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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

 

A Not To Miss Tasting In Sonoma? Balletto!!!

They hadn’t been on my list. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of them before! A staff member at Gloria Ferrer (who’s become a friend because I visit so often!) told me about her favorite rosé in the world. She told me that she just couldn’t get enough of it! So … I had to check them out!

Balletto Vineyards is a family owned winery located in the Russian River Valley AVA in Sonoma County. Started as a successful vegetable farming company, in 1999 they started the shift from vegetable farming to vineyards. Today they sell 90% of their grapes to other wineries, using the other 10% producing their lovely Balletto Vineyard wines!

So, the day after visiting Gloria Ferrer last month, my husband and I stopped by Balletto for a tasting. I couldn’t wait to try their rosé! This pretty pink wine (made of 100% Pinot Noir) has strawberry, a touch of rose and lively acidity to balance it perfectly. I can see why my friend finds it difficult to not finish the bottle in one sitting!

Rosé, however, is not all they do at Balletto! I also made sure to buy a couple bottles of their lovely (not too oaky) 2014 Sexton Hill Vineyard Chardonnay. They also make some rockin’ Pinot Noir (we bought some Burnside that tasted like Strawberry Twizzlers!), Syrah and Zin! A super nice bonus is that their prices are very fair!!!

Looking back I’m surprised and disappointed that I hadn’t heard of them before, but boy oh boy I’m thankful that I know them now! I also want to spread the word about their really nice wines and great tasting experience!

Don’t only PUT them on your list … bump them to the TOP of your list!

http://www.ballettovineyards.com

 

Tasting at Failla

Failla has got it going on!!!!!  Not only do their wines rock, but they have an adorable tasting room in which to try them!

I was in Napa a couple of weeks ago, tasting my way around the valley.  I’ve heard a lot about Failla’s wines (they’ve had top 100 wines in several recent years), but have never paid them a visit.  I did just that on February 7th!

The tasting room is located in a charming yellow house.  One enters into a library type room which leads into a parlor and quaint sitting room, complete with a wood-burning stove.  Two comfy chairs and a sofa invited us to sit, with wine glasses placed on a coffee table between!  Who wouldn’t want to delve into their lovely wines???

Our tasting room attendant first brought us the 2011 Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay from Napa.  Wow, did I love this wine!!!  On the nose is passion fruit galore!  This is a rich Chardonnay with lots of lush tropical fruit, but it’s beautifully balanced with bright acidity.   I’m kicking myself for not buying a case of this!

Next up was the 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.  This is an outstanding wine for a great value!  On the nose is plum and some herbs, perhaps oregano or sage.  There is also a hint of watermelon!  Loaded with cherry and a lovely old-world style earthiness, this wine rocks for $34.  Finding a well-made Pinot at this price is a definite treat!  In fact, I cracked open a bottle of this and am drinking a glass while I write this blog

The 2012 Keefer Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir from Russian River was the third wine we tried.  Very different from the Sonoma Coast, this wine has some cherry cola and root beer on the nose, along with violet.   Blackberry explodes on the palate, with some earthy mushrooms.  This wine is another winner!

The 2012 Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley was the last wine we tasted.   This is a bigger Pinot, with lots of dark fruit and vanilla, along with some spiciness.  This is their inaugural vintage of wine sourced from the Savoy Vineyard

Failla is a joint effort, owned by Anne-Marie Failla and her husband Ehren Jordan, who is also the winemaker.  Jordan’s resume is impressive indeed, having worked for Bruce Neyers at Neyers Vineyards, Helen Turley and her husband Jon Wetlaufer at Marcassin and Larry Turley at Turley Wine cellars.  The San Francisco Chronicle named Jordan the Winemaker of the Year in 2008!

Being a Francophile since my youth, I’m very fond of Jordan’s winemaking.  His Chardonnay and most of his Pinot Noir wines are done in a Burgundian style, and he also makes some lovely wines in the Northern Rhone style

If you haven’t tried Failla’s wines, do yourself a favor and seek them out.  They are truly outstanding.  The next time you get to Napa, be sure to call them to set up a tasting appointment.  You won’t be disappointed!

www.faillawines.com

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