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!

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-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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Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramVivino and Delectablefor all things wine. As 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 2016 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

 

 

 

Wines At Our Table; January 31st 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 January 31st 2016

2013 Sato Pinot Gris; Retail – $25  This fascinating wine pours pink tinged orange color. Initial aromas of spice apple gives way to a complex and appealing cherry, spice, wet stone, rose petal, aromas with a hints of earth, menthol and a slightly oxidized note. On the palate, it’s fresh and savory with a wonderful texture, and dusty well-integrated tannins with spiced cherry, a bit of apple flavors with a bit of minerality. Lingering finish with a bit of natural, harmless sediment. Outstanding; 90-91pts

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Cuvée Karatas – Retail $38 – Deep golden-yellow color with aromatic, perfumed floral, spiced citrus, pear nectar, and honey with a hint of wet stone aromas. On the palate it’s show surprising weight. It’s focused, and well structured showing lively acidity and great mouth feel with melon, spiced orange, tangerine, and honey flavors. Long finish. Blend of 60% semillon from vines in the Monte Rosso vineyard that were planted in 1886 and 40% sauvignon blanc from Kick Ranch; 50% new oak. Outstanding; 91-92pts

2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard – $38.50 – Purple/violet color with aromatic aromas. initial aromas that brings to mind truffles gives way to black cherry cobbler, chocolate, with hints of orange rind and strawberries. On the palate it’s round, with a great texture, wonderful acidity and well-integrated tannins with black cherry, blueberry, chocolate flavors with an intensely spicy long finish. 94% Zinfandel/6%Grand Noir Outstanding; 91-92pts

2010 Carlisle Syrah James Berry Vineyard – $40 – Shows beguiling blackberry, baked blueberry, black olive, licorice and, with some time in the glass, violet aromas.  On the palate its elegant,and fresh with an alluring texture with focused blackberry, blueberry compote , and vanilla flavors. If you’re thinking Paso means it’s not cool climate you’d be wrong. The James Berry vineyard is actually quite cool thanks to a considerable marine influence. 15% alcohol. Outstanding; 92-93pts

– Wine of the Week

It’s been a great week for wine in my book when I’ve enjoyed a few wines from Bedrock Wine Co. and Carlisle Winery and Vineyards!  We don’t typically drink this well throughout the week (I rated all the wines as outstanding), but we’ve been laying down Bedrock and Carlisle wines for years.  Now it’s time to start drinking them!.  Besides, I’ve featured the wines more than a few times as my Wine of the Week (“WoW”).

That makes the 2013 Sato Pinot Gris my WoW.  It’s a “natural” prolonged skin contact (3 months) “orange” wine of Pinot Gris. Yoshiaki Sato and his wife Kyoko have quickly made a name for themselves producing some of the most highly talked about and sought after wines in NZ. Yoshi sources only from organically farmed sources. He refuses to use any added yeast, enzymes etc. The wines are not fined or filtered.

This was my first wine classified as “natural”.  Natural wine can be controversial, in part because there is no universal definition of what, exactly, is a “natural” wine.

Wine lingo these days is full of references to “crafting” wines, and expression of place or terroir. It’s seems to be that a natural wine is the purest expression of place possible. I like that!

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I’m a huge fan of “orange” wines and this was one of the best I’ve had.  The fact that it’s a natural wine is a bonus for me.

More About Sato Wines from K&L Wine Merchants:

If there was a boutique producer in New Zealand that resonated with the micro-production, experimental, semi-hipster, natural, “culty” wines that have taken California by storm in the last few years, Sato would be it. Yoshiaki Sato and his wife Kyoko have quickly made a name for themselves producing some of the most highly talked about and sought after wines in NZ. While travelling in NZ last year many other winemakers I met were really quite jealous that I had managed to pry a few cases of each wine away from Yoshi (whose wines have very quickly become highly allocated and available only to mailing list customers). The wines are essentially “natural wines”…The only thing these wines see is a tiny addition of minimal Sulphur pre-bottling. They are pure expressions of place and season. They are made in miniscule quantities (often just a couple barrels – 100 +/- cases). 

Not for the faint hearted….this is almost entirely natural wine with just 10ppm of sulfur (about a tenth of most wines). The fruit is carefully selected and juice stays in contact with the skins for 3 months. The wine is allowed to slowly macerate in a pretty oxidative environment with very gentle pigeage for light extraction.

Here’s a video of Yoshiaki Sato discussing his approach to making “natural” wine…

If you’re looking for a natural wine that doesn’t compromise on structure and flavor, I highly recommend checking out Sato Wines!

The wines are hard to find, but K&L Wine Merchants has a stash (a couple are on sale too – I paid $25 for this wine, but it’s now on sale for $17. Check here.

Have you tried a “natural” wine? What was your favorite wine last week?

Note. All wines were purchased for review unless otherwise indicated

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Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramVivino and Delectablefor all things wine. As 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 2016 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Wines At Our Table; January-17-2016

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 January 17th, 2016

After a bit of a hiatus, I’m happy to be back blogging about the wines we enjoyed over the course of a week.  Life, work and unfortunately a death in the family got in the way for a while.

2014 Dashe Cellars Rosé of Zinfandel-Todd Brothers Ranch – Retail $20; Strawberry red with red berry, rose petal, and peppery spice aromas. On the palate, it’s fresh with very nice weight, especially for a rosé, with strawberry, cherry, spice and a hint of guava flavors and a wonderful minerality. Lingering finish. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-90pts

Pierre Brigandat Champagne Rosé – Retail $30; Strawberry red color with perfumed rose and ripe red berries aromas, and plenty of active tiny bubbles. On the palate it’s juicy, and well structured offering focused cherry, tart strawberry, and raspberry flavors with a subtle, but very appealing minerality and a lingering finish. 100% saignee Pinot Noir Outstanding; 90-91pts

2012 Giornata Gemellaia – Retail $40; Violet color with aromatic cherry, cassis, anise, roast coffee,with hints of violet and dried herb aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, with a velvety texture and well integrated dusty tannins with dark cherry, cassis, a bit of plum, roast coffee, black licorice, and a hint of caramel flavors with an appealing savoriness on the back end. Long finish. 14.3% Blend of 60% Sangiovese, $30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Petit Verdot. – Outstanding; 91-92pts

2012 Domaine Bart Fixin 1er Cru Hervelets – Retail $40; A subtle touch of pencil shavings sets off ripe and relatively elegant notes of black and red cherry, earth, warm spice with pretty floral notes. On the palate it’s medium-bodied and layered with intense mixed red and black cherry, raspberry flavors with ample minerality, and a subtle rustic character wrapped around dusty well-integrated tannins and bright acidity. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-90pts

– Wine of the Week

After spending a week in the Philippines with my wife to attend my mother-in-law’s funeral, I’m happy to be back in good old U-S of A and the wonderful selection of wine we have here!

There was much to like during my first week back.  The Dashe Zinfandel of Rosé is very good and very food friendly as well.  It’s a bottle I took to the Philippines.  I enjoyed it with some grilled chicken there as I taught my twenty-something nephew a little bit about how to taste wine.  He’s way ahead of where I was, in terms of drinking wine, than I was when I was in my twenties! The 2012 Domaine Bart Fixin 1er Cru Hervelets was my first Premier Cru red Burgundy(and a nice value at $40 for Preimier Cru). And it part of an other worldly pairing with a double cream Fromager d’Affinois Truffle cheese! The best deal of the week though was the Brigandat Brut Rosé!  I purchased the wine via Cruzu.com, which is sort of crowd sourced wine buying.

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I found about the deal from fellow food/wine blogging buddy Jeff Burrows of FoodWineClick (check out his website for some great food and wine pairing idea/tips).  It was part of a mixed half-case which I purchased for under $30/bottle! It’s rare you find Champagne this good for under $30!  My WoW is the Giornata Gemellaia. It’s an outstanding Super Tuscan that I picked up on a weekend trip to Paso Roble/Cambria for my wife’s birthday back in November.  I found out about Giornata after reading Jon Bonne’s New California Wine last year.  We stopped in for a fantastic tasting and picked up this bottle and a few others.

About Giornata

From the Giornata website:The journey in creating Giornata started with a dream to create wines from Italian grapes grown in California employing the sensibility and philosophy of Italian winemaking. We work with the same grape vines (clonal material) as the best producers in Italy. The Central Coast of California posseses many of the attributes of the top wine growing regions of Italy. Our winemaking style leans more Italian than Californian in that we favor wines with balance and subtlety rather than intensity and extraction. We pick our grapes at lower sugar levels and handle our must gently in the cellar, thus resulting in wines that belong on the Italian dinner table possesing both ample acidity and tannin. Traveling to Italy on a regular basis, we continue to receive feedback on our efforts while researching Italian winemaking and viticultural methods.

Inspired by Italy - Crafted in California

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The winery is owned by Brian and Stephy Terrizzi. Here’s what Bonné says about the couple…In addition to her vineyard work and his efforts with the Broadside label, Stephy and Brian Terrezzi have taken on the most frustrating of California pursuits: interpreting Italy’s grapes in the New World.

If this wine and the other we tasted are any indication, they’re doing just fine!

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Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramVivino and Delectablefor all things wine. As 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 2016 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Wines At Our Table; Week of November 1st 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.  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 November 1st, 2015.

2011 Stage Left Cellars The ExPat – Retail $24
Inky black red color with blackberry cobbler, and black currant, vanilla, and pepper aromas. On the palate its medium-bodied, and well-structured with vibrant acidity, a wonderful texture and soft well-integrated tannins with blackberry, black cherry, and black raspberry flavors, and a giving finish. Blend of 50% Syrah, 50% Petite Sirah. Good value at $24 Outstanding; 90-91pts

2014 Sandlands Blush – Retail $20
Pretty pink color with strawberry and watermelon aromas On the palate it’s fresh, well-balanced, with an appealing texture with tart strawberry, and cranberry flavors complemented by a nice vein of saline minerality. Very enjoyable. Blend of 66% Cinsault, 33% Grenache. Very Good; 88-89pts

2010 Maison Anselmet Torrette Supèrieur – Italy, Valle d’Aosta, Retail $35
Ruby color with wild rose, mixed black and red fruit, and cinnamon aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, fresh and well-balanced with a wonderful velvety texture and polished tannins with black cherry, plum, pomegranate and a bit of blackberry flavors with an appealing saline minerality and a long spicy finish. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-90pts

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah T ‘n’ S Hudson Vineyard South – Retail $38
Deep dark inky violet color with leather, roast meat, dark fruit, violet and a bit of spice aromas. On the palate it medium-bodied, dense, fresh and harmonious with vibrant blackberries, plum, cassis, black cherry, and vanilla flavors. Long finish. Outstanding; 91-92pts

– Wine of the Week

Years ago, when we first started to lay down bottles of wine, we used to go out and purchase “everyday” wines in the $10-15 range so that we wouldn’t drink the wine were we hoping would get better with time.  That strategy (if you could call it that..I think of it as more a consequence of buying a bit too much wine;-) is paying off now.  Now we’re making a conscious effort to drink those bottles of wines we’ve been holding.

And that’s how we ended up drinking a simply fabulous wine like the 2010 Bedrock T n S Vineyard South Syrah on a weeknight. I love this wine, it’s got that little bit of “weirdness” I appreciate about Syrah and it was well structured and delicious! Likewise, for the Ex Pat 50/50 Syrah/Petite Syrah blend from  Stage Left Cellars, THE winery to get your Rhone on in “The Town” (aka Oakland, CA)

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But, my Wine of the Week was the 2010 Maison Anselmet Torrette Supèrieur. It was such an intriguing wine. It brought to mind a Beaujolais, but it has its own unique character too.  It’s a great food wine (as virtually all Italian wines seem to be), well-balanced and delicious! If you’re looking to get out of you red wine rut, I highly recommend you check out this wine!

There seems to be no end to the number of grape varieties in Italy. And since I joined the Italian Food, Wine and Travel group of bloggers (#ItalianFWT), I’ve tasted quite a few indigenous grape varieties. This one is a blend of grape indigenous to the Aosta Valley –Petit Rouge, Fumin, Mayolet, and Cornalin.  

The Aosta Valley is the smallest wine region in Italy.  It sits in the northeast corner of Italy bordered by both France and Switzerland. I’ll be blogging my more detail about both the region, the wine and fantastic food pairing  this Saturday – November 7th.  I hope you’ll check back then for more information.

More about Maison Anselmet

From the winery;

The history of Maison Anselmet is not related to the birth of the company in 2001, but a testimony handed down by generations of men who have linked their lives to the land and its fruits: it’s story of passion, hard work, work is life of Anselmet.
The first track of a certain Anselmet winemaker you in 1585 through a contract to purchase a vineyard in the village of Villeneuve, since then the passion of making wine is handed down from generation to generation, until the end of the seventies.
In 1978 Renato Anselmet, Giorgio’s father, decided to continue the family tradition, but to start producing wine not only for their own consumption, thus laying the groundwork for what would become in a few years one of the most important and appreciated reality vine-wine in the Aosta Valley: Maison Anselmet.

Anselmet Photo

Year after year, have been selected varieties, expand the area of vineyards and increased production in terms of quantity and quality. They have been introduced technical and technological innovations, which have made ​​courageous choices turned a small company into a benchmark of viticulture, not only the Aosta Valley.

From 70 bottles bottled by Renato in 1978 with labels made ​​by the same hands that worked the vineyard, Giorgio exceeds, in 2008, 70,000 bottles. The next goal, ambitious but attainable will soon be 1,000 hectoliters, after 90,000 bottles of 2011.  

The vineyards of Maison Anselmet are definitely not repetitive: they are different in size from 1,000 to 14,000 square meters, different location from St. Pierre in Chambave, different altitude from 600 to 900 m above sea level, different constitution of the soil, different grape varieties planted . For the House, this fragmentation of the territory is both joy (in the results) and pain (machining)! Each area transmits the grapes scents, flavors, colors and special characteristic, but how much work and effort, how much extra care! Numerous vineyards are planted for decades and do not allow a machining, everything must be done by hand. Many other, more recent, are terraced with stone walls to dry and require frequent maintenance. This area offers a lot of hard and difficult, who knows, understands and respects it, as many satisfactions.

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Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramVivino and Delectablefor all things wine. As 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 October 18th 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.  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 October 18th 2015.

2008 L’Aventure Optimus – Paso Robles Retail $50
Inky purple color with an exuberant perfume that brings to mind blackberry, kirsch, violets, graphite and a bit of smoked spice aromas. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, and harmonious with lively acidity, supple well-integrated tannins, and a silky texture. It shows enticing black cherry, blackberry , plum, cassis, dark roast coffee, bittersweet chocolate flavors, and an appealing minerality with a long satisfying finish. A flat-out well structured and delicious wine! 15.5% alcohol.  (92 pts.)

2012 Tablas Creek Vermentino – Paso Robles Retail $27
Pale yellow color with beeswax, lemon,lime peel, wet stone and a bit of white flower aromas. In the palate it’s medium-bodied, and well-balanced with vibrant acidity and apricot, Apple, citrus flavors and an appealing minerality. Lingering finish. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-90pts

2013 Cécile Chassagne Gigondas – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Gigondas Retail $19.99
Pale purple garnet color with appealing savory black and red fruit aromas, subtle spice, and floral aromas with a nuanced appealing mineral note. On the palate it’s medium-bodied with tart black cherry, black currant, blackberry, and spice flavors framed by well-integrated dusty tannins and an appealing minerality. Lingering finish. Definitely a food wine, as opposed to a cocktail wine. 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre 13.5% alcohol. Very good QPR at $20 Very Good to Outstanding; 89-90pts

2012 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras La Cantarelle – Southern Rhône, Vacqueyras Retail $19.99
Bright crimson color with roast meat, black and red fruit, spice and a subtle floral, and mineral aromas. On the palate it’s full-bodied, and fresh with a supple texture and silky tannins with black cherry, red currant, licorice, and spice flavors with underlying earthiness, and a very giving spicy finish. 15% alcohol Very Good to Outstanding; 89-90pts

– Wine of the Week

It was a very good week for wine in the Redmond household!  I did a post last weekend for the French #Winophiles group I’m a part of entitled A Taste of Gigondas and Vacqueyras.  I found a couple of under $20 gems from each of these lesser known (at least when you compare to Chateauneuf-du-Pape) regions.  As always it’s a treat for me to taste wines from new to me wine regions.  I preferred to the Gigondas over the Vacqueyras.  It’s a wine I would definitely buy again.  Speaking of buying a wine again. The Tablas Creek Vermentino is a favorite.  I’ve enjoyed it with a few different foods, but it’s my favorite wine to have with Pesto. It was a perfect pairing with a Pasta Salmon Pesto my wife made.

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My Wine of the Week (“WOW”) is the 2008 L’Aventure Optimus. It’s a blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Syrah, 24 % Petit Verdot  2008 was vintage from 100% Estate fruit.  It was aged in 14 months in 90% new French oak and 10% 1-year-old French oak with malolactic fermentation in barrel No fining, no filtering.

It’s a full-bodied wine, harmonious and delicious wine with a refined character. Highly recommended. 

We picked up this wine on a visit to Paso Robles four years ago. That’s when I first heard the term “Paso Blend” which is a blend of Bordeaux and Rhone grape varieties.

A few things have changed since we visited four years ago. L’Aventure is in the process of building a brand new tasting room and underground caves. What hasn’t changed is that L’Aventure is making some great wines!

I think it’s time for another visit!

More about L’Aventure

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Stephan Asseo, owner and winemaker at L’Aventure Winery, began making wine in 1982, following his education at L’Ecole Oenologique de Macon, Burgundy, France. In that same year, Stephan established Domaine de Courteillac in Bordeaux. He and his family later purchased Chateau Fleur Cardinal and Chateau Robin in the Cotes de Castillion, Bordeaux. Over the next 15 years, Stephan developed into an artisan winemaker of fastidious craftsmanship and gained a reputation as a maverick vigneron. However, his true desire was to be more innovative than AOC law would allow. In 1996, this led him on  a quest for a great terroir, where he could pursue his ideal as a winemaker. After searching for over a year among the world’s great wine fields, ranging from South Africa to Lebanon, Argentina to Napa, Stephan found Paso Robles. Stephan immediately “fell in love” with the unique terroir of west side Paso Robles. The rolling topography of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range, the deep calcareous soils, and the maritime influences of the renowned Templeton Gap all combine to produce a world class wine country, with the potential to craft some of the world’s greatest blends. It is here, in Paso Robles, that Stephan began his adventure, “L’Aventure”.

The 127 acre estate is located on the west side of Paso Robles. It is planted to Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Roussanne, Viognier, and Grenache Blanc.

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Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramVivino and Delectablefor all things wine. As 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 October 11th 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.  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 October 11th 2015.

2012 JC Cellars Smoke & Mirrors – California Retail $25
Violet color with a bit hot, mixed red and black fruit liqueur, red licorice,spice and a bit of garrigue aromas. On the palate it full-bodied with a lush texture and good acidity with cherry, blackberry, plum,vanilla and spice flavors. Lingering finish 14.9% Blend of Zin, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Petite Sirah, Cab, and Alicante Bouschet. Very Good; 88-89pts

2014 Rarecat Grenache Brigitte – Napa Valley, St. Helena Retail $24
Pretty pink-salmon color with aromatic ruby grapefruit, raspberry, watermelon, and orange blossom aromas. On the palate, it’s very fresh, dry, well structured with bright red fruit, and citrus flavors with an alluring minerality.  Outstanding; 90-91pts

2011 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley – Retail $24 
Bright purple color with appealing black cherry, red currant, spice aromas enhanced by pretty floral note. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, well structured and fresh with black cherry, raspberry, spice, and a hint of mocha flavors. Soft well-integrated tannins. Lingering sweet finish. 89% Zinfandel/11% Petite Sirah Very Good; 88-89pts

2013 Cline Cellars – California, Sonoma County Retail $15
Gold color with grapefruit, lime, and white peach aromas. On the palate it medium-bodied with good acidity, and generous white peach, grapefruit, lime and a hint of spice flavors. Easy and tasty. Very Good; 86-88pts

– Wine of the Week

We kept it local this week. All the wines were enjoyed were from California and came from wineries located in either Napa or Sonoma.  It reminds me how blessed we are to live so close to not only Napa, Sonoma, Livermore, and the Santa Cruz Mountain wine regions, but also some world-class Urban wineries!

As I consider which wine is my Wine of the Week (“WOW”), there’s really no contest this week.  The 2014 RARECAT Grenache Brigitte is my WOW.  It checks all the boxes for a WOW. It’s a memorable wine because it’s so well structured, food friendly and delicious.   It’s new and different in that I can’t recall having a rosé from any Napa Valley producer, I enjoyed nearly as much.  It offers very good QPR (especially these days when it seems become more and more of a challenge to find high quality rosé  for $20 or less). And it’s from a producer you definitely need to check out (see more below).

RARECAT Rosé has been created to be a rosé with a pedigree, a lyrical expression of Grenache with a touch of Viognier.

On the food pairing front, we enjoyed this wine with my wife’s Grilled Paella Mixta (a fabulous pairing!). 

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More About Rarecat Wines

Rarecat Wines was founded by Sharon Kazan Harris with the release of  the 2009 Rarecat Lionheart Sauvignon Blanc. I was introduced to Sharon and Rarecat, when my wife and I attended the 2015 Wine-A-Pawlooza, a fund-raiser for the Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch. The event featured plenty of big name cult wines, yet Rarecat’s 2010 Rarecat Cabernet Sauvignon Old Toll Hillside Vineyard stood out as the most memorable wine for me.

My wife and I had a chance to visit and taste with Sharon (I’ll cover that in more detail another time). She’s a smart, funny, driven,  down to earth, and multi-talented individual with a fascinating story (see more here)

In addition to the rosé, and the aforementioned Cabernet Sauvignon from their estate Old Toll Hillside Vineyard, Rarecat produces another Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah. I had a chance to try both their single vineyard Charles Heintz Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley, and the 2012 Syrah. I thought both were harmonious and outstanding wines.  

Joel Aiken, an internationally recognized winemaker with a 30-year history of producing award-winning Napa Valley wine is the winemaker for RARECAT

The winery is not open to the public. By appointment Sharon welcomes guests into her home, where winery business takes place in a rehab’d warehouse, known as the  “grey barn”. For more information visit: www.rarecatwines.com

Note. All wines were purchased for review unless otherwise indicated

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Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramVivino and Delectablefor all things wine. As 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 October 4th 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.  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 October 4th 2015.

2010 Sandlands Syrah Amador County – Sierra Foothills, Amador County Retail $20
Inky violet color with kirsch, red currant, white pepper and a hint of olive tapenade aromas. On the palate it’s light bodied and fresh with mouth drying tannins that soften a bit with air. It shows cherry, red currant flavors wit a bit of stony minerality. Lingering finish. I think it needs food (not a bad thing) Very Good; 86-88pts

2010 Antonelli San Marco Contrario Umbria IGT – Italy, Umbria, Retail – $20
Translucent violet color with a very appealing mixed dark berry, plum, tar, aromatic dried herb and a hint of eucalyptus aromas. On the palate, medium-bodied, very persistent, focused and very fresh with blackberry, black cherry, plum and firm, well-integrated tannins with a long sweet finish. 14% alcohol. Very Good; 86-88pts

2012 Under The Wire Zinfandel Sparkling Bedrock Vineyard – California, Sonoma Valley Retail $45
Pretty coral pink color with active tiny bubbles. On the nose it shows very appealing fresh bread dough, strawberry, red currant, creamy citrus and a bit of chalk aromas. On the palate, the mousse starts about a bit aggressive on the attack, but dissolves into an appealing strawberry creme fraiche like texture, with a hint of tannins. It’s fresh with strawberry, red currant, creamy citrus, and mineral flavors, and a lingering finish. The 2012 vintage of the Bedrock Zinfandel will be in the inaugural release and was disgorged in April 2014 with 2 grams of dosage. Different and very enjoyable – It brings to mind Lambrusco.  Wish I had more Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts

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Wine of the Week – Lately I’ve been inundated (at least for me) with sample wine.  I’m far behind where I’d like to be, in terms of sampling and posting about the wines I’ve received. As a result I’ve been drinking more sample bottles (I post about those separately), and fewer bottles from my own stash. Thus only 3 wines this week.

I made them count though.  The Sandlands Syrah is the personal project of Tegan and Olivia Passalacqua (Tegan is also the winemaker for Turley). The wine is a bit of a surprise, taste and body wise if you only consider the source of the fruit – the Sierra Foothills. One would normally expect a fuller-bodied style of Syrah, but this one is decidedly cool climate syrah in nature.  Great value too at $20. The Antonelli San Marco Contrario is made of a new-to-me grape Sagrantino, which is native to the Umbria region. Delicious stuff.  It’s wine I blogged about for the #ItalianFWT group I’m a part of (read the details here) Having the wine has certainly piqued by curiosity about the more traditional Sagrantino di Montefalco.  It paired wonderfully with a grilled rib-eye steak.  My Wine of the Week (“WOW”) is the 2012 Under The Wire Zinfandel Sparkling Bedrock Vineyard. Under The Wire is a collaboration between Chris Cottrell and Morgan Twain Peterson. Inspired by grower Champagne, essentially they’re producing vintage, single-vineyard sparking wines.  This is one of the first two wines they released. It’s produced from fruit sourced from Bedrock Vineyard. Here’s what Under The Wire says about the vineyard…

Originally planted in 1854 by Generals William “Tecumseh” Sherman and General “Fightin’ Joe” Hooker, Bedrock has grown grapes for over 150 years. In all likelihood, at some point in Bedrock’s long history, sparkling wine was made from the vineyard’s grapes. Out of the 24 old vine varieties grown at Bedrock Vineyard today we chose to use Zinfandel. It is a grape that is not only decidedly Californian but also surprisingly well-built for sparkling wine. Bedrock Vineyard’s ancient Zinfandel tends towards both great flavor development at low sugars and strong natural acidity, both of which are fundamental to great sparkling wine. The vines are head trained, grown in rock studded red Tuscan loam soils, and farmed sustainably.

Here’s what I say about the wine…It’s among the most memorable wines I’ve had this year.  It’s not Champagne.  But it’s not intended to me. It’s a sparkling wine of place. A magical place. Well done and highly recommend.

More about Under The Wire

From the winery…Under the Wire is a project grown from a mutual friendship and love for wines with bubbles. Our simple, yet unique premise is to make California sparkling wines based on an individual vineyard in an individual year. Inspired in part by the grower Champagne movement we aim to prove that California can produce unique, delicious and terroir-driven sparkling wine.

Note. All wines were purchased for review unless otherwise indicated

_________________________________________________________________________

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramVivino and Delectablefor all things wine. As 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. Copyright2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Wines At Our Table; Week of September 20th, 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.  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 September 20th, 2015

2013 Zorzal Pinot Noir Terroir Unico – Retail $15
Light ruby color with expressive red fruit, dried rose, and spice aromas. On the palate, it’s light-bodied, refreshing and pure with a hint of polished tannins. It shows cherry, raspberry and kiss of blood orange flavors with subtle shades of spice, and minerality with a savory undertone. The wine was 20-30% whole-cluster fermented, and raised in concrete This a very food friendly wine that offers tremendous value. Dare I say it’s the best $15 Pinot Noir I’ve ever had? Very Good; 86-88pts

2014 Dashe Cellars Grenache Les Enfants Terribles – Retail $24
Ruby color with appealing strawberry cream, sour cherry jolly rancher aromas with light spice, and mineral notes. On the palate, it’s light-bodied with vibrant acidity, a juicy texture underscored a some dusty tannins with strawberry, sour cherry, plum, spice and a bit of earthiness on the finish. Medium plus finish. A wonderful Beaujolais style wine. Fermented with the native yeasts on the grapes; aged in large French oak barrels; unfined; and bottled with low SO2 levelsVery Good; 86-88pts

Franck Bonville Champagne Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Grand Cru – Retail $40
Pale yellow-green color with abundant tiny bubbles and pretty white flower, green apple, brioche, citrus, chalk, and a hint of sweet spice aromas. On the palate, it’s light-bodied and very dry with a delicate mousse, and a soft, fresh lemony with a bit of lime acidity that’s intermingled with a bit a salinity and with golden apple, pear and lemon rind flavors. Long finish. Very good QPR for a Champagne with 5 years of aging on the lees! Dosed at 2.5 g/L Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts

Domaine Allimant-Laugner Crémant d’Alsace Rosé – Retail $19
Copper salmon color with a moderately active tiny bead and smallish bubbles with expressive melon, strawberry, and orange cream aromas. On the palate, it’s round with a surprisingly creamy mousse, ample fruit , and racy acidity with strawberry, orange cream, melon, white peach and mineral flavors. Medium finish. 100% Pinot Noir Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts

Wines At Our Table; Week of September 20th, 2015

Wine of the Week:   This week, My Wine of the Week (“WOW”) competition came down to two bottles of wine that offer tremendous value, the 2013 Zorzal Pinot Noir Terroir Unico, and the Domaine Allimant-Laugner Crémant d’Alsace Rosé. But before I get to those, I must mention the Dashe Cellars Les Enfants Grenache.  It’s a wine that reminds me of a very good Cru Beaujolais, and is one my favorite chillable red wines.  As far as the Franck Bonville Champagne Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Grand Cru goes it’s one of the best low dosage sparkling wines I’ve had.  And it offers very good value.  Now for the two contenders. The Zorzal Pinot Noir actually reminds me of many of my favorites tasted at In Pursuit of Balance early this year.  While certainly not as complex as those, it’s very well balanced.  It’s easily my favorite under $20 Pinot!  I very highly recommend it if you prefer a  “Burgundian-style” Pinot Noir.   Ultimately though, I’m a bubble-head and my WoW is the Domaine Allimant-Laugner Crémant d’Alsace Rosé. I was recently asked a question that winos seem to like to ask one another; “If you were stranded on an island for 5 years and could only drink one wine, what would it be?” or something along those lines  My answer is always the same Rosé Champagne! 

And this wine reminds me so much of an outstanding Rosé Champagne (it lacks the comparable minerality), except it’s a fraction of the price.  This is a bottle I’ll be buying again and again! Again very highly recommended!

Wines At Our Table; Week of September 20th, 2015

Image courtesy of Domaine Allimant-Laugner

More about Domaine from The Wines of Alsace:

With the famous Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle overlooking the vineyards of Domaine Allimant-Laugner, the estate encompasses 30 acres spread over 35 different parcels along the foothills of the Vosges Mountains.

The domaine was created by joining the Allimant and Laugner families, who have produced wine in the village of Orschwiller since the 18th century. Today, it is run by 10th-generation winemaker Hubert Laugner, along with his wife and three children.

Allimant-Laugner produces a reserve range from Alsace’s seven major grape varieties, including Grand Cru wines from the Praelatenberg vineyard and late-harvest Vendanges Tardives and Sélection des Grains Nobles sweet wines. But the winery is most well-known for its two traditional method Crémants d’Alsace— a Brut made from a blend of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Riesling and a 100% Pinot Noir Rosé.

All of the wines are marked by freshness and racy acidity, thanks to the winery’s 100% use of stainless steel tanks for vinification. The Grand Cru Rieslings are complex, powerful and long-lived, and the ready-to-drink Crémants are dry and elegant with layers of fresh fruit and bright mineral notes.

Find Domaine Allimant-Laugner wines on Wine-searcher.com.

Follow my reviews on Vivino and Delectable

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. 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; September 6th, 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.  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 September 6th, 2015

2011 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel Old Vines Todd Brothers Ranch – Retail $35
Ruby color with appealing brambly dark cherry, blackberry, candied strawberry, cassis, and rose aromas. On the palate it show an elegant harmonious character with well integrated fine tannins and mouth-watering acidity with fresh cherry, tart strawberry,blackberry, cassis and spice flavors and a lingering spicy finish. 14.5% Outstanding; 90-91pts

2014 Two Shepherds Grenache Rosé Ceja Farms – Retail $22
Cranberry color with red apple, strawberry, and red grapefruit aromas that suggest a savory character. On the palate it’s light-bodied, and well-balanced with vibrant acidity, and tart strawberry, raspberry, a hint of cranberry, and spice flavors and a lingering, mouth-watering finish. 12.1% alcohol The grapes bespoke for Rose were picked at 21 brix, were then pressed into both neutral French barrel and stainless steel, and fermented with native yeast. Atypical for rosé, the wine went through malolactic fermentation (ML), allowing it to be bottled, both unfined and unfiltered, the latter also extremely rare for rosé. imminently quaffable, yet contemplative. Killer stuff! Outstanding; 90-91pts

2010 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Napa Valley – Retail $57
Garnet color with aromatic, appealing black cherry, plum, cassis, dark chocolate, and leather aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, concentrated, with well-integrated dusty tannins and a plush texture with black cherry, cassis, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla and a touch of oak flavors. Long finish. Drinking well! 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot Outstanding; 90-91pts

2014 François Chidaine Touraine Rosé – Retail $15
Pretty pink color with fresh red fruits ands hint of citrus rind aromas on the palate its medium-bodied, and fresh with strawberry, cherry, and a hint of citrus flavors. Pinot Noir and Groulleau Very Good; 87-88pts

2013 Hatzidakis Winery Assyrtiko Santorini – Retail $18
Pale green color with gold highlights and apple, lemon zest, chalk aromas with a dusty note. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied with zesty acidity. It shows apple, lemon, white peach, and mineral flavors with a dusty grip and a lemony mineral driven finish.Very Good; 86-88pts

Wines At Our Table; September 6th 2015

Wine of the Week:   I always consider it an especially good week in wine if I have the opportunity to “taste the world”.  Even, though vast majority of our wines are from California (mostly because I tend to prefer to “try before I buy – I also make a conscious effort to drink local), I still find myself very curious about, and wanting to taste wines from around the world.  If I had to do it over again, I’d definitely diversify my cellar more.

For example, I tried a two delightful wines – a Rosé from the Loire Valley in France, and an Assyrtiko driven blend from the Greek island of Santorini.  The 2014 François Chidaine Touraine Rosé was very good, and offers great value for $15. Chidaine has been a favorite producer in the past, and definitely one whose wines, in general terms, I’d recommend.  The 2013 Hatzidakis Winery Assyrtiko is a wine I’m featuring for a Greek themed wine and food posting for #winePW this week.  It was fantastic with Grilled Branzini with Ladolemono!

Heading back to Cali, the Dashe Todd Brothers Old Vines Zinfandel is a perennial favorite Zinfandel.  And, the Joseph Phelps Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, which I served to friends for #CabernetDay last week was among the favorites of our group.  But my WoW is the 2014 Two Shepherds Grenache Rosé Ceja Farms.  Two Shepherds is the labor of passion of William Allen (a.k.a. “Sonoma William”), a well-known Rhône enthusiast and former wine writer, blogger. He was a garagiste for years before moving into commercial production in 2010. 

I used to follow William when I started this blog in 2010. His was one of the blogs I “looked up” to.  Not only do we share a passion for Rhone wine, we also share a passion for Rosé Each year I look forward to his Rosé. They’re always well crafted, and especially food friendly!  If you’re a fan of Rosé or Rhone-inspired wines crafted with an Old World aesthetic, I enthusiastically recommend Two Shepherds!

More About Two Shepherds

From the winery:

“Two Shepherds” does not refer to two individuals, instead its a literal and figurative representation of two focal points:

“Shepherd of the Palate” represents  winemaker William Allen’s desire as a wine enthusiast and blogger to “shepherd” palates back to old world style wines, as well as a name suggested by local Sonoma County friends for his work and leadership to Sonoma County and Rhone wines. Wiliam’s palate and recommendations are widely followed on Social media, and he is regularly helping introduce wine enthusiasts to other wineries.

“Shepherd of the Grape” represents William’s wine making philosophy of minimal intervention and manipulation.  As a winemaker his job is to protect the grapes from harm, such as contamination, but gently guide them from grapevine to barrel to bottle, so that you can experience them as an authentic representation of the grape variety and each years unique vintage.

His wines have been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, Press Democrat, Wine & Spirits Magazine, 7×7 Magazine, Edible, Terroirist, Vinography, and numerous online publications.  Two Shepherds was named as a Top Ten Hot Brand by Wine Business Monthly in 2012. Recently, Two Shepherds was one of the 125 wineries profiled in Jon Bonné’s new book, “The New California Wine: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution in Taste.”

Follow my reviews on Vivino and Delectable

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. 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; August 30th, 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.  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 August 30th, 2015.

2013 Broc Cellars Mourvedre Martian Vineyard – Retail $27
Purple-cranberry color with pleasing blueberry, cola, and a bit of smoked meat aromas. On the palate, it’s light-bodied, and persistent with harmonious fruit, dusty soft tannins and acidity. It shows blueberry, cola, black cherry, charred meat and a bit of spice flavors. Lingering finish. A delicious well crafted wine. 12% alcohol Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts

2010 Carlisle Petite Sirah Dry Creek Valley – Retail $38
Opaque violet black color with mixed blackberry and blueberry compote aromas intermingles earth, iron and white pepper aromas. On the palate it’s shows an opulent, harmonious character with a supple texture, good acidity, and soft well-integrated tannins with concentrated blueberry, blackberry, vanilla and a hint of sweet spice flavors. Long finish. 15.2 alcohol. Delicious stuff! Outstanding; 92-95 pts

2007 Iron Horse Vineyards Brut Rosé – Retail $50
Strawberry color with a persistent bead of tiny bubbles and yeasty tart red fruit, dried rose and a hint of mineral aromas. On the palate it shows a moderately creamy mousse with intense cherry, raspberry blood orange flavors. 63% Pinot Noir 37% Chardonnay. 13.5% alcohol Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts

2010 Dashe Cellars Zinfandel Florence Vineyard – Retail $38
Opaque garnet color with complex and very appealing kirsch, lavender spice, and brambly aromas. On the palate, it’s elegant, and round with mouth watering acidity, and a smooth silky texture with black raspberry, black cherry, orange rind, and sweet spice flavors. Medium long finish. 14.1% abv Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts

2014 J. Rochioli Pinot Noir Rosé – Retail $28
Vivid pink red color with strawberry, rose petal, and a bit of stonefruit aromas complemented by a savory herbal note. On the palate, it’s between light and medium-bodied, and fresh with a robust, harmonious character with delicious strawberry, cherry and a bit of spice flavors and a lingering finish. A delightful rose! Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91pts

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Wine of the Week:  It turned out to be a Sonoma County kind of week on the wine tasting front (completely unplanned).  All the wines, with one exception, were from Dry Creek Valley or the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County! 

Thinking about the wines we enjoyed this past week, I’m a little surprised my highest rated wine the Carlisle Petite Sirah isn’t my Wine of the Week.   I guess it’s because I’ve come to expect outstanding wines from Carlisle. But unless you’re on the list they can be a challenge to procure and they certainly cost more.  The Iron Horse Brut Rose is a winner, but pricey at $50.  I’ve actually have a few Rose Champagne I enjoy as much, if not more that are under $40 (hit me up if you want some recs).  The Rochioli Rose of Pinot Noir was likewise delicious, but pricey.  The Dashe Florence Zinfandel is a perennial favorite Zinfandel – Great fruit, in the hand of a great winemaker that one!  But my wine of the week is the Broc Cellars Mourvedre Martian Vineyard. Broc Cellars is an urban winery located in Berkeley, CA.  I’ve visited a few times, and each time I’ve been more impressed.  The fruit is from Santa Barbara County. And it’s definitely not your typical big bad Mourvedre.  Instead, it’s light-bodied, with an elegant character.

More about Broc Cellars

Broc Cellars, the vision of Chris Brockway, is one of the young, dedicated wineries changing the way wine is made in California. He doesn’t come from a winemaking family. He owns no vineyards. He farms no grapes. What he does do on a very small scale from his urban winery, is carefully source grapes from ancient vineyard sites located in geographic outposts of California to create delicious, naturally made wines that flaunt balance above all else.

Chris doesn’t do anything new in the cellar. In fact, his techniques are a throwback to the way wines have been made for centuries in Europe and in California 30 to 40 years ago before the ‘chemical revolution’ changed the game. A true minimalist in his winemaking, he ferments and ages in a blend of old wood barrels, steel tanks and concrete, and does little beyond crushing the grapes. “The way we make wine, the most important thing we do is decide when to pick the grapes,” he said. “No adjusting, no adding, if we don’t pick at the right time there’s not much we can do.” (Source)

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

Follow my reviews on Vivino and Delectable

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.