California Wine- Various Producers

This Thursday we will sample six California wines from various producers and regions. Although they are each made by different wineries, what they have in common is that they are artisanal, hand-crafted, small-lot wines of quality and value. These days there are countless wines made in California (many are simply mediocre!)- we sample literally hundreds per year- and it is our goal to sift through them and represent those that present good quality for the price, are varietally and/or stylistically correct, and are balanced with fruit, acid, tannin, and alcohol. The wines for this week’s tasting meet all of the aforementioned criteria, plus they are from family owned and operated wineries.

Four of the wines are made in the Napa Valley; the others come from the Central Coast (from southern Santa Barbara County to San Fransisco) and the North Coast (from San Fransisco north including Napa County). The specific wineries include Tolosa Estate, Textbook Vineyards, La Folette Wines, Ballentine Vineyards, Steltzner Vineyards, and Hendry Ranch Wines. We will try two Chardonnays, one un-oaked and the other oaked, one Pinot Noir that is brand-new (in its first-release), a Merlot (Bordeaux-style), a Claret (also Bordeaux-style), and Zinfandel. And, in honor of our victorious #1 Alabama Crimson Tide Football Team, we will open a “secret seventh” (hint hint- it is a French wine that has an elephant on the label) and toast the Tide!

We hope you will join us this Thursday to drink some delicious, quality-driven wine and celebrate our Championship home team! ROLL TIDE!

The specific wines for the tasting are:

Tolosa No Oak Chardonnay 2009– Edna Valley, Central Coast. 100% Chardonnay that aged for nine months in tank. Pale green/gold in color with fruity aromas of tropical fruits such as pineapple, guava, and pear. It is fresh and gentle on the palate with flavors of pineapple and pear fruit enhanced with underlying minerality. A textured and complex white that finishes with surprising length. 3,850 cases made. Tasting $15.99

Textbook “Fin de Journee” Chardonnay 2010– Napa Valley. The fruit comes from two premium vineyard sites; 60% from Los Carneros and 40% from Yountville. The wine fermented in a combination of French oak and stainless steel then aged in a combination of new (33%) and two-year-old French barrels. Battonage (stirring of the lees) occurred regularly which helped develop texture and mouthfeel. Tropical notes with toasty oak hints are present on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied and very textured with complementary acidity and nice balance. Tasting $22.99

La Folette Pinot Noir 2010– North Coast. The inaugural release of this wine and entry-level Pinot Noir of La Folette. Aromas of bright red fruits combine with notes of herbs, flowers, and earth to create a complex, savory, and mouthwatering wine. Juicy red cherry and cranberry flavors transition into notes of rosemary, sage, rose petal, forest floor and smoked meat hints. A balanced, layered, and approachable Pinot Noir. 4,196 cases made. Tasting $20.99

Ballentine Merlot 2007– Pocai Vineyard (established in 1906), Napa Valley. A blend of 86% Merlot, 9.5% Petit Verdot, and 4.5% Cabernet Sauvignon that aged in French oak barrels (33% new) for 16 months. This Bordeaux-inspired blend offers mild scents of vanilla and oak with dark fruit notes of black cherry and plum and hints of savory spices. It is medium-bodied and nicely textured with good balance of tannin, fruit, and acid, and underlying flavors of currant, black cherry and blueberry fruits, herbs, black tea and spices. 746 cases made. Tasting $16.99

Steltzner Claret 2008– Stag’s Leap District, Napa Valley. A Bordeaux-style blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 15% Cabernet Franc that aged in French oak barrels for 22 months. A full-bodied and rich offering with scents of Bing cherries, cinnamon, clove, vanilla and sweet oak. Flavors of dried cherries, baking spices, licorice, vanilla and cedar are enhanced with balanced tannins within a velvety texture. An excellent value that is both elegant and approachable. 6,000 cases made. 89 Wine Advocate. Tasting $16.99

Hendry Ranch HRW Zinfandel 2008– Napa Valley. From 100% estate grown grapes- a blend of the barrels that were not included in the Block 7 & 22 or Block 28 Zinfandel- that aged for twelve months in French oak, 10% new, while the remainder were one, two, and three-year-old Zinfandel barrels. A friendly red with juicy, ripe berry and cherry scents with underlying spice notes. The palate offers notes of toasty oak and hints of spice, within a complex and structured framework. An excellent pairing with anything barbecued or grilled. 1,330 cases made. Tasting $15.99

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Wine & Spirits Follow us on instagram
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: No feed found.

Please go to the Instagram Feed settings page to create a feed.

Made with love by Qode Interactive