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)

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A Lovely Summer Wine – 3CV 2012 Estate Sauvignon Blanc

One of my favorite parts of summer has quickly become the “Concerts in the Park” in Dana Point.  The weather is almost always perfect as a great band takes the stage with the ocean glistening in the background.  Every Sunday, we head out with a group of friends and some great wine and cheese to enjoy the show.  This past weekend I brought along a bottle of 3CV’s newest Estate Sauvignon Blanc.  It turned out to be a great wine for a warm, summer afternoon!

3CV 2012 Estate Sauvignon Blanc
3CV 2012 Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Tasting Notes

This refreshing Sauvignon Blanc opens up with aromas of lemon and lime.  The palate has a bit of a rich mouth feel showing flavors of pear and sweet melon with hints of citrus and stone fruit.  There is also a nice dose of acidity that elevates the palate.  A lovely wine for a summer day! (13.1% alcohol, $18)

My Wine Rating – B+

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with grilled mahi mahi topped with mango salsa, fish tacos, or sip as an aperitif.

www.cimarone.com

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Sbragia Family Vineyards 2012 Sauvignon Blanc

Sbragia Family Vineyards is a winery from Ed Sbragia, who had a long history as winemaker for Beringer Vineyards.  In 2008, he left to start a winery of his own with his wife, sons and daughters.  Sbragia Family Vineyards features single-vineyard wines ranging from Zinfandel to Chardonnay.  While there were definitely some high and low points in the couple of wines I tasted, the 2012 Sauvignon Blanc was a decent find.  It is 100% Sauvignon Blanc from the Dry Creek Valley.  It was aged in stainless steel, has 13.5% alcohol and retails for around $17.

Sbragia

Tasting Notes

This Sauvignon Blanc opens up with aromas of green apple and citrus.  The palate is full-bodied with bright tastes of grapefruit, lemon and pear.  There is also a bit of creaminess to the palate followed with a lingering, citrus-packed finish.  Refreshing and full of flavor!

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with King Crab, shrimp cocktails or a salad topped with green apples and goat cheese.

My Wine Rating – B-

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Mini-Review – The Seeker 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

The second wine I tasted from The Seeker line was their 2011 Sauvignon Blanc.  This 100% Sauvignon Blanc comes from the Marlborough region of New Zealand.  It was aged in both stainless steel and lees and retails for around $15.

The wine pours a pale gold in the glass and has interesting aromas of pineapple, tangerine, and mint.  The palate is refreshing and vibrant.  There are tastes of lime and orange with notes of grassiness.  Nice acidity and a tangy finish make this a great wine to enjoy with shellfish or grilled chicken with mango salsa! (B, 12.7% alcohol)

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Mini-Review- Uppercut 2010 North Coast Sauvignon Blanc

I have had a bottle of Uppercut 2010 North Coast Sauvignon Blanc in my wine refrigerator for a couple of months and finally decided to pour myself a glass.  I bought this bottle at the recommendation of an employee at a local wine store who said it was one of their best Sauvignon Blanc values. 

I poured a glass on a hot Saturday and realized that I opened this wine in the perfect season.  The nose has bright aromas of citrus, melon, and peaches.  The palate is very refreshing and rejuvenated my tastebuds in the midst of the summer heat.  Tastes of lime, lemon, apricot, and melon are surrounded by mineral notes and lively acidity.  An incredible value at only $10!  Pair with shellfish, fish tacos, or vegetarian sushi rolls. (B+, 13.8%)

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Wrapping Up a Week of Sauvignon Blanc!

I have had a lot of fun tasting a variety of different Sauvignon Blancs this week.  I am wrapping up the series with my favorite wine of the week; Goldwater 2010 Sauvignon Blanc.  Goldwater has been producing sustainable wines in New Zealand since 1992.  Their Sauvignon Blanc is complex and refreshing, which made it a stand out in the week’s lineup. 

About the Wine- From the Winery

Goldwater 2010 Sauvignon Blanc is 100% Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand.  It has 13% alcohol and retails for around $18-20.  For more information visit www.pasternakwine.com.

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Goldwater pours a pale gold in the glass.  It is very fragrant with clean aromas of melon, citrus, and white pepper.  The palate is lively with bright acidity.  Crisp tastes of lemon, peaches, spice, and a hint of minerality make this wine come alive in your mouth.  A wonderful Sauvignon Blanc that can stand up to any occassion. 

My Wine Rating- A-

Food Pairing Suggestions- Pair this wine with oysters, a crab and avocado salad, or vegetarian spring rolls. 

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Sauvignon Blanc #3- Guy Saget La Petite Perriere 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc #3 of the week comes from Guy Saget.  Guy Saget is a 9th generation, family owned winery in the Loire Valley of France.  I have always enjoyed their wines and this Sauvignon Blanc is no exception.  Fresh, rich flavors that go perfectly with a variety of summer dishes!

About the Wine- From the Winery

Guy Saget La Petite Perriere 2011 Sauvignon Blanc is 100% Sauvignon Blanc from France.  It has 12.5% alcohol and retails for around $14.99.

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

This wine pours a rich, gold color in the glass.  Sweet aromas of peaches and tangerines dominate the nose.  The palate is refreshing and packed with ripe fruit.  Tastes of peaches, melon, and lychee are followed with a clean, grapefruit filled finish.  A glass full of sunshine!

My Wine Rating- B+

Food Pairing Suggestions- Pair this wine with mahi mahi topped with mango salsa, a fruit salad, or grilled chicken.

*Media Sample

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Sauvignon Blanc #2- Morro Bay 2009 “Sur Lie” Sauvignon Blanc

As we lead up to Sauvignon Blanc Day, the second Sauvignon Blanc of the week comes from Morro Bay.  This wine is another great value from a California producer.  Sustainably farmed and perfect for summer and seafood!

About the Wine- From the Winery

Morro Bay 2009 “Sur Lie” Sauvignon Blanc is 100% Sauvignon Blanc from Lodi.  It has 13.5% alcohol and retails for around $11.  For more information visit www.pasternakwine.com.

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

“Sur Lie” pours a pale yellow in the glass.  The wine has aromas of melon and lemon with a hint of grapefruit.  This smooth Sauvignon Blanc has tastes of citrus and melon.  There are also mineral notes followed with a crisp finish.  An easy sipper that definitely offers a lot of value! 

My Wine Rating- B+

Food Pairing Suggestions- This wine is perfect with oysters, a shrimp cocktail, or a roasted eggplant sandwich with goat cheese.

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Kicking Off A Week of Sauvignon Blanc with Los Vascos!

This Thursday, June 21st, is officially Sauvignon Blanc Day so I thought it would be great to feature Sauvignon Blancs all week on Wine and Good Food.  Sauvignon Blanc is a nice warm weather wine and there some dynamic bottles out there at all price points.  We are starting off the week with a bottle from Los Vascos.  A nice wine for the price, especially if you enjoy a sweeter Sauvignon Blanc.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Los Vascos 2011 Sauvignon Blanc is 100% Sauvignon Blanc from Chile.  It has 13.5% alcohol and retails for around $9.  For more information visit www.pasternakwine.com.

Now th Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Los Vascos pours a pale greenish-gold in the glass.  The nose has aromas of sweet melon and lemon.  Flavors of tart citrus, peach, and herbs fill the palate of this refreshing wine.  The finish is crisp and sweet.  Easy sipping and easy on the wallet!

My Wine Rating- B

Food Pairing Suggestions- Pair this wine with a teriyaki tofu bowl, grilled shrimp, or an apple and chicken salad. 

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Tasting Sauvignon Blanc with Villa Maria Estate and Thirsty Girl

There is not much better to do after a long day of work than come home, relax, and taste a couple of new wines.  Last night, Thirsty Girl (www.thirstygirl.com) put on a live tasting via Twitter with Villa Maria Estate, a winery in New Zealand.  Everyone who participated had the chance to taste two of their Sauvignon Blancs and both wines are perfect for warm weather and light, summer dishes.

We started off with Villa Maria 2011 Private Bin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.  This wine was refreshing and rejuvenated me after a long, hot day in Downtown LA.  Tastes of pear, citrus, and melon along with tangy acidity make it a great choice for fish tacos, oysters, or as an aperitif. (B, $14.99)

The second wine of the evening was Villia Maria 2011 Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc.  This wine was a bit more herbaceous and sophisticated.  The nose had a bit of grassiness along with aromas of lemon and honeydew.  The palate was packed with lemon, grapefruit, and floral notes.  Elegant and balanced.  Pair with scallops, tofu teriyaki, or soy-miso salmon.  (B+, $21.99)

A very fun tasting event and two great wines from Villa Maria!

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