A Week in Wine Country (and beyond)

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!Medlock Ames Patio

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!

Seven % Solution

We ventured through some of the backroads in Sonoma and Napa Counties.  Seek out the road less traveled!

Sonoma Backroads

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!

Seven % Solution

And last but not least, we finished the week in beautiful Sonoma Square.  Sunshine, palm trees, and great wine!

Sonoma Square

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Exploring Lodi Wines – German and Austrian Varieties

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:

The Lodi Lineup
The Lodi Lineup

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)

*Media Samples

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Domaine de Fontsainte Corbières Gris de Gris Rosé 2015

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!

Domaine de Fontsainte Corbières “Gris de Gris” Rosé
Domaine de Fontsainte Corbières “Gris de Gris” Rosé

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)

 

 

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This Week in Sonoma…

Began with a visit to Preston Vineyards.  We enjoyed a bottle of Rosé and hung out with the roosters and baby goats on their beautiful property!
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We also went to The Girl and the Fig to enjoy some incredible Rhone wines.  It’s one of our favorite restaurants in Sonoma Square.

Girl and the Fig

We also went to Unti Vineyards for their Rosé release party.  Great wines, live music, and a lot of fun!

Unti Vineyards

And we wrapped it up with a bike ride through Sonoma.  There are so many beautiful roads to take through the vineyards!

Scribe Winery

 

 

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Rosé All Day – Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Rosé 2015

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
Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Rosé

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)

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This Week in Wine Country…

This week in Wine Country…

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We stopped by Jacuzzi Family Vineyards to spend some time on the property with friends.  A beautiful property where you can grab a bottle and sip it in the vineyards!

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We drove to Windsor to taste Two Shepherds’ new releases.  The tasting room is open on Saturdays from 11am-4pm and they make some of our favorite wines from Sonoma County!

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We made our first trip to The Barlow in Sebastapol and tasted the entire lineup at Woodfour Brewing Company.  A great place for sours and they have some pretty tasty food as well!

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We headed to Cadet to kick off the weekend.  Featuring mostly natural wines from small producers, Cadet has one of my favorite wine lists in Napa.

Model Bakery English Muffins

And we wrapped it up with English Muffins from The Model Bakery.  If you are anywhere near Napa, you have to try them.  On my list of the top breads I have ever eaten!

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Exploring Sherry – Valdespino Fino Inocente

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"
Valdespino Fino Inocente

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)

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This Week in Wine Country…

This week in Wine Country…

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Started off with a bike ride through the vineyards that surround Downtown Sonoma.  There are so many beautiful roads to explore throughout the city.

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I enjoyed a glass of J. Lassalle Champagne at Sigh, a fantastic Champagne Bar in Sonoma Square.

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We took advantage of 70 degree weather and explored the paths along the Napa River.

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We had a delicious lunch at The Fremont Diner in Sonoma.  I love their Fried Oyster Sandwich and just about everything else on the menu!

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And we experienced a beautiful sunset on a clear day in San Francisco.  You can catch a great view from the Marin Headlands.

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Frantz Saumon “la Petite Gaule du Matin”

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"
Frantz Saumon “la Petite Gaule du Matin”

 

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)

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This Week in Wine Country…

This week in Wine Country…

Another beautiful start to the week in Sonoma Square

Began with another beautiful start to the week in Sonoma Square.

Grabbed a great breakfast at Acre Coffee

We grabbed a great breakfast at Acre Coffee in Petaluma.  Delicious breakfast sandwiches with organic espresso and coffees.

Picked up some delicious local, farm-fresh eggs at Taramasso Ranch in Napa

We picked up some delicious local, farm-fresh eggs at Taramasso Ranch in Napa.  We love to eat local as much as we can and eggs do not come any fresher than this!

Enjoyed a great happy hour at Oso Sonoma in the Sonoma Square

We enjoyed a great happy hour at Oso Sonoma in the Sonoma Square.  The Deviled Eggs topped with crab are a must!

Welcomed the Sonoma International Film Festival to town!

And, we welcomed the Sonoma International Film Festival to town!  Meg Ryan is among the talented guests in attendance to showcase her film “Ithaca”.

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