My life as I know it is about to change for one month. I am preparing to process the largest wine club I have ever managed. It means long hours and long work weeks. I am putting my personal life on hold for at least two to four weeks to see this through successfully, so if I am unable to post next month that is why. Wish me luck!
Below are some wines – both East Coast and West Coast – that have been in my glass these past few weeks (and months) that merit a mention before February ends. As always, your palate may vary.
I tasted the 2013 Williamette Valley Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir ($30) a couple of months ago and shared my review on Delectable, but forgot to share it here. Light ruby-garnet in color and medium bodied, this wine is fruit forward, exhibiting aromas and flavors of cherry, cranberry, and plum. The finish is cinnamon spicy with tangy acidity. Drink now and for the next four or five years. (sample)
Here’s another wine that I reviewed on Delectable, but failed to post on my blog. The 2012 Ehlers Estate Cabernet Franc ($60), hand crafted from 100% organic, 100% estate fruit, is OMG amazing right now: super drinkable with blackberry, black cherry, black currant fruit, spice, and it’s oh-so-mouthwateringly juicy on the palate. The 2013 vintage will be released next week. There might still be some 2012 left, but not much. This was a tasting room sample that I brought home with me one day after work.
Tempranillo in Calistoga? Who’d a thunk it? The 2011 Coquerel Wines Tempranillo ($42) is like a taste of old school Napa Valley before it became the Cabernet Sauvignon darling of the world. If I were to pair this with a song, it would be Play that Funky Music by Wild Cherry, because that’s what you’ll get: a floral, funky nose with earthy, spicy, wild cherry and brambly raspberry on the palate. Its playful acid makes it delightfully easy to drink. Lay down the boogie and play that funky music till you die. (sample)
I was in a New York state of mind one evening and decided to open one of my favorite low-alcohol wines (12% ABV) crafted by Hudson-Chatham Winery, the 2013 Field Stone Baco Noir Old Stones & Old Vines, Masson Place Vineyards, Pulteney Farm. I also reviewed this one back in August 2015. It remains outstanding, an exceptional example of Baco Noir which expresses its Hudson-Berkshire Beverage Trail area roots, literally, with aromas and flavors of tart cherry and plum accompanied by crushed rock and earthy minerality, lingering spice, and juicy, mouthwatering acidity. Pair this with nearly any food and music, such as Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind or Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind. I purchased this bottle from the winery for $29.95.
I participated in #VAWineChat with Horton Vineyards and Frank Morgan of Drink What YOU Like recently. I rarely cook, but that night, I made spicy stir fry chicken accompanied by wasabi green peas. The pairing: 2014 Horton Vineyards Viognier, which is 5% petit mansang, a match with its floral aromatics and mouth-coating melon and tropical fruits. This wine was more voluptuous the second day, with intense fruit flavors running the gamut from citrus to stone to tropical and fantastic honeysuckle aromatics. That bit of petit mansang also goes a long way. This is great example of Virginia viognier, a top-notch wine for $20. (sample)
Another intriguing wine from Horton Vineyards, the 2014 Horton Vineyards Cabernet Franc is crafted from 79% cabernet franc, 14% tannat, and 7% merlot, giving it multiple personalities, if you will, that are still integrating. This wine is young and vibrant, showcasing a mélange of red and black fruit, firm tannins, spice, and pretty floral aromatics, all at a quaffable 13% alcohol. What a nice, everyday wine for only $15. This will improve with age and air, which will soften the youthful edges. If drinking now, please decant. (sample)
While March is going to be a challenging month, I am looking forward to some exciting spring and summer destinations: Seattle, Santa Ynez Valley (California), Vermont, and Lodi (California) twice. I will also continue to contribute to americanwineryguide.com and Snooth, whose links I will also share on this website.