November 17, 2011: Wines of California: Fleur de California, Twenty Rows, Elizabeth Spencer

Fleur de California is a value-driven brand that produces wines that are vibrant, fresh, and approachable. The wines are made from purchased grapes from the North Coast, Central Coast, and Carneros; they specialize in Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Petite Sirah. We will sample one example of each at the tasting, ranging in price from $11.99-$16.99.

Twenty Rows is the second label of Vinoce, a family-owned winery located on Mt. Veeder in Napa Valley. Vinoce specializes in the Bordeaux varietals, most importantly Cabernet Sauvignon. Twenty Rows is their value label, also specializing in the Bordeaux varietals, but at a much more affordable price than the Vinoce. For the tasting we will sample their Napa Valley Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon (both are blended with other Bordeaux grapes), which are both $20.99.

Elizabeth Spencer Winery is owned and operated by husband and wife team Elizabeth Pressler and Spencer Graham. Their wines are made by Spencer and sourced from a handful of dedicated growers and a dozen vineyard blocks in Napa Valley, Sonoma Coast, and Mendocino. Their first vintage was released in 1998. For the tasting we will sample the 2010 Mendocino Sauvignon Blanc ($14.99) which would make a great accompaniment to turkey and dressing.

We hope you will join us!

The specific wines for the tasting are:

Elizabeth Spencer Sauvignon Blanc 2010– Mendocino. 100% Sauvignon Blanc produced from organic grapes. The wine fermented then aged sur lie in stainless steel tanks prior to bottling. A complex and structured offering with scents of citrus and stone fruits. The palate is lean and crisp, yet very elegant, with bright acidity and flavors suggesting grapefruit, pear, and fresh cut grass. Tasting $14.99

Fleur de California Chardonnay 2008– North Coast. 100% Chardonnay that aged 9 months on the lees. Aromas of apricot, pear, and honeysuckle hints greet the nose. Opulent tropical fruit flavors on the palate within a soft, creamy mouthfeel, are enhanced by firm acid and notes of mineral that linger on the finish. An excellent value. Tasting $11.99

Fleur de California Pinot Noir 2009– Carneros- Napa and Sonoma Valleys. 100% Pinot Noir that aged for 9 months in neutral French oak barrels. Its nose offers ripe fruit scents of cherry/berry jam, pomegranate, and strawberries with notes of smoke and spice. On the palate the wine is soft and supple with opulent fruit flavors and nicely balanced acidity followed by a dry finish. Tasting $16.99

Twenty Rows Merlot 2009– Napa Valley. Mostly Merlot (90%) with Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec making up the remainder of the blend. Bright berry fruit aromas of blueberries and blackberries, with notes of spice, dominate the nose. On the palate the wine is soft and approachable with smoke, cocoa, black fruits, and spicy flavors with mineral undertones. Tasting $20.99

Twenty Rows Cabernet Sauvignon 2009– Napa Valley. 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc that aged for 14 months in French oak. Layered aromas of black currant, blueberry, plum and cocoa are followed by a juicy palate of blackberry, cherry, and espresso. It is a structured offering with firm tannins, good weight, and a lengthy finish. Tasting $20.99

Fleur de California Petite Sirah 2008– North Coast. 100% Petite Sirah that aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. Dark fruit aromas of blackberry, plum, and blueberry and notes of candied fruit and spice are echoed on the palate with blackberry, vanilla, spice, and a hint of black pepper. It is full-bodied and mouthcoating with a rich, concentrated finish. Tasting $13.99

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