2008 Alexander Valley Vineyards - Healdsburg - Cabernet Sauvignon, with hints of Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec & Petit Verdot. Dark pitted fruit, cedar..tannin….balanced…and will blast out in 3-5 years..maybe more. $20/btl….what a deal!
Category Archives: Wine Tasting Events
A glass of yet-to-be-released 2008 Stryker Sonoma Tannat, bottled in late May, has been presented to me. Estate grapes…yes, Tannat in Sonoma..Alexander Valley to be exact! Tannat heralds from the southwest of France and Tim Hardein, SS winemaker, has decided to add it to their portfolio of single-varietal wines. Not releasing until 2011 ….I’m thinkin’ that Tim likes those dark cherry varietals. And having tasted a few Tannats from Southwest France, the SS will clearly appeal more to the American palate. The fruit is richer, but not a jam pot. Again, some spice on the nose…an enjoyable medium-bodied wine that I envision serving with my favorite marinade for grilled flank steak or london broil. That favorite marinade is a bit rich with soy sauce, worcestshire, fresh garlic, herbs, lemon, so the berry richnes in the Tannat…yum!
Well, they may be waiting to release this baby, but I would happily indulge in a bottle now!
Here I am overlooking the sensational Alexander Valley from the even more striking (pardon the pun) tasting room of Stryker Sonoma. today, in fact right now, Gary Vanychuk is tweet tasting the Stryker Sonoma Cabs…and here I go, with my friend Pam.
2005 Speedy Creek Vineyard – Knights Valley – 100% CS high altitude 1900 ft. vineyard. Let’s get to nose..luscious dark cherry on the nose, with some earthy overtones..cedar, more dark cherry on the palate, slight tannin,so quite soft mouthfeel. Elegant. 308 cs. $38/btl
2005 Rockpile Vineyard – Rockpile AVA – 2000 ft elevation – nice hot days, closer to Pacific, grapes maintain acidity level. Lighter dark cherry nose, hint of chocolate and more of that earthiness. Palate blasts open with dark cherry, soft tannin, medium finish. 438 cs $44/btl.
2005 Two Moon Vineyard – Dry Creek Valley – eastern terraced facing..one of the last in Dry Creek. slight dark fruit jam. Palate expresses dark cheery & sweet spice, and some lively tannins…so, lay this charming gentleman down. 278 cs. $45/btl
2005 Cab “3″ – Sonoma County – blend of fruit from the above 3 vineyards. Always less than 100 cs. Nose expresses livelier dark cherry…sort of dancing in the glass and not as single-minded (not that single-minded is a bad thing…having been accused of that myself). Palate maintains that pure, clean dark cherry, with hints of the earthiness and cedar…and just enough tannin to say….OK, drink me now, and lay down 12 more of me! 96 cs. $50/btl
2005 “Estate” Alexander Valley - Clone 6 & Clone 15…make a note of that. Ahh…the big daddy. Nose rich with more black cherry – you can smell the deeper intensity – palate is silky with intense fruit, spice, slight tannin….and long finish…cedar finishing.
Generally 25-40% new French Oak for 22-24 months in heavy toasted oak…this is a winemaker that understands the balance of oak aging. Maintaining almost a majority of the wine in stainless steel keeps the integrity of the fruit (and isn’t that what it’s all about?) and the oak provides structure and aging potential.
2003 Monte Rosso Vineyard – Sonoma Valley -145 year old vineyard….respect age! Fruit basket on the nose….clearly a departure from the other SS Cabs…I love variety! Ahh…more lively fruit, cassis, sweet spice…lighter body….almost bubblegum finish! 700 cs. $48/btl
Whoa…here is a bottle presented to us from another taster…assistant winemaker at Old World Winery, Steven Washuta…92% CS & 8% Syrah..cold fermented…2004 Red Rock Red Wine…nose is settling to express some blackberry…palate is fresh with some slight tannin. $28/btl
Tim Hardin, winemaker, loves his single varietal Cabs…they speak purely of the grapes and the exceptional vineyards. Come and taste for yourself! Beautiful view, knowledgeable staff & beautiful wines!
Stryker Sonoma - 5110 Hwy 128 Geyserville, CA 800.433.1944
More to come on my Veraison….Time of Change.
I could not be happier with the success of the 2010 Winemaker Wednesday series at The Frenchman’s Cellar in downtown Culpeper. When I first suggested this series to Jeffery Mitchell, owner of FC, there was no hesitation on his part. A true believer in Virginia wines and Virginia artisan food products. His shop, located within the Frenchman’s Corner, is an oasis of wines, micro-brews and artisan cheese delights in Central Virginia.
You know how I love one-on-one chats with winemakers, and I have no doubt that you also see the benefit of a visit to charming downtown Culpeper, for the opportunity to visit with an icon in Virginia winemaking.
So get your wine-loving self to FC on Wednesday, September 15th, when Luca Paschina of Barboursville Winery will be the featured winemaker. From 6pm – 8pm wine enthusiasts will have the opportunity to experience a casual, intimate setting in which to taste the highly revered Barboursville wines and chat with Luca about his approach from vineyard to bottle. The wines will be paired with artisan cheeses from the Frenchman’s Cellar’s international array.
The Frenchman’s Cellar/Corner, 129 E. Davis Street, Culpeper. Phone. 540.825.8025. Complimentary tasting paired with artisan cheeses. Of course, wine available for purchase.
Keswick Vineyards, and Winemaker, Stephen Barnard
Wednesday, July 14th, from 6p-8p, the Frenchman’s Corner in Culpeper will feature Stephen Barnard, winemaker at Keswick Vineyards.
This in-store event is an opportunity to have a casual tasting of Keswick Vineyard’s wines and a one-on-one with Stephen. If you have not yet discovered the KV wines, than I suggest that you make your way to downtown Culpeper on Wednesday. Make a night of it. Foti’s Restaurant is just a block away. It’s About Thyme is just across the street!
The Frenchman’s Corner, 129 E. Davis Street, Culpeper. 540.825.8025.
See you there!