Archive for the ‘Pinot Noir’ Category
Yes, I said rosé for Thanksgiving. Color me pink.
One of the most joyous, fairly rapid transitions I have observed in wine consumer habits the last ten years, is the adoption of rosé by as a serious wine – and for this I am truly thankful.
While the accident that a big winery had many years ago helped save many acres of old Zinfandel vines, it set palates and impressions back by a decade, equating rosé as a ‘blush’ a pink sugary wine. (You can observe me visibly twitch when I hear someone use the word blush.)
The American wine consumer has finally awoken to what Europeans have known for decades, a well made rosé is as valid a wine as a well made white or red, and as enjoyable.
Rosé – Not Just For Summer Picnics
While it’s true, nothing is more refreshing and delightful than a glass of rosé in the spring and summer, on a picnic blanket or your front porch, rosé is still cornered as a summer wine, a phenomenon I disagree with quite strongly. On a wine trip to France two winters ago, I was surprised and pleased to see many cafes had as many if not more rosé by the glass than whites – in January. I also observed, with great interest when a group of winemakers having lunch, again in January, shared a bottle of rosé amongst themselves. Real men drink Pink.
This belief is also reinforced by a fear many wineries hold of having any rosé left in inventory by July. I watch with some chagrin each year as some of the very best rosé made in California are released en masse early in the year, much sent through distribution, and are sold out sometimes in weeks. Selling wine through distribution means its been generally sold at 50% discount, when instead some of that inventory could have been maintained to sell direct to consumer at a much better margin, and lasted longer. Of course there is always the balancing act for a small winery and cash flow.
Also to note, some rosé actually improves with a bit of bottle age. While the general philosophy of Rosé is best drunk bright and fresh, some of the best rosé and my personal favorites, I often cellar for 3-6 months, in some cases longer. In fact its my observation that many wonderful rosé are released too early, too soon after bottling and are sometimes spritzy, show notes of sulfur and are a bit disjointed. I am an acid hound when it comes to wine, but many of these well made rosé also show better after a few months (or more) to let the acid soften a touch, and the flavor profile integrate. Rosé is no different than other wines, it is alive and develops in the bottle.
That said, after the last few years of buying, drinking and cellaring literally hundreds of bottles, most rosé should be drunk by the time new releases are rolling out – Easter is an excellent time to clean out that previous vintage. There are of course, exceptions to every rule – the wonderful Rosé from Bandol are generally considered best if left to sit at least one year, if not longer.
Without Further Adieu – Four Top Picks For Your Holiday Meal
I have written about rosé as a great wine for holiday meals before, and stand by it. Whether it’s as an aperitif, with salads, or if you do as I often and have 3 wines open at once to experiment with all the foods, a snappy rosé holds its own for smiles and cheer as much as a bottle of sparkling.
I have tasted through many dozens of rosé this summer, domestic and imported. Below are four that were all in my top ten, and more importantly, you can go grab a bottle this week. (I find it annoying to see articles coming out right now recommending buying wines that haven’t been available for months.) I have many other favorites from this vintage as well (Broc, Arnot Roberts, Sheldon, Mathiasson, to name a few) but most of these are long sold out.
Three of these selections are mostly sold direct and each has a small quantity left to purchase, if you don’t wait too long. The fourth can usually be found in better wine shops.
No scores this time sorry, but all of these are 90+, for those of you who like ratings. I voted for them with my credit card.
1. Mounts Family Winery – Rosé of Grenache
I am a long time fan of Mounts, and have watched with great pleasure as their Rhone program and wine making philosophies continue to evolve. I was a big fan of their 2010 rosé, was sad when they didn’t release one in 2011, and fell in love with the 2012, and have a few bottles I am hoarding.
Consumers apparently agree, as this was the #2 Consumer Vote at the Rhone Rosé tasting I organized this June, where 100 consumers tasted and ranked their top choices.
Grenache is widely used for rosé in France, but can sometimes be a challenge in California. There is a fear of picking too early and having a vegetal element, but bleeding off juice as a saignée, when Grenache is commonly picked for reds at high ripeness levels, can sometimes push alcohol up, where rosé is generally intended as a modest alcohol wine.
The Mounts Rosé of Grenache was picked just for rosé from their estate vineyard, at 22 Brix, left on the skins for 4 hours, fermented in neutral barrel, and bottled in April. The color is a very light, vibrant pink, with bright red cherry and strawberry notes, and mouth watering lingering acidity. It’s a ridiculous steal at $16 – less than ten cases left, available at the winery only. (Or of course to ship.) 82 cases made. Open this Saturday from 12-4, I will be there!
Mounts is also including shipping on 6+ bottles until Dec 31st.
707-292-8148 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Campovida Rosé of Grenache
The arrival of winemaker Sebastian Donoso has transformed Campovida into a winery to watch and a new favorite of mine. Sebastian, and owners Gary and Anna, are passionate, focused, energetic people who are a delight to visit, and with wonderful small lot wines.
Their 2012 Rosé of Grenache was the #1 Consumer choice at the Rhone Rosé tasting and was simply stunning. Vibrant, taut, fresh, lip smacking. The grapes were destemmed and crushed into macrobins, then cold soaked for 24 hourrs followed by pressing off the skins. Fermented in neutral oak barrels with no malolactic fermentation. Aged in barrel for four months with lees contact and stirred three times, released in April 2013. It’s a little more pricey for a rosé at $34, but it’s a serious wine and worth every penny. 134 cases made.
There are only a few cases left, held mostly in reserve for a December winemakers dinner, but if you go into their Hopland or new Oakland tasting room and tell them you read about it here and they’ll part with a bottle. I highly encourage you to taste the whole lineup.
- Hopland: 13601 Old River Road, Hopland CA Phone: 707.400.6300 Email: email@example.com
- Oakland: 95 Linden St. (at W Embarcadero) Oakland, CA 94607 (707) 744-8797
(p.s. stay tuned in Jan/Feb I will organize a North Coast Rhone Rangers tasting in the Oakland tasting room.)
3. Cartograph Rosé of Pinot Noir
I have come to appreciate how difficult a good rosé can be to make after a few attempts myself, but my summer of 2012 ‘call for Rosé’ tasting where I tasted 60+ rosé over a few weeks, made me especially appreciative of how challenging Rosé of Pinot Noir appears to be, based on tasting results. It’s also gutsy to take grapes that cost $4k+ a ton, and make them into an under $30 bottle of wine.
Alan Baker’s 2011 rosé was wonderful, but is trumped by the 2012. Fortunately for consumers, there is some of the 2012 left, only because they had no tasting room all summer, while they were constructing their gorgeous new one, just recently open to the public.
The 2012 is from the Leonardo Julio Vineyard, in the north end of the Russian River Valley. Picked on Sept 9th, with ~3 hours of skin contact, with a slow ferment over 42 days in stainless steel, and 4 months aging in stainless barrels. Bottled in February, this gorgeous Rosé of Pinot Noir is a steal at $21, only 80 cases made.
The rosé is a very pale pink, an incredibly refreshing array of bright red fruit, fresh strawberry, citrus, mouthwatering acidity and a hint of minerality, that likely has continued to develop since I last tasted it.
If you live near Healdsburg, venture into their newly opened tasting room at 340 Center St, right next to Zin Restaurant in downtown Healdsburg. Don’t forget to try the amazing Russian River Gewurztraminer, and array of Pinot Noirs as well. I’ll be there on Friday stocking up. (p.s. watch for the return (one time only) of the now retired widely popular “Sonoma Wine Meetup” here in January.)
http://www.cartographwines.com (707) 433-8270
4. Bonny Doon Vineyard 2012 Vin Gris
I have raved every year about Bonny Doon’s Vin Gris (rosé.) This year I am kicking myself for not ordering my usual case from their website, however luckily a quick search on Wine Searcher shows it in stock at a wide array of CA shops, ranging from K&L, Beltramo’s and more. (It’s been in stock at Bottle Barn before, but not sure right now, will check tonight and report back.)
This is not a tiny production rosé at 7000 cases, but it holds it’s own with any I have had each year, and rivals those from Provence. The 2012 was a blend of 62% grenache, 17% mourvèdre, 9% roussanne, 6% grenache blanc, 6% cinsault.
Retail prices range from $12-16 dollars. This is a dangerously delicious Rosé, it seems to simply evaporate in the glass. It’s also one that progresses beautifully in the bottle, and I usually open one bottle a month just to enjoy its progression. Easy to drink, yet layered and complex with citrus, white peach, strawberry, ocean breeze, and minerality.
Nikki Lincoln also recently wrote about this wine. What I Drank The Last Few Weeks (Sept 23-Oct 27).
Other recommendations for your Thanksgiving table: Pinot Noir, well made sparkling, and Rhone whites pair with a wide array of foods. Give everyone 3 glasses and open one of each, and try pairing each with what’s on your plate.
And with that, Happy Thanksgiving and cheers!
By Nikki Lincoln
The last few weeks of wine fun have been kind of a blur. With my WSET studies, a lot of my wine tasting was in a more formal set up rather than the one offs that I prefer for this series so I realized that even though I skipped a few weeks, I still had about the same amount to write about. It was an exciting and delicious month of wine drinking though and I’m excited to share some of that with all of you.
Two Sheperds 2011 Pastoral Blanc 375 mL
2009 Viandante del Cielo Pinot Noir Skywalker Ranch
Turkovich Family Wines 2011 Grenache
Alamos 2011 Mendoza Selección Malbec
All in all, the month was filled with some wonderful wines and the reviews practically wrote themselves. I’m also happy that I have other varietals on hand from each of those winemakers (except Skywalker…) and you’ll be seeing more about them in future reviews.
This Weekend, June 8-9th, the Russian River Valley Winegrowers hosts “PassPort to Pinot.”
(1) Pinot Noir was my 'first girl.' Russian River Valley Pinot was my epiphany varietal, 14 years ago, away from Napa big reds that started me rapidly on a path of other varieties, and that the enlightenment that wine complexity can come through nuance, rather than oak and extraction.
(2) I fell in love with Russian River, so much so I moved here and bought a small farm. These two points becoming defining moments in my life and the juxtaposition I am at now, including being a (very small) commercial vintner, specializing in Russian River.
I am excited to go taste this weekend, as warm up for next months off the charts Pinot Event: IPNC.
Passport to Pinot: Saturday & Sunday June 8-9, 2013
Join the amazing producers of the Russian River Valley at our annual Passport to Pinot weekend, where you can celebrate the allure of our Pinot Noir and escape into the rugged beauty of our valley. This world-class tasting experience will have you traveling through our vineyards and redwoods along the Russian River, discovering hidden gems – fresh, local food, hospitality like no other and exclusive experiences at participating wineries.
The Russian River Valley Passport to Pinot weekend offers ticket holders exclusive experiences throughout the weekend at participating wineries.
Pinot is the focus, but each winery will also be offering unique offerings, including:
- Barrel tastings – get a glimpse of the 2012 vintage of Pinot Noir before it’s bottled
- Futures purchases – secure your supply of the wines you love in barrel
- Library wines – discover the beauty of Pinot as it ages
- Vertical tastings – compare the past, present and future of a specific vineyard
- Amazing food pairings – with all the delicious local foods here in Russian River Valley, wine and food are a match made in heaven
- Artist rx cialis demonstrations – from painters to potters to jewelers and beyond
- Vineyard tours – get out in the vines and learn why we say great wine starts with the grapes
- Entertainment – relax with a glass of wine while checking out some of our fantastic local musicians
- And more!
Tickets are only $65 for the weekend, or $40 for Sunday. (Designated driver $20.) That's less than the cost of a few tasting room fees, and less expensive than Saturday night dinner.
Participating wineries include:
- Ancient Oak Cellars – “Real Dirt. Real People. Real Wine.” – Ancient Oak Cellars is a small family winery owned by Ken and Melissa Moholt-Siebert. The tasting room is conveniently located right in downtown Santa Rosa. Join us for a barrel tasting of the 2011 Estate Siebert Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir paired with Bistro 29 French mushroom tartlets. Also showing 2011 RRV Chardonnay, 2010 RRV Pinot, 2010 RRV Zinfandel, and 2012 RRV Rose of Pinot. Live music both days. Artist demonstration on Sunday.
- Balletto Vineyards & Winery – multiple barrels of Pinot and small bites that compliment the wines. Picnic facilities.
- Carrozzi Vineyard, Forchini Vineyard, St. Rose Winery/Nunes Vineyard, Terlato, Trione and Bucher Vineyards – six wineries, one stop! These wineries are joining together at Carrozzi Vineyard to pouring tastes of their Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. This intimate venue on a private estate will offer amazing wines with small bites and live music. A not-to-be-missed stop!
- Christopher Creek Winery – enjoy amazing wines with passed appetizers while listening to live music. Picnic facilities.
- Davis Family Vineyards – will showcase barrel samples of Piot Noir from 3 single vineyard designates. Zazu on the River will be open for the weekend. Guests are welcome to enjoy lunch and music in our organic garden lounge. No buses please.
- DeLoach Vineyards – offering pizza from their wood fired oven along with barrel tasting and pre-release. Picnic facilities. No buses please.
- Dutton Estate Winery – will be offering futures tastings of the 2012 Manzana Pinot Noir and the 2012 Dutton Palms Chardonnay. Picnic facilities.
- Dutton-Goldfield Winery – Explore the current and future of Dutton-Goldfield’s most coveted Pinots! They will be pouring their current releases, previewing upcoming releases, and comparing these to barrel samples of the 2012 vintage. Enjoy the 2011 & 2012 Emerald Ridge Vineyard Pinot and Freestone Hill Vineyard Pinot.
- Emeritus Vineyards – Enjoy barrel tasting, special selections of Estate Pinots from Hallberg Ranch and tours of the vineyard and winery. Special tasting of the 2012 RRV Ruby Ruby Estate Pinot Saignee. Plus a preview of the 2011 Hallberg Ranch to compare with the 2010 and 2012. Picnic facilities. No buses please.
- HANNA Winery – Visit HANNA Winery and enjoy some wines grown on our Russian River Valley Ranches. Come taste our signature 2011 Russian River Valley Pinot along with our 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. Enjoy the handcrafted, specialty balsamic vinegars and olive oils of Sonoma County’s own “Distinctive Tastes.” All of this paired with gourmet focaccia bread from Cousteaux French Bakery.
- HKG Estate Wines – Hop Kiln Vineyards – HKG Estate Winery at Hop Kiln Vineyards will provide guests with an incredible amuse bouche consisting of fresh local salmon tartar highlighted by capers, fresh onions and a drizzle of lemon aioli, plus barrel tastings of the 2012 Twin Corners Pinot Noir and the 2012 North Bridge Pinot Noir.
- Hartford Family Winery – We invite you to join us at Hartford Family Winery to enjoy the beauty of Pinot Noir! Hidden in the majestic Redwoods just a mile from the Russian River, our lively event weekend offers the rare opportunity to sample wines from barrel with Winemaker Jeff Stewart – this only happens once a year! Several single-vineyard, highly-acclaimed Pinots from our 2009 & 2010 vintages will be featured as well, with a menu to pair prepared by Preferred Sonoma Caterers. Paintings by local artist Carole Watanabe and live music all weekend — performances by guitarist/vocalist David Luning (Saturday, 12-3 PM) and pianist/vocalist Gentry Bronson (Sunday, 12-3 PM). Cheers!
- Harvest Moon Estate & Winery – Wine club discounts, full tasting flight. Picnic facilities. No buses please.
- Hook & Ladder Winery – Join Hook & Ladder for barrel samples of 2012 “Third Alarm” Pinot Noir, and tastings of other Russian River Valley Pinots all paired with delicious chocolates! Picnic facilities.
- Inman Family Wines – Join us for a special library tasting of our OGV Estate Pinot Noir, plus current releases of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. A caricature artist will also be on-site, doing illustrations for our guests. Case discounts available. No buses, please.
- John Tyler Wines/Bacigalupi Vineyards – Join us for a sneak peak of our new brand. We will be selling futures and barrel sampling the 2012 Bacigalupi Pinot Noir. We will also be pouring out of the library a three year vertical of Pinot Noir by John Tyler. Sample the original wine & cheese pairing chocolates by Truffle Gateau and delicious locally produced mustards by Foxtail Farms. Vineyard tours will be hosted throughout the day. Come see what’s happening in the Russian River Valley!
- Joseph Swan Vineyard - Joseph Swan will be offering a tasting of various clones and vineyard blocks to show that despite how beautiful the individual components can be, they each can contribute to a more complex and intriguing vineyard bottling. They will also be offering futures, including a limited edition 6 pack of Saralee’s Vineyard – 5 different clones, plus the finished blend!
- La Crema – La Crema will be offering guests a taste from 2 potential “Nine Barrel” Pinot Noir barrels and letting them vote for their favorite! A food pairing with their Russian River Valley Pinot will be provided as well.
- Lauterbach Cellars – several older vintages at a 40% discount. All wines (excluding library wines) will have some type of discount. Futures available as well. Picnic facilities. No buses please.
- Longboard Vineyards – Visit us at the Surf Lounge to taste the 2011 Russian River Pinot Noir and from the barrel the 2012 Rochioli Vineyard Pinot Noir (futures sales at special event pricing). During the evening of 6/8, we will be hosting a four-course winemaker dinner in our barrel room for event participants. For dinner reservations contact firstname.lastname@example.org. No buses please.
- Lost Canyon Winery – Offering event weekend discounts and futures purchases. Will showcase 2010 Morelli Lane Pinot and Saralee’s Pinot. No buses please.
- Martinelli Winery – offering a complimentary tasting of several Russian River Valley designate Pinot Noirs. Each will be paired with a local artisan crafted cheese. Picnic facilities. No buses please.
- Matrix Winery – offering futures on their 2012 Pinot Noirs, case discounts on current vintages for Passport ticket holders. There will also be discounts for Wine Club members as well as free shipping for those joining the Wine Club during Passport weekend.
- Mueller Winery – guests will be able to taste their full lineup of Pinots. Current releases, new releases and pre-releases – all small production wines from the luscious Russian River Valley. Will also offer tastes of their Russian River Valley Chardonnay and Zinfandel. No buses please.
- Russian Hill Estate Winery – enjoy great deals on Pinot Noir half bottles and special pricing on current release Pinots. Picnic facilities. No buses please.
- Russian River Vineyards – Russian River Vineyards is offering taasting of 2010 Estate Pinot Noir and wood fired pizza, with live music from 1 pm to 4 pm on Saturday.
- Siduri & Novy Family Wines – Siduri and Novy Family wines will offer special “futures” pricing on wines tasted from barrel, as well as special discount pricing on many of our current release Siduri Pinot Noirs from Russian River, Sonoma Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands, and Willamette Valley. We will also be pouring several of our Novy Family wines, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Zinfandel. Local Artisan cheese, crackers, and dried fruit will be provided.
- Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards – Guests visiting Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards will be transported to the private Pinot barn at the back of our 400 acres which is not normally open to the public. While there, they may barrel taste both of the small lot, single vineyard Pinot Noirs that are only offered direct from the winery as well as enjoy a savory treat from Chloe’s French Bakery. No Buses please.
- Thomas George Estates – Make Thomas George Estates your mid-day stop to cool off in our Cave! From 11-4PM, enjoy Rose’ of Pinot, 2012 barrel samples of Starr Ridge & Cresta Ridge Pinot Noir, followed by live music (1-4 PM) and appetizers! For Passport Participants only – receive 20% off 6 bottles or more.
- Valdez Winery - Join famed vineyard manager Ulises Valdez and family for a sampling of the 2012 Ulises Valdez Vineyards Pinot Noir from barrel at their new downtown Healdsburg tasting room. In addition, 3 consecutive vintages of bottled Valdez Pinot Noir will be available for tasting.
This Sunday, October 21st is the annual Pinot cialis online canadian pharmacy on the River. This wonderful, Pinot Noir filled day, returns again to the Square on Downtown Healdsburg. The weather is forecasted for a balmy 72 degrees and sunny, promising to be a great day.
Sunday’s Pinot Noir Grand Tasting, with over 100 wineries plus guest Artisan Food Vendors all on the downtown Healdsburg Plaza Square, is a Sonoma County wine weekend, and Pinot Noir experience, you won’t want to miss.
For the Pinot-phile seeking the ultimate day of
Pinot Noir immersion, with a VIP Ticket. VIP Guests have the opportunity to attend the special Pre-Tasting Seminar exploring Pinot Noirs from Littorai, presented by Ted Lemon.
This seminar, beginning at 9 AM and moderated by Gregory S. Walter, editor and publisher of the PinotReport newsletter, is available to VIP ticket holders only.
Following the seminar, VIP ticket holders can enter the Grand Tasting ahead of the general public, and enjoy the VIP lounge.
Tickets for the VIP Experience are $150, regular attendee ticket is $75. Factor in the price of high quality Pinot Noir, the costs of tasting fees, the close proximity of 100 Pinot producers, and the food experience that accompanies, and $75 is a a value any wine lover will quickly realize.
If Pinot Noir is one of your favorite varietal wines, this is simply a can not skip event. VIP & Seminar spots are very limited, if you are interested, I’d suggest you buy them ASAP. Tickets: http://www.pinotfestival.com/registration.html
Simple Hedonisms will be onsite tasting & tweeting live at #POTR !
This will be my third year attending the International Pinot Noir Celebration in McMinnville Oregon, as media. Each July, I await this event as eagerly as I do my Rhone nirvana,
While its true Rhone wines are deep in my blood, Pinot was my first girl and will always be dear to me, in the never ending journey of exploring this complex, elusive, high maintenance, highly rewarding varietal.
Pick Your Experience: Full Weekend or Afternoon Walkabout
Option A: The Full Monty of Pinot Noir
You have several choices of participating in IPNC. There is no doubt the ultimate Pinot Noir experience is the full weekend package. Two days and nights of seminars, tours, classes, tastings, food and more.
If Friday and Saturday aren’t enough Pinot Noir for you, you can even start Thursday night. The Anne Amie Counter Culture event is fabulous, and highly recommended, have been twice. I look forward with great anticipation this year to kicking off IPNC by dining with the Momtazi family for an extraordinary night at Maysara Winery.
It’s a minor miracle full passes are still available, two weeks out. For a Pinot lover, of any experience level, the $975 pass is a worthy investment.
The 2012 IPNC Full Weekend Ticket includes:
• 2 Grand Outdoor Tastings
• Numerous Weekend Seminars
• Friday Night Grand Dinner and Saturday Night Salmon Bake
• A Vineyard Tour & Winery Lunch
• An afternoon University of Pinot Course
• An Array of Wine Related Activities and Small Format Tastings
• Friday and Saturday Breakfast on the Patio
• Sunday Sparkling Brunch Finale
• Opportunity to Celebrate with over 70 International Pinot Noir Winemakers and 50 Northwest Chefs
If the seems pricey, consider this: if you were going to take a wine focused vacation, or even just factored in costs of this wealth of Pinot Noir tastings, many of which you couldn’t find, especially those from France, all the food, seminars and more (the Saturday night salmon bake, which sold out a la carte, was $150 alone. ), suddenly $975 is a reasonable food and wine vacation.
You’ll also meet winemakers from France, and taste wines, that would cost you many more thousands of dollars to fly over and visit, IF you could get an appointment to taste. Hotels, rental cars, braving the French highway, language barriers. Or you can experience all of this in the tranquil, hospitable, Willamette Valley.
There are also many priceless factors, like the camaraderie and new friends you make, and rubbing elbows with winemakers of world renown.
Option B: The Perfect Sunday Afternoon
Still, if the $975 price tag, or the two day Friday and Saturday commitment is too much for you, consider the Sunday afternoon Walkabout Tasting.
The next best thing, and by no means a huge compromise if you just can’t swing the full commitment, is the Sunday afternoon walk around tasting. You’ll still meet the winemakers, try wines you’ll never be able to try, all gathered together in a captive, gorgeous environment.
Held in the beautiful Oak Grove at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, this annual outdoor tasting showcases Pinot noirs from over 70 wineries worldwide. Guests are provided a Riedel Oregon Pinot noir glass price of viagra at the start of the afternoon and are set free to sip and sample throughout the Oak Grove.
To maximize interaction with winemakers, the tasting is split into two sessions. Approximately 35 Featured Winemakers will pour for
each session with a break in the middle for winemaker introductions. In addition to extraordinary winemakers, top-notch Northwest chefs will prepare divine dishes to accompany an unparalleled array of international Pinot noir.
Take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet some of the world’s finest Pinot noir winemakers at Oregon’s largest outdoor wine tasting.
I have attended hundreds of wine events, and I have organized and hosted wine tastings, its not a walk in the park to execute flawlessly on. With 26 years to practice, the IPNC team
has this down to an art form, that no event can match. You need only show up and enjoy, the logistics are flawless, the setting perfect, the people friendly, and the wines and service impeccable.
If you love wine, especially Pinot Noir, this is a ‘bucket list’ event. I’d suggest you move it high up in priority on that list.
Cheers, hope to see you there. Follow the fun on Twitter with hashtag #IPNC !
While its safe to say I yet to visit
a wine region I haven’t liked, few have captured my heart and changed my life as much as Russian River Valley. Yes, I am all about the Rhones, but as I have said many times, Pinot Noir was ‘my first girl.’ My path
to moving to wine country, that changed my life, started in Russian River Valley, where I now reside with my own small vineyard. (Sorry, not Pinot Noir, Grenache.)
This Saturday and Sunday you have a chance to experience what put RRV on the global wine map – Pinot Noir.
The Russian River Winegrowers, of which I am a proud associate member, is holding “Passport to Pinot,” a don’t miss weekend Pinot experience.
What Is Passport to Pinot?
As one might guess Pinot is the center star of the show, but its more than that. Each winery will pull out the stops to showcase it with things like:
• Barrel tastings – get a
glimpse of the 2011 vintage of Pinot Noir before it’s bottled
• Futures purchases – secure your supply of the wines you love in barrel
• Library wines – discover the beauty of Pinot as it ages
• Vertical tastings – compare the past, present and futurye of a specific vineyard
• Amazing food pairings – with all the delicious local foods here in Russian River Valley, wine and food are a match made in heaven
• Artist demonstrations – from painters to potters to jewelers and beyond
• Vineyard tours – get out in the vines and learn why we say great wine starts with the grapes
• Entertainment – relax with a glass of wine while checking out fantastic local musicians
• And more!
For a list of participating RRV wineries, and their special offer, click here.
Tickets are $65 for both days, or $40 for Sunday, and are available here. https://ssl.sonic.net/rrvw/web/passport2pinot_order_2012_cc.shtml
If you read the food, entertainment, and special purchase discount offers, $40-$65 is a steal!
Quick, Enter and Win a Pair of Weekend Passes – Expires in 48 hours!
One lucky couple will get a full weekend pass. In comments below simply tell us.
If you one participating winery (or pick several) do you want to visit, and why.
A winner will be randomly drawn and announced.
I will be wandering around wineries on Sunday, say hi if you see me – cheers!
Anderson Valley Winegrowers to Host 15th Annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival
March 26, 2012, Philo, Calif. – Tickets are now on sale for the 15th annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival, to be held May 18-20, 2012.
event, which is put on by The Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association (AVWA), will feature a grand tasting that highlights 40 producers pouring just one single variety from one appellation (Anderson Valley Pinot Noir and Pinot Noir rosés).
The Pinot Noir Festival weekend kicks off on Friday, May 18 with a day-long technical conference aimed at members of the trade and avid Pinot consumers. Conference topics include wastewater management, a Boonville vs. “deep end” Pinot tasting moderated by Michael Mina Group Wine Director Rajat Parr, a Cerise Vineyard focus tasting, and more.
The technical conference will be followed by a casual, outdoor barbecue at Husch Vineyards, with pulled pork sandwiches and other BBQ delicacies, a live band, and plenty of Pinot Noir.
After a press tasting on Saturday morning, the grand tasting at Goldeneye Winery in Philo will showcase Anderson Valley Pinot with a latin beat. Pinots will be paired with classic Mexican dishes like fig mole chicken and a group of local women will be making fresh salsas and homemade tortillas during the event. There will also be live music and a silent auction to benefit the Anderson Valley Health Center and Hendy Woods State Park.
Participating wineries at the grand tasting include: Balo Vineyards, Baxter Winery, Black Kite Cellars, Breggo Cellars, Brutocao Cellars, Champ de Reves, Claudia Springs Winery, Copain Wines, Couloir Wines, Drew Family Wines, Elke Vineyards, Esterlina
Vineyards, Expression Wine, Foursight Wines, Frati Horn, Fulcrum Wines, Goldeneye Winery, Greenwood Ridge Vineyards, Handley Cellars, Harmonique Wines, Husch Vineyards, Knez Winery, Lazy Creek Vineyards, Littorai, Londer Vineyards, LuLa Cellars, MacPhail Family Wines, Maggy Hawk Vineyard, Navarro Vineyards, Phillips Hill Estates, Philo Ridge Vineyards, Roederer Estate, Roessler Cellars, Scharffenberger Cellars, Standish Wine Co., Toulouse Vineyards, Twomey Cellars, Waits-Mast and Zina Hyde Cunningham.
On Saturday evening, May 19, local wineries will host four winemaker dinners in Anderson Valley and on the Mendocino Coast. This year’s dinners include: Roederer, Goldeneye and Fulcrum at Roederer Estate; Baxter and Navarro Vineyards at The Philo Apple Farm; Scharffenberger Cellars, Phillips Hill Estate and Waits-Mast at Scharffenberger; and Esterlina, Greenwood Ridge and Champ de Reves at the MacCallum House in Mendocino.
The weekend will conclude on Sunday, May 20 with open houses at Anderson Valley wineries, featuring special tastings, educational talks, music and food (a list of winery open houses can be found at www.avwines.com).
Tickets for the 15th annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival can be purchased at www.avwines.com.
About the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association:
The Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association operates with the goal of supporting the region’s grape growers and wineries, as well as promoting the region’s wines. In addition to acting as a resource for its members, the association aims to better its community by donating funds every year to local nonprofit organizations. To-date, more than $220,000 – raised at the association’s events – has been given to local charities. For more information about the association, or for a list of association members, please visit http://www.avwines.com/.
Kristy Charles,President, AVWA, (707) 321-4024 email@example.com
Janis MacDonald, AVWA, (707) 895-9463, firstname.lastname@example.org
Guest Post by Fred Swan
This weekend’s events look a little sparse on the surface. But one little line item portends barrels of adventure. Hundreds of barrels. Full of wine. canadian viagra
tle=”The 34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting in Northern Sonoma” href=”http://www.wineroad.com/events/barrel_tasting/3#tabs-5″ target=”_blank”>The 34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting in Northern Sonoma.
There have already been excellent articles on this site about the barrel tasting. I don’t want to repeat what has been said. But, the list of more than 120+ wineries makes it hard to know where to start. So, I’ll offer a couple of itineraries for you to consider:
(Editorial note by William, for those of you who listened to me on KRSO tonight and are looking for the Tips & Ticket Contest, see Monday’s Post Here: Wine Road Barrel Tasting – The Premier Wine Buying Event of The Season. Learn, Share and Win Tickets! (4 winners!) )
Route 1: Get it While You Can — Wineries Open This Weekend Only
Saturday, focus on wineries west of Hwy 101. I might start at Moshin. Their Sauvignon Blanc will ease you into tasting. Follow it up with vineyard-designate Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.
Next, head up Westside Road to De La Montanya. They have five different wines for you to sample, starting with Pinot Noir and closing with a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc. The dessert wine will lead nicely into lunch. You did pack a lunch, right?
Head north on Westside Drive as it turns into West Dry Creek. Pull in at Quivira. Eat your lunch near their biodynamic gardens. Then enjoy their Mourvedre and Petite Sirah.
From Quivra continue on to A. Rafanelli Winery which will be pouring 2010 Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. Their wines are always very good. And they age well.
On the second day do an eastern route. Rodney Strong will have a tasty assortment. Chalk Hill Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Dry Creek Zinfandel.
From there, go to Stryker Sonoma. See how the Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from their estate differs from the Dry Creek wines you tried on Saturday. The’ll also pour Merlot.
Stay on the Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon path by going to Trentadue. They’ll let you try their reserve, the La Storia Cabernet Sauvignon. The La Storia Zinfandel and La Storia Cuvee 32 blend will also be available.
For a taste of a completely different Cabernet Sauvignon AVA, head back across Hwy 101 to Ridge Vineyards. They’ve got a barrel of 2011 Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon from the Santa Cruz Mountains. (Ridge is open the 2nd weekend too, but why wait?)
Route 2: Que Syrah — There’s more to Sonoma than Chard, Zin, Pinot and Cab
Formulate an itinerary from among these excellent Syrah producers:
Joseph Swan (Forestville) will be pouring not one but three vineyard-designate Syrah. Give them a try and see how the terroir of the different vineyards shows through in the wines. The winery will also have Zin, Tannat and more.
Vintoteca in Santa Rosa will be featuring six different wineries. Among the wines will be Olson Ogden’s Dry Creek Syrah. Before you dive into that though, try the Pinot Noirs from Bjornstadt and Baker Lane.
Krutz Family Cellars (Santa Rosa) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stagecoach Vineyards of Napa Valley was one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Wines for 2011. They’re opening a barrel of Syrah from that same vineyard, which excels with that variety.
Lauterbach Cellars (Windsor) has acclaimed Syrah fruit, but makes wine in tiny quantities. This is your chance to try some. They’ll have the 2009 Syrah, but will start you off with Pinot Noir and their Syrah Rosé.
Red Car (Sebastopol) is un-bunging their Estate Syrah. But first, enjoy Heaven & Earth and their estate Pinot Noir.
Dutton Estate Winery will be pouring My Father’s Syrah. …I didn’t even know my dad had Syrah! I’m sure it will be good though. They’ve also got Pinot and Chardonnay on tap wine thief.
Six Sigma Ranch Pro & Amateur Pruning Competition —Lower Lake: March 3, 10:00am – noon
Learn pruning from the pros and try your hand at it, too!
Cab Release Weekend at Velo Vino — St. Helena: March 3 – 4, 11:00am – 6:00pm
A special Vertical tasting of our 2006, 2007 and 2008 kit’s killer cab.
Charles Krug Winery Celebrates Charles Krug’s 187th Birthday — St. Helena: March 3, 6:00pm – 9:30pm
Imagine the light the birthday candles will put out! There’ll be appetizers and three-course wine dinner.
34th Annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting – Northern Sonoma: March 2 – 4, 11:00am – 4:00pm
144 wineries open their doors this weekend, many will be offering futures. Advance ticket sales are over, but you can buy tickets at the door.
Inspiration Vineyards Winemaker Dinner — Santa Rosa: March 2, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
There are still a few seats available for this dinner and the menu looks great!
Music at Vino di Amore Tasting Lounge — Cloverdale: March 2, 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Unwind after work, or barrel tasting, to rock and reggae played by Oscar Caleron.
Hanzell Vineyards Winemaker Dinner at Santé — Sonoma: March 8, 6:30pm
Join Hanzell winemaker Michael McNeill for a delicious four-course dinner paired with past and current vintages of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
A Quick Plug:
The Wine Advocate will soon be releasing Antonio Galloni’s report on Sonoma County Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. You can learn more about him and what he looks for wines by reading my in-depth interview with him. It’s being published in daily doses this week at NorCalWine.com.
Enjoy your weekend!
Wine lovers and romantics are still coming down from the chocolate-induced sugar high last weekend’s pre-Valentine’s Day festivities caused. Fortunately, events for the coming days put the emphasis back on wine.
Start off your weekend with a jaunt
to the town of Sonoma this Friday evening. The Lodge at Sonoma is hosting the VinOlivo Grand Tasting. Nearly 60 different Sonoma wineries will be pouring and 25 restaurants and caterers serving.
If you’re a fan of Alsace varietals, or just like to laugh at people trying to say “Gewurtztraminer,” then I highly recommend you head up to Boonville this Saturday for the 7th annual Int’l Alsace Varietals Grand Tasting. There you’ll find more Pinot Gris under one roof than imagine. And, if you get white wined out, you can amble down the road a bit and enjoy some lovely Anderson Valley Pinot Noir.
If you have an interest in California wine history — and would like to meet it — you’ve got to go the 6th Annual Vintners Hall of Fame Induction Celebration at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. The food and wine are always excellent and you’ll never have a better opportunity to meet the legends of the California wine industry. Here are this year’s inductees.
All events listed below are in chronological order by region. Some events require advance reservations or ticketing, so it’s best to click through for any event you’d like to attend. The headline links for each event will take you to the calendar at NorCalWine.com where you’ll find further details on that event. And event organizers sometimes change details at the last minute, so it’s always a good idea to contact the host prior to showing up at their doorstep. For events in other regions, also check the calendar or my weekly NorCal event articles.
Saturday, February 18
Ceago Winemaker Dinner at the Tallman Hotel — Upper Lake: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Owner Jim Fetzer, winemaker Barney Fetzer and family members will be there to introduce the wines and pairings.
Saturday, February 18
Int’l Alsace Varietals Festival Technical Conference — Boonville: 9:00am – 11:30am
Winemakers from around the globe discuss winemaking and grape growing specifically for Alsace varietals.
7th annual Int’l Alsace Varietals Grand Tasting — Boonville: 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Meet the winemakers and taste Alsace-style white wines from around the world, including Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Muscat.
Alsace Festival Winemakers Dinner at Shaffenberger Cellars — Philo: 6:30pm
Enjoy a sumptuous dinner with the winemakers and learn more about their wines in the elegant private dining room at Sharffenberger Cellars.
Saturday February 11 – Monday, February 20
The Ultimate Decadent Tasting at Trefethen Family Vineyards — Napa: 10:00am – 4:30pm
Enjoy special selections of Trefethen wines paired with handmade confections produced by one of Napa’s finest chocolatiers.
Friday, February 17
Cornerstone Cellars Winemaker Dinner at Bardessono — Yountville: 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Enjoy a special 5-course tasting menu drawn from Lucy’s Garden by Chef Victor Scargle, inspired by the wines of Jeff Keene.
Saturday, February 18
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Release at Nichelini Family Winery — St. Helena: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Leona Marini, 4th generation, will be on hand to offer food pairings and stories.
Winemaker’s Dinner & Bob James Concert at Miner Family Winery — Oakville: 6:00pm – 10:00pm
An intimate concert in the caves followed by a a four-course dinner prepared by La Saison chefs Natalie & Jonathan Niksa paired with new release 2009 Miner Cabernets.
Sunday, February 19
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Release at Nichelini Family Winery — St. Helena: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Leona Marini, 4th generation, will be on hand to offer food pairings and stories.
Monday, February 20
6th Annual Vintners Hall of Fame Induction Celebration at CIA Greystone — St. Helena: 4:00pm – 8:00pm
A rare opportunity to mingle with noted winemakers, famous chefs, and wine-loving celebrities.
Friday, February 17
VinOlivo Grand Tasting at The Lodge at Sonoma — Sonoma: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Sip Sonoma Valley’s best wines as you get to know the personalities behind the
wine. Sample food from more than 25 of Sonoma’s purveyors.
Music at Vino di Amore Tasting Lounge — Cloverdale: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Guitar ballads with Brian Ward
Saturday, February 18
Mardi Gras Celebration at Meadowcroft Wines — Sonoma: noon – 4:00pm
The St. Gabriel’s Celestial Brass Band, down home Louisiana cookin’, a Second Line-Parade, award winning wines and of course BEADS!
Sunday, February 19
Amphora’s Zinvitational: Zinfandel and Cioppino at Amphora — Healdsburg: 11:00am – 4:30pm
Current, library and barrel-sample Zinfandel plus Cioppino, sourdough and green salad.
President’s Day Celebration at Old Roma Station — Healdsburg: 11:00am – 4:00pm
Limited production wines from Bluenose, Hart’s Desire, J. Keverson, Kelley & Young, Sadler-Wells, Sapphire Hill, Skewis, Shippey and Willowbrook.
Sundays on the “Terraza” at Santa Rosa Vintners Square — Santa Rosa: 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Bring a picnic. They’ll will provide the wine, bocce ball court and live music.
Thursday, February 23
J Vineyards & Winery Winemaker Dinner at John Ash & Co. — Santa Rosa: 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Join J Vineyards & Winery Assistant Winemaker, Scott Anderson, for an excellent dinner paired with five J wines.
Event organizers and publicists get your events published here. Post your events in the calendar at NorCalWine.com. Posting events there requires a one-time registration (easy, peasy), but is totally free of charge. And it only takes a couple of minutes. I’ll soon post a guide at NorCalWine.com with tips on how to make event posts as effective as possible.
Disclaimer: The events I’ll call attention to here are those that I’ve become aware of and which offer something beyond the standard winery tasting room experience. Neither I nor William are compensated by any of the event organizers in any way. The listings are for the benefit of the community. Event details are subject to change without notice.
This article is by Fred Swan for Simple Hedonisms. All rights reserved.
Pinot-Philes – Sunday October 23 Healdsburg Pinot on the River is a Must Not Miss Event. (New Venue!)
The “Full Immersion” Pinot Noir Event! 8th Annual Pinot On The River Festival Takes Over Healdsburg Plaza
This Sunday, more than 100 small-production artisanal Pinot Noir producers will join hundreds of serious Pinot Noir fanatics at the 2011 Pinot on the River Festival, held October 23, 2011 on the Healdsburg Plaza in downtown Healdsburg in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley. The eighth edition of this popular annual event focuses upon highly allocated, limited-production Pinot Noirs from up and down the West Coast.
This is a true “full-immersion” in Pinot Noir, featuring a full day of tastings from some of the West Coast’s best Pinot producers as well offerings from local artisan cheese makers and other sumptuous food.
VIP Plaza Lounge Option
Pinot on the River is again partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma which is hosting a one of a kind VIP Plaza Lounge. VIP guests will join winemakers and other special guests in this Plaza Lounge for the only on-site seating, premium tasting seminars from 6 premier wineries, fine Sonoma County fare provided by Vintage Valley Catering without long lines, and, of course, plenty of Pinot Noir! There are a limited number of VIP tickets available to ensure maximum comfort, atmosphere, and value. To purchase these VIP tickets, visit www.bgccsc.org. From a special VIP seminar on Pinot Noir from the Santa Cruz Mountains all the way through Sunday's “Artisanal Pinot Noir Tasting,” it’s an event created for people who love Pinot Noir.
“We’ve brought in more than 100 of the absolute best Pinot producers on the West Coast,” said co-founder/organizer Eric Hall. “These are incredible wines, that
in many cases you simply can’t find in the marketplace. We are in a “golden age” of American Pinot Noir—it will be an extraordinary weekend for Pinot lovers.”
Pinot On The River 2011 begins at 9 a.m. on Sunday, October 23, with a special seminar exploring Pinot Noir from the Santa Cruz Mountains. This seminar, moderated by Gregory S. Walter, editor and publisher of the PinotReport newsletter, will feature 10 producers from this often undiscovered region and is available to VIP ticket holders only.
Following the seminar, VIP ticket holders can enter the Grand Tasting ahead of the general public, and enjoy the VIP longue presented by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County, our partners in the event. Noon marks the beginning of the “Grand Artisanal Pinot Noir Tasting” at the north end of the Healdsburg Plaza. The event is open to public and individual tickets are available.
Event Sponsors, who support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County, include M.A. Silva Corks, Collotype Labels, Enartis-Vinquiry, Trilogy Glass, Encore Event Rentals, Dickenson Peatman, & Fogarty Attorneys at Law, Alexander Valley Cellars, C & E Capsules, North Bay Corporation, Bank of Marin, Andras & Gomez Attorneys at Law, Pack-N-Ship Direct, Sonoma County Vintner’s Co-op, and Vintage Valley Catering.
Tickets are on sale now for the event. For more information visitwww.pinotfestival.com. Follow them on Facebook.