Friday, July 29, 2011

2009 Lake Sonoma Chardonnay

I tried this wine on the hottest of hot days, when you walk outside and feel like you've just walked into someone's mouth. Just a disgusting horrible day when the breeze is so hot, when it hits you its almost like its bitch slapping you.

I'm on this butter Chardonnay kick right now, I just can't help myself. Even though the day begged for a Sav Blanc, Viogner or Rose I just wanted Chard and this little number did the trick, golden in color a little toast, a little apple, a little pear - not big in your face, but not a shrinking violet either with great mouth feel - if your into that. Perfect.

The Particulars
Winery: Lake Sonoma Winery
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
AVA: California, Russian River Valley
Vintage: 2009
Alcohol: 13.5%
Price:  $20
Cost: $12.50

Rating = Buy It

Friday, July 22, 2011

2009 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc + Viogner

Chris and I were lucky enough to visit Pine Ridge on our last trip to Napa/Sonoma in 2009. We had a great tour of the grounds including the learning vineyard in which you can walk single rows of all of the varietals that they grow in the vineyard to learn what each varietal looks like, tastes like, etc. After the tour of the vineyard we went into the caves to barrel sample and have a wine and cheese pairing. 
Below is a picture of me with comparing two of their red wines  - well not so much comparing them as just really enjoying then with some awesome cheese in with a genuine Chihuly glass sculpture in the background.

I like this wine, its perfect for the 105 degree day, yes, its 105 degrees (and I will not complain as we had what felt like 17 months of winter this year - bring on the heat) its crisp and bright and almost effervescent, like if Fresca made a wine this would be it. And the best thing about it is that it is only 11.8% alcohol which on a night like tonight is a heavenly amount of alcohol not too high, not too low, its a Goldilocks wine.

Its a fun wine smacking of pink grapefruit, lime and crisp acidity. Just fun and easy on a steamy hot night.

The Particulars

Winery: Pine Ridge
Varietal: 80% Chenin Blanc, 20% Viogner
AVA: California, Oakville
Vintage: 2009
Alcohol: 11.8
Cost: $12.50

Rating = Buy It

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

2009 Shoo Fly "The Freckle"

Yeah, sorry about the pic here - but we've just finished this bottle of wine and Chris has already thrown it in the recycle bin so I needed to search the internet for an image of he wine. Harder than you might think.

Chris and I bought this wine at a tasting during the spring. I'll be honest, I bought it almost certainly because of the name "The Freckle", being a mix of Irish and Scottish heritage I have pretty much been screwed in the area of skin pigmentation. This is never more evident as when my husband, an Italian, can generate a tan line by simply walking to the back yard and watering the garden, when it's overcast. I don't tan, I just become a matrix of freckles, with enough sun, they almost look like a tan, or leprosy, its a toss of the dice. So a wine, made predominately out of the "freckled" grape Marsanne just spoke to me a little. (There's marketing for every ginger out there for ya.)

Anyway - here we go.

I liked this wine, the label states that I will get honeysuckle, peach and subtle oak. I find that I am very good at smelling and tasting things that I encounter on a daily basis. I run every morning, somewhere between 4 and 8 miles a day, and there is a yard, about 3 miles or so into my run that has a fence with honeysuckle that twists and climbs up the fence, facing the sidewalk. I look forward to this part of my run because the aroma of honeysuckle is so strong and is such a refreshing burst on an otherwise aromatically lame run. So, I know what honeysuckle smells like, and yes, this wine smells and at the beginning tastes like honeysuckle and I love that. Oak, now that's another thing, I love oak especially in white wines and I just didn't get it on here, what I did get on the finish was an almost tart sour lime pith type flavor. Not the best finish, but not terrible either, and for $11 I'm not complaining.

This is the perfect wine for a night like tonight, when you are outside and the oppressive heat of the day breaks just enough for you to cool off and enjoy the breeze.

The Particulars
Winery: Shoofly
Varietal: 40% Marsanne, 37% Roussane, 23%Viogner
AVA: Adelaide, Australia
Vintage: 2009
Price: $11

Rating - BUY IT

Monday, July 18, 2011

2009 Bridlewood Chardonnay

I bought this wine at a tasting a few months ago. This past weekend we headed up to Vermont to spend a little time in the sun and I took this from the cellar thinking it would be a great wine to have on the deck at night. On the ride up, I was reading the July 13th issue of Wine Spectator, which was a special issue on the top rated California Chardonnays. In the buyers guide I spied that the exact wine I had in my cooler was given an 87 point rating. The Wine Spectator rating read as such: fresh floral , citrus, peach and nectarine aromas are smooth and easy drinking in this complex white, which ends with a touch of sweetness. Drink now through 2013.

Here's what I think. It was good. I usually like the big butter bomb Chardonnays - this is not one of those, it is light in the beginning, I don't get tropical flavors which some other reviews have claimed, but I do get the nectarine and peach on the nose, and slight vanilla on the finish, but for me, it ended a little too acidic. For $15 bucks though this is a stand up California Chard and would be a good crowd pleaser for people who like medium weight whites. 

To be fair, I fell asleep in the middle of this bottle, I opened it, had about a glass, and promptly fell asleep in the sun like a lazy drunk person. When I woke up, thankfully I was not sunburned to all hell, and no flies or bees had found their way into the bottle, so I poured myself another glass. So, actually, the time I spent napping was very good for the wine, because over that half hour that I was in the land of nod, the wine really opened up and was a little less harsh and acidic on the finish.

My vote here is: BUY IT.

The Particulars
Winery: Bridalwood
Varietal: Chardonnay
AVA: California, Monterey County
Vintage: 2009
Alcohol: 13.3