Cellar Selection

Tags

, , ,

 

Cade 2007 Cab

Cade 2007 Napa Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon

In 2005, John Conover, Gavin Newsom and Gordon Getty founded CADE Estate Winery on Howell Mountain as a complement to the valley floor terroir of PlumpJack Winery.  Like PlumpJack, CADE takes its name from Shakespeare, who used the term to refer to the wine casks or cades used to transport wine from Bordeaux to England in Elizabethan times.

Deep red with concentrated aromas of black fruit and subtle spice.  The palate is focused on dark fruit, mostly blackberry and black cherry, with a light touch of oak, leather and chocolate.  Elegant wine with a lingering finish.  Nice!

Cheers!

Cellar Selection

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Château La Nerthe 2007 Chât-du-Pape

Château La Nerthe 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Château La Nerthe was born in the 12th Century around the time vines were first planted in the stone-strewn soil of Châteauneuf-du-Pape (literally the “Pope’s new castle”), the place the pontiffs chose for their summer residence when the papel court relocated to Avignon.  The historic domains of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château la Nerthe, has always been graced by the attentive care of its successive owners: men of firm conviction, aristocrats, and notable experts on Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Marquis Tulle de Villefranche, Commandant Joseph Ducos and La Famille Richard, have all contributed to the reputation for excellence that La Nerthe has acquired and maintained.

Pouring a glass of this ruby red wine I noticed an elegant bouquet of fresh red fruit.  The wine is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Divers.  The palate shows red/black fruits raspberries, plums, cherries and blackberries and hints of leather, spice and black pepper.  Aged in oak, the wine was complex and elegant with smooth tannins on a nice finish.  Search for this one!

Cheers!

Exceptional Red

Tags

, , , ,

IMG_2088

La Cartuja Priorat 2013

La Cartuja is a unique wine produced in the Priorat region, one of the most prestigious appellations in Spain.  Priorat is special due to the unmistakable mineral identity that the licorella (volcanic Slate) imparts in its wines.  When you taste a Priorat wine, you are not only tasting a grape but also a place.  The mineral flavors of the place overpower the natural flavors of the grape.  La Cartuja was born in 2007 with the objective of bottling a special wine that is able to capture the mineral identity of this unique territory.  A second objective with La Cartuja was to make a Priorat that approachable and not alcoholic while young.  Lastly and perhaps the most difficult of objectives to accomplish was to make a wine of this pedigree at an inconceivable price.

La Cartuja is a small production cuvée made from organically grown and estate-owned, grapes located in the Carthusian Les Solanes estate. Most Priorat wines are expensive and require lots of time before they’re drinkable. La Cartuja is a fresh vision of Priorat, a wine that is young and accessible. During medieval times, La Cartuja was the name given to a large geographical area governed by the Carthusian monks. Similar to the Vatican estates, this area had its own code of law. The whole of Priorat was a ‘Cartuja,’ a religious state rather than a civil domain. Priorat’s winemaking heritage began with the Carthusian monks. For centuries they performed the backbreaking work necessary to care for these difficult, isolated vineyards.

Opening a bottle made from 70% Garnacha and 30% Cariñena grapes from Organically grown vines and tended in Licorella soil and aged for 6 months in French Oak, I immediately noticed a bright purple color with aromas of juicy red and black fruits, slightly floral.  The palate is smooth with berry and cherry flavors with ample mineral notes and fine tannins and a medium length finish.  This is an exceptional wine at a great price!

Cheers!

Cellar Selection

Tags

, , , , ,

Muga 2005 Gran Reserva Prada

Muga 2005 Gran Reserva Prado Enea

Since the XVII century, the Muga family has been linked to the wine world and to the area of Rioja.  Fast forward to 1932 when Bodega Muga winery was founded and today the winery operates with the same principals it did almost 100 years ago.  Muga also has its own cooperage and is able to control the right touch of oak desired in its offerings.

Opening a bottle, which I let sit for about an hour, the color was a glistening bright ruby.  The nose was clean with plenty of ripe red and black fruit with a touch of spice and herbs.  The wine is made from 80% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano.  The palate was substantial with red berries and blackberries and hints of dried fruits, well integrated oak and acidity with nuances of toast and vanilla.  The finish was smooth with tannins and mineral notes, complex and lingering.  Outstanding!  Search for this one, you will really enjoy it.

Cheers!

Cellar Selection

Tags

, , , , ,

Grgich 2009 Violetta Napa

Grgich Hills Estate 2009 Late Harvest Violetta

Miljenko “Mike” Grgich first gained international recognition at the celebrated “Paris Tasting” of 1976.  Then, in a now-historic blind tasting, a panel of eminent French judges swirled, sniffed, and sipped an array of the fabled white Burgundies of France and a small sampling of upstart Chardonnays from the Napa Valley.  When their scores were tallied, the French judges were shocked: they had chosen the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, crafted by Mike Grgich, as the finest white wine in the world.  Mon Dieu!  The results stunned the international wine establishment and immediately earned Mike a reputation as one of the greatest winemakers in the world.

After his victory in Paris, Mike sat down with Austin Hills and his sister, Mary Lee Strebl, from the Hills Bros. Coffee family, and on Independence Day 1977, they gave birth to Grgich Hills.  It was an ideal partnership.  Austin owned premium vineyards in Rutherford, in the heart of the Napa Valley, and with his extensive background in business, he put the winery on its financial feet.

Again 2009 became an ideal year for the appearance of Botrytis Cinerea (also known as Noble Rot) on the grapes, which is a beneficial mold that evaporates moisture while concentrating the flavor in the berry but yielding very little juice when the grapes are pressed. The grapes were grown at the American Canyon Vineyard, which is certified organic and Biodynamic.  In the lowest spot of this cool vineyard, the perfect conditions of low-lying fog is found to grow botrytis-affected grapes.  After fermentation the thick, rich juice, the wine is aged for 18 months in French oak to develop its subtle flavors and textures. The wine is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and some Gewürztraminer.  Pouring a glass, aromas of rich ripe stone fruit, with citrus and honeysuckle notes were present. The palate revealed ever changing complex flavors of rich fruit, apple and stone fruits with hints of lemon and gentle oak and floral notes, lingering finish. Violetta is perfect with rich desserts. Only about 1000 cases of 375ml bottles were produced, so be sure to add this to your holiday table.

 Cheers!

Cellar Selection

Tags

, , , , ,

AndrewWill-2008

Andrew Will 2008 Champoux Red

Andrew Will began in 1989 with a simple building (10×60), that is still standing today, where they made their first five vintages for a total of 2000 cases.  They loaded 2 trucks (that’s all they had) and moved to Vashon in 1994 and within an hour became ready for the 1994 harvest.  They harvest fruit from several areas, this wine was from Champoux vineyards, one of the first two vineyards used by Andrew Will.

AndrewWill-2008Cork

Opening a bottle of the 2008 Champoux, which is 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, I notice deep ruby color with a bouquet of aromatic perfumed spices and dark black fruit.  Aged for 21 months in oak (35% in new French oak), the palate was rich with fruit, blackberries and black cherries, some mineral and oak, nice structure and balance with a lingering finish, complex.  Only 969 cases were made, search for this one!

Cheers!

Cellar Selection

Tags

, , ,

Shafer 2000 Hillside Select

Shafer 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select

Shafer’s signature wine, Hillside Select, is sourced from the slopes of an amphitheater-like structure of thin soil and rock, where a series of knolls and outcroppings some vineyard blocks receive southeastern sunlight, while others receive southern or western exposures.  Each afternoon cool breezes from San Francisco Bay (located about 18 miles to the south) channel into the box canyon.  The consistent see-saw of daytime heat and evening chill retains acidity within deeply ripened fruit, resulting in a wine of exquisite balance.  On this remote site, Cabernet Sauvignon vines prod their roots through thin volcanic soil before meeting weathered bedrock below.  With the hillside’s quick runoff and the lack of plant nutrients, the struggling vines produce less than half the fruit tonnage per acre as a typical Napa Valley vineyard. The clusters are small, made up of blueberry-sized grapes that when crushed offer rich flavor, soft texture, and smooth, elegant tannins.

Shafer 2000 cork-Hillside

I was saving the 2000 Hillside Select for a celebration and, when I changed my day job, I decided the time was right.  I opened the bottle, took a sip, and decided to let it breath for about 45 minutes.  Pouring a glass I noticed a dense vivid deep purple color, and outstanding aromas of red and black fruits, cherries and blackberries, with hints of cedar, oak and spice.  Tasting this wine was absolutely magnificent, concentrated dark berry fruit flavors, spices, leather and oak, exploding on my palate.  Soft velvety subtle tannins provide a nice lingering finish, craving for more.  This was truly an outstanding Cabernet, one of the best.  If you can find yourself a bottle, do not hesitate.  The wine should be good for at least another 5-10 years.  Please check out the Shafer Website and look at some of the fine recipes that Annette Shafer offers.

Cheers!

Weekend Selection

Tags

, , , , ,

Muga 2009 Unfiltered

Muga 2009 Reserva Unfiltered

Since the XVII century, the Muga family has been linked to the wine world and to the area of Rioja.  Fast forward to 1932 when Bodega Muga Winery was founded and today the winery operates with the same principals it did almost 100 years ago.  Muga also has its own cooperage and is able to control the right touch of oak desired in its offerings.

Opening a bottle, which I let sit for about an hour, the color was a glistening deep ruby.  The nose was clean with plenty of ripe red and black fruit with a touch of spice.  The wine is made from 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 7% Mazuelo and 3% Graciano.  The palate was generous with red berries and dried fruits with well integrated oak and acidity with nuances of toast, leather and cedar.  The finish was smooth and about medium in length.  Great offering for the price.  Don’t miss this one.

Cheers!

Restaurant Selection

Tags

, , ,

IMG_2037

Fratelli Alessandria 2005 Barolo Monvigliero

Fratelli Alessandria produces wines only from their own grapes and continues to manage the winery as a family run operation.  Fratelli Alessandria is owned by Gian Battista together with his wife Flavia, his brother Alessandro and his son Vittore.  Together they proudly carry on their ancestors’ tradition and passion for wine making.  Gian Battista’s belief is that “A great wine comes from a great vineyard”, and he personally takes care of the vineyards.

Fratelli Alessandria Barolo Monvigliero has been aged for at least two years in oak and six months in the bottle before release.  The Nebbiolo grapes used in this vintage comes from vines at least 35 years old.  Gian keeps his yields low in order to get concentrated rich grapes which, which are then aged in small barrels in order to obtain a well-structured and complex Barolo.

Pouring a glass, I noticed a vivid light ruby color giving off a big bouquet of delicious sweet cherries and a touch of plums.  Tasting the wine the big round flavor of red berries, cherries, and sweet spices exploded and concluded to a delicate lingering finish with soft tannins.  The restaurant price was $90, however you can pick one up for under $60 if you can find a bottle.  Happy Hunting!

Cheers!

Weekend Selection

Tags

, ,

Merry Edwards 2012 Pinot

Merry Edwards 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

One of California’s first woman winemakers, Merry Edwards began her career at Mount Eden Vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1974.  She went on to become the founding winemaker at Matanzas Creek in 1977 and remained there until 1984.  In 1997, family and friends joined Merry to found Merry Edwards Winery, with a focus on producing Pinot Noirs with a sense of place from Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast.  Living her dream, she and her husband, Ken Coopersmith, now manage five estate vineyards: Coopersmith, Cresta d’Oro, Flax, Georganne and Meredith.  They maintain collaborative relationships with several other dedicated growers to supplement their estate production.

The wine is deep ruby with a clean nose of black dark fruit, black cherries pushing forth with a touch of spices, chocolate and oak.  This wine is medium bodied with well integrated tannins and alcohol with a very smooth lingering finish.  Very Well Done!  Also be sure to visit the Merry Edwards website for some fine recipes.

Cheers!