California Wine, Various Producers
This week we will sample wine from four California producers including Gloria Ferrer, Rose’N’Blum (side project of Rosenblum’s winemaker), Cline Cellars, and Bogle Vineyards. This selection should present something for everyone, as there will be an almost demi sec Champagne method sparkling, two aromatic whites made from Pinot Grigio and Viognier, a light and dry “cool climate” Pinot Noir, and two red blends, a Rhone-style of Mourvedre, Syrah and Grenache, and California “field-blend” of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Mourvedre.
The Hotel Capstone will provide a bounty of delicious hors d’oeuvres to sample with the wine selection; we hope you will join us this Thursday night!
Gloria Ferrer is located in the picturesque Sonoma Carneros region, 40 miles northwest of San Francisco. “As the first sparkling wine house in California’s renowned Carneros region, Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards was established in 1986. Gloria Ferrer embodies Spanish winegrowing history, time-honored tradition, and centuries-old winemaking practices in creating exceptional sparkling and estate varietal wines blended to pair perfectly with food.
In 1991, inspired by the quality and character of our estate fruit, we began crafting still wines from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. In subsequent years, our winegrowing team meticulously matched dozens of clones to the diverse growing conditions in our estate vineyards with their sights on the highest quality grapes with more intense flavors and characteristics.
VA de VI is the stylish new méthode Champenoise sparkling wine that celebrates our Spanish heritage. This ultra-premium cuvée adds new dimension to our house style. Elegant and refreshing, dry but not too dry, VA de VI is a classic blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with just a trace of Muscat.” Va de Vi translates to “Its all about the wine!”
Gloria Ferrer VA de VI Ultra Cuvee NV– Sonoma County, California. A blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with a small amount of Muscat added for aroma and texture. Made in the traditional Champagne Method, this sparkler offers abundant aromas of ripe apple and pear with nutty/yeasty undertones. Ripe fruits of peach, lemon and apple combine with berry fruit hints and vanilla suggestions within a creamy, persistent texture carry through to the soft, juicy finish. Tasting $17.99
Rosenblum Cellars– “In 1978, Rosenblum Cellars opened its now-legendary home in Alameda, California; a place known more for its docks and shipyards than for winemaking. But then again, Kent Rosenblum, “The King of Zin,” always did things a little differently from the status quo. When most of the established wineries in California were focused on their estate-grown wines, Kent chose to explore some of the unrecognized and under-appreciated grape-growing areas of Northern California. He met families who had been growing grapes for generations; dedicated growers passionate about their vineyards, who worked tirelessly to grow the best grapes possible from old vines their families had planted years before. For more than 30 years we’ve been building relationships with exceptional growers around California. Down to earth and committed, they know their land and how to grow the best grapes to make unique, flavorful wines.
John Kane is the winemaker for Rosenblum Cellars, managing all aspects of wine production from the vineyard to operations. John began his career at Rosenblum Cellars [in 2001] when he was offered a harvest internship. He was promoted to Associate Winemaker in 2005 and named lead Winemaker in 2009. Having worked side by side with Kent Rosenblum for nine years affords John the opportunity to continue the Rosenblum Cellars signature wine style and legacy. “Passion for me is “a sense of happiness” — what makes you feel good about what you do every day.”
Rose’N’Blum, a project by winemaker John Kane, was inspired by his wife. Realizing that she often preferred something a little lighter, whiter and sweeter than the big, bold, Zinfandels he tends to make, John created Rose’N’ Blum Pinot Grigio and Pink Moscato. With elements inspired by recent fashions, the label design features a large tailored black R on a white background, embellished with a pink or coral colored rose. In another printing innovation new to the wine industry, as the bottle chills, the rose appears to “bloom” becoming more defined and colorful and indicating when the bottle is chilled to serve.”
Rose’N’Blum Pinot Grigio 2011– San Jauquin County, California. A blend of 80% Pinot Grigio and 20% Muscat that fermented and aged in stainless steel. Its aromatic nose offers appealing scents of spring flowers and peaches. It is friendly and fresh on the palate with minimal acid, a soft mouthfeel, and tropical fruit flavors that linger on the gentle finish. “Rose ‘N’ Blum Pinot Grigio opens with aromas of white peaches, honeydew melon and orange cream soda. The flavors are fat and juicy, a delicate blend of sweet nectarine and pear, followed by a long,
apricot finish. A hint of minerality and a touch of sweetness add perfect little touches to this divine, delicious wine.” Tasting $10.99
Cline Cellars– “In the latter part of the 1800s, Oakley, Contra Costa County was a booming farming community with thousands of acres of orchards and healthy vineyards. Fred Cline’s maternal grandfather, Valeriano Jacuzzi of pump and spa fame, called this place home. On summer visits to his grandparents, Fred learned both the love of agricultural life and the mysteries of vinifying grapes into wine. In 1982, with an inheritance from his grandfather, Fred founded Cline Cellars near Oakley, California. In 1991, Fred and his wife Nancy relocated the winery from Oakley to the Carneros region of Sonoma County on a historic 350-acre estate with new vineyards and facilities.
Over the years, Fred’s innovation has consistently resulted in some of northern California’s most distinctive Rhône-style wines and intense, flavorful Zinfandels… in 2011 Robert Parker Jr. wrote in the Wine Advocate, “this is the finest portfolio of value-priced wines from Cline Cellars that I have tasted to date.””
Winemaker Charlie Tsegeletos- “In 1979, Charlie earned his degree in Agricultural Science and Management/Plant Science from the University of California at Davis. In the 1980s, he held wine-making positions at Hacienda Wine Cellars, D’Agostini Winery and Glen Ellen Winery. Charlie joined Cline Cellars in 2002 and is responsible for wine-making and production for the winery’s Cline, Oakley and Jacuzzi Family Vineyards brands. Charlie often lets the grapes guide his style of wine-making. He works closely with the Vineyard Managers to ensure that varietals are planted in locations that will provide optimal acid and sugar levels and express true varietal characteristics. His red wines are big and dark with lots of fruit concentration and delicate oak nuances; white wines are bright and fresh.”
Cline Cellars Viognier 2011– North Coast, California. “Viognier is a tricky grape to grow. Its natural low acidity requires it to be picked at just the right moment. The wine fermented and aged in stainless steel to preserve the fresh fruit characteristics of the grape. This Viognier is quite perfumed and loaded with pineapple, peach and apricot flavors accented by floral and citrus notes.” It is full-bodied and very textured with a lingering, delicious finish. Tasting $10.99
Cline Cellars Cool Climate Pinot Noir 2010– Sonoma Coast, California. Its smoky, complex nose is very inviting with juicy, tart fruit aromas. It is light-bodied with mouth-watering acidity and flavors of cranberry and raspberry that carry through to the tasty finish. “Bright red fruit characteristics emerge along with deep color, lush body, touches of vanilla and spearmint followed by delicate strawberry flavor. Our Pinot Noir vineyards are planted in the Petaluma Gap of the Sonoma Coast AVA and on our Estate in Sonoma-Carneros on a Southwest facing hillside. Aging took place for seven months in 25% new French medium toasted oak imparting slight vanilla and toffee flavors careful not overpower the delicate spearmint and strawberry of this varietal.” Tasting $14.99
Cline Cellars Cashmere 2010– Contra Costa County and Oakley, California. A blend of 41% Mourvedre (30 year-old vines), 41% Syrah and 18% Grenache. “The individual lots of grapes were harvested separately according to ripeness and balance of acidity. Fermentation was carried out in stainless steel with select cultured yeasts at controlled temperatures. The grapes were pressed at dryness then settled for ten days and racked to 25% new French oak with a dark toast level for eight months. Cashmere is a very flavorful, smooth wine offering bright cherry, raspberry, chocolate and toast with hints of cracked black pepper and plum.” Ripe berry fruit scents of blueberry and raspberry are enhanced with floral hints. Sweet, juicy fruit flavors on the palate are complemented with a finish of spice, tobacco and cigar box. Tasting $14.99
Bogle Vineyards– Bogle Vineyards is run by brothers and sister team Warren, Jody and Ryan Bogle. Warren is the President and Vineyard Manager, Jody is over Customer Affairs and Manages the Wine Club, and Ryan is the Vice President. “Warren is the sixth generation of Bogles to farm in California’s Sacramento Delta. Growing up, Warren [along with his siblings] worked with his father Chris during the long, busy summers. Warren studied agricultural business at California State University, Chico before returning to work on the ranch in February 1997, where he manages Bogle Vineyards’ over 1500 acres of wine grapes. Like both his father and grandfather, Warren strives to produce a quality of fruit that represents the favorable, yet challenging, growing conditions found in the Sacramento Delta Region.”
Chris Smith, Director of Winemaking- “For over 20 years, Chris Smith has had one priority: bringing in the highest quality wine grapes for our wines. Whether working with our estate vineyards in Clarksburg or our vineyard partners across the state, Chris’ time in each diverse appellation ensures that the fruit has the complexity and character to live up to the Bogle quality standard.”
Bogle Vineyards Phantom 2009– Clarksburg, Lodi and Amador, California. A blend of 52% Zinfandel, 46% Petite Sirah and 2% Mourvèdre that aged for 30 months in American oak. “Phantom has reappeared…Bogle’s heady apparition of fierce berry and sensual spice returns to haunt wine lovers. Marked by a bright entry, a full-bodied mid palate and a firm finish, this wine showcases the best of these three unique varietals. Rich black raspberries and briary boysenberries vividly surround the nose and palate, while the decadence of cocoa-dusted pomegranate is enticingly complex. Touches of juniper, cedar and black pepper edge toward the full-bodied fruit, charming you to take another sip. Over two years in 1, 2 and 3 year old American oak capture and concentrate the essence of the Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Mourvedre, creating yet another luscious and intense red wine, impossible to ignore.” Tasting $17.99