We took our first trip to Medlock Ames in Healdsburg. Such a beautiful property with plenty of patio space available to grab a bottle of wine and relax!
We were fortunate enough to be able to attend the Seven % Solution tasting in San Francisco. This is honestly the best domestic tasting we have ever attended. Amazing wines poured by passionate winemakers. Don’t miss this event next year!
We ventured through some of the backroads in Sonoma and Napa Counties. Seek out the road less traveled!
We also attended yet another fantastic wine tasting. West of West Wine Festival features cool-climate wines grown on the Sonoma Coast and this year it was held at the beautiful Golden Gate Club. We sipped some amazing Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Chardonnay!
And last but not least, we finished the week in beautiful Sonoma Square. Sunshine, palm trees, and great wine!
When most people think Lodi wine, they tend to think of Zinfandel. While the region is definitely well-known for big, rich Zins, there are so many other varieties being grown in the region. Over the years, I have come to enjoy Old World-styled Cinsault & Chenin Blanc from Lodi but just had the chance to sip my way through some fantastic German & Austrian varieties from Lodi’s Mokelumne Glen Vineyard via a BrandLive tasting. Exploring Lodi wines outside of Zinfandel has really shown me the potential the region has for making interesting, balanced wines. Here are my tasting notes from the event:
Holman Cellars 2015 Uncharted Lodi Bacchus
Bacchus…have you ever tried it? I hadn’t either until this tasting. Bacchus, a cross between Riesling and Silvaner, is traditionally grown in Germany and tends to have powerful flavors. Holman Cellars Bacchus spent 3 days on the skin and was fermented in stainless steel. It has rich tastes of apricots, citrus, and nutmeg with surprisingly vibrant acidity for the grape. Nice texture and complexity! (14% alcohol, $25)
Markus Wine Co. 2014 Nimmo Lodi White Wine
Markus Wine Co.’s Nimmo is incredibly interesting to drink. This wine is a blend of 71% Kerner, 13% Gewürztraminer, 11% Riesling, and 5% Bacchus fermented with native yeasts. Nimmo is fermented in stainless steel and aged for 9 months in 60% new French oak. The palate is refreshing & bright with tastes of citrus, spice, and minerals. There is also a unique texture, noticeable oak influence, and bright acid. An interesting wine that evolves significantly with air. (13.8% alcohol, $22)
Hatton Daniels 2015 Lodi Zweigelt
I drink Zweigelt from Austria somewhat regularly but I never knew the grape existed in Lodi. Hatton Daniels did a terrific job with this zero-sulfur wine. Light-bodied with tastes of juicy, red fruit and pepper, this wine is a perfect warm weather sipper. Serve slightly chilled and be prepared for it to disappear quickly! (11.9% alcohol, $24)
m2 Wines 2014 Belle Étoile Blanche
I love ending a meal with dessert wine and strong cheeses so I was excited to try m2 Wines late-harvest Belle Étoile Blanche. It is a blend of 35% Reislaner, 25% Weissburgunder, 20% Riesling, and 20% Gewürztraminer aged in stainless steel & neutral oak. The palate offers ripe tastes of apricot and citrus wrapped in sweet honey. Crisp, clean, and delightful at the end of a meal! (13.3% alcohol, $24)
Today is the first Tuesday Night Farmers’ Market of the season in Sonoma and I cannot wait to go. The whole community comes together in Sonoma Square to enjoy wine and food while listening to live music. Rosé is a mainstay in our cooler and we are kicking off the first farmers’ market celebration with a bottle of Domaine de Fontsainte Corbières Gris de Gris Rosé. It is a blend of 50% Grenache Gris, 20% Grenache Noir, 20% Carignan, 5% Cinsault, and 5% Mourvèdre from the Corbières appellation in the Languedoc region of France. The wine is made with minimal intervention in the winemaking process and is imported by Kermit Lynch. It is a Rosé I come back to vintage after vintage and it never seems to disappoint!
The 2015 vintage of Domaine de Fontsainte Corbières Gris de Gris Rosé pours a beautiful salmon color in the glass. The wine has aromas of red berries with hints of citrus. The palate is vibrant and juicy with tastes of strawberries, cherries, and tart cranberries. A fun and refreshing Rosé that we will undoubtedly be enjoying throughout the farmers’ market season! (For all of you fellow Sonomans, Whole Foods Market in Sonoma sells this bottle chilled and ready to sip)
I drink Rosé year round but it is hard not to pop open a bottle even more frequently as the temperature rises. There are so many great bottles of Rosé to choose from however there is one I return to year after year when I am looking for the most bang for my buck…Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Rosé. The wine hails from the Languedoc region of France and is a blend of 50% Syrah and 50% Carignan. The wine is aged in stainless steel and retails for somewhere in the neighborhood of $11 (a steal!).
Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Rosé is fresh and fruity. There are tastes of strawberries and red raspberries with hints of minerality. There is also plenty of acidity and a crisp, refreshing finish. This is type the wine I want to enjoy on a Tuesday evening in Sonoma Square or on a warm Saturday afternoon at the coast. Buy this wine by the case if you can find it because you will want some to sip all summer! (12% alcohol)
Ever since reading Talia Baiocchi’s book about Sherry, I have made it a point to try every interesting Sherry I come across. A few weeks ago, Brandon and I laid out a spread of olives, Marcona almonds, & Manchego cheese and opened up a bottle of Valdespino Fino Inocente. Innocente is a very interesting Fino as it is fermented in oak instead of the more typical stainless steel fermenting tanks. To me, this adds a depth and complexity that is hard to come by in similar Finos.
Valdespino Fino Inocente pulls you in with smokey and salty aromas. The palate is intense yet refined. Nutty and briny notes come alive as they are intertwined with tangy acidity. So enjoyable and exceptionally complex for the price. This is a benchmark Fino in my book! ($15)
I love Chenin Blanc and you can pretty much guarantee I will buy any geeky bottle I find on the shelf. The minute I came across 2014 Frantz Saumon “la Petite Gaule du Matin”, a Pét-Nat made from 100% Chenin Blanc, I knew it would be coming home with me! The wine hails from the Loire Valley in France and is made with minimal intervention in the winemaking process.
Frantz Saumon “la Petite Gaule du Matin” offers up floral and citrus aromas. The wine has light, refreshing bubbles that easily awakened my tastebuds. At first sip, tastes of grapefruit are dominant. After the wine opens up a bit, tastes of minerals, wildflowers, and stone fruit begin to emerge. This wine is notably dry for a Pét-Nat, vibrant, and incredibly delicious. Grab a bottle if you can find it! ($23)