Monday, April 27, 2009

Sonoma, CA

I know I haven't posted in awhile and I apologize to those of you just beginning to visit here.  I promise it will be more regular especially since I have so much to share from my recent visit to Sonoma, CA.  To say it was unbelievable would be an understatement!

I want to begin with the many different wineries I visited although first a big thank you to the Larson Family Winery who allowed me to spend the day with Carolyn Craig, their winemaker.  To everyone at Larson from Tom & Becky, Molly and especially have brought me more education and knowledge to help guide me down this path of something I truly love sharing with and the passion that goes into making it.  Your family atmosphere, fun loving spirt and overall experience will be something I never forget.  Oh yeah, some incredible wines now and some which I hope to see in the future from our barrel tastings.  Watch out, I'll be back for harvest time!

To some of the other enjoyable places visited, I wanted to make mention here and follow up with a posting for each along with some of the great wines they make. 

More to come ASAP on all these.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Stephen Vincent Crimson, 2006 ($11)

Petaluma, CA (Sonoma)

I can’t help to say that this wine was bought on a complete whim! In the store, it was in the same area of other red blends, which are my current favorites to try. I thought, why not try this one given its description and price point. I’ve been back to buy a lot more!

“Crimson” is made in the style of a French Rhone blend, yet made in California. The aromas are pleasant suggestions of coffee, roasted nuts and toasty oak. A combination of 75% Syrah and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, from the Sonoma and Central Coast growing regions of California, make this a new favorite of mine. Blackberries, plum and toasted oak are the predominate flavors. A silky-smooth finish, with soft tannins bring together flavors of licorice, cocoa and a moderate tartness leaving you wanting more. I’ve also had the 2004 and it was equally good and consistent to the ‘06.

Since I found this at an independent liquor store, here is a way to find this wine near your home. Stephen Vincent Crimson

I am starting something new with my postings and would like to share with you some other wine blogs I follow. Please check these folks out as they have some great news to share as well. I’m not saying leave me…just see what else is out there and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Today’s blog pick is Good Wine Under $20.
With a name like this, how can you go wrong?  But seriously, Deb Harkness has been doing this for awhile and she definitely intrigues me with her writing and knowledge.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Blauer Zweigelt "St. Severin", 2005 ($16)

Krems, Austria
Winzer Krems, Kremstal Vineyard

I first had a Zweigelt wine during a visit to Vienna. The grape’s original birthplace is in Austria and many say the varietal is close to a Pinot Noir.

My story began, in 2007, while on a hunt for good homemade Wiener Schnitzel at a recommended Gasthaus, which is generally where you’ll find traditional dishes, homemade specials and a pleasant home-like atmosphere. These places are somewhat hard to find in the big cities anymore and more prevalent in the countryside towns. On our hunt, we must have passed the restaurant 3 times circling the block since it was so small with minimal signage. In the end, it was worth the adventure as the meal was wonderful along with samplings of at least 4 local beers I couldn’t even begin to remember.

So, I decided to buy a bottle of Zweigelt and make our own Wiener Schnitzel with egg noodles and mushroom/rosemary gravy here at home. This wasn’t the exact same wine from Vienna although the Winzer Krems vineyard is in Krems, Austria which is a small town located 55 miles northwest of Vienna. The city is over 1000 years old and rich in history.

With rich scents of ripe berries, black pepper and a hint of molasses it definitely brought back memories of that wonderful dinner. Tastes of plum and black cherries combined in this easy drinking wine with soft tannins and fruit forward flavors. An essence of licorice, spice and tobacco existed in its velvety finish. Considered to be a medium bodied wine, I’d love to find another bottle however I believe the 2006 is now what’s out. I guess I’ll have to try that vintage as well.

I found it at Total Wine although you can try here to find a distributor near you.

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