Friend & Farmer Tempranillo

  • Producer: Friend & Farmer
  • Location: Castilla La Mancha, Spain
  • Year: 2019
  • Price estimate: unknown (from our cheese & wine box)
  • Tasting notes: A purple-ish ruby color in the glass and opaque even at the rims. Aromas of dark fruit, licorice and chicory. Alone, the taste is sour, tart and sour like an underripe plum. With the cheese, chocolate and sour cherry come out and only a hint of the sour remains. Short to medium finish.
  • Conclusions: By itself, I was not a fan of this wine. I wasn’t certain how I would drink it, but once paired with the cheese, it really came into it’s own. Good, strong flavors that compliment food. Not my favorite wine, but as long as I’m eating I wouldn’t turn it down.
  • Notes: My local cheese shop does a monthly cheese and wine club that we decided to try after years of just doing there regular monthly cheese. This was paired with Jasper Hill Clothbound Cheddar and it did go really well with it. I personally liked it with the gouda we picked up for our cheese plate even better – the chocolate notes in the wine complimented the caramel notes in the cheese really well, but not in a way that made either sweet. Just a nice wine with cheese.

Bedrock Wirz Riesling

  • Producer: Bedrock Wine Company
  • Location: Cienega Valley, CA (grapes from here, winery in Sonoma)
  • Year: 2018
  • Price estimate: $22 from winery
  • Tasting notes: Dark straw in the glass. Notes of apple cider and petrol on the nose with a little green grape. Tastes of melon, apple, and lime. Finish is long with a little vanilla and citrus.
  • Conclusions: Beautiful, easy drinking wine. This is one of those wines that reminds me why I have way to much Bedrock wine in my house. Every bottle is fantastic and both easy to drink and complex at the same time. I could have sat for hours sipping and parsing flavors, but it is just as easy to sit and enjoy good wine, food and conversation with friends with this wine. Not sweet at all, but just enough to balance the high acidity that riesling is known for.
  • Notes: Usually I get my Bedrock wine during their allocation period a few times a year. This is one of the wines I got sometime last year. It is also a wine we picked up when we were at the tasting room in July. I had forgotten what I ordered earlier in the summer, and just loved this so much while we were there, we got a few bottles. When all the shipments came in together in December, we had double the riesling, which made me very happy indeed.

2012 Five Vines

  • Producer: Viszlay Vineyards
  • Location: Sonoma, California
  • Year: 2012
  • Price estimate: $54 (we did not pay that much for the bottle)
  • Tasting notes: Ruby red in color with a touch of pink at the edges. Aromas of dark berry, raspberry, bramble and cut grass. (Yes, in a red.) Very smooth on the palate with notes of black cherry, chocolate, raspberry, tootsie roll and a little herb note with some forest floor (but not unpleasant). Very nice chocolate finish.
  • Conclusions: Excellent wine. This bottle was incredible – even better than the bottle we opened before and surprisingly better than the bottle we tasted at the vineyard last summer.
  • Notes: This was one of our pick ups from our trip to Sonoma last summer. We loved this wine and I almost pegged it as a Cab Franc, but it is a blend with varietals I don’t usually enjoy – Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah etc. But this … oh this was just amazing. Super smooth and so much depth of flavor. This is why I drink wine.

2018 Sangiovese

  • Producer: Malpasso
  • Location: Umbria, Italy
  • Year: 2018
  • Price estimate: Not sure (wine and cheese box)
  • Tasting notes: Garnet in appearance with aromas of spice, unripe cherry and bramble. Smooth on the palate with hints of nutmeg, dark cherry and a little oak. Tart. Medium long finish.
  • Conclusions: I’m a sucker for a good Sangiovese and this one fits the bill. It has a lot of the dark red fruit and tartness that a good Sangiovese has but isn’t as earthy as some can get. Bob is not generally a fan of this varietal, but even he liked this one. Paired with a pecorino (and other cheeses, of course) it shows why people tell you that what grows together goes together.
  • Notes: This was the second of our cheese and wine box wines and I have to say, I’m super impressed. Not only as the wines (and of course the cheeses) fantastic, there is something about the pairings that not only compliments, but changes the way both taste. It was more prominent with the white, but it existed here too. The cheese rounded out the wine and the wine brought out the nutty notes in cheese – it was kind of fantastic.

Bordeaux Blanc

  • Producer: Jean Marc Barthez
  • Location: Bordeaux, France
  • Year: 2018
  • Price estimate: not sure
  • Tasting notes: Pale yellow in color and a very light nose. Almost no aroma in the glass. Maybe a little orange blossom, chalk and citrus, but faint. A little effervescence. Tastes of Jasmine tea, lemon and other citrus. Medium finish.
  • Conclusions: Very good and paired incredibly well with a cheese plate. Easy to drink with just enough complexity to keep it interesting.
  • Notes: We have been part of our local cheese shop’s “monthly cheese club” for few years now and we love it. Last year they added a cheese and wine club and we decided to try that for the first part of this year. Two cheeses and two wines a month. This bottle came from the January cheese and wine club and was a great way to start. I also have to add, that the cheese Kiara paired this with – a California cheese in the brie style, but creamier – was amazing and the combination was particularly good. We can’t wait to try the red with the pecorino – notes to follow soon.

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2018 MoniClaire Sauvignon Blanc

  • Producer: MoniClaire Vineyards
  • Location: Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, California
  • Year: 2018
  • Price estimate: $28 (from Winery)
  • Tasting notes: Honeysuckle, lemon and orange on the nose. Definitely a Sauvignon Blanc – lots of lemon, grapefruit and citrus taste. A little herbal, some lemon curd and a little biscuit quality towards the finish. Good acidity and a beautiful finish.
  • Conclusions: Easy drinking, lovely fruit balanced by good acidity. This is a wine that you can sit and contemplate or just sip and enjoy.
  • Notes: When we went to Sonoma in June, this was one of the wineries that we found on our wine tour. A tiny family operation (husband and wife and they live on the property) they make less than 50 cases of this wine and you can see the little plot where the grapes are planted. Even their larger wine – Zinfandel – is still sub 200 cases and is one of the best zinfandels I’ve ever had (different post on that hopefully soon). The owners are great and their wines are lovely and it is fantastic that I can support what is literally a small family winery in practice, not just as a marketing pitch.

 

Adler Springs Vineyard Sparkling Pinot Noir

  • Producer: Under the Wire
  • Location: Mendocino County, CA (bottled in Petaluma, CA)
  • Year: 2015
  • Price estimate: $45 (from Bedrock Winery)
  • Tasting notes: Bubbly wine! Salmon in color, bordering on orange in the glass. Very light on the nose – almost no aroma, but a hint of date and white peach. Good effervescence on the tongue with flavors of barley ripe raspberry, nectarine, a little white grape and some bramble. Long finish.
  • Conclusions:  Absolutely delightful and paired really well with the cheese we had for dinner. Light in taste, but with a lot of character and a very long finish.
  • Notes: This was one of the wines we picked up while at the tasting room for Bedrock Winery this past July. This was a delightful wine and it really shined on the hot day. Back home, on a cool New Year’s Eve, it continued to show well. While more than we usually spend on a bottle, this is still worth every penny. 12.5% ABV