Wines At Our Table; February 7th 2016

Over the course of a week, my wife and I drink a bunch o’wine – almost always with food. Since I’ve always been fascinated by wine at the table with food, I thought it would be fun to recap not only the wines we’ve been drinking, but also how they pair (or don’t pair) with the foods at our table.  It features my pick for Wine of the Week (WoW) – a  wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out for the week ended February 7th 2016

2010 Librandi Cirò Rosso Classico Superiore Duca Sanfelice Riserva – Italy, Calabria, Cirò Rosso Classico Superiore; Retail-$16
Crimson color with smoky, earthy, red fruit aromas. With a hint of graphite. On the palate its medium-bodied, fresh showing slightly astringent tannins in Day 1 that soften to appealing dusty tannins on Day 2 with juicy focused black cherry, red currant flavors with a bit of minerality and a lingering delicious finish. A Ciro DOC Rosso Riserva of 95% Gaglioppo 5% Greco Bianco and Trebbiano Toscano. Very good QPR @$16! Very Good; 88-89 pts

2011 JC Cellars Smoke & Mirrors – USA, California Retail; Retail – $25
Translucent garnet color with intriguing black fruit, smoke, cacao, and a hint of floral aromas. On the palate it’s full-bodied, fruit forward, and delicous with solid acidity and black raspberry, black cherry, a hint of red plum, and vanilla flavors, and a lingering sweet finish. A crowd pleasing blend of \ Syrah, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan from Sonoma. 14.8% alcohol Very Good; 88-89 pts

2006 Ridge Mazzoni Home Ranch – USA, California, Sonoma County; Retail – $40
Inky black red color with complex, exuberant mixed black and red fruit, leather, violets and a hint of eucalyptus aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, focused, persistent and oh so fresh with seamless, well-integrated tannins, and a silky texture with black cherry, blackberry, with hints of black raspberry, and red plum flavors. Long finish.This is a very food friendly wine!  It paired well with one of my favorite Filipino dishes – Chicken AfritadaOutstanding; 91-92pts

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Wine Evangelho Vineyard – USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Contra Costa County; Retail – $34
The wine pours an opaque violet color with intriguing and appealing smoke, black fruit, briary spice aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, fresh and sleek with a great mouth feel, and dusty tannins with black cherries dusted with dark chocolate, and black raspberry flavors with a bit of minerality.Outstanding; 90-91pts

– Wine of the Week

Have you ever wondered how many grape varieties are in Italy?  Me too.  So I Googled it. The answer – 2,000!  I had the opportunity to do try one of those 2,000 different grape varieties last week when the Italian, Food, Wine and Travel (#ItalianFWT) group of bloggers I’m a part of paid a virtual visit to the region of Calabria.  The new-to-me grape variety was Gaglioppo. The 2010 Librandi Cirò Rosso Classico Superiore Duca Sanfelice Riserva was very good.  And it paired well with Costolette D’Agnello Alla Calabrese (Lamb Chops Calabria Style with Tomatoes, Peppers and Olives)  And at $16 it offers very good QPR!  The Bedrock offered some strong competition for Wine of the Week (“WoW”), but this week, my WoW is the 2006 Ridge Mazzoni Home Ranch.

I picked up this wine from Ridge Vineyards last year at a Monte Bello Collector event.   Ridge always has some gems in their cellars. So when I go to Ridge events, I always ask what’s available.  Ridge does the cellaring, and  you’re virtually guaranteed a great wine that was built to last.  Now that’s what I call a win-win situation!


-About Ridge Vineyards-

From Ridge Vineyards: Since 1962, Ridge has championed single-vineyard winemaking, searching California for those rare sites where climate, soil, and varietal are ideally matched.    Our aim is to guide the natural process; using traditional methods, we strive to produce exceptional wines from distinctive fruit.

In the video below, the man himself Paul Draper tells the story of how Ridge Vineyards began:

Ridge Vineyards  has 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).

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!

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.

What was your Wine of the Week?

Note. All wines were purchased for review unless otherwise indicated


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  1. Another awesome week of pairings! You drink well at your home!

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