Posts Tagged ‘white wine


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!


a wine and food affair with a latin flair

So here’s the line up from my birthday party on Saturday. I chose these to go with the variety of Argentinian fare being served. We had six different empanadas, Argentine Chorizo, Sandwiches de miga and Chicken burgers. Plus a cold risotto salad and a wasabi and potato/green bean salad. For desert we had homemade alfajores and tiramisu. Along with the vino there was standard beer and mojitos. I drank the vino. The upside to that is I still have a ton of vino left.

The three chafers in the background were eventually filled with the delectable delights!

The vino lineup

From L to R:
2009 Botani Dry Muscat, Sierras de Malaga, Spain
2004 La Curio Reserve, Bush Vine Grenache, McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
2008 R Wines “Southern Belle” Shiraz, McLaren Vale, South Australia
2007 Wine Guerrilla Goat Trek Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, California
2008 Decero, “Remolinos Vineyard” Malbec, Mendoza , Argentina
2008 Bodegas La Cartuja, Priorat, Spain

As gifts I received the 2007 Decero, a Pinot from Chile and 2007 Llama Malbec.

The wines that were opened were the Botani, the 08 Decero, the Southern Belle Shiraz and the Pinot Noir from Chile, all of which will be reviewed soon, and four Vineyard Bordeaux glasses from Crate & Barrel, which I freaking love!!!

The party was great fun and though the weather wasn’t perfect, it didn’t rain and the grill kept the patio a warm place to hang out. The food was fantastic and went great with all the wines opened. The Botani was a great opener with its light floral and white peach aromas with hints of baking spice and crisp yet round and expressive fruity palate. It really went well with the jamon y choclo and jamon y queso empanadas, but also drank well on its own. It is 100% Muscatel de Alejandria and aged 70% in stainless steel and 30% in French oak, which gave it a wonderful straw-yellow colour and that wonderful mouthfeel.

Another favourite of the night for me was the 2007 “Southern Belle” Shiraz! Now don’t let the name fool you this was no dainty little wine! It was aged in seasoned oak including some ex-bourbon barrels, which gave this wine a huge dark and spicy nose with lots of plump and dried fruit aromas. The palate was just as huge but silky smooth and chewy tannins provided perfect structure to carry the dark and spicy mid-palate into a long and luxurious finish. After tasting this wonderful Shiraz you’d be quite surprised to find out that she weighs in at 17.6% abv!!! I loved this wine with the grilled Argentine Chorizo topped with homemade chimichurri!

Well, that’ll do it for now. I still have some of the Pinot left and I really want to have a chance to sit down with it tonight and get to know it a bit better. But first impressions is that it’s a very well-balanced Pinot with red fruits and some earthy, leathery spice and silky body…I’ll confirm tomorrow!

Cheers! and Keep tasting!