I am not an expert, just a discerning wine lover or amateur de vin (as the French say), but everyone has a different palate, likes and dislikes so it must be understood that any of my recommendations are personal. I just hope that you find them useful or at the very least - interesting. I also hope you enjoy my photos. It is more fun sharing then keeping them backed up on a hard drive.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Don't say A.B.C.; embrace these Cali Chardonnays

Inspired by my recent trip to Napa & Sonoma, as well as the wonderful events of Cool Chardonnay here in Ontario. So many great wines to talk about, it is in 2 parts - this is part 1 Northern California.

Pine Ridge - Dijon Clones Chardonnay - 2009, Napa $34.00
Toasty vanilla and gentle lemon zest on the nose, pineapple & mineral on the palate. Crisp, clean, elegant

Benziger - Appellation Series Chardonnay - 2009, Carneros, Sonoma - $29.00
Brioche, stone and citrus nose. Creamy palate with long, clean pear & citrus finish. incredible balance.

White Oak - Russian River Valley Chardonnay - 2009, Sonoma - $29.00
Baked bread & lemon curd. Gentle oak gives creaminess. Bright & beautifully integrated. 

Flora Springs - Napa Valley Chardonnay - 2008, Napa - $20.00
Slate and tropical fruit on the nose that follows through. Crisp wine with bright acid.

Michel Schlumberger - La Brume Chardonnay- 2008, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma - $32.00
Buttered toast, citrus blossom, gentle honeysuckle, stone fruit. Creamy mouthfeel. Long lemon/lime finish!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Super-Value QPRs from California

Just off a trip to Napa and Sonoma, I feel overwhelmed. There is so much to write about as I had many excellent wines, many that were perfect value for their price-point.

I am still tying to decide how I will report that back all the great wines I experience. Not wanting to delay, I have picked the low-hanging-fruit (pun intended) by starting with the wines I thought had seriously accessible price points for the quality, making the value quite obvious.

I am sorry Canadian friends & followers, if you have trouble finding these or any others I encountered on my visit. I promised myself I would not go to all the usual suspects, but that may mean these wines are harder to find.

CLINE CELLARS - Carneros/Sonoma, CA
2010 Mourvedre Rose - $12.00 - Cherry & pomegranate on the nose with lovely sour cherry and a long lime blossom finish.
2009 Ancient Vines Carignane - $16.00 - Red fruit, spice and a slight pepper finish. This medium-bodied wine is a gem.
2008 Heritage Zinfandel - $20.40 - this is an end of vintage sale but I marvelled at this beautiful blend of single vineyards with its blackberry spice and a tempting hint of eucalyptus on the nose.


2008 Sangiovese $20.00 - This is a beautiful wine, and still very memorable for me. It surprised me coming out of the heart of Cab Country! Cherry, balsamic, and a hint of tea on the nose. Fresh well-integrated wine.


2007 Private Reserve Zinfandel - $24.00 - No wonder this got 92 Points in the Wine Enthusiast. I loved, loved, loved this!  Juicy cherry and slight vanilla with a hint of chocolate. Nicely structured & balanced.


2009 Muscat - $22.00 - Apricot, peach and white blossom on the nose. Follows through on the palate. This sweet desert wine has a nice clean acid to balance it.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sparkling Summer Treat

I think bubbly should not only be for celebrations, or perhaps just more should be celebrated in life?... In previous postings I have listed many Ontario and International alternatives to Champagne. Not that the supreme bubbly itself should be avoided, it is just that not every moment you feel like bubbles does your pocketbook agree with you. I have long been a fan of Cremant de Bourgogne and am now a convert of Cremant D'Alsace. I know you will enjoy this Gold Medal wine...

Green apple and slight biscuit nose translates on palate. Creamy mouthfeel with lovely lemon finish.