2012 Caymus 40th Anniversary Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

A couple of weeks ago, a group of wine bloggers and wine lovers got together on Twitter to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Caymus Vineyards Cabernet with Total Wine and More.  Caymus Vineyards began in 1971 when Charles Wagner and his wife Lorna Belle Glos Wagner asked their son, Chuck Wagner, if he wanted to join them in starting a winery.  The Wagner family decided in advance to sell their Napa Valley property if Chuck refused their offer, which he instead accepted.  This was the start of Caymus Vineyards, which is still 100% owned by the Wagner Family.

The Wagners produced their first Cabernet in 1972, so the 2012 vintage celebrates the 40th anniversary of this iconic Cabernet.   I joined in on the Twitter tasting, uncorked a bottle of 2012 Caymus 40th Anniversary Cabernet, and fired up a grill full of steaks!

2012 Caymus 40th Anniversary Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
2012 Caymus 40th Anniversary Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting Notes

2012 Caymus 40th Anniversary Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is deep reddish-purple in color.  Rich aromas leap out of the glass and include notes of cassis, blackberries, anise, and warm spices.  On the palate, there are intense flavors of black fruit, oak, dark chocolate, herbs, and spices.  The wine also has ripe yet smooth tannins and soft acidity.  I think fans of big California Cabernet will enjoy this vintage of Caymus.  This wine is still a baby; if you can wait a few years, you will be rewarded!

14.6% alcohol.  Retails for $60/bottle.  For more info, vist Caymus Vineyards.

*Media Sample

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Brunch at M.B. Post – Manhattan Beach

I have to admit that I am often disappointed with brunch.  I can think of way too many times that Brandon and I have been hurried into a busy dining room only to pay $20+ a plate for a dish I could have crafted more tastefully in my own kitchen.  This couldn’t be farther from the experience we had at M.B. Post in Manhattan Beach.

Even though M.B. Post has been open since 2011, there is still plenty of buzz that surrounds Chef David LeFevre and his cuisine.  Recently named to both Jonathan Gold’s Top 101 LA Restaurants and LA Magazine’s 75 Best Restaurants, you definitely will need a reservation to assure yourself a table without a wait.

We arrived a few minutes early for our 12:15 reservation and were seated right away at a pleasant table for two.  There is communal seating available so be aware that you may be seated close by other patrons. The atmosphere is lively yet relaxed.  Definitely a laid-back beach scene that pays tribute to the ocean, which is right across the street.

M.B. Post Brunch Menu
M.B. Post Brunch Menu

The drink menu offers a really nicely thought out wine and cocktail list.  While some of their cocktails looked outstanding, I opted for Red Car Rose of Pinot Noir and Brandon grabbed a craft beer.  We also got a glass of fresh squeezed OJ, which was delicious!

Sticky Bun
Sticky Bun

We started our meal with the sticky bun with pecans and brown sugar.  It was definitely sweet but really delicious.  I think it is a great dish to share with a group.

Belly Button Bagel
Belly Button Bagel

Our next dish was the “Belly Button Bagel” with in-house trout “lox,” dill cream cheese,  capers, and cucumber.  This was honestly one of the best versions I have ever had (and this is coming from a half-Jewish girl who has had her fair share of bagels and lox!).

Burrata and Red Pepper Sandwich
Burrata and Red Pepper Sandwich

For our next plate, we opted for another savory dish and split the burrata and roasted red pepper sandwich served on a homemade pretzel bun with green olive pesto and house chips.  We loved the way the flavors mingled together and the bun was outstanding.

French Toast
French Toast

Our last shared plate was the french toast stuffed with in-house ricotta, Murray Farms sweet cherries, and candied almonds.  The french toast was rich, moist, and delicious.  It was indulgent and a perfect way end our meal.

Another dish not to miss is the bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits.  We didn’t opt for them this time around but you would really be missing out if you didn’t try them.

All in all, this was a fantastic brunch experience.  If you want a delicious brunch with an ocean breeze, definitely stop by M.B. Post!

For more info, visit M.B Post.

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Two Shepherds 2012 Grenache Noir – Absolutely Beautiful

Ever have a wine that leaves you still thinking about it a few days later?  That is what I have been doing ever since I uncorked a bottle of Two Shepherds 2012 Grenache Noir this past Saturday night.  I am a huge Grenache fan and winemaker William Allen’s 2012 Grenache is exactly the type of Grenache I look for.  It’s an absolutely beautiful wine!

Two Shepherds 2012 Grenache Noir
Two Shepherds 2012 Grenache Noir

Technical Stuff

100% Grenache from Saralee’s Vineyard in the Russian River.  50% whole cluster.  Unfined and unfiltered. 13.3% alcohol and a retail price of $38.

Tasting Notes

Two Shepherds 2012 Grenache Noir pours a cranberry color in the glass that seems to sparkle when the light hits it.  The wine has a beautiful nose that features aromas of rich, yet delicate red fruit.   It is a light-bodied wine with poised structure.  There are refined tastes of cherries, cranberries, strawberries, and hints of spice.  Elegant with vibrant acidity, this is one of the best domestic Grenaches I have had this year!

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Charles Krug Winery BrandLive Virtual Tasting!

A couple of weeks ago, I joined in on a BrandLive virtual tasting hosted by Charles Krug Winery.  The tasting featured 4 new releases from the winery – the 2013 Limited Release Estate Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 Napa Valley Merlot, 2011 Family Reserve ‘Generations’, and 2011 Family Reserve ‘Howell Mountain’ Cabernet Sauvignon.

Charles Krug Wine

The red releases mark a pretty cool milestone for the winery,  as 2011 is Charles Krug’s 150th vintage as well as the inaugural vintage of their Family Reserve ‘Howell Mountain’ Cabernet.   We were also lucky enough to be joined by Peter Mondavi Jr.  and had the opportunity to ask him questions through the interactive BrandLive platform.

The tasting was a great experience and the wines were really well-made.  Here are my tasting notes from the event:

Charles Krug 2013 Limited Release Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Beautifully aromatic with notes of tropical fruit and peach.  The palate offers a creamy texture with tastes of citrus and peach.  Noticeable acidity helps keep this wine alive and refreshing…a great wine for warm weather! (13.6% alcohol, $35)

Charles Krug 2011 Napa Valley Merlot

Pleasant aromas of dark fruit with herbal undertones.  The palate features dark berries, tobacco, and dark chocolate entwined with hints of oak.  There is also a bit of a lift from the acid that takes the flavors in the wine to another level.  California Merlot is generally not my thing but this bottle was pretty easy to sip! (14% alcohol, $25)

Charles Krug 2011 Family Reserve ‘Generations’ 

Opening with layered aromas of earth, dark fruit, cocoa, and minerals.  The palate is nicely structured yet not overbearing with tastes of cassis and blackberry.  There are also hints of bell pepper, minerals, and oak. Complex and balanced…a really nice wine! (13.9% alcohol, $50)

Charles Krug 2011 Family Reserve ‘Howell Mountain’ Cabernet Sauvignon

This Cabernet begins with enticing aromas of dark fruit, oak, and spice.  Soft flavors of dark cherry and blackberry meet your palate along with dark chocolate, herbs, and spice  Surprisingly balanced and graceful for a Napa Cabernet.  Would love to be able to taste how this evolves over time! (13.7% alcohol, $75)

*Media Samples

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Congrats to the 2014 Wine Blog Awards Finalists!

Congratulations to the 2014 Wine Blog Award Finalists.  I am very excited to be in attendance when the winners are announced at next month’s Wine Bloggers’ Conference in Santa Barbara.  There are some great blogs and writers featured this year, so the competition is definitely tough!  Voting among the finalists is now open.  Visit this link for the list of finalists and the opportunity to vote: 2014 Wine Blog Awards

Wine Blog Awards

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Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé

I am rounding out my Crémant d’Alsace tasting with Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé.  Lucien Albrecht is one of the pioneering wineries in Alsace with its history dating back to 1425.  This Rose is a little less complex than the Gustave Lorentz Cremant D’Alsace Brut Rosé yet still is really enjoyable (and priced a little less)!

Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé
Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé

Technical Stuff

100% Pinot Noir from the Alsace region in France. Vinified according to the “Methode Champenoise”. 12% alcohol and an SRP of $19.99.

Tasting Notes

Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé pours a beautiful salmon color in the glass.  The nose draws you in with aromas of bright red fruit and minerals with hints of yeast.  The creamy palate has flavors of strawberries, cherries, and minerals.  With balanced acidity, this sparkler is super easy to sip. Refreshing, food-friendly, and delicious!

*Media Sample

 

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Three Twins Ice Cream Santa Monica

Just a quick note that Three Twins Ice Cream is now open in Santa Monica!  I first discovered Three Twins at Oxbow Market in Napa.  I am excited that now I don’t have to go very far to grab a scoop or two on a homemade waffle cone!  So, if you happen to be near Main Street in Santa Monica, stop in and grab a scoop.  I would suggest the Cookies and Cream, Mint Confetti, or Mocha Difference if you are a first timer!

Three Twins Main Street Storefront
Three Twins Main Street storefront
Great flavor selection!
Great flavor selection!
So many good things to choose from!
So many good things to choose from!
Three Twins Santa Monica
2726 Main St
Santa MonicaCA 90405

 

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Baron de Hoen Crémant d’Alsace Brut

It’s been a long day and I am sipping a glass of Baron de Hoen Crémant d’Alsace Brut.  It’s a perfect glass of bubbly to enjoy after a long work day or to kick off a relaxing weekend.  Super refreshing and, once again, a great value from Alsace!

Baron de Hoen Crémant d’Alsace Brut
Baron de Hoen Crémant d’Alsace Brut

Technical Stuff

100% Pinot Blanc from Alsace.  Vinified according to the “Methode Champenoise” and undergoing no malolactic fermentation.  12.5% alcohol with an SRP of $17.99.

Tasting Notes

Baron de Hoen Crémant d’Alsace Brut opens with rich aromas of green apples, flowers, citrus, and spice. The palate is slightly creamy with tastes of orange, lemon, and tart green apple skin.  There are also notes of minerals and almonds along with a dry, vibrant finish.

*Media Sample

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Gustave Lorentz Cremant D’Alsace Brut Rosé

This week, I am going to be featuring sparkling wines from Alsace. The common thread among all of the bottles (and many more from the region) is value.  Each bottle is under $25 and lovely for summer sipping. Gustave Lorentz Cremant D’Alsace Brut Rosé is the first bottle that won me over during a recent tasting.  It is well-balanced and super food-friendly!

Gustave Lorentz Cremant D'Alsace Brut Rose
Gustave Lorentz Cremant D’Alsace Brut Rose

Technical Stuff

100% Pinot Noir from the Alsace region in France. Vinified according to the “Methode Champenoise”. 12% alcohol and an SRP of $24.

Tasting Notes

Gustave Lorentz Cremant D’Alsace Brut Rosé begins with aromas of red fruit and hints of spice.  The dry palate offers vibrant acidity along with tastes of strawberries, citrus, and subtle minerality.  Refreshing, balanced, and seriously delicious!

For more info, visit Gustave Lorentz.

*Media Sample 

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