Location: Cienega Valley, CA (grapes from here, winery in Sonoma)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Location: Mendocino County, CA (bottled in Petaluma, CA)
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
Tasting notes: Medium yellow in color with a bit of straw tending to clear at the edges. Thicker body and slow legs for a white wine. On the nose, lemon pie, tiny bit of lemon zest, vanilla custard (homemade, not the box stuff – yes, there is a smell difference) and a slight note of slate. Round mouthfeel – borders on buttery, but keeps a step back from that line. Stone fruit is the predominant flavor up front – apricot, nectarine – with a bit of refreshing citrus. Mid-palate has a subtle granite thread that leads to an herbal finish. Not a harsh herb finish, but the kinds of herbs you cook with to add something to the final dish even if you can’t decipher the specific herbs.
Conclusions: In general, I shy away from Chardonnay, especially ones that have a rounder mouthfeel. This one has a hint of the California style – big and buttery – but it is restrained and really enjoyable to drink and with food (corn soup and a pasta salad in this case) it shines.
Notes: I’m going to have to peruse the spreadsheet and find other wines to drink since the last few have been from the same winery, but we did get our case from them very quickly after we got home, so we’ve been balancing the “save and savor” with the “drink now” feelings. The texture of this wine is the most interesting to me – it is un-oaked but it feels (not tastes) oak aged. To get the texture just right might be super simple, but I’m guessing it is actually really difficult to do and this one nails it. Super smooth with a hint of buttery texture, definite malolactic fermentation. It feels like it could go over the edge with less care and attention, but it doesn’t.
Tasting notes: Beautiful nose of cherry, strawberry and a little moss. Garnett in color with a little bit of orange-brown at the edges. Flavors of ripe cherry, stone, a touch of fresh tobacco. Long finish with lots of cherry notes.
Conclusions: Delicious. This was a great pinot to open one evening and Bob and I savored each sip. It has that quality where you can sip and enjoy and not think about it, or pay attention to what you are drinking, savor it, and discover a few hidden layers. We did a little of both with this bottle and I’m just sad that I only have one more bottle left the in “cellar.”
Notes: Pinot Noirs are one of my favorite varietals, right up there with Zinfandel and Pinotage. There are a lot of pinots out there that are “meh” or “fine” and plenty that are bad. To find a really great pinot for $20 – I really wish I had gotten more, but in all honesty, I tend to under buy when we go to a winery because I’m always afraid it’s the atmosphere or experience that is making the wine taste so good. This isn’t one of those cases and I may have to get more of this once our weather breaks and I can get wine shipped to Florida again – somewhere around November.
Price estimate: $15 retail, ($11 on sale from Weekly Tasting)
Tasting notes: Light to medium yellow in color. Nose is very light – difficult to find many aromas, but as the wine warms a little some floral notes and lemon curd begin to come through with a tiny bit of fresh apple. The wine is clean and round on the palate with notes of melon, apple, nectarine and white grape. Acidity is nice – not strong, but present. Finish is clean with a decent length. The apple and a little pear come through on the finish.
Conclusions: I wasn’t sure what to expect with this wine as I’m not terribly familiar with Pinot Blanc, but it’s good. Refreshing in the “good summer sipper” category of wines, this isn’t something I’m going to hold for a super special occasion, but I’m happy drinking it. This paired well with an Asian dish, and with quinoa tacos and was also pretty good alone. 12.5% ABV
Notes: When Bob and I went to Sonoma we wanted to focus on Zinfandels, but also look for good whites. We succeeded in finding zin’s that we really loved (you should be seeing some of those posts in the coming months) but we didn’t focus on whites, so when I saw Weekly Tasting was doing an inventory clearance sale, I decided to get a case of whites – things I could drink all summer and not feel the need to ration. I didn’t intend to get the Pinot Blanc, but they sent it instead of a Riesling, which I was totally okay with (seriously, for $11 I’m honestly not going to quibble). I did want to let them know so it wouldn’t impact their inventory or potentially another customer, but they offered to send the Riesling anyway and asked me to keep the Pinot Blanc. This was absolutely unnecessary, but I mention it because this isn’t the first time they have gone out of their way to make something right (the first time it was totally a FedEx issue, but they fixed it for me after I could not get anywhere with FedEx). Good wine, decent prices and fantastic customer service.
Tasting notes: Pale to medium yellow in color. Tropical fruits – pineapple and papaya on the nose. Relatively round mouthfeel but enough acidity to prevent the oily consistency chardonnay can sometimes have. Subtle flavors of peach, apricot, pineapple and lemon are present, but the flavors do not linger.
Conclusions: Not bad at all. Chardonnay is not my go-to white wine, but I was intrigued by the bottle at Whole Foods (don’t judge, they had an actual good sale on a few things I use frequently and picking up wine there saved me a trip elsewhere) and decided to try it. It is actually a pretty good wine and one I’m not minding indulging in on a Tuesday evening. 13% ABV
Notes: I picked this up as we waited for some of our wine from Sonoma to arrive. Most of what we bought won’t be here until the fall because the temperature are just too high to safely ship, but we did one mixed case with temperature control, so we should have that by the time this posts. I also decided to go for a few whites from Whole Foods because, while I had every intention of trying to focus more on white wine out in California, we ended up loving more reds and picking up many more reds than whites. Next time we go out I’m going to try to seek out producers who specialize in whites if I can.