Top 25 IPOB San Francisco Tasting Favorites

Last week I attended the In Pursuit of Balance (“IPOB”) San Francisco consumer tasting held at City View at Metreon.  IPOB is a non-profit organization founded in 2011 to promote dialogue around the meaning of balance in California pinot noir and chardonnay.

This growing group of producers is seeking a different direction with their wines, both in the vineyard and the winery. This direction focuses on balance, non-manipulation in the cellar, and the promotion of the fundamental varietal characteristics which make pinot noir and chardonnay great – subtlety, poise and the ability of these grapes to serve as profound vehicles for the expression of terroir.” (You can check out their manifesto here)

This tasting came to my attention a couple of years ago. At the time, I was on the verge of becoming an ABCer (Anything But Chardonnay).

Then I was invited to a Chablis tasting that change the way I viewed Chardonnay.  And Burgundy.

I loved the wines, and have since purchased a few bottles here and there. But, generally prefer supporting local (California) wineries.

As I began to research stellar California producers that vinified Chardonnay in stainless steel and/or take a more light-handed approach to use of oak, I keep coming across names like Failla, Littorai, HanzellMount Eden, and Varner (plus some newer kids on the block like Liquid Farm,and Knez)  

The same could be said for Pinot Noir.

I soon discovered the challenge with buying the wines of  most of the aforementioned producers is that their sold wines exclusively through mailing lists.  And most of the mailing list have wait lists.

Since I tend to be a “try before I buy” kind of guy, IPOB was the perfect opportunity to taste wines from the “rock stars” of California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Would they live up to the hype?

Here’s a list of the wineries that poured:

Au Bon Climat – Big Basin - Calera – Ceritas – Chanin – Cobb – Copain – Domaine de la Cote – Drew – Failla – Flowers – Hanzell – Hirsch – Knez – Kutch – LaRue – LIOCO – Liquid Farm – Littorai – Lutum - Matthiasson – Mindego Ridge - Mount Eden – Native9 – Ojai – Peay – Red Car – Sandhi – Twomey – Tyler – Varner – Wenzlau - Wind Gap 

According to the top-notch tasting booklet provided when I checked in, there were over 135 wines available for tasting.

I knew there was no way I was going to be able to taste them all in the 3 hours allotted for the tasting.

I decided to focus on Chardonnay first, then taste the Pinots if I had time and/or my palate wasn’t too fatigued.

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I tasted 46 Chardonnays.  My favorites (in alphabetical order) were:

  • 2013 Copain Chardonnay Dupratt Vineyard
  • 2013 Failla Chardonnay Fort Ross – Seaview
  • 2013 Failla Chardonnay Haynes Vineyard
  • 2013 Hanzell Chardonnay Sebella
  • 2013 Liquid Farm Chardonnay Golden Slope
  • 2013 Lutum Chardonnay Durell Vineyard
  • 2011 Mount Eden Vineyards Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains
  • 2012 Ojai Chardonnay Solomon Hills Vineyard
  • 2012 Tyler Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict
  • 2013 Varner Chardonnay Spring Ridge Vineyard Home Block
  • 2012 Wenzlau Chardonnay Estate
  • 2013 Wind Gap Wines Chardonnay Gap’s Crown

After powering through the Chards, it was time to take a break and grab a bit of food and water before diving into the Pinots.

The list of food vendors was nearly as impressive as the wines! More than a few of my favorite upscale restaurants were serving small bites. Check it!

Aziza – Bar Tartine – Cavallo Point – Nopa – Passionfish –RN74 – Scopa – SPQR –St. Vincent Tavern & Wine Merchant

Yowza!

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Nom, nom, nom…Wish I didn’t have to choose between noshing on a few more of these but the Pinots were calling me! (sorry didn’t get the name, or who made them, but trust me they were delicious!)

I came for the wine, but the food was quite delectable, and on par with the wines!

And as food friendly wines go…well I was in heaven!

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Porchetta Sandwiches with shaved fennel, arugula

After a short break, where I seriously considered not rating and tasting the Pinots (I certainly never considered not tasting the Pinots…are you effin’ kiddin me?)

I would have been quite content to put down my pen, hit more food tables, and simply savoring the plethora of fine wines.

Alas, my inner wine geek prevailed, and I willed myself onward to the Pinots!

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I tasted 32 Pinots.  My favorites (in alphabetical order) were:

  • 2012 Copain Pinot Noir Monument Tree
  • 2012 Drew Family Cellars Pinot Noir Valenti Vineyard
  • 2005 Drew Family Cellars Pinot Noir Ashley’s Vineyard
  • 2013 Failla Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch
  • 2013 Failla Pinot Noir Savoy Vineyard
  • 2013 Hanzell Pinot Noir Sebella
  • 2012 Hirsch Vineyards Pinot Noir Reserve
  • 2012 Knez Winery Pinot Noir Cerise Vineyard
  • 2013 Kutch Pinot Noir McDougall Ranch
  • 2012 Neely Pinot Noir Spring Ridge Vineyard Hidden Block
  • 2012 Neely Pinot Noir Spring Ridge Vineyard Picnic Block
  • 2012 Neely Pinot Noir Spring Ridge Vineyard Upper Picnic Block
  • 2012 Wenzlau Pinot Noir Estate

In my previous “favorites” recaps of events like this, I’ve listed my “top twenty” wines.  However, this tasting boasted a such a multitude of stellar producers, I added five more to my usual format.

Simply put, the wines lived up to the hype for me.  IPOB is the best wine tasting I’ve been to in terms of the overall quality of the wines.  Nary a dud among the wines I tasted. Though admittedly, there were a few wines I found to be elegant and complex that were a bit too austere for my palate.  Of course, as the saying goes ” your mileage may vary”.

Cheers!

Follow my reviews on Vivino 

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Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a 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 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

 

Wines At Our Table; Week of March 22, 2015

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.  Includes my picks for  Wine of the Week; and Food and Wine Pairing of the Week for the week ended March 22, 2015.

2010 Kenneth Volk Touriga Nacional Pomar Junction Vineyard - Retail $36
Consistent with prior review – Violet color with plum, blueberry, violet and lavender aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied with prominent acidity and a soft texture with soft well-integrated tannins. It shows plum, ripe mixed black and red currant, vanilla and sweet spice flavors. Med long finish. 13.6% alcohol Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91 pts

N.V. Bedrock Wine Co. Sherman & Hooker’s Shebang! Eighth Cuvée - Retail $11.99
Low key red fruit and spice aromas. On the palate its medium bodies and fresh and with fresh black cherry, plum, and black raspberry flavors and soft sweet tannins.  It’s a blend of 46% Zinfandel (from 100+ y.o. Bedrock Vineyard), 40%Grenache, 5% Alicante, 5% Petite Sirah, and 4% Sangiovese. sourced from several old vine vineyards throughout Sonoma County.  Very good; 86-88 pts

N.V. Ariston Aspasie Champagne Brut Rosé - Retail $34.99
Coral pink color with plentiful tiny bubbles and a fine bead with almond, cherry, candied strawberry, and hints of anise and dried rose aromas. On the palate, it approaches full-bodied, and is elegant, energetic, and dry with enticing cherry, strawberry, and hints of mandarin orange, and cranberry flavors. Lingering mineral accented finish. Outstanding; 92-95 pts

2011 Copain P2 - Retail $25
Medium Ruby color with pleasing fresh red fruit, peach skin and low-key, damp earth and spice aromas. On the palate it’s light-bodied, fresh, fruity, with a hint of effervescence, dusty tannins, and tart cherry,cranberry, and spice flavors. Medium finish. A unique blend of 50/50 Pinot Noir/Gris. A wonderful chillable red  that’s very food and budget friendly! Very good; 86-88 pts

Wine of the Week IMG_1912 (1)

You know what’s more exciting than finding a bottle of wine you love that offers great value?

Yup! Finding two!

Of course, value is relative. My deathbed wine would be Rosé Champagne. But man are they expensive!. I’ve had a few under $40, but I’ve not been overly impressed. It’s a challenge because I’ve also had a few of those more expensive ones…and well..I’ve been spoiled.

Then while doing some research for a Rosé Champagne, for an Easter Wine Pairing I’m collaborating on with Michelle of Rocking Red Blog, I came across My Wine of Week,  the Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé.  It’s a blend of 50% Pinot Noir, and 50% Pinot Meunier made from estate grown fruit in Brouillet. The wine’s pretty color comes from the addition of 15% an old vine still Pinot Meunier.  It drinks above it’s $35 price point; especially for a Champagne that has been aged 5 years!  By the way, I’ve had a few bottles of Ariston Aspasie – definitely an under the radar Champagne producer to keep an eye on.

My other killer QPR wine this week was the Bedrock Wine Co. Sherman & Hooker’s Shebang! Eighth Cuvée. It’s definitely a great everyday bottle of wine, and it’s food friendly too.  It, along with a plate of spaghetti, is my Food and Wine pairing of the week.

What was your Wine of the Week?  Any killer Food and Wine pairings?

Follow my reviews on Vivino 

Note. All wines were purchased for review unless otherwise indicated
_________________________________________________________________

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 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Wines At Our Table; Week of March 15, 2015

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.  Includes my picks for  Wine of the Week; and Food and Wine Pairing of the Week for the week ended March 15, 2015.

Prévoteau-Perrier Champagne Brut Grande Réserve - Retail $29
Golden yellow color with appealing hazelnut, yeast, baked bread, peach, and citrus aromas and a fine bead. On the palate it approaches full-bodied and is well structured with a soft mousse and clean peach, apple, tangerine flavors with a bit of minerality. Lingering finish! This is great value at $28! Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91 pts

2012 La Crema Pinot Noir Cold Coast Vineyards Sonoma Coast - Retail $29
Medium ruby color with red berry, and low-key cola, earth and spice aromas. On the palate its medium-bodied and fruit forward with easy black cherry, cola and spice flavors. Good quaffer Very good; 86-88 pts

2013 Tercero Mourvedre Rosé - Retail $20
Consistent with prior reviews – Pale salmon color with appealing red fruit, wet stone, and citrus peel aromas with a hint of earthiness. On the palate it’s dry, and fresh and medium-bodied with mouth filling strawberry, watermelon, hints of red currant, subtle spice, and citrus flavors and a nice touch of minerality. 100 % Mourvedre. Lingering finish. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91 pts

2005 Famille Perrin / Perrin & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Sinards - Retail $20
Carmine color with alluring tobacco, garrigue, Herbs de Provence, baking spice and red fruit aromas. On the palate it’s light bodied and fresh with a supple texture and black cherry, raspberry, and spice flavors underscored with an appealing minerality and chalky tannins. Lingering finish. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91 pts

Wine of the Week     IMG_1176-001

A friend asked me what is my one favorite wine was last week. That’s a bit like asking me what’s my favorite flavor of ice cream. There are many.  Perhaps I can boil it down to a “Top 5″.  But if pressed hard and I HAD to pick just one, my answer would be….

Champagne!

The Prévoteau-Perrier Champagne Brut Grande Réserve is a very good Champagne.  And the price is right at under $30.  I will be buying more, if I can find it.

My Wine of the Week is the 2005 Perrin & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Sinards. It’s a wine I purchased at my favorite wine store K&L Wine Merchants almost 5 years ago.  I got a good deal on it too!  It retails for around $30, and I got it for $20!  It’s a classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape (“CdP”) blend of (predominately) Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre from one of the region’s leading producers, the Perrin family (and a majority partner in Tablas Creek Vineyards). It’s a blend of purchased grapes as well as declassified portions from the rather large Beaucastel vineyard. It’s a delicious, and food friendly CDP!

The weather was gorgeous in California last weekend.  About 80 degrees and sunny.  So we busted out the Weber and barbecued some Filipino style chicken and pork ribs. The BBQ and Tercero Mourvedre Rosé were my Food and Wine Pairing of the Week. What I love about the Tercero Rosé is that it’s shows more body than most Roses. It’s a perennial favorite and it makes a great partner at the table with heartier fare like BBQ!

What was your Wine of the Week?  Any killer Food and Wine pairings?

Follow my reviews on Vivino 

Note. All wines were purchased for review unless otherwise indicated
_________________________________________________________________

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 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Wine Tasting Club Blind Tastes 12 Cabs!

Last week, the most recent tasting of the Pacific Point Wine Tasting Club(“PPWTC”) featured a blind-tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon.  Our wine-tasting club has done tastings of Cabs before, but this tasting was a bit different because we increased the purchase price limit to $40 (It’s usually $25).

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We had a very good turn out for the tasting.  After our “Happy Hour”, where we socialize, eat and drink, we got to tastin’!

PPWTC Cab Night 2015-001

The photo depicts the tasting order of the wines. Top Row (left to right)1-4 Middle Row (left to right) 5-8, and Bottom Row (left to right) 9-12

Here’s how our tasting went down:

  • Club members asked to bring a wine of their choice priced up to $40
  • All wines are tasted blind
  • Tasters are required to score all wines
  • The wines are scored based on 4 criteria (aromabody, taste, and finish) - each on a scale of 1-5 (1-low; 5-high). Therefore minimum score = 4 points and maximum = 20 points
  • Both average and median scores are calculated.  The winner determined by highest average score.  The median score used as tie breaker, if necessary

We tasted 12 Cabs.  Napa Valley dominated the field (7), with one each from Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma Valley, Paso Robles, Washington State (Columbia Valley), and Bordeaux (St. Julien)

We had 18 tasters including two “newbies” who enjoy wine, but are just getting started on their wine journey.  The vast majority of tasters were experienced wine lovers who have been enjoying wine for many years.

And the winner with an average score of 16.6 was… 

  • 2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon Bedrock Vineyard 

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 The runners-up in the order of finish (including average score) were: 

  • 2010 Moonstone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Westside (13.6)
  • 2007 Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford (13.2 )
  • 2012 Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon (13.1)
  • 2012 Girard Cabernet Sauvignon (12.7)
  • 2012 Frank Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (12.3)
  • 2012 Stags’ Leap Winery Cabernet Sauvignon (11.6)
  • 1997 Counterpoint Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Mountain (11.6)
  • 2012 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Artemis (11.5)
  • 2010 Silverado Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (11.1)
  • 2010 Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley (10.6)
  • 2009 Duluc de Branaire-Ducru (10.2)

I enjoy blind tastings.  It removes preconceptions about  wines while presenting the opportunity to rate wines in a peer group setting.

Ah, but where there is a blind tasting, there is virtually always a surprise. That is the nature of blind tasting, a capricious endeavor if there ever was one

What was most surprising about this tasting was the dominance of the Bedrock over the other wines.  Not only did it receive the highest average score in the 5 year history of our wine tasting club, the margin of victory over the #2 wine was the largest we’ve had.  Finally, it was the favorite of 2 out of every 3 tasters! And that never happens!

Further, if you consider the fact that over half the wines were from Napa Valley (and some well-regarded names too – B.V., Frank Family, and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars come immediately to mind), and the fact the first and second place wines were from Sonoma Valley, and Paso Robles respectively…Well that was unexpected!

To use an analogy from Cabernet’s heartland on the Left Bank of Bordeaux—if Napa Valley is Pauillac, St. Julien, Margaux, and even St. Estephe, then Sonoma Valley is Pessac-Leognan. There are few excellent spots for Cabernet varietals to thrive, but when they are right, the can climb to their own unique organoleptic heights. – Bedrock Wine Co.

On this Cab Night, Bedrock ascended the mountain, vaulted the competition, and planted the Sonoma Valley flag at the top!

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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 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Friends, Food and Wine; An #OTBN To Remember #winePW

Open That Bottle Night (“OTBN”), created by former Wall Street Journal wine columnists Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher, is the one night a year that we are all encouraged to get out that bottle of wine that is so special that no occasion seems special enough to actually open it.

While it’s great to open that special bottle of wine and share a meal, what makes OTBN so special for me is making memories with friends!

My wife and I have been celebrating (and hosting) Open That Bottle Night (“OTBN”) since 2010.  After a magnificent OTBN dinner last year, one of the wine-loving friends offered to host OTBN this year.

My wife and were looking forward to this particular couple hosting OTBN because they are the consummate host and hostess.  He usually does the heavy lifting in the kitchen, while she create beautiful tablescapes, makes to die for desserts (especially chocolate, but you name it, she nails it when it comes to sweet treats!), and does the little things that make guests welcome and set the stage for a memorable evening (like the sign below).

Friends, Food and Wine; An #OTBN To Remember #winePW

When they host you know you’re going to get a restaurant quality meal complete with appetizers…and they’ve got a wonderful wine cellar!

I must tell you, it was very gratifying to have no OTBN angst this year!  Once I found out what was on the menu I immediately knew which bottle I’d bring

Aside from my wife and I, there were two other couples.  Each couple brought a special bottle for the evening.

In true high-style fashion, we started the night with a mouth-watering collection of appetizers that included cheeses and…Champagne!

Two actually…

The Delamotte was the crowd favorite (I discovered that Delamotte is the sister house to one of the world’s best luxury Champagnes - Champagne Salon).  It’s a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.  The Chardonnay for cuvee is sourced from Salon’s grand cru vineyards, and drinks above its $35 price point.  The Rose de Riceys a rare treat from the Aube region of Champagne was also very good.  It brought to mind a sparking Burgundy.

Note: You can check out my detailed tasting notes on the OTBN wines we shared by clicking here, or on the hyperlinked name of the wines

Friends, Food and Wine; An #OTBN To Remember #winePW

After polishing off a couple of bottles of Champagne, and plenty of appetizers, it was time for dinner.  On the menu:

  • Grilled beef with Sicilian herb sauce over
  • Wild mushroom risotto and peas
  • Aged Gouda Chive Popovers

The meal was fabulous!  My personal favorite part of the meal was the Wild Mushroom Risotto!  I had… (well just you never mind how many helpings I had;-)

The wines served with the entrée were as follows:

Of the initial wines served (there was a bonus bottle later…I’ll get to that), I thought the Pio Cesare Barolo was the wine that paired best with our meal.  And it was phenomenal with the risotto!

Friends, Food and Wine; An #OTBN To Remember #winePW

Of course, all the wines were wonderful.  And there were a couple of notable stories behind the wines.  The Mollydooker Carnival of Love was the Wine Spectator #2 Wine for 2014. And the 2003 Guardian Cellars (the bottle with no label) was the first ever wine produced by Guardian Cellars. It was brought by the owner/winemaker’s brother who helped bottle it. And it was his last bottle!

As the evening advanced, and the warm glow love, laughter, and not necessarily cultured badinage about love, life and children flowed like so much wine…our host decided it was time for some more wine!

Off to his cellar he went and came back with a fabulous bonus bottle!

After we’d pretty much polished off the wine, and each of us was in that sweet spot between being happily sated and falling into a food coma…

This happened!

Friends, Food and Wine; An #OTBN To Remember #winePW

Triple Chocolate Mousse Torte

The Triple Chocolate Mousse Torte which was paired with a 2008 Tenuta Col d’Orcia Moscadello di Montalcino Pascena.  

It was my first time trying this amazing dessert wine from Tuscan wine village of Montalcino,a region renown for Brunello. Its historic roots date back to the Renaissance when it was considered a “divine” wine. A nectar of the Gods!

It’s a late harvest style dessert wine made from local grape Moscadello, (a local form of white muscat) grape.  It’s an opulent, yet vibrant wine with intoxicating, perfumed aromas, and it was excellent paired with the dessert!

Friends, Food and Wine; An #OTBN To Remember #winePW

This is what happens when you’ve maybe had a wee bit too much wine, and there’s a selfie stick!  Happy OTBN my friends!

As Saturday turned in the Sunday, me being the wino I am, I wondered which wine(s) were the favorite(s).

I noticed there were three empty vessels of wine.  It’s been my experience that the empty bottles(or decanters) will tell you which wines were folk’s favorites.  Based on the “empty bottle” hypothesis, the evening’s favorite wines(in order served) were the Pio Cesare Barolo, Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz , and the Mark Ryan Long Haul.

It was an awesome evening of empty bottles, filled hearts, and cherished memories. And isn’t that what Open That Bottle Night is really about!

Be sure to check out these special pairings and cherished memories  from my fellow #winePW bloggers!

If you are catching this post early enough, you can join our live Twitter Chat on Saturday, March 14, at 11 a.m. ET, via the Twitter hashtag #winePW. If you’ve come to us after March 14, consider joining us for #winePW 11 focused on wine pairings for early spring vegetables hosted by A Day in the Life on the Farm on Saturday, April 11.

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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 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Wines At Our Table; Week of March 8, 2015

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.  Includes my picks for  Wine of the Week; and Food and Wine Pairing of the Week for the week ended March 8, 2015.

2013 Cantina Terlan Terlano Terlaner Classico - Retail $22
Pale yellow-green color with pear, lemon, white flower and lemongrass aromas. On the palate, it’s dense and tangy with bright acidity.  It shows white peach, lemon, hint of apple flavors with a wonderful mineral note and a lingering sweet finish. Blend of 60% Pinot Bianco, 30% Chardonnay and 10% Sauvignon Blanc from the Alto Adige region of Italy. The winery has been making the blend since 1893! 14.1% alcohol. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91 pts

2010 Alta Colina Syrah Toasted Slope - Retail $45
Opaque violet color with appealing graphite, toast, smoke, black fruit, and spice aromas. On the palate it medium-bodied, fresh and harmoniously structured with a supple texture, and well-integrated fine tannins with black cherry, black raspberry, a hint of dark roast coffee, and subtle spice flavor accented with a wonderful minerality. Long finish. 15.5% alcohol Outstanding; 92-95 pts

2012 Stags’ Leap Winery Chardonnay - Retail $30 (gift)
Very pale green color with yellow highlights and under ripe white peach, tropical fruit, and citrus aromas. lemon aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, fresh and nicely balanced with white peach, pineapple, pear and a bit of spice flavors and a lemony minerality. Medium finish  Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91 pts

2007 Three Saints Sixty-Seven - Retail Unknown (gift) 
Opaque violet color with dark fruit, tobacco, and sweetened cacao aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied with dusty tannins, and cassis, fresh cherry, blackberry, and bittersweet chocolate flavors. Medium finish. Blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot, 5% Syrah, 4% Petit Verdot, and 1% Malbec. 14.5% alcohol Very good; 86-88 pts

2011 Hubert Meyer Pinot Noir Fut en Chene - Retail $25
A lovely Pinot Noir from Alsace! Medium ruby color with restrained red fruit,spice and mineral aromas. On the palate, it’s well-balanced, and fresh with cherry, and  cranberry flavors with a nice minerality and dusty well-integrated tannins Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91 pts

2010 Justin Vineyards & Winery Cabernet Sauvignon - Retail $22
Opaque very dark ruby color, and medium-bodied this wine offers baked black and red fruit, dark chocolate, spice and subtle cedar wood aromas. On the palate it shows a supple texture with chalky well-integrated tannins and blackberry, black cherry, vanilla, dark chocolate and a kiss of cassis flavors. 13.9% alcohol. Spends 18 months in 225-liter American oak barrels. Very good; 86-88 pts

Wine of the Week 

I always enjoy it when I “get around” a bit in the wine world. Such was the case this weekIMG_1210 because I enjoyed my first wine from the Trentino-Alto Adige region of Italy and my first Pinot Noir from Alsace. Both wines are wonderful examples of “Old World” wines.

But my Wine of the Week – the 2010 Alta Colina Syrah Toasted Slope, is from the “New World”.  Specifically Paso Robles, which has built a well deserved reputation for being “Rhone Central” in California, if not the U.S. The producer, Alta Colina, is a relative newcomer to the Paso Rhone scene (after planting their estate vineyard in 2005, their first vintage was 2007. They are exclusively focused wine produced from Rhone grape varieties.  I introduced to Alta Colina a couple of years ago at the Rhone Rangers annual tasting in San Francisco.  Since I really enjoyed the wines, I made to sure to stop by the winery to taste during my last visit to Paso in 2013.  Since they they’ve opened a new tasting room. I highly recommend their wines! 

My food and wine pairing of the week was, hands-down, the 2013 Cantina TerlanTerlano Classico with Seafood Lasagna (killer recipe btw…I highly recommend; I modified slightly by substituting seafood stock for the clam juice and chicken stock;and I used real crab meat rather than imitation),which I also tried with the Stag’s Leap Chardonnay. While that pairing was good the Cantina was significantly better. For me it was a classic case of the sum of the parts of a blend being greater than the whole.  In this case I believe contributions of both Pinot Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc made the Seafood Lasagna taste better than it tasted with the 100 % Chardonnay.

What was your Wine of the Week?  Any killer Food and Wine pairings?

Follow my reviews on Vivino 

Note. All wines were purchased for review unless otherwise indicated
_________________________________________________________________

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 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

 

#WineWednesday Review; 2012 Tercero Grenache Blanc Camp 4 Vineyard

From time to time, I receive wines samples from wineries or their public relations agencies for review.  I’ve decided to feature such samples on #WineWednesday’s. This week’s wine is the 2012 Tercero Grenache Blanc Camp 4 Vineyard.

The Winery

Tercero Wines is located in Los Olivos, California.  Larry Schaffer is the owner/winemaker.  Schaffer left a successful career in publishing to pursue his dream of becoming a winemaker.  He earned a degree in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis.  Thereafter he got winemaking career started as an enologist at Fess Parker Winery.  While at Fess Parker he started Tercero.

I first meet Larry a few of years ago at one of my favorite events - Dark & Delicious. Initially, he caught my attention because he was aerating his wines in Erlenmeyer flasks rather than traditional decanters.  I thought – How cool is that (note to self – buy some lab beakers; they cost less and work as well!)?

I tried his wines, and came away impressed.

Since then, I’ve tasted his wines at a few other events.  I’ve also had a chance to visit the winery in Los Olivos.

I continue to be impressed with the harmonious character of his wines.  `

Tercero Wines offers a range of wines including varietal bottlings of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, a red Rhône blend, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Rosé, and a dry Gewürztraminer. All wines are bottled under screwcap (extra points in my book!) Annual case production is about 1,250 cases.

The wines are worth seeking out, and if you get a chance, I heartily recommend a visit to the winery!

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My tasting notes:

Very pale yellow golden color with interesting petrol, white peach, lanolin, mango, wet stone and spice aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied and dry with a creamy texture and lively lemony acidity with white peach, mango, apricot, and spice flavors and a lingering mineral driven finish. 14.1% alcohol. Retail – $25

Rating: A-: This is an intriguing and harmonious wine. It’s the petrol aromas that make this wine intriguing for me.  But winemaker Larry Schaffer told me that’s typical for Grenache Blanc as it ages.  Learn something new every day!

Pair with: We enjoyed this with cracked crab. Try it with Grilled Peaches over Arugula with Goat Cheese and Proscuitto!

Wine provided as a sample for review.  Many thanks to Larry Schaffer of Tercero

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 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

A Taste of Alto Adige – Cantina Terlano Classico #ItalianFWT

One of the things I love most about food and wine is their ability to transport one to a different place.  And a  place’s people, culture, and customs are reflected in its food and wine.  In that sense, one can virtually travel the world through food and wine.  And that is exactly what we are doing through Italian Food Wine and Travel (#ItalianFWT).  We taking a virtual tour of Italy by exploring its food and wines.  This month we’re exploring Trentino-Alto Adige!

Image courtesy of AltoAdigeWines.com

Image courtesy of AltoAdigeWines.com

The Region

map-of-trentino-alto-adige

Map of Trentino-Alto Adige courtesy of beviamo.com

Trentino-Alto Adige is Italy’s northernmost wine region.  Notwithstanding it’s hyphenated name, it’s really two autonomous provinces. Alto Adige, nestled in Alps, is bordered by Veneto to the east, Lombardy to the west, and the Tirol region of Austria to the north. Alto Adige or Südtirol, as it is known in German,  has a predominately German speaking population. This is due to the region’s former status as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  It was re-claimed by Italy in 1919.  To its south is Trentino, which is almost entirely Italian speaking.

Here’s an overview of what I learned about Alto Adige:

  • Winemaking in the region pre-dates Roman occupation of the Adige Valley
  • The Alto Adige DOC, which covers the majority of wines made here, was granted in 1975
  • One of the smallest wine-growing areas in Italy (approximately 13,000 acres), producing only 0.7% of Italy’s total production
  • It leads Italy in wines meriting a DOC designation: 98% of its wines fall into this category
  • The vineyards are tiny and ownership is impossibly fragmented. Typical vineyards are about a hectare; which is probably why…
  • Most wine made here is produced by co-operatives (15 co-ops produce about 70% of the wine)
  • The major green grapes varieties, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Blanc account for over 20% of the total wine production and are a hallmark of the region.
  • The native Schiava black grape variety dominates red wine production accounting for almost 25% of total vineyard area. The velvety Lagrein, also a native variety, is also widely planted.
  • Surrounded by the Dolomites and Rhaetian Alps Alto Adige is one of the most beautiful wine regions in Europe.
  • The Gewürztraminer grape owes its name to the village of Tramin (Termeno in Italian) about 12 miles south of the region’s major city Bolzano.

Cantina Terlano

Founded in 1893, the Cantina Terlano winery is now one of the leading wine growers’ cooperatives in Alto Adige. It’s current membership is composed of 143 growers working a total area of 165 hectares. Seventy percent of their production is white wines.

“The most impressive wines I tasted this year from Alto Adige came from Cantina Terlano. Simply put, these are reference point wines. I can’t imagine these wines not being represented in any serious cellar.” - Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate 2011

Cantina Terlano winery has a traditional focus on long-lived wines. In fact, Terlano has a Wine Archive located about 13 meters underground which contains over 20,000 bottles.  It’s quite a collection of rarities comprising various vintages from 1955 to the present. Some of the wines actually date from 1893, the year the winery was founded!

The Wine

From Cantina Terlano (Kellerie Terlaner in German)… A composition of Terlano’s three most traditional white varieties, namely Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay and Sauvignon, this old cuvée, which was one of the wines produced when the winery was founded, is an extremely complex wine. Pinot Bianco, as the main variety used in the cuvée, provides the freshness and a good acid structure, while Chardonnay delivers a pleasing warmth and mellowness and Sauvignon adds the fine aromatic character.

The fruit for this wine come from the Alto Adige Terlano  sub-region of Alto Adige, a region renown for its high quality white wines.

IMG_1787

My tasting notes follow:

Pale yellow-green color with pear, lemon, white flower and lemongrass aromas. On the palate, it’s dense, and tangy with bright acidity, and white peach, lemon, hint of apple flavors with a wonderful mineral note and a lingering sweet finish. Blend of 60% Pinot Bianco, 30% Chardonnay and 10% Sauvignon Blanc. 13.5% alcohol. Retail $22 >>Find this wine<<

I paired the wine with a fabulous Seafood Lasagna (recipe here) I prepared. (Note: I substituted seafood stock for the clam juice and chicken stock and used real crab meat)

What a fabulous pairing! The wine’s bright acidity was a welcome counterpoint to the richness of the Bechamel sauce in the Lasagna, while the “weight” of the wine was a perfect complement of the weight of the dish.  And in the mouth each made the other taste better!

A Taste of Alto Adige - Cantina Terlano Classico #ItalianFWT

Much to my surprise, I’ve yet to try an Italian red wine for #ItalianFWT.  But , so far I’ve been captivated by Italian white wines.  I think my choices have (mostly) been driven by the foods I’ve been pairing with the wines.  But the whites have been memorable (and repeat purchases), including the Cantina Terlano Classico!

Don’t stop here.  We have lots more great information to share with you on the Trentino-Alto Adige region.  Join the rest of our Italian bloggers group:

Make sure to join us live on Twitter today and throughout the weekend at #ItalianFWT to chat about the Trentino-Alto Adige region and your experiences.  We can’t wait to hear from you.  Check back at #ItalianFWT throughout the month as well for additional blogs on food, wine and travel of Italy.  Next month on April 4th we feature Sicily so stay tuned.  Ciao ciao!

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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 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Wines At Our Table; Week of March 1, 2015

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.  Includes my picks for  Wine of the Week; and Food and Wine Pairing of the Week for the week ended March 1, 2015.

This week’s wines include wines we enjoyed at a phenomenal Open That Bottle Night (“OTBN” – which is celebrated the last Saturday in February every year) dinner hosted by friends. There were 8 of us and we (mostly) consumed 8 bottles of wine.

A bottle of wine each…Sounds about right! Right?!

2011 JC Cellars Marsanne Stagecoach Vineyard - Retail $38
Pale gold color with tropical fruits, melon, stone fruit, butterscotch and jasmine aromas. On the palate, it’s fat with a plush texture and melon, nectarine, peach, pineapple and brown spice flavors. This is a cocktail wine. Not necessarily a “bad” thing, but not the style I prefer. We paired it with Pansit one night and roasted Asian style Perch. It was OK with each 15% alcohol. $38 retail. Very good; 86-88 pts

2008 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch Vineyard - Retail
Medium ruby color with muted damp earth, cherry, and spice aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied and fruit forward with a silky texture, soft well-integrated tannins and intense ripe baked cherry, cranberry and hint of cola and spice flavors accented with some Green Valley minerality. Medium finish  Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91 pts

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Delamotte Champagne Brut - Retail $35
Light lemon color with a persistent bead. Opened with aromas of toast, yellow apple, stone fruit, chalk, and hazelnut. On the palate it’s shows a delicate mousse, nice focus and apple, a flash of peach, citrus, chalk and a hint of ginger flavors. Lingering finish. Blend of 55% chardonnay, 35% pinot noir and% 10 pinot meunier. Aged 3 years and included 25% reserve wines. Very good QPR for $35!  Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91 pts

Guy de Forez Champagne Rosé Les Riceys - Retail; Unknown
Very pretty deep pink color with plentiful tiny bubbles and fresh cherry, raspberry, and mineral aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, with great energy, and easy cherry, raspberry and mineral flavors. 100% Pinot Noir from 2010 vintage. 70% of 2 day semi-carbonic maceration, and 30% direct to press Pinot Noir Very good; 86-88 pts

2004 Pio Cesare Barolo - Retail $55
Dark red brick color with complex, and expressive blackberry, dried rose, tar, mushroom aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, well-balanced and focused with a silken texture and chewy tannins with red fruit, sweet spice, and leather flavors and a bit of minerality. Long finish. The wine was aged in French oak casks (70%) and smaller French oak barrels (30%) 14% alcohol Outstanding; 92-95 pts

2003 Guardian Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stillwater Creek Vineyard - Retail; Unknown
Medium garnet color with restrained cherry liqueur, red currant, and cedarwood aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied with solid acidity cherry, subtle red currant, vanilla and spice flavors and a lingering finish.  This bottle didn’t have a label because it was the first vintage ever produced by Guardian Cellars.  The owner’s brother is a friend of ours and helped with the first bottling.  Very good; 86-88 pts

2006 Mann Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Mannstand Vineyard - Retail $21 
Garnet color with appealing black cherry, blackberry and a hint of earth aromas. On the palate it’s medium bodied with blackberry, cherry, and bit blueberry and spice flavors. Medium finish. Very good; 86-88 pts

2012 Mollydooker Shiraz Carnival of Love - Retail $97(Avg. on Winesearcher.com)
Violet color with exuberant dark fruit, white pepper, roasted meat, and hints of olive tapenade and eucalyptus aromas. On the palate, it’s full-bodied and ripe, yet elegant with very good acidity, soft well-integrated tannins, and luscious blackberry, black cherry, plum, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla and spice flavors. Long finish. 16% alcohol Aged in 100% new American oak. Approachable now, but will benefit from further aging. Outstanding; 92-95 pts

2008 Mark Ryan Long Haul - Retail; Unknown
Garnet color with black and red fruit, dried rose, cacao and spice aromas. On the palate, it medium bodied, and fresh with well-integrated tannins and blackberry,red berry, vanilla and spice flavors with a complementary minerality. Blend of 63% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc, 11% Petit Verdot, and 4% Malbec from Ciel du Cheval, Klipsun, Kiona, and Hedges vineyards. Aged 20 months in French oak (81% new). Outstanding; 92-95 pts

2008 Tenuta Col d’Orcia Moscadello di Montalcino Pascena - Retail; Unknown
This late harvest wine of White Muscat was a real treat from a land known for their reds (Brunellos and Rossos) It poured a beautiful gold color with an intoxicating perfume of peach, apricot, dried orange peel, orange blossom, aromatic spice, and honey aromas. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, yet very fresh with luscious and utterly delicious, peach, apricot, honey and spice flavors. Long finish. Outstanding; 92-95 pts

Wine of the WeekIMG_1747

Since this week’s wines included the eight wines we enjoyed for Open That Bottle Night, there is a plethora of Wine of the Week candidates! The Delamotte Brut, which is a sister Champagne house to iconic Salon was outstanding.  And it’s all Grand Cru fruit. I highly recommend it!  In terms of the still wines, they were served in the order of my tasting notes above. The Pio Cesare Barolo was amazing with our meal of Grilled beef with Sicilian herb sauce over wild mushroom risotto (especially the risotto!) which made it my Food and Wine Pairing of the Week.  Although the dessert wine with our dessert of Tripe Chocolate Mousse Torte was also a fantastic pairing.  I highly recommend the Tenuta Col d’Orcia Moscadello di Montalcino Pascena. It was my first Moscadello de Montalcino, and it’s an outstanding dessert wine.

In terms of the other wines, it’s been my experience that the empty bottles(or decanters) will tell you which wines were folk’s favorites.  And there were three empty vessels at the end of the night – the Pio Cesare Barolo, the ‘08 Mark Ryan Long Haul, and the Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz (It was the Wine Spectator #2 Wine for 2014).

My Wine of the Week was 2012 Mollydooker Shiraz Carnival of Love.  It’s a big, bold yet elegant, and complex wine that is flat-out delicious!

What was your Wine of the Week?  Any killer Food and Wine pairings?

Follow my reviews on Vivino 

Note. All wines were purchased for review unless otherwise indicated
_________________________________________________________________

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 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Wines At Our Table; Week of February 22, 2015

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.  Here are my Wine of the Week; and Food and Wine Pairing of the Week for February 22, 2015.

We were in NOLA for Mardi Gras the better part of the week.  Since we weren’t sure about the quality of wine we’d see in NOLA we decided to bring a few bottles along. The first three wines are wines we brought along with us.

2013 Caduceus Cellars Merkin Vineyards Shinola - Retail – $25
This is a bottle of wine we picked up when we visited AZ back in November.  The winery located in Jerome, AZ and is owned by Maynard James Keenan of Tool.  The wine is a deep purple color with black and dark red fruit, leather, and subtle spice aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, easy, and delicious with wonderful acidity, youthful grippy tannins and blackberry, black cherry, and a bit of mineral flavors. Medium finish. Blend of Sangiovese, Refosco, Primitivo, Dolcetto sourced from Luna County, New Mexico fruit We paired this with fried chicken one night and it paired surprisingly well. Not a great pairing mind you – but peaceful co-existence was achieved. Very good; 86-88 pts

2011 Carlisle The Derivative White - Retail – $28
We’ve been drinking more whites lately.  And wines like this are why (along with a conscious shift toward more seafood, and chicken) It’s a pretty lemon yellow color with intriguing pear, lychee, lemon oil, grapefruit pith, and a subtle bergamot leaf aromas. On the palate, it’s medium bodied, and wonderfully textured with very good acidity and charming apricot, orange,and grapefruit and mineral flavors.  It’s an interesting blend of 66% Semillon, 24% Muscadelle, and 10% Golden Chaselas (aka Palomino – sourced from 118 year-old vines interplanted amongst the Zinfandel at Saitone Ranch in the Russian River Valley). 13.7% alcohol. Outstanding; 92-95 pts

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Cuvée Karatas - Retail – $28
Bright pale yellow color with promising lime, melon honeysuckle, and spice aromas. On the palate medium-full bodied, and dense with lively acidity and a supple texture with pear, melon, lime cream flavors and a bit of minerality. Long finish. It’s a blend of 53% 120-yr-old Semillon from Monte Rosso Vineyard, and 47% Sauvginon Blanc Musque clone from Kick Ranch; No MLF on the Sauv Blanc; fermented in 85% new French oak barrels from Bordeaux. 14.4% alcohol. Outstanding; 92-95 pts.  The wine was fabulous with our dinner of Oysters on the half-shell; Deep-fried Alligator, and Crawfish Étouffée our last night in town that makes it our Food and Wine Pairing of the Week.

N.V. Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Rosé Brut - Retail – $13
This wine was recommended by Jeff over at The Drunken Cyclist. It’s a pale salmon color with persistent stream of bubbles and appealing strawberry, peach, and a bit of floral aromas. On the palate shows a moderately creamy mousse, crisp acidity, and a surprising depth at this price point with strawberry, cherry, peach and blood orange flavors accented with a hint of herbaceousness (from Cab Franc I suspect). Fantastic QPR at $13! The fruit comes from 20- to 30-year-old vines. 12.5% alcohol Will buy more! Very good; 86-88 pts

Wine of the Week   Wines At Our Table; February 22, 2015

It was definitely an interesting week for wine.  It turned out that we made some very good choices on bottles to bring though. Both of the whites had Semillon which you don’t see often in California wines, but both Morgan Twain-Peterson and Mike Officer of Bedrock, and Carlisle respectively are fans of old-vine field blends.  It’s also not everyday you get to enjoy a wine made with Italian grape varieties sourced from New Mexico, and made in Arizona.  But Caduceaus/Merkin was our favorite of the five or so wineries we visited when we were in Arizona late last year.  If you’re ever in Arizona, I recommend checking them out!  My Wine of the Week was the Carlisle Derivative.  It’s a modern-day version of Hock, a white blend that was popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  It’s opulent wine that well supported by a very good acidity.  It too paired well a seafood dinner we enjoyed while in NOLA.  It would also pair well with Thai cuisine, grilled salmon or swordfish.  It would also make a nice wine at your Thanksgiving table!

What was your Wine of the Week?  Any killer Food and Wine pairings?

Follow my reviews on Vivino 

Note. All wines were purchased for review unless otherwise indicated
_________________________________________________________________

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 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.