A Beautiful and Bright Mourvèdre from La Clarine Farm

I can’t pass up buying an interesting Mourvèdre…especially one that people I know love and constantly talk about on social media (note: social media DOES sell wine).  So, when I stumbled across a bottle from La Clarine Farm, I had to bring it home with me.  La Clarine Farm was started by Hank Beckmeyer and Caroline Hoel in 2001.  They adhere to biodynamic farming practices and produce beautiful, terroir driven wines.  I was definitely excited to pour my first glass!

La Clarine Farm Cedarville Mourvèdre 2012
La Clarine Farm Mourvèdre “Cedarville” 2012

Technical Stuff

100% Mourvèdre from the Sierra Foothills. Native yeasts, minimal CO2. Screwcap closure. 14.2% alcohol and a suggested retail of $26.

Tasting Notes

Lovely aromas of violet and earth welcome in a vibrant palate.  There are notes of red fruit, spice, and herbs along with healthy acidity.  Beautiful and bright…it’s a shame it is already sold out!

http://laclarinefarm.com/ 

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Unique Blends from the Sierra Foothills Part 3- Avanguardia 2007 Cristallo

The last wine I uncorked from Avanguardia was their 2007 Cristallo.  The wine is made from more than 90% of the Rkatsiteli grape.  Rkatsiteli originated in the country of Georgia and is one of the oldest grape varieties.  It is rarely planted in the US so I was super excited to be able to try a California version of this wine. 

About the Wine- From the Winery

Avanguardia 2007 Cristallo is a blend of over 90% Rkatsiteli with Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Melon de Bourgogne.  It has 12.5% alcohol and retails for $14.  For more information see www.avanguardiawines.com

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Cristallo pours a pale yellow in the glass.  Pear, talc, slate, and floral aromas make for an interesting nose.  The palate is bold and crisp.  Pear, apple, lemon, and mineral notes are surrounded by zesty, age-worthy acidity.  The finish is zingy and long.  Definitely not for those wanting a buttery, oaky mouthful but perfect for those wanting to awaken and refresh their taste buds.  For $14, I would definitely recommend giving this grape a try.  And don’t be afraid to cellar it for a bit, it should age nicely!

My Wine Rating- B+

Food Pairing Suggestions- Pair with fried oysters, a seafood salad, or grilled chicken

*This wine was sent to me as a media sample

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Unique Blends from the Sierra Foothills Part 2- Avanguardia 2008 Premiato

In continuing my reviews on Avanguardia Wines unique blends, I want to move on to another one of their interesting proprietary blends.  The 2008 Premiato is a blend of 55% Dolcetto and 45% Barbera.  Both are native to the Italian Piedmont wine region and the combination makes for a spicy, balanced wine.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Avanguardia 2008 Premiato is a blend of Dolcetto and Barbera from the Sierra Foothills region of California.  It has 14.%4 alcohol and retails for $20.  For more information visit www.avanguardiawines.com

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Premiato pours a dark garnet in the glass.  The nose has spicy aromas of cherry, plum, and cedar.  Nothing about this wine is timid…spicy black cherry, cedar, and sweet tobacco invade your palate.  The long and peppery finish continues to stimulate your taste buds long after the sip of wine is gone.  A complex and unique blend that leaves a memorable impression!

My Wine Rating- B

Food Pairing Suggestions- Pair this blend with bison burgers, grilled steak, or sausage and mushroom ravioli. 

*This wine was sent to me as a media sample

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Unique Blends from the Sierra Foothills- Avanguardia 2008 Ampio

I was really intrigued when I was approached by Avanguardia Wines, a Sierra Foothills winery, to do a tasting of some of their current releases.  Avanguardia specializes in crafting proprietary blends from unusual grape varieties.  Around 70% of the grapes they grow (they have 23 varietals) are of Italian origin. 

The first wine I had the chance to taste was their 2008 Ampio, a blend of 67% Refosco and 33% Carmine.  The Refosco is an indigenous red variety from the Friuli region of Italy.  Carmine is a University of California two-generation cross of Carignane and Cabernet, which is then crossed again with Merlot.  The Refosco and Carmine combined made for an interesting blend.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Avanguardia 2008 Ampio is a blend from the Sierra Foothills region of California.  It has 14.1% alcohol and retails for $22.  For more information visit www.avanguadiawines.com

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Ampio pours a deep garnet in the glass.  Aromas of cherry cola, liquorice, and spice invite you to take a sip.  Tastes of sweet tobacco and sage mingle with candied cherry and crisp acidity.  This unique, medium bodied wine finishes dry with a little bit of lingering spice.  An unconventional journey for your taste buds!

My Wine Rating- B

Food Pairing Suggestions- This wine pairs well with grilled pork, pizza with mushrooms and sausage, or linguine with cherry tomatoes and herbs. 

*This wine was sent to me as a media sample

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