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A Great Day At Chappellet!

A Great Day at Chappellet!

Schewww! We just made it. In mid-February of 2020 we were fortunate enough to attend a fabulous long weekend of tasting in Napa with some friends. We tasted some of the best of the best that California has to offer. A few days after arriving home, the shit hit the fan. COVID 19. The world has changed. So many businesses have changed. The wine world has also changed greatly.

So, we feel blessed. We had one last great wine experience before the devastating pandemic that has killed so many people and changed so many lives!

One of the wonderful wineries we were fortunate enough to visit was the classic Chappellet! The gathering was delightful and memorable.

We’ve been opening a lot of gems during the pandemic, partly because we’re sad and also because we’re not going out and about to buy more wine. Tonight, we opened a 2010 Chappellet that we had in our cellar. What a lovely treat.

We decanted it for about 90 minutes. The blend is 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 7% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot.

This wine is drinking beautifully now. On the nose is earth, tobacco, and some stewed dark fruit. If I was tasting this wine blind, I might think it was an old world. There is dark chocolate, plum and licorice on the palate. The fruit is holding up nicely as well. If you have any bottles of this 2010, go ahead and enjoy them. It’s in a really nice place right now.

Napa is slowly opening up again, so don’t be afraid to head their way. Now that the vaccination is out, I’m hoping to travel again soon, and can’t wait for my next wine destination. Until then … I’m enjoying some gems from my cellar!

To learn more about Chappellet, here’s their website: https://www.chappellet.com

 

 

 

Great Pairing With A Sunset? Ramey Chardonnay!

Great Pairing with a Sunset? Ramey Chardonnay!

Well, it’s that time of the year. The Florida weather is turning warmer and warmer … and my wine selection is growing lighter and lighter. Especially when we’re hanging out on the deck.

For dinner I made a Sweet Corn and Potato Chowder. What wine should I choose as it’s pairing? I had a Vouvray that I was really eying, but it’s a 1996 and I wanted to save that for another night. So, I went for Chardonnay. A 2014 Ramey Ritchie Vineyard to be exact.

This wine is fabulous! On the nose are Meyer lemon and white flowers. The palate is gloriously complex with pear, peach, honeydew melon and a touch of oak. There is definitely a richness, but the great acidity balances the wine beautifully.

The pairing??? Well not great, but that’s my fault. The corn was even sweeter than I’d expected and clashed with the acidity of the wine. Note to self: Taste the dang food before I chose the wine! What was I thinking? Apparently, I wasn’t.

The wine DID pair beautifully with the buttery, garlicy brioche croutons that I served on top of the chowder, so that was a plus.  And it will pair beautifully with a lot of other things, including just sitting on the deck and enjoying the sunset!

All in all, the evening was a success. The wine was fabulous and we finished the bottle while sitting on the deck after a long day’s work!

To learn more about this wine, David Ramey and Ramey Wine Cellars, check out their site here: https://www.rameywine.com

The 12 Wines Of Christmas … Solomon Hills Pinot Noir

The 12 Wines of Christmas … Solomon Hills Pinot Noir

I know my neighbors probably judge me a bit, but I’m still celebrating the holidays. The front porch still shines with green and red, my trees are sparkling their lights through the windows and the wine is still flowing.

Here’s the deal. It’s still the 12 days of Christmas. What happened to that tradition? Why do so many people strike the fun from their lives on January 2nd? Heck, some on December 26th???

In my world there are 12 days of Christmas, and by god I’m going to enjoy every single one of them. Sure, my family doesn’t exchange gifts every night as some people do, but we do consider these days and nights as special and we’re sure to celebrate them in one way or another.

So last night (the 10thday of Christmas) I made some pasta and decided to pair it with a new world Pinot Noir.

I really dig this varietal from the Central Coast of California, because although there’s a lot of fruit on these wines, there’s also some nice minerality and earthiness.

I selected a 2014 Solomon Hills from Santa Maria Valley. The Miller family (who planted the infamous Bien Nacido vineyard in the 1970s) has owned the Solomon Hills vineyard for years, selling their fruit to wineries producing some fabulous wines. It was a natural progression for them to begin making wine with their own fruit, starting Solomon Hills Vineyards in 2008.

This lovely Pinot Noir is very well balanced with fruity cherry and cranberry, a touch of cola, some sage and thyme and great acidity. I actually wish I’d opened a bottle of this for Thanksgiving, because it would have been a perfect match for those holiday flavors.

It did, however, work well with the pasta I made last night as well. It definitely complimented the roasted red pepper and sun-dried tomato pesto that I used as a sauce! I’m going to be seeking out more of the Solomon Hills Vineyards’ Pinot Noir.

Sadly, it’s only a couple of days before Christmas is truly over for this season. Tomorrow we have friends coming over for the 12thday and one final feast. On Monday I’ll sadly begin taking all of the decorations down and packing them safely away until next time. And I undoubtedly with do that with another nice bottle of something to keep my spirits up!

Ribbons & Bows And Plum On The Nose!

Ribbons & Bows and Plum on the Nose!

I’m a little crazy about Christmas. My husband and I absolutely love the holidays and we decorate our house from top to bottom. We love to relish in the festivities of December and the holiday season.

After bringing up all of the boxes of decorations, we pick out some fun bottles of wine to enjoy while beginning the long (but fun!) process of turning our Florida home into a winter wonderland.

This year we started with a bottle of bubbly from one of my favorite wineries in Sonoma, Iron Horse Vineyards! I personally think that EVERY day is a great day for bubbles, so how could I possibly begin decorating without a great glass of bubbles?

We chose a bottle of 2014 Iron Horse Harvest Moon from the Green Valley of Russian River Valley appellation. 72% Pinot Noir and 28% Chardonnay, this wine has very fine bubbles with toasty brioche on the nose and apple and pear on the palate. This beautifully balanced sparkling wine was a great way to start the evening!

Not only does Iron Horse make some wonderful wines, they are located in an absolutely gorgeous spot!  Their rustic outdoor tasting room has a magnificent view and is a must visit spot if you’re in Northern California Wine Country!

After our bubbles we poured ourselves some 2013 Sixteen Appellations. Now a part of the Italics portfolio, Sixteen Appellations began in 2002 when several Napa vintners got together with the idea of using grapes from all of the Napa appellations (then 13) and blending the grapes into a single wine. They wanted a wine to represent the entire Napa Valley. Cool, right??? As appellations were added, the name changed. In 2012 the 16thAVA (Coombsville) was added, thus the 2013 name of Sixteen Appellations!

This Bordeaux blend consists of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.  The color is deep ruby. After an hour or so decant, on the nose are red cherry, currant and some coffee. On the palate the fruits are riper, with plum and cherry leading the way, complimented by baking spices and good acidity. This is a really fun wine and I’ll be buying more!

I absolutely love the month of December. The holiday season truly is my favorite time of the year and I love to drink some of my favorite wines and discover some new favorites along the way!

So cheers to you all! I wish you happy decorating and happy drinking!

 

 

A “Spooky” Good Chardonnay

A “Spooky” Good Chardonnay

It’s Halloween and I’m drinking one heck of a great wine! I mean … it’s FABULOUS!

I’m a bit of a Chardonnay snob. I really like Chardonnay, but only when it’s done right!!! Burgundy is my favorite spot for this varietal. So when I find a Chard that I’m this nuts about, it’s definitely something special for me!

Tonight I found one!!!! I opened a bottle of 2013 Williams Selyem Chardonnay from the Drake Vineyard in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. I actually have quite a few bottles of Williams Selyem in my cellar. They’re all dang good, but this one is exceptional!

This wine is full of a gazillion different flavors. On the nose are white flowers and citrus. On the palate there is a little oak, but not too much. Let’s call it lightly buttered toast. There’s also everything from acidic citrus to ripe pear. That’s how complex this wine is. This is one special wine!

So if you see the ’13 Williams Selyem Drake Vineyard Chardonnay on a wine list, order it! If you find it in your favorite wine shop, grab a bottle or twelve! If you appreciate great Chardonnay the way I do, you definitely won’t be disappointed!

P.S. Happy Halloween!

P.S.S. If you find ANY wines from Williams Selyem … see above!

Check them out here: https://www.williamsselyem.com

 

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