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This Saturday we will be taking a wine tour of California as well as exploring the important varietals grown in the state. The tour begins in Lake County, drops down to Napa, leaps to the central coast, then zigzags between the Carneros District, Santa Clara Valley and Mendocino County. Here is an opportunity to fine tune your already acute senses (having attended our sessions previously) and stimulate your intellectual curiously as well…and drink wine.
2008 BRASSFIELD ESTATE WINERY PINOT GRIGIO, LAKE COUNTY
List price 13.00; Our price 9.99
Interestingly, this wine was aged sur lie for 8 months with batonage (lees stirring) every 1-2 weeks to create additional body and viscosity in the resulting wine. It is alive and zesty, with vibrant tropical aromas of mango and passion fruit pairing with more subtle hints of coconut, ginger, fennel and start jasmine. Ripe peach and pineapple further enhance the delicious flavor profile on a perfectly balanced framework of acidity and minerality. The wine finishes with a supple and elegant mouth-feel. It won a Silver Medal at this year’s San Francisco Int’l Wine Competition.
2008 RAYMOND SAUVIGNON BLANC RESERVE, NAPA VALLEY
List price 14.50; Our price 11.99
Raymond’s winemakers used a long, cool fermentation process followed by cellaring completely in stainless steel prior to bottling. This produces a wine with crisp acidity and captures the flinty, citrus aroma and flavor characteristics of this versatile variety. A small amount of Semillon was added to the final blend as a compliment to the citrus of the Sauvignon Blanc and to provide added richness to the wine. It is light-bodied and refreshing, with peach, nectarine, grass and herbal notes that finish with a crisp, citrusy edge.
2009 SADDLEROCK CHARDONNAY, CENTRAL COAST
List price 9.99; Our price 7.99
The Semmler family owns the Saddlerock Ranch positioned at the crest of the Santa Monica Mountains, but the grapes for this bottling are from the Central Coast. The just-released wine shows hints of green apple, citrus and pear fused with floral notes of lemon blossom. The aromatics transcend on to the palette with delicate acidity and a smooth finish.
2006 BUENA VISTA PINOT NOIR CARNEROS DISTRICT
List price 22.00; Our price 19.95
The 2006 Pinot Noir Carneros has aromas of bright Bing cherry, fresh ground nutmeg and earthy wild mushroom. In the mouth the wine shows intense bright blackberry and plum fruit with undertones of sweet mocha and clove. Winemaker Jeff Stewart believes the screw cap closure captures the pure Pinot Noir aromas and flavors and delivers the best quality in the glass. This is a wine of great depth with the long, supple finish considered a hallmark of Carneros Pinot Noir. It won a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco Int’l Wine Competition.
2004 MARTIN RANCH MERLOT, SANTA CLARA VALLEY
List price 19.50; Our price 14.99
Recently we tasted the 2005 from this property and are now jumping back a vintage. Terese and Dan Martin planted 17 acres in the southern tip of the Santa Cruz Mountains and enjoyed their first vintage in 1997. Distinctly displaying Santa Clara Valley terroir, this Merlot hints of plum and blackberry, with a velvety vanilla middle. It is a full bodied wine with a hint of chocolate showing in the finish.
2006 SEABISCUIT RANCH SUPERFECTA MERITAGE, MENDOCINO COUNTY
List price 23.00; Our price 19.95
The grapes for this wine were grown on the Ranch where the famous horse retired in northern California’s Redwood Valley. The blend for this bottling is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. The wine has deep purple color, concentrated ripe fruit aromas and flavors, with medium-to-robust body. It has rich fruit, soft tannins and a hint of oak. It is ideal for drinking now, yet will benefit from further bottle aging for many years.