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Looking For A Great Napa Cab? Check Out Piña!

Looking for a Great Napa Cab? Check out Piña!

I have a new favorite winery in Napa. It’s not a fancy place, but that’s okay with me! The wine’s not cheap, but it’s definitely worth the price! They don’t make a gazillion different wines with a bunch of different varietals, but in my mind that makes sense!

Piña is located right on Silverado Trail, but if you’re not looking for it you’ll drive right by. The tasting room is the barrel room, which I love! To me there’s nothing more special than tasting wines amongst the barrels holding future vintages of the wine I’m drinking. Sure, the lavish tasting rooms are lovely too! There’s just something I adore, though, about the rustic authenticity of hanging out in the gut of the winery!

I’ve visited Piña a couple of times now and have had great tastings each time. Claire has helped us out both times, and although his initial impression is somewhat reserved, he opens up quickly and loves to tell us all about their wines. He even seems to enjoy our company and laughs at our jokes!

Tonight I’m drinking their 2012 Wolff Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. On the nose I smell roses: a dozen roses!!! This medium-bodied 100% Cabernet Sauvignon has smooth, silky tannins, with black cherry, black currant, some lovely earthiness and is not over the top with new world hugeness. The alcohol is 14.7% but you’d never know it. It’s not hot at all and is very well balanced. I look forward to trying more of this vintage after a few more years in the bottle!

This isn’t their only Cab Sauv! They have five different vineyard bottlings (all fabulous!), as well as a Reserve (which unfortunately I have yet to try) and a Second Wine called CAHOOTS. They also have a Chardonnay that my husband loves!

So the next time you’re in Napa and looking for a new (for you) winery to visit, be sure to stop at Piña. The experience is a fun one, and if you’re into Cabernet Sauvignon, their wines won’t disappoint!

To find them, check out their website here:

http://www.pinanapavalley.com

I Love Rock ‘n Roll … and Cliff Lede!

This is why you wait.

There are wines to be drunk young, and there are wines that need time. Too many people drink a beautiful bottle way too early. Okay, they bought it, they like it young, fine! But I do question if they KNOW what the wine will become if they just hold it for a few years.

My husband and I just got back from Napa.  We did our usual tour of some new (to us) wineries as well as hitting some of our favorites.

One of the favorites is Cliff Lede, who has great wine and a great tasting experience! Their tasting room is fun and cozy at the same time! The crackling fireplace is perfect on a chilly spring day. Add the fun wine pros, the great tunes filling the airwaves, the beautiful grounds full of rock and roll artwork and blocks named after Cliff Lede’s favorite rock n roll songs, and you’re in store for a very special time!

We tasted some of their wonderful current releases and bought a few. We also bought one of their library wines, and cracked it open tonight!

The 2006 Cliff Lede Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon is SINGING! I am in love with this wine! It still has lots of dark fruit and a velvety texture with smooth tannins. Prune, tobacco and a little spice lead to a nice long finish of dark chocolate. Oh, if only I’d bought a case.

Definitely check them out the next time you’re in Napa. The tasting experience is special, and the wines rock!

http://cliffledevineyards.com

Did You Know that March is Taste Washington Wine Month?

March is Taste Washington Wine Month so I thought that I’d join in the festivities!

I’m not able to get to the fine state of Washington this month, so I did the next best thing! I cracked open a bottle of Washington wine!

A few years ago my husband and I made a really fun wine trip to Washington State. We flew into Seattle and started the wine journey in nearby Woodinville, a delightful little town full of fun tasting rooms and restaurants. From there we headed to the Cascade Mountains and spent a few days in the adorable and wine friendly Bavarian town of Leavenworth. We hit the road again and hung out in Yakama Valley for two days and then on to Walla Walla, where we spent the majority of our time. We ended our trip in Spokane and flew home from there!

It was in Woodinville that we discovered Mark Ryan Winery. When we were there six years ago this was a small, quiet tasting room with a friendly and knowledgeable gal named Kyra pouring their fabulous wines. Considering the quality of the wine my guess is that this tasting room is no longer small or quiet, but I’d put my money on the fact that the wines are still fabulous!

Sadly, the bottle I pulled from our cellar last night was the last of the Mark Ryan wines we bought on that trip. It sure was lovely, though! The 2008 Mark Ryan Winery Water Witch is a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot and 2% Malbec. All of the fruit is from the Klipsun Vineyard in the Red Mountain AVA, a warm sub-appellation of the Yakima Valley.

Dark ruby in color, this Bordeaux blend has cherry, currant, some vanilla and baking spices on the nose. There’s some violet there too! The palate is cherry cola, cherry cola, and cherry cola!!!!! The vanilla and baking spices are there as well, along with some chocolate and sweet tannins. How can you go wrong with chocolate covered cherry cola???? The finish is long and graceful!

The ’08 Water Witch is drinking absolutely beautifully right now. Do you have a case of this wine in your cellar? If you do … I’ll be over ASAP! If you don’t, but you are curious, you can check out Mark Ryan Winery here: https://www.markryanwinery.com/index.php

Cheers!

 

MVP Wine from Charles Woodson!

I make no secret of my love of wine AND football! My friends, family and colleagues know that I’m pretty much obsessed with both! So when I discovered that one of my favorite players of all time, who also happens to have a wine, was going to be in Orlando ON MY BIRTHDAY … well guess what happened! I went!

Charles Woodson is a defensive back that played for Michigan, the Oakland Raiders and my beloved Green Bay Packers. His football stats are amazing. He won a National Championship with the Michigan Wolverines as well as the 1997 Heisman. He was the 4th overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders, where he won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He won the 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the year and Super Bowl XLV with the Green Bay Packers. These are just a few of this Hall of Fame lock’s gazillion awards and accomplishments during his football-playing career.

He now uses his knowledge, good looks and eloquence on ESPN’s NFL Countdown show!

But where am I really going with this???? HIS WINE!!!!!!! And boy oh boy has Woodson scored again! Charles has had a lot of picks in his career, but this may be his best pick yet!

The 2012 TwentyFour by Charles Woodson has bright cherry and vanilla on the nose. The palate has chocolate covered cherry, ripe dark fruit, tomato, some nice earthiness and a touch of oak! This well-balanced wine has velvety tannins and ends with chocolate on the long finish.

I was truly impressed with this lovely wine. It’s not overdone like some Napa Cabs. It is approachable now, but can lie down for another ten plus years.

Charles’ wines should definitely be included on your wine “fantasy team”!!!  The wine is fabulous, and the NFL great behind it is a really nice guy. What a nice bonus!

 

Check out Charles Woodson Wines here: http://www.charleswoodsonwines.com

With What Wine do YOU Decorate?

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 a gem of a wine to enjoy while beginning the long (but fun!) process of turning our Florida home into a winter wonderland.

This year we chose a bottle of 2007 L’Ecole No. 41 Perigee, which we bought at the winery almost six years ago.

Just outside of Walla Walla, Washington is a small town called Lowden, and this is where L’Ecole No. 41 is located. The winery is housed in an adorable French schoolhouse, with the tasting room in a former classroom. The wines being offered for tasting each day are cleverly displayed on an old-fashioned chalkboard.

The ’07 Perigee consists of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc … and it’s drinking beautifully right now. The nose has raspberry, mocha and violets. The palate is very complex and well balanced, with both red and black fruit, a touch of vanilla and clove, some baking spices and lush, soft tannins. The finish goes on and on and on. I’m in love with this wine!!!

The 2007 L’Ecole No. 41 Perigee was a great way to START our holidays! I’m looking forward to what the rest of the season has in store for us!

 http://www.lecole.com

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