Wine of the Week: 2010 Breggo Cellars Gewürztraminer Ferrington Vineyard

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 2010 Breggo Cellars Gewürztraminer Ferrington Vineyard.

The Winery

Breggo Cellars is located in the City of Booneville in Anderson Valley AVA, which is north (about 70 miles) of Napa Valley in Mendocino County.  It is owned by Cliff Lede (pronounced “LAY-dee”) of the Cliff Lede Vineyards and Poetry Inn in Napa Valley, where Lede has been very successful producing Bordeaux varietal wines.

As the saying goes “Great wine starts in the vineyard”.  And a great vineyard, start with having the grape varietal best suited for the location of the vineyard.  Breggo is focused on varietals that do well in cool climate Anderson Valley – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Syrah.

The Wine

Gewürztraminer (pronounced as “guh-Verts-trah-Meen-er”) literally means “spicy grape” due to its gobs of exotic, spicy (clove and allspice) fruit flavors including lychee, citrus and peach.  It can be made in dry or sweet styles.  It’s typically best drank within 3-5 year of vintage.   The grape thrives in cooler climate locations, so the Anderson Valley is a great place to grow the grape.

The fruit for this wine is sourced from the Ferrington Vineyard, owned by Kurt and Heather Schoeneman, who purchased the vineyard in 1997.

This wine underwent whole cluster pressing to tank and settled for 24 hours. Two-thirds was fermented in neutral French oak barrels, while one-third was tank fermented in stainless steel. No malolactic fermentation was permitted.

photo (49)

My tasting notes follow:

Light pale yellow color with intensely aromatic exotic aromas of lychee, stone fruits, lemon peel, and spices. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied with apricot, white peach, citrus, and spice flavors. Surprisingly vibrant acidity. Long finish. 13.1% abv.| SRP – $25

Rating: A-; A wonderfully refreshing, dry, yet exotic Gewürztraminer that I’d purchase again!

Sample purchased for review

Ratings Key:

(A+) – 98-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 94-97/Outstanding
(A-) – 90-93/Excellent
(B+) – 86-89/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail

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.

TGIF Bubbly! 2012 Yorkville Cellars Sparkling Petit Verdot Brut Rosé

My wife and I usually make it a point to drink sparkling wine on a weekly basis.  It’s typically Friday night…thus “T.G.I.F. Bubbly”  It’s a celebration of sort, to the end of the work week.  We switched it up a bit this week, because we always have a sparkling wine for Thanksgiving.  We chose the 2012 Yorkville Cellars Sparkling Petit Verdot Brut Rosé for this week’s sparkling wine. 

The Winery

Yorkville Cellars is located in Yorkville, California in Mendocino County. Yorkville’s claim to fame is two-fold.  They are the only winery I know where all 8 of the Bordeaux varietals are estate grown and then offered as separate varietal winesAnd their two vineyards are both certified organic – the oldest of which has been certified organic since 1986. 

My wife and I have visited Anderson Valley three times over the last several years and we make sure drop in at Yorkville Cellars each time because we enjoy the wines.  It’s fun to try varietal bottlings of the lesser known Bordeaux varietals like Carmenere, or Petite Verdot, but our favorite has been their best red Richard the Lion-Heart. On our last visit, we tried a delightful Sweet Malbec.  I highly recommend stopping by Yorkville Cellars if you’ve visiting Anderson Valley. The wines are wonderful and fairly priced, and you’ll enjoy their diverse offerings.

The Wine

The 100% estate grown grapes for this wine are sourced from Yorkville Cellars’ Rennie Vineyard, which is located in front of its tasting room. The vineyard is certified organic, and planted to six of the main red grapes originating in Bordeaux, France: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Malbec and Petit Verdot.  The vineyard was planted in 1990.

The wine is a blend of 87% Petit Verdot, and 13% Cabernet Franc.   Sparkling Rosé produced from primarily Petit Verdot (or other Bordeaux grape varieties for that matter) is scarce.  Petit Verdot is an aromatic grape, and in this wine it add some intriguing aromas not typically found in sparkling wine.  When young Petit Verdot has aromas that can be likened to banana, but in this wine it also seems to adds other intriguing aromas.  I’d recommend trying it in a red wine glass rather than a sparkling wine flute to get the full impact of the aromas.

The wine is produced using traditional method (Methode Champenoise) whereby  the wine undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle.

TGIF Bubbly; 2012 Yorkville Cellars Sparkling Petite Verdot Brut Rose

2012 Yorkville Cellars Sparkling Petite Verdot Brut Rose

My tasting notes follow:

Appealing pink color with an orange hue and tiny beads of bubbles. It shows captivating strawberry, raspberry, banana, and a kiss of tropical aromas. On the palate, it has a creamy mousse, and approaches off-dry with tart raspberry, strawberry, and ruby grapefruit flavors. Lingering finish. – (89 pts)

Rating:  B+ : This wine has an intriguing aromatics, and is very food friendly.  

Pair with: We really enjoyed this with our Thanksgiving meal.  It’s a very food-friendly bubbly that  seamlessly adapted to the diverse spices, textures, and taste we enjoyed from appetizers through the main course.  Snag some for the upcoming holidays!

The Wine Geek Stuff:

Sample provided by winery

Ratings Key:
(A+) – 98-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 94-97/Outstanding
(A-) – 90-93/Excellent
(B+) – 86-89/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail

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 2013 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

Wine of the Week: 2010 Campovida Zinfandel Chiarito Vineyard

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 2010 Campovida Zinfandel Chiarito Vineyard.

The Winery

Campovida is a family owned and operated certified organic farm and working vineyard located in Hopland, California in Mendocino County.  It’s a unique place that offers deep connections with nature, wine tasting, a professional culinary kitchen, a 10-room retreat center. It’s a place where you can relax, enjoy and create your custom gatherings. The property is located on a site that was formerly the Fetzer Valley Oaks Food & Wine Center , a 51-acre property originally opened and founded by the Fetzer family.

The husband and wife team of Gary Breen and Anna Beuselinck are owners of Campovida. The couple purchased the property intending to make it their dream home. But it’s evolved into Campovida.

My wife and I had the pleasure of visiting Campovida about a month ago.  We were very impressed by the couple’s vision, the property, and the wines.

The winemaker is Sebastian Donoso. Sebastian, who was born in Chile, moved to the United States with his family when he was 14. He attended architectural school in Miami, Florida, but quickly realized that’s not what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.  He moved to California and graduated from Fresno State University with a degree in enology and began his career as a winemaker at Sarcina.  He became winemaker for Campovida in 2012.

The winery produces a total of about 2,000 cases of wine annually.

The Wine

Fruit for this wine is sourced from the Chiarito Vineyard in near the small town of Talmage on the upper benchlands of the Russian River. The vineyard experiences moderately hot days and cold, clear night – ideal condition for Zinfandel.

The secret to this vineyard is that it is dry farmed and cross cultivated – very old fashioned – It encourages the roots to go deep into the ground instead of sideways. The wines from this vineyard tend to be very concentrated in flavor and very balanced in acidity – Sebastian Donoso Loraca

 

Given the fact that the Chiarito Vineyard is also planted to Southern Italian grape varieties (Nero D’Avola, and Negroamaro), and Petite Sirah, I wonder if this Zinfandel includes a bit of one or more of those grapes because it exhibit a bit of exoticness that’s makes it sexy!

15.9% alcohol | SRP – $36

Wine of the Week: 2010 Campovida Zinfandel Chiarito Vineyard

My tasting notes follow:

Garnet color with intriguing, aromatic, and a tad hot red berry, bramble, spice, oak and a hint of floral aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, concentrated, fresh, and supple with baked cherry, raspberry, cranberry, spice, and a hint of chocolate flavors. Long finish.  

Rating: A-: I was surprised when I was this was 15.9% alcohol.  It doesn’t drink like it because of its wonderful acidity.

Pair with: I’d pair this with a rich pasta, like Pasta Bolognese, or a hearty stew such as Ethiopian Lamb Stew.

Sample provided for review

Ratings Key:
(A+) – 98-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 94-97/Outstanding
(A-) – 90-93/Excellent
(B+) – 86-89/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail

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 2013 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

Wine of the Week: 2011 Navarro Vineyards Edelzwicker

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 2011 Navarro Vineyards Edelzwicker

The Winery

Navarro Vineyards is a family-owned winery that has been growing growing grapes, making wine and producing non-alcoholic grape juices in the Anderson Valley since 1974. Anderson Valley’s is best known for producing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Alsatian varietals (Riesling, Gewurztraminer,  and Pinot Gris)

I discovered Navarro Vineyards during a “drive-by” on our way to the Mendocino Crab Festival a few years ago. It’s been a favorite in Anderson Valley ever since because of its diverse selections of wine (tastings are free), and reasonable prices for very good to outstanding wines. Their cozy tasting room overlooks their vineyards,and it’s great spot for a picnic (they have very nice deli case with a wonderful selection of cheese, and other simple picnic supplies)  Navarro Vineyards produces about 40,000 cases of wine a year, most of which is sold directly at the winery.

The Wine

The name “Edelzwicker” is two German words mashed together…Edel (which means “noble” Alsatian wine grape varieties of Gewürztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Gris and Riesling), and  ”Zwicker” (blend) – thus it means ”noble blend”.  In practice the term Edelzwicker is often used to designate any blended wines of AOC Alsace white grape varieties.

.Here’s what Navarro Vineyards says about the wine…

Today, Edelzwicker is only a fanciful name without any current AOC status, but Navarro’s 2011 Edelzwicker goes back to the 17th century parameters. It is truly noble, containing 42% Riesling, 33% Gewürztraminer and 25% Pinot Gris.

The San Francisco Chronicle listed the 2011 Edelzwicker as a Top Value from a Top Winery.

Wine of the Week; 2011 Navarro Vineyards Edelzwicker

Wine of the Week; 2011 Navarro Vineyards Edelzwicker

My tasting notes follow:

Pale yellow green color with stone-fruit and tropical fruit aromas. On the palate, it’s light-bodied and off-dry with peach, apricot, and mineral flavors.

Rating: Recommended. This is a well-made, but fun wine! Perfect for picnics too!

Pair with:  My favorite pairing for this wine is my spicy Seafood Gumbo (see link below for the recipe), but it’s also wonderful with Thai food, lighter picnic fare, and fresh oysters. And with the wine and food pairing tenet “What grows together, goes together” in mind, try with regional Alsatian dishes like sauerkraut, flammekueche, kugelhopf, or sausages.  

The Wine Geek Stuff:

  • Alcohol: 12.4%
  • Closure: Cork
  • AVA: > CaliforniaNorth Coast> Mendocino County
  • Grape Varieties: 42% Riesling, 33% Gewürztraminer and 25% Pinot Gris.
  • Cooperage: Stainless Steel
  • Retail: $14
  • Cases produced: Unknown
  • Drink: now – 2015

Related posts you might enjoy:

Seafood Gumbo and Wine Pairings For Soul Warming #SundaySupper

 

 

Wine of the Week: 2005 Goldeneye Pinot Noir Anderson Valley

My Wine Of The Week for November 3rd-9th is the 2005 Goldeneye Pinot Noir Anderson Valley.

The Winery

Goldeneye winery in the was founded in 1996 by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn of Duckhorn Vineyards, producers of one of Napa Valley’s most iconic Merlots.  The winery is located in Philo, which is located in the Anderson Valley in western Mendocino County.  Essentially, their vision for Goldeneye is to make terroir driven wines equal in stature to their Merlot.

“At Goldeneye, in the heart of Anderson Valley, we focus on elegant Pinot Noirs and small production wines from the extensive palette of flavors offered by our estate vineyards”

While focused on Pinot Noir, they also produce a Vin Gris of Pinot NoirGewürztraminer, and Pinot Gris.

For a vineyard perspective, Goldeneye has more than 200 acres of estate vineyard planted to Pinot Noir, with more than 20 distinctive clones. For a complete profile, click here

If a  winery being ecologically sensitive is important to you, Goldeneye is one of a handful of California wineries that has earned the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council®.

My wife and I discovered Goldeneye on our return trip from the Mendocino Crab Festival several years ago.  We saw this gorgeous property and decided to drop-in.  I’m glad we did. We had one of the best tasting experience we’ve had a Goldeneye.  It’s a sit-down tasting in a very tastefully decorated elegant living room with a stunningly beautiful view of their patio, vineyards and Redwood trees.

 The Wine

My wife and I have been holding onto this bottle of wine for nearly 4 years!  During our tasting we discovered that this was one of the wines (along with the 2007 Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc) served at President Obama’s 2009 Inauguration lunch (click here for menu).  We purchased a magnum (our first) with the intent of opening it on  Election Night 2012.  With that in mind, I tucked into the back of the wine fridge (out of sight…out of mind!)

2005 Goldeneye Pinot Noir

On Election night we invited friends by to share the wine and catch some must-see TV – the election results. I must confess, I was a bit concerned that the bottle may have been corked, or the wine might be getting on in age (according to Cellartracker, a crowd sourced wine review and cellar tracking tool, the drinking window is 2008-2012) I’m pleased to report the wine is drinking beautifully!

My tasting notes follow:…

Medium garnet color with damp earth sweet cherry, and spice aromas. . On the palate it’s full-bodied, fresh and silky smooth with ripe cherry, hints of cranberry, spice and raspberry. Long finish. – 90pts

We enjoyed the wine (and the election results) immensely!

The Wine Geek Stuff:

Alcohol: 15.2% alcohol.

Closure: Cork

AVA: >CaliforniaNorth CoastAnderson Valley

Varietal(s): Pinot Noir

Cooperage: 16 mos. in oak, 75% new; 1 yr in bottle

Retail: $112 (1.5L)

Cases produced: Unknown

 

 Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond, Facebook, or Pinterest

 

Wine Of The Week: 2009 Copain Syrah Les Voisins

My Wine Of The Week for October 13 – October 19 is the 2009 Copain Syrah Les Voisins.

The Winery

Copain Winery was founded by winemaker Wells Guthrie in 1999.  The winery sits atop a hillside with an astounding view of the Russian River Valley.  As I looked out over the valley on gorgeous Indian summer day, I was struck with a sense of tranquility I can still vividly recall!

View of the Russian River Valley from Copain Winery

View of the Russian River Valley from Copain Winery

According to the Copain website…

Wells Guthrie discovered early on that his taste in wine gravitated toward Europe in general and France’s Rhône Valley in particular. So much so, he picked up and moved with his new bride to the region to learn from the best. For two years, Wells apprenticed for esteemed winemaker and living legend Michel Chapoutier in France’s Rhone Valley. During that time, Wells was deeply inspired by the traditions and practices of French winemaking, not to mention the European attitude that wine is an essential part of life.

Mr Guthrie started the winery with an old friend, and named it Copain, which means ‘friend” in French.  Copain is focused on Chardonnay, Pinot Noir,and Syrah.  They also produce a Rose, and an interesting, food friendly and outstanding wine named “P2″ which is a 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. They offer three lines of wines, the entry-level “Tous Ensembles”, mid-level “Les Voisins”, and their top of the line “Single Vineyard” Wines.

Their beautiful tasting room, located in Healdsburg, is open to the public Thursday through Saturday from 10:30 AM to 4 PM, and by appointment only Sunday through Wednesday. There is a $15 tasting fee, which is waived with the purchase of wine.  They also offer a seasonal “Picnic Pairing” tasting option, where you taste three wines chosen by Copain to pair with a picnic lunch from Chloe’s French Cafe for $35.

The Wine

I picked up this wine a few weeks back when my wife and I went to Sonoma to attend the Russian River Jazz and Blues Festival.  We drove up on a Friday, and visited several wineries.  Copain was easily the winery of the day!

This wine is a blend of grapes from 3 neighboring vineyards in the cool-climate Yorkville Highlands AVA in Mendocino County.  The vineyards are planted on a rocky hillsides which rise from 600 to 2500 feet elevation. Guthrie uses whole cluster fermentation for 30% of the wine and does not use new wood for ageing.

2009 Copain Syrah Les Voisins

2009 Copain Syrah Les Voisins

We picked up several bottles of wine when we visited. I’m a sucker for cool-climate Syrah, but all the wines we tasted were elegant and well-balanced. I highly recommend the winery…and next time we go, we’re going to have that picnic tasting!

My tasting notes follow:

Opaque black-red color with aromatic mixed berry, and floral aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, well-balanced and elegant with fresh acidity and black cherry, raspberry, and mineral flavors. Medium-long finish! – 91pts

 

Highly recommended!  This is a world-class Syrah for $36!

The Wine Geek Stuff:

Alcohol: 13.9% alcohol.

Closure: Cork.

AVA: >CaliforniaNorth Coast>Yorkville Highlands

Varietal(s): 100% Syrah

Cooperage: Neutral Oak

Retail: $36

Cases produced: Unknown

 

T.G.I.F. Champagne And The Like…Piper Sonoma Brut

This week’s sparkler is from Piper Sonoma.  I’m not sure why I haven’t tried this wine before, but it’s the only Northern California sparkling wine producer whose bubbly I’ve not had the pleasure of trying.

Piper Sonoma was founded in 1980 by the Piper-Heidseick Champagne house.  This brand seems to be lagging behind other California sparking wine houses established by French Champagne houses like Chandon, Mumm,  Taittinger and Roederer.  It’s exchanged hands a few times.  Last year it,  along with Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck brands from the Champagne region of France, was sold by  Rémy Cointreau to the Société Européenne de Participations Industrielles, or EPI.  Prior to that, Rémy Cointreau USA sold the winery to J Vineyards & Winery in 1997 and continued to make wine under contract there until 2007.  Then the brand was sold to Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services in Hopland, followed by Rémy brand Bearboat.

This cuvée is a typical blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier that includes 20-25% reserve wines. Between 75-80% of the fruit is from Sonoma with the balance being from Dry Creek, and Carneros.

Piper Sonoma Brut

Where it’s from: California>Sonoma Valley

The grape(s) Chardonnay (60%), Pinot Noir (15%),  and Pinot Meunier (25%)

Production method: Traditional Method 

Alcohol: 13.5

Dosage: Brut

Aging: 18 months on less

 Retail: $18 (I purchased on sale for $12 – it’s frequently on sale at my local Safeway)

My tasting notes follow:

Light yellow straw color with lots of tiny bubbles with toasty biscuit, apple, and hints of floral and citrus aromas. On the palate, it’s between light, medium-bodied, and crisp with a surprisingly creamy mousse and green apple, vanilla, anise and mineral flavors. Medium finish. – 86pts

Pair with: The beauty of sparkling wines is their versatility with food, because of their palate cleansing quality (think scrubbing bubbles;-). This one would be wonderful as an aperitif ,  and with first courses, such lobster rolls, crab cakes, or deviled eggs or salads.

Recommendation: This is a very good sparkler.  I see it as a step up from many of the Korbel sparklers, but sold at a price point just below comparable entry-level sparklers from Mumm, Chandon, Gloria Ferrer, etc.  It’s a “tweener” that offers good value at the sale price of $11.99.

Cheers!

What’s Your Favorite Wine Tasting Region In California?

I recently asked myself…”If you had to limit yourself to one wine-tasting region in California, which would it be?  As I pondered the pros and cons of a few of my favorite wine tasting regions, I realized there were many factors that would influence my decision.  Things such as (in no particular order)…

  • How long does it take to get there?
  • What’s are my favorite styles of wine, and are they done well in with the region?
  • Can I go Sparkling Wine tasting?
  • Top of mind favorite wineries?
  • How’s the food scene? 
  • How’s the traffic?
  • What’s been my experience when I’ve gone tasting there?

 There were more than a few other factors too.  In fact, the more I thought about it, the more challenging it because, if for no other reason there are so many wonderful wine tasting regions in California.

What about you?  Here’s your chance to sound off!  If YOU had to pick one wine-tasting region in California as your favorite, which would it be?  Take the poll below, and/or leave me a comment!  Holler!

Photo courtesy of Melvin Yulo

What say you?


Oh…my final answer?  Sonoma!