Tag Archive | "Sonoma"

2008 Matanzas Creek Chardonnay

Matanzas Creek has been around since ’78, and over thirty years later, they are still making good wine. The ’08 Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Chardonnay is sourced from the estate owned vineyards. Clean and vibrant, with flavors of apples, pears and a mineral finish; we paired this with Sashimi grade tuna, pickled ginger and a dash of wasabi sauce. This was a really good pairing as the wine brought out the sweetness of the tuna. Drink now.

Rating: 87 | $29 | 13.9% ABV

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Posted in California, Chardonnay, White Wine, Wine ReviewsComments (3)

2004 Ferrari-Carano Cabernet Sauvignon, CA

The 2004 Ferrari-Carano Cabernet Sauvignon is a wonderful representation of Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley and all the intensity that appellation bestows on the fruit grown there. This wine exudes class and complexity starting with the deep purple colors that gives way to aromas of intense blackberry, cherry and smoke. Hints of rosemary peek through the chocolate accompanied by intense black cherry and blueberry fruit that integrates nicely with the earthy flavors of toast and oak. It is a full-bodied and well-balanced wine with an ambitiously sweet mid-palate and a seductively long-lasting smooth tannic finish.

We first paired the Ferrari-Carano with a Spanish Castello bleu cheese. The soft ripened, rich and pungent bleu cheese flavors harmonized with the wine’s intensely fruity and earthy flavors. Next, we paired the wine with a grilled buffalo tri-tip accompanied with a farfalle florentine. Simply stated, this culinary pairing will tantalize your olfactory senses beyond belief. If you are looking for a wine to treat yourself or a wine to impress this wine will satisfy either of those scenarios.

Rating: 91 | $32 | 14.5% ABV

Find this wine to buy: Vinquire | WineZap.com

Posted in 90+ up to $60, Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Wine ReviewsComments (2)

2007 Matanzas Creek Bennett Valley Merlot, Sonoma County, CA

This wine is one of the best vintages from these guys that I have tasted in years and I always taste their wine every vintage going back two or three decades. The wine has a very full throttle black cherry, spice and ripe blackberries whose smells present an immediate sensory aromatherapy session. The flavors including the addition of a little white pepper and dried cardamom being crushed are similar to the description of the aromas. Very right bank Bordeaux style and I mean that in a, “I really like this wine sincerely” way. The 2007 will make you go watch chick flicks, take out the trash and even make sure she has a full tank of gas. If you are not prepared to have your relationships evolve do not serve this wine to anyone you care about because you will get a fan for life. Oh yeah the ‘07 Bennett Valley will do that and maybe a whole lot more. It is smooth, full flavored and seductive. The wine has a finish that goes on forever making you linger and wish the flavors would last forever. We served this one with a starter of smoked local asparagus wrapped and grilled with a local hazelnut fed pig prosciutto. The main course was a prime grade grilled beef sirloin steak served with marinated grilled mushrooms. The smoldering subtle smokiness of this Merlot worked fantastic with this menu combining forward fruit and restrained oak. This is a fantastic wine, which you will enjoy over the next 5-10 years.

Rating: 91 | $35 | 13.5% ABV

Find this wine to buy: Vinquire | WineZap.com

Posted in California, Merlot, Red Wine, Wine ReviewsComments (5)

2006 Amapola Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Some of you may not know the Amapola label, but you certainly know the winemaster behind the bottle—Richard Arrowood. In 2010, he left Arrowood to focus on a handful of little gems at Amapola, a tiny ultra-premium winery in Sonoma. I had the pleasure of interviewing Richard shortly after he departed Arrowood and the passion he shared for his new venture was simply amazing. I expect great things to come out of this winery for many years to come.

The ’06 Amapola Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is ripe, rich and delicious—a Cabernet that will knock your socks off and then some. It’s intense with all of the flavors you would expect from the Sonoma region—blackberry, black cherry, spice and everything nice with a dash of black tea and plum. This is what I call a yowzer of a wine (translation: an exclamation of delight) and it’s tannic enough to grace our presence 15 years from now. It’s on my “must have” wines for 2010 and I’d highly recommend cellaring this rascal for a while to reap the benefits this wine will unfold in a decade or so.

~Pamela Heiligenthal

Rating: 91 | $80 | 14.7% ABV

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Posted in 90+ over $60, Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Wine ReviewsComments (2)

Behind the Scenes with Richard Arrowood

I’m guilty of reminiscing. I admit it. But I think anyone that has tasted wine for a few decades is as guilty as I for recollecting greatness. We all have those memories where certain decades, regions or producers simply blow our minds. Maybe it’s simply a green drinker finally grasping greatness in a glass. I don’t know. Whatever it is, some memories seem to stick more than others and for me, Arrowood is one of those producers that captured my heart back in the 90’s.

Back then, I used to work as a sommelier and I’d get excited every time my wine distributors showed up to pour me the latest Arrowood lineup. Pockets of greatness such as the ’93, ’94, ’96, ‘97 Arrowood Chardonnay Sonoma County Cuvée Michel Berthoud Réserve Spéciale were out of this world. ’94, ’95, ‘97 Arrowood Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County Réserve Spéciale were equally spectacular as were the ’94, and ’97 Arrowood Syrah Russian River Valley Saralee’s Vineyard and the ’97 Arrowood Viognier Russian River Valley Saralee’s Vineyard. Read the full story

Posted in Interviews, WinemakersComments (8)

Kick'n it at Kick Ranch: WBC Bloggers Unite

I am envious of those attending the first annual Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC) in Sonoma County, CA on October 24-26. Marc and I planned on attending, but due to other commitments, we are not able to make it this year.

For those of you who are heading to the conference, I strongly recommend signing up for the Kick Ranch Vineyard Luncheon, which will kick off (no pun intended!) the event on Friday, October 24.

Kick Ranch vineyard was planted and is owned by Dick Keenan and Kathleen McNamara. It’s a location in Sonoma’s Rincon Valley near the western side of the northern flank of Spring Mountain, a location that

Wine Bloggers Conference

separates Sonoma and Napa Counties. Historical documents show that this location began producing grapes in the 1870’s later to be abandoned during Read the full story

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