Posts Tagged ‘Sonoma


saturday at martinelli winery

So, it’s Saturday we got up early to partake in the free breakfast fare at our hotel before heading off to Sonoma for our visit to Martinelli Winery. I had my route all mapped out and so off we went. After our first encounter with Mayacamas mountain roads last year it was decided that we’d head down and around and then up the 12, however my GPS had other ideas and continued to force me over to the 101 via 116. Now, this was our first time venturing into Sonoma beyond Sonoma Square, so in the end I let my GPS be the guide. But soon enough the large red barn of Martinelli revealed itself from behind the trees and we knew we had arrived.We were scheduled for their VIP tour at 11:00am and we eventually arrived at just about 20 past! We were warmly greeted and taken to the tour already in progress. The day was beautiful, warm and sunny with some morning clouds still hanging around, but no rain in sight! The tour started at the foot of the Giuseppe and Luisa vineyard. We were then taken over towards the crush pad where they talked about their process of harvesting, processing, and making of the wines, interlaced with wonderful family stories.

We tasted a lot of fantastic wines, 8 or 9 in total if a recall but our favorites were the 2009 “Vigneto di Evo” Zinfandel, which was a big bold and juicy zin, with tones of black fruit flavours and just the right amount of sweet tobacco spice. The tannins are really quite smooth and help to round this juice out. It’s a great entry-level bottle (only $30 and 627 cases produced) for those who love a darn good Martinelli zin!

We enjoyed our’s back at the hotel!

Our other favorite was the 2008 “Zio Tony Ranch” Pinot Noir. This pinot brings both power and grace to the table. The nose is warm and welcoming with notes of baking spice mingling with aromas of red cherries and plum. The palate is treated to a full-bodied array of ripe raspberry and black cherries. Once this one opens up the tannins really integrate into the whole structure and are smooth and silky. The finish reveals the hints of vanilla-oak from a year of sitting in 75% new French Oak barrels with it’s gross lees and lasts forever! We saved our bottle for Easter Diner and had it with a traditionally prepared Spiral cut ham that was marinated overnight with pineapple and 7up and then slow roasted with a brown sugar glaze. The pairing, in my opinion, was divine!

All of the wines were fantastic but then again with Helen Turley and Bryan Kvamme behind the winemaking you really can’t go wrong! If you’re ever out that way you really need to pay them a visit!


La Crema the crop

When I got home last night the GF surprised me with a nice bottle of this:

2008 – La Crema, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
This is a very well-balanced PN with bright red berry and spice notes on the nose followed by a rich and smooth palate of raspberries and red cherry with perfect elements of spice and soft tannins. The finish was equally smooth and I even detected notes of light chocolate. Out of all the bottlings from La Crema, the Sonoma Coast is by far better than the Monterey offering, which to me was too leathery, bordering on black rubber on the nose. We feel in love with this bottle while in San Fran last April. And for $19.99 at Trader Joe’s it’s not too bad a buy either.


and it’s Iron Horse bdx-3 by a mile!

So, I left work early yesterday and headed into Just Grapes for a bottle of vino to have with the steaks I was going to grill up. We had a few wines open from the 1st Wednesday tasting that I wanted to taste but none really stuck out; at least for what I was going to pair them with. Besides, I had my mind, and heart, set on the bottle I did bring home! I’ve been tasting it every time I was in the store since we brought it in and just had to bring it home. If I could, I would have purchased a few bottles, but due to the low nature of my cost, I was restricted to but a single bottle of the 2005, Iron Horse, BDX-3, T bar T Vineyards, Alexander Valley:
 It’s a Bordeaux blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Petit Verdot! It’s a lovely deep ruby and garnet colour with lots of depth. The nose is lush, full of dark fruit aromas accented with notes of cedar spice box and mint! The palate is equally lush, with supple plum and blackberry flavours with just the right hints of oaky spice. The tannic structure was near perfect to me, supple and silky, but with just enough grip to handle the rich steaks! The finish seemed to last forever and was so smooth, with added hints of chocolate and plum. This wine exhibited an almost perfect balance of earth and fruit that I think it would appeal to both new and old world lovers alike! I so wish I could buy a case of this wine!

The steaks on the flame:

And ready to eat:

Salud my friends!!!

Keep Tasting!