Five Year Blogiversary!

Today marks five years since I started sharing my vinous adventures with you here on ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.  What an wonderful and exciting five years it’s been!  I have written 630 posts and tasted thousands of wines.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful folks along  the way including many wonderful people in the wine industry, as well as fellow wine enthusiasts.  Not to mention the many “virtual”  friends who are also writer/bloggers.  While we’ve not met yet in real life we share my passion for great wine and food. I sincerely hope we get a chance to share a glass or three of wine and a meal one day!

5-year-anniversary-e1391461523435

Over these last five years I’ve welcomed many opportunities I’ve had to expand my palate and taste wines from all around the world through private tastings with the Pacific Pointe Wine Club, a multitude of virtual tastings, samples tastings, trade tastings, and other events.

There are many highlights but top of mind for me are:

  • Media trip to Champagne
  • Being included in the The 103 Best Wine Blogs That You Can’t Miss
  • I was a the top of Google search results for “Best Wines To Pair with Paella” until Google changed their algorithm to reward mobile friendly sites a few months ago. It’s hands-down my most popular post.
  • Became a correspondent for the American Winery Guide.

blogiversary2013

A few thanks:

First and foremost to my wife who has supported my passion for wine and writing. She’s has been with me every step of the way. She’s offered some great advice, an occasional kick in the butt.  She’s also been my photographer and food stylist.  Te amo mi corazon!

Also, I owe a debt of gratitude to the incomparable Richard Jennings who has inspired and encouraged me more than he knows.

And of course…Thank you so much to all of my readers!  I love wine and love sharing that passion with you through this blog.  I am humbled that you care to read what I write.

Here’s to another great wine-filled year together!

_________________________________________________________________

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, yoga, hiking, 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! Follow my reviews on Vivino and Delectable

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

Wine of the Week; 2012 Vigneto San Vito – Orsi Pignoletto

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.  This week’s wine is the 2012 Vigneto San Vito – Orsi Pignoletto Colli Bolognesi Classico Vigna del Grotto.

The Winery

Federico Orsi & Carola Orsi Pallavicino founded Orsi – Vigneto San Vito in 2005 with the intent of revitalizing Bolognese wines. They found a site on the hills (200m above sea level) outside of Bologna  in Emilia Romagna.  They tend to 15 hectares of 50-year-old vines, with a focus on grapes and traditions that are indigenous to this area.

Their vineyards are certified organic and biodynamic.  They take that some “slow wine”, minimal intervention approach in the cellar utilizing native yeast, and bottling their wine unfiltered and unfined.  They do so because they seek to elaborate wines indicative of their land and to highlight the region’s unique style.

In addition to this wine, Orsi-San Vito also produces a sparkling Pignoletto, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Grappa

The Wine

This was my first time trying Pignoletto, a Italian white grape variety indigenous Emilia-Romagna, which has has two DOCGs (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita – the highest classification for Italian wines)Albana di Romagna, and Colli Bolognesi Classico Pignoletto.

This wine is from the latter. It is 100 % Pignoletto.  Fermented in large oak cask.  After fermentation, the wine was aged 9 months sur lie with occasional battonage. Aging sur lie imparts some complexity and a wonderful creaminess to the wine.  It was aged in bottle for another 6 months before release.  Bottled unfiltered and unfined.

.13% alcohol; Retail – $22.99

IMG_1451 (1)My tasting notes follow:

Slightly cloudy gold color (unfiltered) with lime zest, honeysuckle,and stone fruit aromas. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, fresh, and very persistent with a wonderfully supple texture. Flavor-wise it shows white peach, lime, honey, and a suggestion of persimmon flavors with a long mineral laced finish. 

Rating: A-; I really enjoyed this wine!  It was a nice change of pace, and a great winter white wine!I  Will buy more! >>Find this wine<<
Pair with: Pasta dishes prepared with fish, or chicken, mushroom risotto or Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Sample purchased for review

Ratings Key

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

Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings. Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

My 2015 #Wine Resolutions

Like so many folks do this time of year, I take time to reflect on the year that was, as well as make a few resolutions.  Given my love of wine, it should come as no surprise that I make wine resolutions.

I opted to not put together a “Top 10” list of wines, but I had quite a few memorable wines, and wine experiences.

At the end of 2013, drinking more Champagne was at the top of my wine resolution list. Little did I know that 2014 would be the “Year of Champagne” for me.  I went on my first media trip; to Champagne in September. I tasted a boat load of exceptional Champagne (including a few vintages of Louis Roederer Cristal, ‘99 Bruno Paillard Champagne Nec Plus Ultra, and various Champagne Jacquesson single vineyard wines), many paired with phenomenal Champagne pairing dinners.  It was the experience of a lifetime (see below for my recaps)

Ironically though, the most memorable wines of 2014 were two from Champagne Krug I tasted at a private tasting held at K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City – the Krug Champagne Brut Rosé (the best Rosé Champagne I’ve had) and the Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée (easily the best multi-vintage wine I’ve ever had).

IMG_0366

Admittedly, most of the Champagne was prohibitively expensive. But, I find a special satisfaction in finding wines that offer great value for less than $20.

Why yes...I will have some Krug Champagne!

Why yes…I will have some Krug Champagne!

The most memorable under $20 wine I enjoyed was from Greece, the 2012 Vrinioti Assyrtiko Iama – a fantastic blend of 60% Malagouzia and 40% Assyrtiko with with remarkable stone fruit, bergamot, honey, spice, wet stone and citrus blossom aromas and with vibrant acidity and peach, apricot, a bit of fresh melon, spice, honey flavors.

And what about my 2015 wine resolutions?

My first resolution won’t cost me anything.  And that’s to drink more of the wines I’ve been laying down for years. That includes a dessert wine I purchased 8 years ago when I first got into wine.  All I really knew about the wine at the time was that it Robert Parker gave it 96 points and it was $20.  Yup..that was my sole criteria for buying the wine.  I’ve learned much since then.

My next resolution is to drink more Italian wine. I almost always consume wine with food and I think Italian wine are, across the board, the most food friendly wines.  Yet, I only drank a grand total of 4 bottles of Italian wine in 2014.  But with only 2 bottles of Barolo on hand, this one is going to cost me.  Fortunately,  there are plenty of very good Italian wines on the market for under $20.  I’m going to make a conscious effort to try more Italian whites.

And last but not least, I want to saber a bottle of sparkling wine in 2015!  Although my better half is convinced it will cause myself and or others bodily harm…hell it looks like fun! I just need to time it right so she’s had a couple, or three glasses wine…THEN try it;-)

What are your 2015 wine resolutions?

Wishing you a 2015 filled with joyfulness, good health, love, prosperity and positivity!

Follow my reviews on Vivino 

Other posts you may enjoy

_________________________________________________________________

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 of the Week: 2011 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon

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.  My Wine Of The Week is the 2011 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

The Winery

Faust Winery is the creation of Augustin Huneeus and it continues to satisfy his long-held desire to produce a wine that embodies the most seductive characteristics of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

Born in Santiago, Chile, Agustin is one of the few vintners who has dedicated his entire professional life to wine.  With a career spanning 50 years, he has produced wine in more than 15 countries.  Perhaps best known today for creating Quintessa, the stunning biodynamic vineyard and winery estate he and his wife Valeria own in Rutherford, Napa Valley, Agustin is recognized as a driving force in how fine wine is produced, recognized, sold and marketed in the United States.  The philosophy that great vineyards make great wine is his guiding principle.

The Faust vineyard is located in Coombsville, Napa Valley’s newest appellation located in the eastern foothills south of Atlas Peak.  It consists of 110 acres of mature Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot vines, with small plantings of Petit Verdot, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc.  The vineyard is farmed in ten distinct blocks, all of which have a unique character.  Yields on the property are especially low as extra care is put into practices such as winter pruning, green harvest and selective picking.

Faust also seeks small lots from family growers in other unique Napa Valley growing districts including Yountville, Atlas Peak, Mount Veeder, St. Helena and Rutherford.

In addition to this wine, Faust also produces two other wines which are 100% Cabernet Sauvignon – “The Pact” (sourced from Napa Valley’s newest appellation – Coombsville), and “The Lure” (sourced from the renowned Stagecoach Vineyard).

Faust is certified under the Napa Green Certified Land Program.

The Wine

The wine is a blend of all five of the six Bordeaux grape varieties featuring 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec, and 1% Cabernet Franc.  The grapes are sourced from throughout the Napa Valley including estate vineyards in Coombsville, and Rutherford and Yountville, Mount Veeder, Atlas Peak, and St. Helena.

All grapes were hand-picked, double-sorted and crushed, then cold-soaked and fermented in both French oak and stainless steel tanks.  After an extended maceration, Faust was aged for 19 months in French oak.

78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc; 14.2% Alcohol

Faust
My tasting notes follow:
Dark ruby color with enticing dark cherry, dark chocolate, dried herb and spice aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied,  and concentrated, with harmonious fruit, acidity, and tannins and a supple texture.  It shows delicious dark cherry, cassis, spice flavors with a subtle minerality.  Long finish.  Drink now, but will age for 5-7 years  >>Find this wine<<
Rating: A: A delicious and harmonious Bordeaux blend!

Pair with: Lamb chops, Korean Sizzling Beef,  Slow cooked Beef Brisket or Meatloaf

Wine provided as a sample for review.  Many thanks to Fineman PR

Ratings Key:

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

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

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

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

T.G.I.F. Champagne And The Like…NV Mionetto Cartizze Prosecco

I drink more than my fair share of sparkling wine.  By my count, last year I enjoyed 50-60 bottles of sparkling wine.  Which type of sparkling wine I chose is driven by my mood, the food, and my budget.  I tend to like Cava, and Prosecco for my “weeknight” sparklers, while enjoying more expensive sparkling wines, and Champagne for special occasions, or on the weekends.

What I enjoy about Prosecco is that it tends to be a bit fruitier, less demanding (no significant contemplation needed), and lower in alcohol than Champagne and other sparkling wines.  That’s because its secondary fermentation takes place in a stainless steel pressurized tank, rather than individual bottles. Nor is Prosecco aged, which is what gives sparklers that undergo secondary fermentation in individual bottles their complexity (click here for a great explanation of how sparklers are produced).

For many years Prosecco was used to describe both the grape, and the region where the grape are grown.  In mid 2009, Italian wine regulations were revised to clearly state that Prosecco was no longer to be classified as a grape, but a region that was clearly delimited.  There are two such regions classified as a DOCG, the highest status for Italian wines.  Additionally, there are at least eight regions classified as DOC, the next to highest status for Italian Wines.  Nowadays, the grape is known as Glera.

This wine is produced from grapes grown in the Cartizze DOCG, a sub-zone of Conegliano-Valdobbiadene.  The hill of Cartizze is 107 hectares, which is divided amongst 140 small growers. Renowned throughout the region for the quality of its fruit, it one of the world’s most expensive bits of vineyard real estate. And it produces relatively minuscule amounts of fruit.  Of the approximately 150 million bottles of Prosecco produced annually, only about 1.4 million bottles originate from Cartizze.  It can certainly be considered to be the grand cru of Prosecco.

The producer, Mionetto is the importer of the best-selling brand of Prosecco in the US.  They have been making Prosecco since 1887!

NV Mionetto Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze Dry (Photo courtesy of Mionetto)

NV Mionetto Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze Dry

Region: ItalyVenetoProsecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze

Variety –  Glera

Residual Sugar – 2.5%

11% a.b.v. Retails for about $25

Production method: Methodo Italiano (Bulk Charmat)

My tasting notes follow:

Very light straw color with pretty floral, stone fruit, and cracker aromas. On the palate, fresh, fruity ,and approaching medium bodied with moderately creamy mousse, and extra dry-ish with honey, clementine, and a touch of stone fruit flavors. Medium finish.

Pair with: The beauty of sparkling wines is their versatility with food, because of their palate cleansing quality (think scrubbing bubbles;-). This was very nice as an aperitif, and just as nice with food.  I enjoyed with spicy Cioppino. Pair with shellfish, or this sparkler has enough sweetness to pair with a light dessert like cream puffs, or fruit tart.

If you want to try upscale Prosecco, this one is a good place to start. This one was a gift from a friend in the wine business (Thanks John!).  I’m glad I tried it, but at $25 or so a bottle I can’t recommend – 89pts   (Click here to find this wine) 

Insert text here

Ten Commandments of Wine

My wife and I are in Spain! One of the highlights of our trip is our stay in quaint town of Haro, in the heart of La Rioja – Spanish Wine Country. While staying  at Los Augustinos Hotel in Haro, we saw this sign… photo (39) As near as I can figure it out, this is how I believe the above translates into English… The 10 Commandments of Wine

  1. You will love wine above all other things.
  2. Swear to drink it in the summer and the winter.
  3. Sanctify wineries
  4. Honor thy red and thy white.
  5. Don’t have a snack with less than 3 liters.
  6. May it never be your destiny to mix water and wine.
  7. Never steal a bottle or wine bag that is empty or broken.
  8. Never mutter or lie without being drunk.
  9. Whenever you desire someone else’s bottle, let it be 16 liters and full
  10. Observe the The Three C’s, drink with calm, quality (cualidad in Spanish), and without change.

There’s some good stuff here for sure, though the list is clearly dated (it refers to a wine bag, a massive quantities of wine in #5, and #9). But the list got me thinking about my own 10 commandments of wine.  Here they are…

  1. Honor they red, white, dry pink, sparkling and dessert wines
  2. Thou shall keep an open mind about wine and continually expand thy palate. Try something new every now and then. Wonderful wines come in a variety of styles, and from all over the world.
  3. Thou shall serve wine at the appropriate temperature to maximize enjoyment.  I suggest using the “20/20” rule as a rule of thumb: take white wine out of the fridge 20 minutes before serving, and put red wine in the fridge 20 minutes before serving.
  4. Thou shall not believe there is a direct correlation between price and quality, or between the quality of the wine and it’s closure (i.e. a wine closed with a screw-cap don’t automatically equal horrible wine)
  5. Thou shall be thy own best critic – Trust your taste buds, and your won’t go wrong…#drinkwutchyalike
  6. Thou shall not mix water and wine (especially frozen water!) – In other words thou shalt not rinse they wine glass with water, then drink more wine!
  7. If thou are at a crowded winery, thou shall not hog the tasting bar.  Get thou glass of wine, then step back…Do unto others..
  8. Thou shall realize the only wine and food pairing rule is that there are no rules. There is no ONE wine to go perfectly with a dish.  Many may work well.
  9. Thou shall realize that a wine’s “legs’ are not a sign of quality
  10. Thou shall share great bottles of wine with friends who appreciate it!

What are your 10 commandments of wine? Leave a comment and let me know! In vino veritas!

TGIF Bubbly; NV Terre di San Venanzio Fortunato Prosecco

My wife and I 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 workweek.  She get’s to drink and enjoy the bubbly, while I get to drink, enjoy and blog about it!  This week’s sparkling wine is the NV Terre di San Venanzio Fortunato Prosecco

The Winery

Terre di San Venanzio Fortunato is a family owned winery located near the most prestigious ‘cru’ of Cartizze in Valdobbiadene. The winery is named after San Venanzio Fortunato,  a Latin poet born in Valdobbiadene in the sixth century, who was elected Bishop at Poitiers in France.

They produce limited quantities of Prosecco Superiore DOCG sparkling wines including Brut, Extra Dry, Millesimato, and their top of the line Superiore di Cartizze.  They also produce two non Prosecco Superiore DOCG sparkling wines – a Rose, and Prosecco Treviso.

The Wine

For many years Prosecco was used to describe both the grape, and the region where the grape are grown.  In mid 2009, Italian wine regulations were revised to clearly state that Prosecco was no longer to be classified as a grape, but a region that was clearly delimited.  There are two such regions classified as a DOCG, the highest status for Italian wines. This one is from one of those regions known as Conegliano Valdobbiadene.

Most Prosecco is made in the extra-dry (a.k.a. extra-brut) style, meaning they have higher levels of residual sugar resulting in a touch of sweetness, but this wine is made in the “Brut” style more familiar to most American palates.  The producer does several secondary fermentations per year to ensure freshness.

This wine is a direct buy at K&L Wine Merchants.

NV Terre di San Venanzio Fortunato Prosecco

NV Terre di San Venanzio Fortunato Prosecco

My tasting notes follow:

Very pale straw yellow color with lots of pin prick bubbles. Shows aromas of green apples, stone fruits, and white flowers. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, dry with a creamy mousse and apple, white peach flavors with a mineral undertone. Medium finish. Great QPR @$12

Rating:  B+ : I think I just found a new “house” Prosecco!

Pair with: We paired with a variety of sushi rolls, and it was a very good pairing! Since this is a Brut, rather than extra-dry style, I think it’s a more versatile food pairing partner.  Pair with appetizers/snack like popcorn, chips or ceviche, or light main course with fish, seafood, crustaceans, tamales, fish tacos or pasta primavera!

The Wine Geek Stuff:

Here’s an interesting aside – The producer recommends drinking this from a “Reidel goblet” rather than the typical flute!  Great idea!  I often drink bubbly from a regular wine glass…

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.

 

TGIF Bubbly – Bouvet Signature Brut

My wife and I 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 workweek.  She get’s to drink, and enjoy the bubbly, while I get to drink, enjoy and blog about it!  This week’s sparkling wine is the NV Bouvet Signature Brut

The Winery

Bouvet-Ladubay history dates back to 1851, when it was founded by Etienne Bouvet.  It is the second oldest sparkling wine–producing house in Saumur.  By 1890, it had become France’s largest producer of méthode traditionnelle wines. It remains one of France’s greatest producers of méthode traditionnelle sparkling wine using the Loire Valley’s indigenous Chenin Blanc blended with small amounts of Chardonnay.

For Bouvet-Ladubay, wine is a living art that must be practiced with wisdom, uniting tradition, experience and the most finely tuned technology in the creation of refined, handcrafted wines of impeccable quality and consistency.

After the untimely deaths of three of the Bouvet heirs in the early 1900s left Bouvet-Ladubay without a guiding hand, the increasingly troubled firm was purchased by Justin Monmousseau and merged with his own still wine–producing firm in 1933. It is currently run by the fourth generation of the Monmousseau family.  In July 2006, Bouvet was acquired by Dr. Vijay Mallya of the world’s largest group of alcoholic beverages, the UB Group, based in India.

The Wine

Bouvet-Ladubay sources its fruit from more than 100 plots in the Loire Valley.  It has  long-standing relationships with many winegrowers. The limestone subsoil of the Loire Valley is ideal for the cultivation of Chenin Blanc.  The mild climate coupled with excellent drainage of the clay creates the natural acidity needed to produce a balanced sparkling white wine. The grapes are pressed in the vineyards and the juice is delivered directly to their cellars. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel, then the finest wines from each lot are blended and the cuvée is bottled for the second fermentation.  The wine is aged for two years.  It is imported by Kobrand Wine & Spirits.

Bouvet Sparkling wine

My tasting notes follow:

Pale golden-yellow color with big bubbles and low-key yeast and green apple aromas. On the palate, it’s light-bodied, and straight forward with moderately creamy mousse and melon, green apple mineral flavors. Short finish – 85pts

Rating: B –  This is a good bottle of bubble, and a nice alternative to Champagne.  This bottle was gift.  It retails for $16 ($12 ClubBev) at BevMo. But I can think of a few bottles of bubbly I enjoy more for less…

Pair with: This one is an excellent aperitif.  Pair with fried snacks like seasoned popcorn, potato chips, or french fries. Also pair with golden king crab, shrimp and lobster dipped in drawn butter!

The Wine Geek Stuff:

  • Alcohol: 12.5% alcohol.
  • Closure: Cork
  • Where it’s from: > FranceLoire Valley
  • Grape varieties: 80% Chenin Blanc, 20% Chardonnay
  • Production method: Traditional Method
  • Dosage: Brut
  • Retail: $12
  • Cases produced: Unknown
  • Drink: Now – 2014
  • >>Find this wine<<

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.

 

Recap of Dark & Delicious 2013 – The Petite Sirah Event Of The Year!

I attended the 7th annual Dark & Delicious (“D&D”) last Friday, February 22nd.  D&D is an excellent opportunity to take a walk on the “dark side” for  Petite Sirah (“P.S” – a.k.a. “Pet”.) and food lovers.  The event is put on by an advocacy group of P.S. winegrowers, and producers known as P.S. I Love You.

Seventh Annual Dark & Delicious Recap - Artezin Vendor Shot

Here’s a quick 411 on P.S.

  • Created by François Durif, it is the love child of a noble grape, Syrah, and an obscure peasant grape Peloursin in 1880
  • 90% of the world’s P.S. vineyards are in California
  • Produces big, bold, typically ink-colored age-worthy wines with black and blue fruit flavors that tend to be tannic with moderate to high-acidity
  • Sometimes referred to as Durif
P.S. I Love You - glasses at the ready

P.S. I Love You – glasses at the ready – Image courtesy of Jojo Ong

This year’s event featured about 50 wineries.  I’d estimate there were 125-150 wines available for tasting.  So there was beaucoup wine, including some older vintages like this wine from Teldeschi…

Seventh Annual Dark & Delicious Recap - 2002 Teldeschi

The reason D&D is one of my favorite wine and food events goes beyond my love of the Petite Sirah varietal.  Petite Sirah is an underrated, food friendly wine that is capable of pairing with so much more that the typical BBQ and roast meats with which it is  so often recommended. D&D is a great opportunity to try P.S with a variety of ethnic foods…

Seventh Annual Dark & Delicious Recap - Paella

and pork…Since the event is sponsored by the National Pork Board…there is plenty of pork ( a good thing in my book) in all of its glorious forms.

And there was chocolate…plenty of chocolate…

Dark and Delicious Healdsburg Toffee Company

Delectable chocolate treats from The Healdsburg Toffee Company

The wine and food pairing of the night for me was the 2011 Miro Petite Sirah paired with Blue Heron Catering‘s Braised Pork Belly Meatball.  I would love to have shown you a photo but every time I went back for more all I could think about were those meatballs, which are among the best I’ve ever had!

On the wine front, whenever I come to an event such as this with so many wines to try, I prioritize my tasting such that I try wines from wineries that are new to me first, saving some of my tried and true favorites for later. Even so, it’s impossible for me to taste all the wines available.  I ended up trying about 50 wines.  My favorite wines, rated as “outstanding” (90+ points), were:

  • 2010 Aaron Jackson Wines Petite Sirah
  • 2009 Aver Family Vineyards Petite Sirah Blessings
  • 2009 Carica Petite Sirah Kick Ranch
  • 2009 David Fulton Petite Sirah
  • 2006 Delectus Petite Sirah
  • 2008 Field Stone Petite Sirah Staten Family Reserve
  • 2007 Gustafson Family Vineyards Petite Sirah
  • 2007 Ridge Petite Sirah Dynamite Hill York Creek Vineyards
  • 2010 Ridge Petite Sirah Lytton Estate
  • 2009 Robert Biale Petite Sirah Thomann Station
  • 2010 Robert Biale Like Father Like Son
  • 2010 Robert Biale Petite Sirah Basic Black Rutherford
  • 2010 Robert Biale Petite Sirah Dessert Wine (fabulous with fudge!)
  • 2009 Rock Wall Wine Co. Petite Sirah Carver Sutro Palisades
  • 2010 Rock Wall Wine Co. Petite Sirah C.C. Ranch
  • 2006 Stage Left Cellars Petite Sirah Russell Family Vineyards
  • 2010 Tres Sabores Petite Sirah
  • 2010 Trueheart Vineyard Petite Sirah
  • 2009 Viszlay Vineyards Petite Sirah

This event will continue to be circled in red on my annual wine event calendar because it’s a fantastic food and wine experience.

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 – Bedrock Wine Co Heritage Compagni Portis

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 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Compagni Portis

 The Winery

Bedrock Wine Co. is an “itsy-bitsy winery making wine in a converted chicken coop”. Though recently Morgan Twain-Peterson, the winemaker/owner of Bedrock Wine Co. announced some big changes including building a new winery, and hiring of close friend, Chris Cottrell to work with him.  Sounds like Bedrock will be moving from the “itsy-bitsy” level to a higher level production-wise.  The wines are already major quality-wise!

There are two things that make Bedrock Wine Co. special in my view – the first is Morgan (you can check out his full bio here), but suffice it to say he’s been making wine since he was “knee-high to a bug” including working harvests in McLaren Vale, Australia and worked as a visiting winemaker at Chateau Lynch-Bages in Bordeaux before returning to California to focus on revitalizing California’s heirloom vineyards. The second is his vineyard sources. I did a post last year entitled Bedrock Wine Co: Where Old Vine Love And Transcendent Wine Making Come Together, wherein I focused on the sources of Bedrock’s grapes.

In terms of the wine making process itself at Bedrock, it’s surprisingly Ole Skool (or as Morgan might put it “Cro-magnum”).  Grapes are pitch-forked into a small Zambelli destemmer, the punch-downs are manual, after fermentation the wines are basket pressed in an Italian press that is manually operated.   It’s a very manual and time-consuming process, but I can vouch for the results.  Peterson is making some unique distinctly Californian wines that are spectacular!

The Wine

The grapes for this wine were sourced from Compagni-Portis vineyard, one of the many vineyards from which Bedrock Wine Co. sources grapes that are listed in the registry of the Historical Vineyard Society.  It is one of the few remaining mixed-white vineyards.

Here’s what the Bedrock Wine Co. says about the wine…

As I have written in the past I am just smitten with this vineyard.  The eclectic field blend of Gewurtzraminer, Riesling, Chardonnay, Roter Vetliner, and others was planted in 1954…The dry-farmed vines yielded a scant 1 ton to the acre in 2011.  The wine was whole-cluster pressed and native yeast fermented in a combination of stainless steel and older French barrels.  As one would expect from a cooler year this is a more delicate version of Compagni; it is beguilingly fragrant and expressive…

Not familiar with Roter Vetliner?  Neither was I.  It’s an ancient grape native to Austria of unknown parentage. Today, there is little acreage planted to this grape in Austria.  I imagine there is even less here in California. From what I glean from a bit of research it’s similar to a pungent version of Sauvignon Blanc that ages well.  It’s part of the Vetliner family, the most well-known is Grüner Veltliner.  But there are also  Brauner Veltliner and Frühroter Veltliner grape varieties

BWC Compagni Portis

My tasting note follows:

Pale yellow color with aromatic, lychee, tangerine, spice, and a hint of floral aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, and fresh with a great mouth feel followed by white peach, tangerine, and spice flavors. Med/long finish.  – 92pts

Rating: Highly Recommended.  This is a great example of Bedrock achieving it’s objective to channel the fruit of ancient vines into powerful, elegant, and distinctly Californian wines

Pair with: The evening I enjoyed this wine, I paired it with Tandoori Chicken, Dal (yellow lentil) Curry, and Boti (Lamb) Kabab.  I’d pair with other spicy Asian cuisine, Seafood Gumbo, or Roasted Roots and Fruits.  It’s also just fine on its own!

The Wine Geek Stuff:

  • Alcohol: 13.8%
  • Closure: Cork
  • AVA: > CaliforniaSonoma CountySonoma Valley
  • Grape Varieties: Gewurtzraminer, Riesling, Chardonnay, Roter Veltliner, and several others.
  • Cooperage: Aged in SS and neutral oak for 5 months
  • Retail: $25
  • Cases produced: 130
  • Drink: now – 2015

Related posts you might enjoy:

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.