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Showing posts with the label sonoma

2016 Laurel Glen Counterpoint Cabernet Sauvignon

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  2016 was generally a very good year for California Cabernet Sauvignon.  By far, the growing season was steady and uneventful, allowing grapes to help produce solid wines.  This  2016 Laurel Glen Counterpoint Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma Mountain is 100% Cabernet (yay!) and one that is extremely fairly priced.  We won't say "value priced" wine as that tends to actually devalue a brand.  We are going to call this wine an incredible deal.  Juicy blackberry, plum camp fire and cigar box on the nose with, at times, hints of dried spring flowers.  A dark, robust wine with flavors of black fruits, cherry tobacco, allspice and earthiness.  The wine really pulls you in immediately and leaves a solid finish on the palate.  This is the first Counterpoint that we have tasted and these 50+ year old vines are really strutting their stuff.  Excellent choice!  Drink now or for the next 10 years. ABV:  14.6% Sonoma Mountain, CA Suggested retail price:  $50.00 Drink The Bottles  score

2018 Enkidu Wines Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

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  Enkidu Wines of Sonoma, California is a new addition to the Drink The Bottles  wine tribe.  It is no secret that we taste and share a lot of Napa wines and when we partner up with a (new-to-us) producer from Sonoma, we're always excited to see the outcome.  We had the privilege of tasting the 2018 Enkidu Wines Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) and this was a great introduction for us to this producer.  When we popped the cork and saw the wine imprint, we suspected that we were in for a treat with some high quality, dense fruit. Medium to dark scarlet color solid in the glass from center to edge.  Aromas of fresh out-of-the-oven strawberry rhubarb pie, damp earth and spices carry over to similar flavors.  This is a potpourri of sweet fragrance with intense, medium bodied raspberry jam and hints of vanilla.  The acid in this wine is solid but in check, leading the taster to a path of a lingering finish that goes on for moments.  We didn't decant this wine but rather gave it so

2019 Cline Family Cellars Ancient Vines Zinfandel

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  Zinfandel is a favorite red varietal of ours, especially as we head into colder weather for fall and winter.  We find that it generally pairs very well with stews, chili and red meat.  The  2019 Cline Family Cellars Ancient Vines Zinfandel is a fine example a wine that can be enjoyed over a great conversation or a nice dinner.  We actually drank this solo and  then again with meatloaf and it was a hit!  The vines that create the fruit for this wine are over 100 years old out of Contra Costa County, creating a wine that is both reliable and tasty.  Medium red in color, dominating aromas of cooked strawberries and dried spices fill the glass.  The same follows through with the flavors, adding in toasted flat bread with vanilla bean and plum.  We think this is drinking very well right now but may be even a little bit better in another 12 - 18 months.   ABV:  14.5% Contra Costa County, CA Suggested retail price:  $25.00 Drink The Bottles score:  90+/100

2019 Cline Family Cellars Petite Sirah Contra Costa County

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We're a little giddy over this new release from Cline Family Cellars.  To be honest, Petite Sirah doesn't cross our paths nearly as often as a more dominant Cabernet or Merlot.  But when it does, we are always very eager to taste it and share it with you.  The  2019 Cline Family Cellars Petite Sirah (Contra Costa County) is an inky purple wine in the glass that is immediately inviting and tempting.  Since this wine is very young, we decanted it for about 45 minutes prior to tasting.  The decant opened up this wine considerably and brought forth appetizing aromas of blueberry, mocha, dark chocolate and flecks of mild pepper.  While we often think of Petite Sirah as a straight-forward wine used primary for blending other red varietals, this one steps outside of that comfort zone.  Full and distinct blue and black berry compote flavors explode in the mouth, joined with mild spices, a whisper of vanilla and a finish of star anise against solid tannin that allows this wine to linge

Winery Adventure: Repris Wines

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We were very blessed to be able to travel to California recently for a wine trip with great friends.  We had planned the trip in 2020, but we had to postpone for a year due to most of the world shutting down from the Covid pandemic.  We decided that we would take this trip in 2021, come hell or high water. Our "Winos" group as we jokingly and affectionately call ourselves, spent a few evenings and many text messages back and forth to discuss the "must visit" wineries as well as those that had been on various wish lists throughout the years.  After much discussion and many emails back and forth to the wineries on our radar, we finally decided on nine wineries that would complete our adventure.  And, so we begun with Day #1...... Repris Wines. We love Southwest Airlines!  However, a non-stop flight from IND to OAK would be ideal. There were three couples who took part in our journey and each one flew into a different airport.  Kris & Scott flew into Sacramento.  R

Rodney Strong Wine Estates REJUVENATION Virtual Wine Tasting

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  It was a great day for a wine tasting.  But then again, isn't  any  day perfect to gather for some vino?   Our group of six gathered at our home (aka DrinkTheBottles  HQ) for a virtual wine tasting provided by our friends at Rodney Strong Wine Estates .  This tasting was promoted as a media tasting and we invited our friends to enjoy some new wines.  Whenever we have a virtual tasting we always try to include others.  It would be a shame to "waste" six bottles of wine on two people. The folks at Rodney Strong Wine Estates have been going through a makeover, or a REJUVENATION as they call it, for the last 3 years.  They have touched every part of the business from the estate, the vineyards, the tasting room, the personnel and, as you may notice, the logo/label! The lineup consisted of six unique and flavorful wines.  The winery proves that you don't have to be expensive to enjoy quality wines.   We tasted these wines in order: 2020 Rodney Strong Rose of Pinot Noir, R

Navigating Wine Country During a Pandemic (aka let's help each other)

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There is little doubt that the first half of 2020 has been anything less than unexpected from what most would consider a 'normal' daily life.  The global pandemic has affected every person in some way, and most people significantly enough to alter their lifestyle, even if temporarily.  Work, school, daycare and financial hardships have reached into most homes, creating a fear of uncertainty and anxiety for many.  But all is not lost.  Whether it is a false sense of security, the need to return to an accustomed lifestyle or a belief that the worst of this virus is over, people are starting to venture out of their homes and travel.   There is no doubt that a large number of the world's population are still cautious and some, even frightened, about the health of the world and those around us.  It's difficult to control the actions of those around us, but by using common sense and social distancing, we can begin to appreciate the lives we are customary of enjoying.  I, for

2016 Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Sangiovese Sonoma Coast

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I am really digging this 2016 Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Sangiovese and think it is drinking very well right now.  This is definitely a great Chicken Parmesan pairing now or you could hold it for 5 years to enjoy more depth and less brightness.  This wine is slightly peppery with berries and a bit of funky, wet earth on the nose.  In the mouth, this light-to-medium wine shows off some gorgeous dried cherry bits, hints of candied apples and vanilla.   There's a suggestion of cedar box towards the end and I think it would be great to taste this vintage again in 3 years to see where that goes.  This is a very flavorful wine and one that I think is best enjoyed with the aforementioned meal.  Great value! ABV:  15.0% Sonoma Coast, California Suggested retail price:  $25.00 Drink The Bottles score:  89/100

2016 Frank Family Vineyards Carneros Chardonnay

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This post is a couple of weeks overdue, but the timing is right considering the scorching heat that most of the US is experiencing right now.  Many people feel that heavier red wines are cumbersome when the heat index is hovering around triple digits and while I am not one of those people, I think some white wines (slightly chilled) are better suited for the sweltering heat.  With that, I give you the 2016 Frank Family Vineyards Carneros Chardonnay.   This is Chardonnay exactly - e x a c t l y - how I like it to taste.  Whether or not oak is your thing, this 100% varietal has just enough that isn't overpowering, but it definitely helps bring the flavors together.  This wine has a really welcoming light gold color with lemon candy and warm buttered bread dominant on the nose.  Extremely creamy on the palate (again, just how I love it), lemon cake, baked cinnamon apple and baking spices combine beautifully and create a finish that clean and extremely satisfying.  This is defin

2015 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

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The 2015 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine that can be enjoyed immediately and often with its incredibly soft tannins and welcoming mouth feel.  Smooth and supple, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (87%), Merlot (6%), Cabernet Franc (5%) and Petite Verdot (2%) offers a solid medium purple color and slender legs in the glass.  The aromas of rapsberry, cedar and licorice aren't necessarily the stars here, but rather the supporting cast to a wine that offers the same in the mouth and adds red licorice, roasted coffee beans and soft spices to the mix.  Even with the four blended grapes, I had anticipated a much younger feeling and more acidic wine that would be bright and benefit from a few more years in the bottle.  That was certainly not the case here!  This wine is completely approachable and one that I think you will enjoy with a pot roast dinner if you're looking for a food pairing.  But, it can certainly stand on it's own merit. ABV:  14.3%

2016 Dry Creek Vineyard Fumé Blanc

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Dry Creek Vineyard has been a favorite of mine for several years, as they have a great selection of red and white wines and this 2016 Fumé Blanc is one of their staples.  This varietal has become more popular over the years, but still pales in comparison to a Chardonnay or Riesling.  And if you're going to put yourself out there, you better make this wine stand out and make it memorable.   That's exactly what the good people at DCV give you with their latest Fumé Blanc.  Tons of lemon and lime fruits are front and center at swirling.  A little bit of honey and pineapple are faintly familiar.  Oh, I guess this would be a great time for me to tell you that I drink most of my white wines at room temperature or just slightly cooler than that.  I hate going to someone's house where they pull a white wine out of the refrigerator and start pouring.  Refreshing?  Sure.  Flavorful?  Not as much as if the wine is warmer.....at least, in my opinion.  In the mouth this wine is br

2014 Cline Cellars Sonoma Coast Estate Merlot

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I wish I had a dollar for every time over the years someone has asked me, "What's a good wine"?  That's such an open-ended question, especially if you don't know someone's taste preference or budget.  I could spend hours recommending good wines, but you really need some trial-and-error in your life to see what you like.  Even if you like California wines, the flavor profiles vary greatly from appellation to appellation.  Remember, it starts with the soil!  Ok, I think I've rambled on enough here, right?  So, let's talk about this 2014 Cline Cellars Sonoma Coast Estate Merlot.  For those who think they don't like Merlot, it's typically because they haven't had any delicious, 100% Merlot like this one, or they have watched Sideways  too many times.  This beautiful wine is a medium ruby red in color with aromas of dark cherry, chocolate and burnt cedar after intense swirling.  (And if you aren't swirling your wine, you're cheat