Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

13
Apr
11

2008 Fog Crest Laguna West Pinot Noir

2008 Fog Crest, Laguna West, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

Spicy red berries, blackberries and cherry cola (ala Dr. Pepper) on the nose with hints of vanilla oak and baking spices. Lovely medium bodied palate full of darker fruit cola flavors balanced by a silky smooth tannic structure, warm oaky notes and ribbons of white chocolate that lead into a long and satisfying finish of chocolate covered strawberries. There’s a nice level of acidity that keeps the overall character of this pinot on the lighter more elegant side to pair well with lighter dishes while still remaining bold and confident enough to hold up to more robust dishes.*

We had the first bottle with pasta shells with spinach, homegrown sun-dried tomatoes, roastrd whole clove garlic and peas in an arrabiata sauce and the match was made in heaven.

*Just a sidenote on these tasting notes for the second bottle, which was poured through our Vinturi aerator into the decanter while the first bottle was decanted without the use of the Vinturi. The first glass of the first bottle was still a bit tight but did open up nicely after a half hour or so…just in time for dinner! The first glass from the second bottle was amazingly smooth, like the last glass from the first bottle, and only got better as it sat in the decanter.

11
Apr
11

2007 Fog Crest Estate Bottled Chardonnay

So the first bottle to be cracked is one of the 2007 Fog Crest chards.
Beautiful bright nose full of lovely tropical fruits hints of hazel nut, oak and cool stoney minerality. The mouth is treated to more crisp yellow fruit flavors with more touches of oak and hazel nut. The finish is long and structured with some warm peach notes, lovely acidity and minerality.
 
I thought I prefered the bigger rounder whites but this one left me breathless. The balance of lush fleshy fruits and the cooler nuances of the stoney minerality, that recalls memories of sitting stream side just after a spring rain, and the crisp acidity really made me rethink what my palate really wanted. This chard is an old world style for the new world lover and vice vera. There is just enough of the toasty oak and hazelnut notes to keep the balance and structure in near perfect harmony. This first of the two bottles we brought back was paired with finger foods such as spinach and artichoke dip, cheese quesadillas and loaded fries with cheese and giardiniera. The toasty elements complimented the creamy elements of the food, while the minerality and acidity offered a nice contrast to the spicier elements. The second bottle was paired with blackened tilapia and sweet potato mash and again the warm toasty notes complimented while the acidity and structure brought contrast.

05
Apr
11

Fog crest vineyards

The Highlight of the weekend for us, hands down, was Fog Crest, sitting on the hill off Occidental Road in the Russian River Valley! After being stopped by a fill-in postal worker wanting a signature for a package, we continued down a gravel drive that wound its way through the vineyards.


There we were greeted by Jim Manoogian, one half of the husband/wife owner/vintners team! It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the 70’s and barely a cloud in the sky! He started us of with the first of two Chards and then walked us down to the vines where the chard grapes are grown and bud break was in full force.

We tasted both the 2007 Laguna West and 2007 Estate Vineyard Chardonnay. The Laguna West was a richer and rounder chard with lush pear falvours intermingled with hints of peach and baking spices that led into a nice mild and toasty hazelnut finish with a pleasant touch of crisp acidity. The Estate Vineyard chard was a bit more old world in style exhibiting lemon floral and soft hazelnut aromas on the nose that led into a palate of crisp apple and citrus notes on a cool base of minerality and nuanced oak flavours. The finish was warm and bright with just the right amount of cool acidity

We then headed back to the barrel room to taste the pinots. With glasses in hand Jim lead us over to the upper estate pinot vines, where he talked about their pruning process and how they will eventually drop double buds.

Here we tasted the 2008 Laguna West Pinot Noir that welcomed you in with a warm and spicy nose with notes of dark and bright cherry cola. The palate was rich and smooth with a base of silky smooth tannins supporting a chorus of ripe red berry fruit flavours accompanied by nuances of anise and lush plum. The finish added more dark fruit and cola flavours that tapered slowly off with light acidity.

Once we were hooked Jim then capped off our tour with a barrel tasting, or thieving as he called it! My very first! He treated us to a preview of their 2010 Upper Estate Pinot Noir that was barreled last October. Though it was still young with lots of green notes you could tell that this was going to develop into a very lush and complex wine as it was already exhibiting the signature berry flavours and soft structure of the 08 Laguna West.

After all was said and done we walked away with two bottles each of the 07 Estate Chard and the 08 Laguna West Pinot and I guarantee we will be ordering more! If you get a chance I highly recommend that you try to visit them! http://www.fogcrestvineyard.com/

28
Feb
11

Fiction is Better than reality

2009 Fiction, Red Blend, Paso Robles

It’s a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Verdot and Tempranillo. With a limited production of only 400 cases. This was an amazing wine for $20. Deep ruby-red colour; Vibrant nose of spiced berries; Lush and rich palate of dark fruits and warm baking spices; and lively finish. It had great balance and structure with smooth tannins providing grip and tangy acidity to keep you wanting more!

19
Jan
11

it’s a zin not to drink a cab

Had these over the last couple of nights.

The first is the 2008 Dry Creek Vineyard, Heritage Zinfandel, Sonoma Coast
It had a pretty low ABV for a zin about 13.5% if I recall, but it was big in body with lots of juicy stewed dark fruits with lovely smooth tannins and dark acidity to balance it out.

The second is the 2008 The Sum, Cabernet, Napa Valley, Oakville
For the price, in relation to other Napa cabs, this was a real bargain. I paid $23.00 (US) after tax at Marion Street Cheese Market. The nose was deep, dark and spicy with tell tale hints of eucalyptus and cedar. The palate was equally rich and dark with ripe plum and blackberry flavours. The tannins were a bit tight and finely textured but did smooth out over time. I’m looking forward to having a glass tonight to see how it opened up. The long finish treated the mouth with some nice dark cocoa notes wrapped around black cherry flavours.

11
Jan
11

2007 Hendry Pinot Noir Napa Valley

I picked up a couple of bottles on Friday from Just Grapes. One was a fav of mine the La Cartuja Priorat 2009, which was every bit as good as the past two vintages that I’ve had and the other was this Pinot Noir from Napa Valley near Carneros and Mt. Veeder along the Redwood Creek.

This Pinot shows deep garnet and ruby in the glass with a rich warm nose of spiced red berries, leather and earth with hints of backing spice. The palate is treated to bold red and dark fruit flavours with touches of cocoa and toast brought on with a good decant and the 11 months of 50% new French Oak aging. The Finish is well-balanced a nicely structured with supple and velvety tannins mingled with a fresh but not too tart acidity.

2007 Hendry, Hendry Vineyard, Napa Valley – Pinot Noir


04
Jan
11

2009 Grandmaster Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

I got this on sale last night at Wholefoods for $13.99! Originally it was $24.99. It was really quite nice for the price with lots of warm spice, leather and cherry aromas. The palate was rich and juicy with darker berry flavours, think black cherry and mulberry, with notes of baking spice that lead into a long supple and velvety finish with nice acidity for balance. The grapes were harvested in September of 2009 and were barrel aged for 14 months and limited to just over 1400 cases, which isn’t too limited but that’s what the label says 🙂

2009 – Grandmaster Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast