 2012 Zudugarai “Amats” Getariako Txakolina

Every Thursday I feature a wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out.  For this week, my Wine Of The Week is the 2012 Zudugarai “Amats” Getariako Txakolina.

The Winery

Bodegas Zudugarai  is a winery located in the Basque region in northern Spain, less than 20 miles from the French border.  It was founded in 1989, the same year the Denominación de Origen (DO)  of Getariako Txakolina was founded.  Getariako Txakoli is the oldest, largest, and most important of the three DOs that produced Txakoli.  The others are Arabako Txakolina and Bizkaiko Txakolina.

The Errasti family has been growing grapes and making wine from the region’s vineyards for over 40 years, working with the local varieties of Hondarrabi Zuri and Hondarrabi Beltza. The vineyards and winery are near the coast line among rolling hills at about 90 meters above sea level.  The sunniest and windiest slopes are the ones planted to vines so that the grapes can get ripe and also remain dry and avoid fungal and rot issues. All work in the vineyards is done by hand including harvest.

The winery produces Txakoli, (pronounced chock-oh-lee) or Txakolina (as far as I can tell the terms are used interchangeably).   Txakoli is a delicious, dry, very fresh, slightly petillant (fizzy), low alcohol wine that is consumed like water in Basque Country.

The Wine

This wine is made with 100% Hondarrabi Zuri, the native grape that dominates plantings in the Basque region. Most of the Txakoli produced is consumed by the local Basque people.

After hand-harvesting the grapes are fermented naturally in stainless steel tanks, then bottled young to retain its natural effervescence.

Amats is both the brand name of the Txakoli as well as one of Zudugarai’s vineyards.

I was introduced to Txacoli by Joe Manekin, the Spanish wine buyer at K&L Wine Merchants a few years ago.  I purchase a few bottles every year because it such a great summer sipper!

I also had the pleasure of spending a few days in San Sebastian last year, and you better believe I had at least one glass of Txakoli daily with a wide variety of pintxos.

10.5% alcohol. Retail – $13 

Amats Txakolina

My tasting notes follow:

Very pale green color with green apple, lime rind and a bit of mineral aromas.  On the palate, it’s light-bodied, dry and slightly fizzy with easy tart green apple, and lime rind flavors underscored by an appealing minerality. A serving note: The tiny, fleeting bubbles disappear quickly if you let your Txakoli sit out too long – which is why small, frequent pours is how this wine should be served. 

Rating: B+: This hard to pronounce, but easy drinking wine is a fabulous summer sipper – dry,fresh, fizzy, and low in alcohol.  It could be a challenge to find, but it’s definitely worth seeking out! 

Pair with: A classic pairing in Spain is marinated white anchovies (boquerones), we had it with a dish called Kokotxas (the cheeks of hake). What a great pairing!  Enjoy with raw oysters, grilled seafood, hard cheeses, or deep fried bites!

Sample purchased for review

Ratings Key:

(A+) – 95-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 92-95/Outstanding
(A-) – 89-91/Very Good to Outstanding
(B+) – 86-88/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail
__________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

 

The Best of the 9th Annual Urban Wine Xperience

I attended the sold-out East Bay Vintner’s Alliance (“EBVA”) 9th Annual Urban Wine Xperience held on August 2nd on the Ferry Lawn at vibrant Jack London Square in Oakland.   EBVA,  is an association representing more than 20 East Bay (primarily Alameda, Berkeley, Emeryville and Oakland) Urban wineries.  It’s a great opportunity to taste all the best artisanal wines made in the East Bay all at the same time.  I attended the event as a guest of EBVA.

The event featured 20 member wineries pouring a diverse range of wines (and even some mead) paired with local eateries and food purveyors, and well as live music!

The waterside tasting venue was adjacent to the Ferry Terminal.  The wineries and food vendors were stationed in white tents around the perimeter of the Ferry Lawn.  Basking in the warmth of the sun, with gorgeous blue sky above and green grass under foot…..I got to tasting!

Relying on the excellent tasting sheet provided by EBVA, which included a handy 5 star rating scale for each of the wine, I set out taste as many of the 59 available wines as possible.

My plan was to taste the sparkling wines, then whites and rosé before tasting reds.  But long lines at some of the wineries and some poor signage (or lack thereof) conspired against me (there was one winery I never did find)  I did manage to taste 45 wines and sample some delicious bites along the way!

UWX 14 Gary of Campovida

Gary Breen of Campovida busts out a magnum of his delicious Zinfandel

UWX 14 Venga Paella

There was a long line for this delectable squid ink paella from Venga – And it was worth the wait!

UWX 14 Nido

Nido served up their delightful Esquite Placero – Roasted Sweet Corn, Cherry Tomatoes, serrano, queso cotija and lemon aioli

The Best of the 9th Annual Urban Wine Xperience

Nom, nom, nom! Bacon Caramel Popcorn from the Chunky PIg!

Favorite Wines

In terms of my favorite wines, there were a handful of “All-Stars” – wineries where I was able to taste at all three of their wines, and rated all at least 4 of 5 stars.  They included:

Campovida

  • 2013 Arneis
  • 2012 Viognier
  • 2012 Campo di Rossa

Carica Wines

  • 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County
  • 2010 Rhone-style Red Blend, Sonoma County
  • 2009 Syrah “Kick Ranch” Sonoma County

Dashe Cellars

  • 2013 Dry Riesling, McFadden Farm, Potter Valley
  • 2011 Zinfandel Todd Brothers Ranch Old Vines, Alexander Valley
  • 2013 Grenache, Dry Creek Valley

Stage Left Cellars

  • 2011 Grenache
  • 2010 The Day Job
  • 2011 The Stakeholder

Urban Legend

  • 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, Windrem Ranch, Lake County, Organic Grapes
  • 2011 Barbera, Cooper Ranch, Sierra Foothills
  • 2010 Teroldego, Holland Landing Vineyard, Clarksburg

Other favorites included:

  • Ehrenberg Cellars – 2011 Petite Sirah Lodi
  • Eno Wines – 2010 Eno Pinot Noir “The Proposition”
  • Jeff Cohn Cellars – 2011 El Diablo Grenache and 2012 The Imposter Red Blend
  • Lusu Cellars – 2011 Zinfandel, El Dorado
  • Two Mile Wines – 2008 Dry Creek Sangiovese

The surprise of the day was tasting mead.  My previous experience with mead had been at Ethiopian restaurants, and I went in expecting a sweet wine. I tried the Orange-Ginger Mead and the Simcoe Mead from the Mead Kitchen and both were dry and brought to mind beer more so than wine.  While neither made my list of favorite it was an experience that’s piqued my interest in mead.  It’s a beverage I’d like to try again!

The event was a wonderful  showcase for what I love about urban wineries –  you can get chance to taste diverse wines beyond the usual vinous suspects like Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvigon, and Zinfandel; such as Arneis, Chenin Blanc, Barbera, or Teroldego; from diverse wine regions throughout California like Anderson ValleySonoma CountyNapaSanta Cruz MountainsPaso Robles, the Sierra Foothills and Amador County without all the driving!

And the East Bay features some of California’s finest urban wineries.  If you missed this event or otherwise haven’t had a chance to check out the East Bay’s urban wineries. What are you waiting for?  Take a sip of Urban Wine Country!

__________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Wine of the Week; 2012 Vrinioti Iama White

Every Thursday I feature a wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out.  For this week, my Wine Of The Week is the 2012 Vrinioti Iama White

The Winery

Vrinioti Wines, located on the island of Evia.  The business was founded in 2002 on family lands that Konstantinos Vrinioti’s ancestors planted to grapes in the area, and upon which they built an old traditional stone winery.  The old stone wine press from that winery was incorporated into a new facility whose construction started in 2007 and completed in 2008.

Their 45 acre estate vineyard is farmed organically and planted to Syrah, the Greek red Vradiano and the white grapes –  Roditis, Savvatiano, Assyrtiko and Malagouzia.

The Wine

Iama stands for something that fosters good health and metaphorically, something special.  That it is.  It’s a a fascinating blend of two distinctly different native Greek wine grapes – 60% Malagouzia and 40% Assyrtiko.  

Malagouzia is an ancient grape variety indigenous to Greece that  has only been identified in recent decades.  It produces a wine with floral and stone fruit aromatics and a slight honeyed character on the palate.

Assyrtiko, which I’d had before and really enjoyed, is the renown grape of the island of Santorini, where it usually makes bracing, dry whites with mouth-watering acidity and pronounced minerality.

The interplay of the two grape varieties is almost sequential, with the aromatics and fruit of the Malagouzia dominating the palate initially, and with the acidity and the minerality of the of the Assyrtiko providing the frame.  

As a point of reference for more well-known grape varieties, the wine reminded me of the combination of the aromatic and fruit profile of  both Viognier and   Gewürztraminer with the acidity of a Riesling.

photo (81)

My tasting notes follow:

Rich yellow gold color with appealing stone fruit, bergamot, honey, spice, wet stone and citrus blossom aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, and approaches off-dry on the front palate with vibrant acidity and peach, apricot, a bit of fresh melon, spice, honey followed by a refreshing, bright lemony acidity on the back palate all underscored with wonderful Chablis-like minerality. Lingering finish. >>Find this wine<<

Rating: A-: The acidity in this wine make it a terrific partner at the table.  It’s the most enjoyable white wine I’ve had this summer!

Pair with: Grilled Paiche, Salads featuring Feta cheese, Chile Rellenos, Grilled Octopus, Fried Calamari, or Herb-crusted lamb or port or Tuna Tartare.

Sample purchased for review

Ratings Key:

(A+) – 95-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 92-95/Outstanding
(A-) – 89-91/Very Good to Outstanding
(B+) – 86-88/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail
__________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

Grilled Paiche with a White Greek Blend

Wine Pairing Weekend is a monthly collaborative event for wine/food bloggers started by David Crowley of Cooking Chat.  It’s a great way to find food and wine pairings that work; along with tips on how to create your own food and wine pairing magic.

The theme for this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend is “Wine for Summer’s Bounty“, and it’s all about taking advantage of the season’s best vegetables and fruits which are peaking right about now.

With the tried, tested, and found true food and wine pairing tenet of “What grows together, goes together” in mind, I knew I wanted to grill some fish since I had a wine from Greece in mind.

The Food

Taking inspiration from a Tilapia with Fresh Corn and Hatch Pepper recipe featuring a couple of the season’s bounty - fresh corn and hatch chiles, I decided to substitute Paiche, for tilapia  And off to my local Whole Paycheck..er Foods I went.  Alas, there wasn’t a hatch chile anywhere to be found.  I decided to substitute a Poblano pepper for the hatch chile.

Image courtesy of divebuddy.com

Image courtesy of divebuddy.com

For the uninitiated, Paiche (PIE-chay) which is also known as the arapaima or pirarucu, is a one of the largest freshwater fish in the world and can grow to almost 500 lbs. in size

It’s native to the Amazonian regions of Brazil and Peru in South American where it’s considered a delicacy ,and was almost fished to extinction.

In 2006 a group of Peruvian businessmen began The Amazone Project to develop the sustainable farming of paiche, and in 2011 it began to appear on the menus of adventurous chefs in the United States.

Some consider it an Amazonian “superfood”.  It packs an amazing 20 grams of protein per 100 grams of fish,is high in Omega-3s, low in fat, and free of antibiotics or mercury. It has firm white fleshed white-fish that has the meatiness of halibut for gently sweet flavor of sea bass or dover sole.  It’s perfect for grilling, pan-searing, roasting or smoking.

To date, I’ve only seen it a Whole Foods.  It’s farm-raised, but responsibly so.

Paiche grilled to perfection in a corn husk has a Latin inspired flavor profile

Despite the challenge of getting the paiche into the corn husk (I can see how a thinner fish like tilapia would be easier to work with and cook faster), the dish turn out well given my shall we say “unsophisicated” cooking skills!

Grilled Paiche with Fresh Corn and Poblano Peppers
Author: 
Recipe type: Main entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 ears of fresh corn
  • ¼ cup poblano chiles, chopped (more or less, depending on your desired heat level)
  • ¼ cup green onions, sliced
  • ½ lime
  • 2 Paiche fillets
  • Chipotle powder, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350 to 450 degrees)
  2. Carefully peel back the husk from each corn cob. You will use it for roasting the fish on the grill.
  3. Cut the ear of corn off the stem just above the end of the cob, leaving the husk intact. Set the husk aside. Cut the corn off the cob and combine with poblano chiles, green onions and the juice of a quarter of a lime and a dash of chipotle chili powder.
  4. Rinse the fish and pat dry. Place one fillet inside each of the corn husks. Top each with one-half of the corn mixture and close the husks over the fish, overlapping slightly.
  5. Place on the heated grill with the lid closed for 25-35 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily or reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Cut the remaining lime lengthwise into 2 wedges. Serve the fish in the husk with a lime wedge on top.

 The Wine

My wine choice for this dish is the 2012 Vrinioti Iama White.  It’s a fascinating blend of two distinctly different native Greek wine grapes – 60% Malagouzia and 40% Assyrtiko from the island of Evia.

Malagouzia is an ancient grape variety indigenous to Greece that  has only been identified in recent decades.  It produces a wine with floral and stone fruit aromatics and a slight honeyed character on the palate.  Assyrtiko, which I’d had before and really enjoyed, is the renown grape of the island of Santorini, where it usually makes bracing, dry whites with mouth-watering acidity and pronounced minerality.

The interplay of the two grape varieties is almost sequential, with the aromatics and fruit of the Malagouzia dominating the palate initially, and with the acidity and the minerality of the of the Assyrtiko providing the frame.  

As a point of reference for more well-known grape varieties, the wine reminded me of the combination of the aromatic and fruit profile of  both Viognier and   Gewürztraminer with the acidity of a Riesling.

Grilled Paiche with Fresh Corn and Poblano Peppers #winePW

Have you ever seen a black bottle closure before? But I digress, the wine is pure deliciousness. Highly recommended!

My tasting notes follow:

Rich yellow gold color with appealing stone fruit, bergamot, honey, spice, wet stone and citrus blossom aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, and approaches off-dry on the front palate with vibrant acidity and peach, apricot, a bit of fresh melon, spice, honey followed by a refreshing, bright lemony acidity on the back palate all underscored with wonderful Chablis-like minerality. Lingering finish.

The mouth-watering acidity of this wine makes it a versatile wine at table. Consider pairing it with salads featuring Feta cheese, Chile Rellenos, Grilled Octopus, Fried Calamari, or Herb-crusted lamb or port or Tuna Tartare.

DSC_0940

The Food and Wine Pairing

It was a fantastic pairing!  The the combination of spice and minerality of the wine was a great complement the spice of the corn/pepper mixture, and the slightly sweet, ever so slightly smoky flavor profile of the dish. And the great acidity of the wine cleansed the palate and prepared it for the next bite of deliciousness!
Wine Pairing Weekend # 3 Bloggers: Be sure to check out what my fellow bloggers have come up with for the August Wine Pairing Weekend!

Pull That Cork shared “Wine for Summer’s Bounty. Will Garnacha Do the Trick?

Meal Diva paired “Summer Vegetable Red Sauce with Amarone

Culinary Adventures with Camilla posted “Pan-Seared Padròns with DeRose Vineyards’ Négrette

Vino Travels — An Italian Wine Blog shared “Tomato, toe-mah-toe: Summer’s bounty with Sicilian wine Donnafugata

Grape Experiences paired “Cecchi Chianti Classico 2010 and Vegetable Lasagna

Curious Cuisiniere shared “Chipotle Garden Salsa with Wild Hare Petite Sirah

ENOFYLZ Wine Blog posted “Grilled Paiche with a White Greek Blend

Take a Bite Out of Boca shared “Quinoa-Crusted Eggplant and Heirloom Tomato Stacks paired with Monrosso Chianti

foodwineclick shared “Summers’ Bounty or Attack of the Killer Turnips?

Confessions of a Culinary Diva blogged about “Lobster Paella and Albarino

Tasting Pour shared “Summertime and the Cooking is Easy

Cooking Chat paired “Linguine with Pesto, Fresh Tomatoes and a Sauvignon Blanc

Join the #winePW conversation: Follow the #winePW conversation on Twitter throughout the weekend and beyond. If you’re reading this early enough, you can join us for a live Twitter chat on our theme “Wine for Summer’s Bounty” on Saturday, August 9, from 11 a.m. to noon Eastern Time. Questions for the chat are posted here on the #winePW site. You can also visit our group Pinterest board to pin some great pairing ideas for later! Stay tuned for the September Wine Pairing Weekend, which will focus on “Regional Food and Wine Pairings” on Saturday, September 13.

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Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

Rosé of the Week; 2013 Waterkloof Circumstance Cape Coral

Summer is officially here!  Rosé season is in full bloom, although truth be told, it’s Rosé season for me pretty much year-round for me!  With that in mind, I’m cranking up my annual series of weekly “Drink Pink!“ Rosé tastings.  It’s my quest for the best Pink Porch Pounders! This week’s rosé is the 2013 Waterkloof Circumstance Cape Coral.

The Winery

Waterkloof Wines is a winery based in the Helderberg wine-producing area, a sub-region in the Western Cape of South Africa, just south of Stellenbosch.  Paul Boutinot, an Englishmen of French descent is the “Custodian”.  He learned the wine trade from the ground up, and launched his own successful wine import business in 1980.  It evolved into one of the UK’s biggest and most important wine distribution companies, which he subsequently sold in 2013.  In 1993 he commenced a search for a vineyard site that had the potential to produce truly fine with a defining sense of place.   It took ten years to narrow the search down to a small area on the south-facing slopes of the Schapenberg, overlooking False Bay in the Cape. As soon as he was led up a steep ravine opening out into a hidden amphitheatre of potential, all his experience and intuition told him: THIS IS IT! Waterkloof was born.  He took over the property just before the 2004 harvest.  The first vintage bottled under the Waterkloof name was from the 2005 harvest.

In 2009 a state-of-the-art gravitational cellar, tasting room and The Restaurant at Waterkloof were constructed

Waterkloof’s wines are shaped by an amphitheatre of select, high-altitude vineyards, famed as one of the finest cool climate vineyard sites in South Africa.

The Wine

The wine is made from 100% Mourvedre.  The  grapes were hand harvested and whole cluster pressed.  No further maceration of the juice with the skins was allowed.

Following in the footsteps of the great rosés of Bandol, the Waterkloof’s Circumstance Cape Coral rosé is made entirely from Mourvedre sourced from some incredible old vines in Stellenbosch

The juice was fermented on native yeast at temperatures of 16 to 18 degrees Celsius, which took 5 months to complete. The wine was then left on the primary lees for another 2 months to add further complexity before bottling. 13.5% alcohol.  Retail – $16.99

Rosé of the Week; 2013 Waterkloof Mourvedre Circumstance Cape Coral

My tasting notes follow:

Pale salmon color with damp earth, peach and spice aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, and fresh with a great mouth feel, and strawberry, peach and spice flavors. Lingering finish

Rating: A-:  This is a very good rosé! It can be a challenge to find a 100% Mourvedre-based rosé for under $20 and this one offers a very good quality to price ratio!

Pair with: What I like about Mourvedre dominant rosés is that they, unlike many light-bodied rosé, can be paired with more substantial fare.  Consider Pulled Pork sandwiches, or Barbecue Chicken Sloppy Joes!

Sample purchased for review

Ratings Key:
(A+) – 95-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 92-95/Outstanding
(A-) – 89-91/Very Good to Outstanding
(B+) – 86-88/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail
__________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

Wine of the Week; 2009 Ridge Zinfandel Carmichael Ranch

Every Thursday I feature a wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out.  For this week, my Wine Of The Week is the 2009 Ridge Zinfandel Carmichael Ranch.

The Winery

Ridge Vineyards  is a California winery with two estates, Monte Bello in Cupertino, and Lytton Springs in Healdsburg.  They are best known for producing single-vineyard premium Bordeaux style Cabernet Sauvignon Blend (“Monte Bello”), Zinfandels, and Chardonnay.  Ridge was established by three engineers from nearby Stanford Research Institute (SRI).  They produced its first commercial wine in 1962 after purchasing the winery in 1960.

Great wines have always been determined by their site – by nature, not by man – Paul Draper

It wasn’t too long after that, that Ridge gained an international  rep when the  Ridge Monte Bello, under the direction of winemaker Paul Draper , took fifth place in the “Judgment of Paris” in 1976 against nine other French and California wines.  Here’s what’s really cool though, the 1976 Monte Bello unanimously took first place in The Judgment of Paris 30th Anniversary when it was tasted against the same wines thirty years later!

And speaking of anniversaries - 2014 marks our 50th year of producing fine, site-specific zinfandels sourced primarily from pre-Prohibition old vine vineyards.

Ridge has four estate vineyards, Monte Bello (first commercial release was in 1962), Geyserville (first release 1966), Lytton Springs (first release 1972), and their newest property East Bench.

The Wine

Carmichael Ranch is located on the western side of the Alexander Valley, south of Geyserville.  Originally a part of the Rancho Sotoyomi land grant, these hundred acres were purchased in the mid-1800s by Archibald Carmichael. Ridge began farming the western half in 2000. Ridge first pro

It’s a blend of 96% Zinfandel, 4% Petite Sirah. Here’s how Ridge, a leader in wine industry when it come to labeling describes the winemaking process…

All Estate grown grapes, hand harvested. Destemmed and
crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full
malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria. Minimum
effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush, 120 ppm over the course
of aging). Pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our
philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our
actions

It was aged 13 months in 100% air-dried american oak: (15 % new, 85% two to four years old).  Retail – $28; Alcohol – 14.2%

Ridge Carmichael 09

My tasting notes follow:

Crimson color with appealing ripe mixed black and red fruits, spice, bramble and a hint of leather aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied with soft well-integrated sweet tannins, , very good acidity and plum, blackberry, black cherry, and spice finish and a lingering satisfying finish. 

Rating: A-: This relative newcomer to is a delicious addition to Ridge’s formidable lineup of Zinfandels! And it’s drinking very well now!

(A+) – 95-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 92-95/Outstanding
(A-) – 89-91/Very Good to Outstanding
(B+) – 86-88/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail
__________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

Wine of the Week; 2012 Michel Gassier Cercius Blanc

Every Thursday I feature a wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out.  For this week, my Wine Of The Week is the 2012 Michel Gassier Cercius Blanc.

The Winery

Michel Gassier is the fourth generation of his family to make wine.  He organically farms his 70-hectare vineyard, Château de Nage, located on the southern edge of the Rhone Valley in the Costieres de Nimes near the ancient city of Nimes.

We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.

They are one of the leading estate in the region, and have been one of Wine Spectator’s Top 10 French Wineries for Value every year since 2007, and nominee for the 2014 European Winery of the Year Wine Enthusiast Star Award.

The Wine

I picked up this wine from K&L Wine Merchants a couple of weeks ago.  The wine is a project of partners Michel  Gassier, Philippe Cambie and importer Eric Solomon bottled under the name Michel Gassier.

The wine is named for the legendary mistral winds of Provence  that sweep over the vines and out to the Mediterranean Sea. The Latin name for these north-northwest winds is Cercius.

It’s a blend of 70% Grenache Blanc and 30% Sauvignon Blanc from vines with an average age of 25 years.  It was aged on lees in concrete to maintain freshness.

This is the fifth (see “Related Posts” below) such custom cuvee put together for Solomon that’s been a winner in my book.  I don’t think that’s a coincidence – Solomon has a knack for wonderful every day wines that dramatically over deliver for the price.

12.5% alcohol; Retail – $12.99

photo (53)

My tasting notes follow:

Straw yellow color with appealing white peach, lychee and citrus aromas. It’s between medium and full-bodied, fresh and focused with a lovely texture. It shows stone fruits, mandarin orange, lime and a bit of spice flavors underscored by an alluring minerality, and a clean lingering finish.

Rating: A-  A refreshing summer time porch pounder! It’s a stunning value at 12.99!  Will buy more! >>Find this wine<<

Pair with: Roasted paiche or monkfish, paprika grilled game hen, or goat cheeses.

Sample purchased for review

Related posts:

Ratings Key:

(A+) – 95-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 92-95/Outstanding
(A-) – 89-91/Very Good to Outstanding
(B+) – 86-88/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail
__________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

Coming Soon! 2014 Family Winemakers Tasting in San Mateo

The single largest tasting of California wines in the world…

Wrap your mind around that.  Better yet, grab a glass and seize the opportunity!

The Family Winemakers of California (“FWC”) is hosting the 24th Annual Trade and Consumer Tasting on Sunday, August 17th. in San Mateo, California

Family Winemakers of California, is the trade advocate for California’s “small family” wineries (although behemoth wineries like Kendall Jackson and Gallo are also considered “family wineries”, most of the wineries are smaller family run wineries ).

fwcwineglasses

This is one my favorite big wine-tasting events because it’s a chance to taste so many different types and styles of wines from throughout California diverse wine regions, from so many producers, large and small, well-founded and new kids on the block.

And you know how sometimes you can’t quite make up your mind between one wine or another, and wish you could taste them back to back?  

Now you can.  In a big way!

Unlimited access to 175+ wineries from 20+ California appellations pouring over 35 varietals and 750 different wines.  This well-respected tasting is a once-a-year opportunity to tour and taste California’s wine country under one place.

Here’s a list of participating wineries.  And FWC provides a helpful “Varietal Map Search” tool whereby you can pick which type of wine you’re interested in tasting, and it’ll indicate which wineries are pouring that type of wine  At a huge tasting like this it helps to have a plan of some sort in order because one simply can’t taste all the wines available. For example, last year, I focused on Grenache.

After 23 years of being held in San Francisco, this year’s tasting will be held in San Mateo. And they are more ticket options available than ever too, including what looks to be a fascinating special seminar with Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein entitles; Not the Usual Suspects: Unexpected Wines from Expected Places/Producers and Expected Wines from Unexpected Places/Producers,” that features a blind tasting of eight different California wines from across the state that go against the grain.

2014 Family Winemakers Public Tasting
Sunday August 17th, 3:00 PM until 6:00 PM
San Mateo Event Center
1346 Saratoga Dr.
San Mateo, CA 94403

To redeem 10% off registration to the consumer tasting simply enter the code ENOFLYZ when registering here.

Remember, in order to maximize your enjoyment and learning at public tastings:

  • Wear dark, comfortable clothes
  • Hydrate
  • Spit
  • Skip the perfume and cologne

Hope to see you there!

__________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

 

Rosé of the Week: 2013 François Chidaine Touraine Rosé

Summer is officially here!  Rosé season is in full bloom, although truth be told, it’s Rosé season for me pretty much year-round for me!  With that in mind, I’m cranking up my annual series of weekly “Drink Pink!“ Rosé tastings.  It’s my quest for the best Pink Porch Pounders! This week’s rosé is the 2013 François Chidaine Touraine Rosé.

The Winery

François Chidaine is one of the Loire Valley’s great success stories.  After finishing viticultural school in the mid-1980s, François, born in Montlouis,  went to work alongside his father, Yves.  At that point, the family had only four hectares of rented vineyard land in the appellation of Montlouis, in the Touraine.  When Yves retired in 1989, he passed the torch to François. Since then François and his wife Manuéla have dramatically expanded their holdings and set up La Cave Insolite, a tasting room and wine shop.

François was certified in both organic and biodynamic farming in 2003.  Their vineyards are managed biodynamically,  with ultra low yields and ‘hands off’ winemaking approach.

The majority of the Domain’s vineyards, which now encompass 37 hectares, are situated in Montlouis, with more in neighboring Vouvray, and additional land in the Touraine appellation.  The majority of their vineyards are 40- to 80-years-old.

I have a bit of a personal connection with François Chidaine because the first Chenin Blanc I ever tried was their 2005 François Chidaine Montlouis-sur-Loire Les Tuffeaux.  That was some time ago, and the memory still makes me smile!

The Wine

Grapes for this wine were sourced from several parcels from within the Touraine. They were hand harvested and gently pressed, then vinified on wild yeasts in stainless steel. It’s a blend of 50% Pinot Noir, 50% Grolleau.

12.5% alcohol.  Retail – $12.99

Rose of the Week; 2013 François Chidaine Touraine Rosé

My tasting notes follow:

Pretty vivid pink red color with lovely floral, gooseberry, and wild strawberry aromas. On the palate it’s medium bodied, fresh and mineral driven with very good depth, especially for the price. It shows tart strawberry, raspberry flavors and a lingering finish.

Rating: A-:  This is a delightful, food friendly and pocket-friendly rosé!

Pair with: Goat cheese, light salads,  or a tomato tart.

Sample purchased for review

Ratings Key:
(A+) – 95-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 92-95/Outstanding
(A-) – 89-91/Very Good to Outstanding
(B+) – 86-88/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail
__________________________________________________________________

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.