Archive for the ‘Winery’ Category

Tasting Notes: 2006 Ridge Lytton Estate Syrah

Yes, reviews and tasting notes are back! With the 2012 harvest behind me, its time to get back to sharing tasting notes. (Note that even when I don't post regularly here, you

can still regularly find my notes on Cellartracker.

Rhoning With Ridg

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I was in love with this Syrah when I had it earlier this year, and am in love again now, wish I had bought a case instead of 2 bottles. It is sold out, I have to admit. This release is a hit each year, and doesn't last long. The 2007 is available now, and I intend to taste and buy a few this weekend.

Generally my Syrah palate leans towards cool climate Syrah, that have a different flavor profile, are leaner, and lower in alcohol, but the Ridge is an example that Syrah from warmer regions like Dry Creek can still be (very) appealing to those with cool climate biased palates.

This Syrah is bolstered I believe, in part, because it hs 8% Viognier, co-fermented, Cote Rotie style.

Tasting Notes: 2006 Ridge Lytton Estate Syrah, Dry Creek Valley

  • To The Eye: A deep inky purple
  • On The Nose: wonderful aromatics; notes of blueberry & violets, supporting stronger notes of black fruit, dried fruit, many layers.
  • In The Mouth: Layered dark fruit, with both silky texture and structure. Great acidity that integrates beautifully. Black fruit and smoked meat on the front palate, silky red fruit mid palate, and then and incredible lingering finish that is full of fruit and acid, that slowly fades off the tongue over 30-60 seconds.

At 14.4% alcohol, it is modest, and balanced. Typical of Ridge, this wine has a decade + of aging potential, but cheap cialis online is highly enjoyable now.
A gem of a wine, that any wine lover can find something to appreciate, and fairly priced at 34 dollars. 92 points

It was enough to make my finally buckle and join the Ridge Wine club.

Taste Rhones in New York Next Week, Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser

If you are in New York, next Wednesday you can taste Ridge, and 30 other Rhone Ranger producers at City Winery New York. The Rhone Rangers will be making donations to the Red Cross relief effort. See details at: What Hurricane? Rhone Rangers Ride to NYC Nov 7th – Details, Relief Efforts, Promo Code & Ticket Contest #RRNY

Related Articles

What Hurricane? Rhone Rangers Ride to NYC Nov 7th – Details, Relief Efforts, Promo Code & Ticket Contest #RRNY

Wine of The Week: 2009 Petrichor Les Trois Syrah (or Wow!)

Tasting Notes: Wesley Ashley Wines 2009 Intelligent Design Cuvée – And Why Rhone Blends Rock

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Wine Of The Week: 2011 Cartograph Pinot Noir Rosé (Sat. June 26th Release Party!)

I have been so heads down on tasting through Rosé this month (You can see results, so far, on my Cellartracker event) plus some major ‘other life’ things keeping me busy.

I realized its been quite a while since picked a ‘wine of the week.’

Look no further, especially for local Bay area readers. Here is a local Healdsburg highlight of my May journeys through Rosé, so far.

 

About Cartograph

I am again delinquent about reviewing Cartograph, best known as an emerging Pinot Noir producer to watch.

I reviewed their Gewurtraminer some time ago, which (ironically) was my debut wine of the week. I  have a stash of their Pinot Noir I really must write about. Generally when I open a bottle of Cartograph, its for ‘me’ time, sorry, on occasion I don’t share everything  I drink.

Since I last wrote, Cartograph has teamed up with Stark Wines to open one of the coolest tasting rooms in Healdsburg. Friday nights there have been especially fun as they have rotated in live music, artists, writers and more. Tonight for example, is singer Steve Pile. The tasting room is Garagiste Healdsburg, which in addition to its highly lauded tasting room, is a small production facility.

During the summer, you can sit outside on their amazing patio, order wine by the glass, and have food delivered from Healdsburg restaurants. Great wine, food delivered, and a gorgeous patio – Simply Hedonistic!

 

Release Party, Saturday May 25th

This wonderful Rosé is available tomorrow at their release party in Healdsburg tomorrow 1-5 pm. (But open until 7 pm.)

 

Review: 2011 Cartograph Pinot Noir Rosé, Russian River Valley

To The Eye: Light vibrant pink, with a salmon orange hue.

On The Nose:
Expressive nose of fresh strawberries, white peach, rose petals.

In The Mouth:
Bright, fun, and (too) easy to drink. A red fruit bowl of strawberry, fresh raspberry, bright cherry, pomegranate.  Fresh fruit on the front palate, nice mouth feel mid palate, balanced with Bright mouthwatering acidity on the finish.

Recommendation:  This one is a keeper, buy 3-6 bottles, and make sure you hide away 1-2 for Thanksgiving! Tasting room only, $19. Only 55 cases made. (And a handful of the viagra mexico cutest damn 375 ml bottles you ever saw. )  91 Points

Wine Geek Info:

  • TA 6.7
  • pH 3.16
  • Alc: 13.2

 

Related Articles

Tasting Notes: 2011 Curtis Heritage Rosé – Santa Barbara

A Call For Rosé – May Panel Review (Drink Pink!)

Tasting Notes: Envolve Winery 2011 Rosé, Sonoma Mountaincheap viagra

Tasting Notes: Sheldon 2010 Vinolocity Blanc – Sonoma Coast Rhone Blend

It’s a only matter of days and hours until I spend 2 days in the Rhone mecca of Hospice du Rhone, so as I work tonight, I am sipping and paying homage with a white Rhone blend from small local producer, Sheldon. I had originally intended to review their Grenache based Vinolocity cheapest viagra online a few weeks ago, but it was one of those nights where I just enjoyed the wine too much to put thoughts

to

keyboard. Should make Eric Asimov proud after his comments at the last Bloggers conference.

 

I recommend Sheldon winery regularly to Sonoma visitors, although I have only reviewed one of their wines, officially, to date. (It was, however, one of my highest ever scoring red wines.) Tobe and Dylan have a true passion for making wines that are unique, expressive, and truly artisanal.

 

2010 "Vinolocity Blanc"

 

Review: Sheldon 2010 Vinolocity Blanc – Sonoma Coast Rhone Blend

 

I fell in love with this wine during Wine Road Barrel tasting weekend in 2011 and bought futures, something I do rarely for whites.

Like all Sheldon wines, this is unfined, unfiltered. Only 13% alc. A blend of 50% Viognier (with skin contact), 25% Grenache Blanc, and 25% Roussanne.

 

To The Eye: Light yellow straw color, quite clear and bright. (Who says unfiltered means cloudy.)

On The Nose : Tangerine, white peach, white grapefruit, spice.

In the Mouth: Nice mouth feel from combination of acidity and Malolactic. Citrus at front palate, viscous slightly tropical mid palate, and an interesting pleasing finish of acidity and slight nuttiness.

Recommendation: Only 100 cases made, suspect not much left, grab a bottle before extinct. $28 online or at the winery in Santa Rosa. 90 points.

 

Related Articles:

 

Countdown To The 20th Anniversary of Hospice du Rhone #HdR2012

 

Wine of the Week – Sheldon 2009 Graciano Ripkin Vineyard, Lodi

 

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Wine Of The Week: 2010 Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch, Russian River Valley

Ahh Pinot Noir. I have been writing and focused heavily on Rhones for many weeks now with my Rhone Rangers and Hospice du Rhone countdown.buy cialis tadalafil online

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But man can not live by Rhone alone (my friend, Rhone icon Randall Grahm told me this!) so last night it was time to go back to ‘my first girl’ and share notes on a winery I have enjoyed for years, but is one of those I somehow just never reviewed before.

If you haven’t been to Dutton-Goldfield’s ‘new’ (its not that new anymore it opened April 2010) they no longer share with Balletto but have a gorgeous tasting room of their own. Venture over to Sebastopol some time for a quality tasting experience.

Dutton-Goldfield is renowned for their Russian River Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but they have several other small lot releases up their sleeve, including Syrah, Zin, and a Pinot Blanc I can’t wait to taste and share shortly.

 

Wine Review: 2010

Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch, online pharmacy propecia viagra Russian River Valley (Sonoma County)

I couldn’t be more pleased by the slow return to “balance” in Sonoma County wines, and no varietal do I appreciate this more in than Pinot Noir. Elegant, soft, sultry, spicy as she should be, not dark, tannic and flabby. Not that any Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir, during the duration I have been exposed to their wines, ever went down that route, and thus why I have been a fan.

To quote D-G on this vintage, as I think it shows prominently in the tasting:

2010 is a favorite vintage for the masochistic DG winemaker—cold, then wet, then HOT, then cold. Patience, a great grower, and attention paid off. In the end, we harvested a crop of extremely low yield (production of this wine is down from even the sparse 2009 vintage), tiny berry, high acid, low sugar and wonderfully ripe, concentrated and tasty pinot. Though alcohol is low and acid is solid, the phenolic ripeness and bright juicy fruit just sings in this vintage.

To The Eye: Deep crimson , ruby color. Slightly darker color belies the flavor profile.

On The Nose: The wine is incredibly expressive; blueberry and blackberry, combined with hint of lingering spice, leap out of the glass like a bowl of berry cobbler.

In the Mouth: Pleasantly (and a bit to my surprise), the wine is more restrained that the aroma profile

might lead you to anticipate, I was fearing overly expressive fruit. This Pinot Noir changes wonderfully as you taste it. The initial front palate is soft and pleasing black fruit, mid palate, tart cranberry expresses itself and shows the acidity more, with a spice note at finish that lingers pleasantly on the tongue.

Recommendation: Buy and Drink or Hold. This excellent Pinot Noir is modestly priced at $38.
This wine drinks wonderfully now, but should age well, and gain complexity with bottle time. I’d recommend buying several bottles; some to consume, some to hold to observe it over time. You won’t go wrong either way. Media Sample.

Wine Geek Info:

  • APPELLATION: Russian River Valley
  • VINEYARDS: Maurice Galante, Emerald Ridge, Silva, Morelli Lane, Freestone Hill
  • ALCOHOL: 13.5%
  • TITRATABLE ACIDITY: 0.58 gm/100 ml
  • PH: 3.62
  • WINEMAKING: Open top fermentation, cold soak, punch down.
  • BARREL AGING: 10 months in French oak (40% new barrels)
  • WINEMAKER: Dan Goldfield
  • CASES PRODUCED: 2,598

Related Articles:

Highlights and Top Picks of the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival

#PinotSmackdown Greenhouse Tasting Winners – Baxter Winery! (Grenache up next!)

Pinot-Philes – Sunday October 23 Healdsburg Pinot on the River is a Must Not Miss Event. (New Venue!)

Countdown To The 20th Anniversary of Hospice du Rhône #HdR2012

Simple Hedonisms is Off Again! This Week it’s the International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) in Oregon

Sunday April 10th – ‘How the West Was Wine’ Ticket Contest for West Sonoma County Wineries Open House

Tasting Notes: Wesley Ashley Wines 2009 Intelligent Design Cuvée – And Why Rhone Blends Rock

Last week I kicked off the Rhone Countdown, as we almost one month away to the March 24-25 Rhone Rangers “viagra cheap

and_tasting.php” target=”_blank”>Weekend Celebration of American Rhones” and the April 26-28th 20th anniversary of Hospice du Rhone, “the World’s Largest International Celebration of Rhone Variety Wines” in Paso Robles.

I am frequently asked “why Rhone wines.” I love, drink, taste, and buy wines of many varieties and categories, but I REALLY love Rhones. Why? I will write a more in depth article soon, but highlights were captured in an article a year ago in: Why Rhone Wines & Wine Review: Wesley Ashley Wines – Intelligent Design Cuvee.

I’d recommend reading the full post, but if I can capture one meaningful paragraph:

Rhone wines have more diversity across the varietals and give winemakers a huge flavor portfolio to work with, and thus consumers a myriad of combinations and flavor profiles. In Rhone wines, often the Sum of the Whole, is greater than the sum of the parts.”

Palate Evolution – Blends Are Good!

This is an important turning of enlightenment for the American wine consumer, who is lead to believe over the last three decades that single varietal wines are best. When one visits and tastes the Old World wines of Spain, France etc you learn quickly how untrue that is, and how uncommon. (There are of course some exceptions, like in Burgundy for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.)

That isn’t to say that 100% varietal wines are bad – I think the French are missing out by not making 100% Grenache Blanc. I can also readily admit often White Rhone blends with Grenache Blanc, are better, and easier to make, than many of the mediocre 100% Grenache Blancs. Blending gives a winemaker aroma and flavor profile tools you otherwise don’t have with a single varietal.

Anyway, I digress. Tonight’s review is about a Red

Rhone blend, from a brand that pays homage to Rhone blends: Wesley Ashley Wines. The above principles are sound, and the same.

Red Rhone blends, because of the great diversity of their components, offer the exploring wine drinker an infinite number of flavor profiles, far more than a Bordeaux blend. The variance between Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec etc, especially (sadly) when made in a New World style provides a far less range of differentiation than the red fruit of Grenache or Cinsault or Counoise, meatiness of Mourvedre, smokey complexity, white pepper of Syrah, and the raspberry of Carignane. Red Rhone blends are a never ending series of new discoveries as they vary by their composition and region.

 

Wine Review: 2009 Wesley Ashley Wines – Intelligent Design – Cuvee – Santa Barbara2009 Intelligent Design Cuvee

Even before tasting, I knew I was going to likely love this wine when I saw that it had changed from the previous release, and Grenache was now the primary vintage. I also knew they had a hit on their hands when I was a guest at a wine club event last summer, and a few bottles sneaked out, and crowds went loco, even though owner Jim Sloate thought it wasn’t ready and didn’t want it released yet.

This red Rhone blend is comprised of 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 5% Petite Sirah, a big change from the online pharmacy viagra uk previous Carignane dominant release.

To The Eye: Translucent, nearing opaque dark red. (As it should be, Grenache is by its nature not a deep purple color producing wine.)

On The Nose: This nose knows its Grenache. That classic undertone of cherry hard candy, strawberry, hint of spice. Fortunately the Grenache was kept in neutral oak, allowing its essence to shine through.

In The Mouth: Red fruit at the front, the syrah’s meatiness comes through mid palatte, with hints of coffee & mocha at the finish.

Recommendation: Buy. A Great Rhone red blend. I like it solo, but would love to pair it with lamb, grilled pork or chicken. $38 online or taste by appointment in Santa Rosa. (As well as the upcoming Rhone Ranger event.) Media Sanple.

 

 

Tracy's Wine Road Itinerary: Geyserville in Two Fun Filled Days & Nights

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Post by Tracy Logan

Here are my recommendations for a fun-filled two days/two nights in Geyserville:

Day One

Arrive in Geyserville and relax around the pool at Hope-Merrill House, your lodging. Walk to Diavola for dinner, a local favorite with great pizza, fresh salads and panini to tempt every palate- great wine list, too-

rustic, comfy décor. After sleeping peacefully in this Victorian mansion, start your day with their inspiring, complete breakfast.

Head out viagra tablets for sale the door and south on Geyserville Avenue- first stop is Route 128 for tasting in one of the original Henry Ford Auto supply shops. Great wine and fun are found here along with some great historical photos. Then trek to Mercury Wines, for as they say, “tiny lots of everything, at prices you can afford”- winemaker Brad is truly a mad scientist and quite the host in this white-on-white, open, modern tasting room.

Now it’s time for lunch a couple blocks north at Hoffman House, healthy and delicious, a favorite with locals and visitors alike. After lunch wander back south to Locals where you can taste flights of wine. This is such a treat to sample wines side by side! Don’t forget to visit Meeker, in the old BofA Bank Vault and, then check out W2 Williamson Wines, where the wines are featured in a beautiful, cool modern tasting room.

Walk back up to Hope-Merrill for more pool time and rest- on the way back, check out the incredible potpourri of items that are available in the historic Bosworth Hardware Store.

Dinner tonight is within walking distance of your lodging, too- favorite, Catelli’s.

Day Two

Next morning, stroll over to Alexander Valley Bikes and rent some wheels- head north to Geyser Peak and then south to check out the tasting menu at Trione, Clos du Bois and Trentadue.

Then it’s a short bike over to RUSTIC, Francis’ Favorites, the new restaurant at Francis Ford Coppola’s Winery for lunch. Food, service and views (sit on the terrace) are all proving to be a winning combination! Great wine list available here. You can even stroll through the winery for a bit of Hollywood glamor with the Coppola Oscars, costume and prop displays- including the Tucker automobile- and a great gift store. The family pool with rent-able individual pool “Cabines” are also a great way to pass some time.

 

Here’s looking at you, kids.

TR

Tasting Notes: Von Holt 2008 Hoppe-Kelly Vineyard Syrah (and special reader offer)

Syrah: one of my favorite red varietals. Syrah has been through some rough times the last few years; overhyped, over production, and economic hard times collided for this poor varietal, before it ever took off in the US, other than the over ripe Kangaroo stuff.

For the consumer, that has meant some excellent value Syrah’s are available. This phenonomenon won’t last for buy discount viagra long. As syrah goes through

a supply and demand cycle, and as growers and vintners shrink or end syrah programs, in the next few years I predict you will see a shortage, and price increases. Enjoy lower prices and stock up while you can.

Syrah, as I have shared many times, is almost like two varietals, cool climate and warm. It does well in each, but produces two very different wines. My personal favorite is the more elegant, higher acidity, food driven cool climate.  Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley reign as the land of Pinot Noir, but some exceptional Syrah comes from these regions.

Special Reader Offer:

Last week when I reviewed the  Von Holt 2009 Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley Von Holt offered readers, no strings attached, or kickbacks extended, to offer readers to have shipping included with their order of any of their 4 wines.  Use code

VONHOLTHEDONIST

at checkout.  They have now extended this to this Friday, Dec 9th.

This also includes their amazing 2009 Suacci Vineyard Pinot Noir which Chronicle wine writer Jon Bonne’ just picked as one of the top 100 wines of the year – and having tasted it, I agree.

 

Review: Von Holt 2008 Hoppe-Kelly Vineyard Syrah

A blend of two clones 877 and Alban. The vines are terraced into a very steep hillside, allowing for excellent drainage and struggle in the very shallow, rocky soils.

To The Eye: Inky dark purple. Almost impenetrable to light.

On The Nose: Nose of  violets, blueberry, and a hint of olive

In The Mouth: Black fruit, blueberry, and  spice, Not as austere as some cool climate Syrahs can be, apparently the elevation allows it to ripen a bit more. This is a Sunday night by the fire wine, or over a roast dinner.  It has some layers without being overly complex, and can be simply just enjoyed. Tannins are soft and well integrated. 2008 can be young for Syrah, this wine is ready to drink and enjoy now.

Recommendation: Approachable and affordable –  this may be my new house Syrah. For $20 you can enjoy it and not break the bank. It will please a variety of wine lovers old and new, and pair well with a broad spectrum of foods.  Buy and drink now. It will cellar for a few years as well.

Purchase: Online $20 (media sample)

Wine Geek Notes:

  • Harvest Date September 27, 2008
  • 50% whole cluster
  • TA 5.8
  • pH 3.9
  • Bottling Date August 24, 2010
  • Alcohol 14.2%
  • 75 cases made

Related Articles:

Wine Review – Von Holt 2009 Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley 

Jon Bonne’ San Francisco Chronicle Top 100 Wines of 2011 – Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes – 2009 Freestone Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast, Estate

Freestone – another of my unsung favorite producers. I fell in love with their tasting room and wines 3 years ago when I first visited. Everything about a Freestone experience is casual and relaxed, but viagra for sale in the uk first class.  I am hoping to get out sometime again for a photo shoot and visit  soon, but until then, take my word for it, and enjoy the relaxed drive to this  gem.

I was lucky enough to receive a pre-release Media sample of this Pinot Noir. Its not been released to the public just yet, so this is a a teaser, but should be soon.

The 2009 Freestone is from the Estate Pastorale and Quarter Moon vineyards.

2009 Freestone Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast, Estate

To The Eye: Opulent brick red color

On The Nose: A bouquet of red fruit and cranberry with lingering aroma of spice.

In The

Mouth: A cornucopia of pleasant experiences for your palate. A bit young and tight when first opened, after a few minutes in the glass this beauty quickly becomes endearing. Give her a swirl.  This Pinot Noir dances in the mouth with cherry, bright cranberry, hints of other red fruits, spice, and earth.

This wonderful Pinot Noir delivers in the front and mid palate, and doesn’t disappoint in the finish, as it lingers and teases, making you yearn for another taste.

Recommendation: Highly Recommended. 92 points. Buy.  Drink. Ideally hold and cellar and extra bottle if you can –  this Pinot Noir has acidity and structure to age and gain complexity, although I am not sure if i could leave it alone if in my cellar. $55.  Media Sample.

Vinification Notes:  15 months in French oak barrels, 55% new, 45% two-three year old. Alcohol 13.5%.

 

Nov 5 & 6 is the North Sonoma Wine Road "Wine & Food Affair" a Simple Hedonisms Favorite.

The Wine Road Wine & Food Affair is one of my favorite events in the County and of the year. It features over 100 wineries from Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Alexander Valley offering their great wines, paired with some of the very best food to be found, from some of Sonoma Counties best chef's and caterers.

Oh and pssst, listen close. TICKET SALES END TODAY. No exceptions!

The Cookbook Alone is Worth It

Admission includes this years stunning 308 page cookbook. I love this event viagra online sales so much I have sought out and bought almost all of the years bound copies in existence – and what an evolution over 13 years. Gorgeous full bottle shots, amazing recipes, of course paired with wine.

Each winery has two pages.  On the left is a bottle shot (each one shot just for this cookbook)  and some background on the origin of the recipe. This one from Mounts Family Winery, a personal favorite in Dry Creek, describes Lana Mounts family heritage and tie in to the dish, created by Jude Affronti, of Affronti Restaurant.

What is also amazing to me is how much this book has evolved. An early fan of the Wine Road, in the stint I left the Bay area for brief sojourns in Seattle, Denver, and Baja Mexico, I acquired used copies of previous years on Half.com to keep me company.  Shown here side by side is the 2011 308 page cookbook, compared to the softbound, black & white, 160 page bound version from 2000. (Which is when I had started working for a Petaluma startup known as Calix.)

No Ticket Sales At the Door

Tickets are $70 in advance AND include this $35 cookbook. Even without the cookbook, $35 a day for the best of this regions food and wine is the least expensive, high quality entertainment you'll find. Try getting a bottle of wine and a good dinner for two for much less than that!

Ticket sales end this Monday Oct 31st. , if they don't sell out prior. (Which many years they do – so don't wait!)

There is also a Sunday only option for $50. Are

you a foodie more than a wine-o? DD tickets are $30.

Recommendations

1. Make A Plan.

Every year when I write about this event, I have the same primary suggestion plan. (See Don’t Miss! The Wine Road’s 11th Annual Wine & Food Affair. (tips inside))

This event is one to savor and enjoy, not racing around guzzling wine. As of this time, the downloadable guide is not yet available (I will add when it is) but you can go to http://www.wineroad.com/events/wine_and_food_affair/2 , click “Program“  and look at the pairings each winery is offering – this event is as much about choosing the food as it is the wine!

2. Map Your Route Around Traffic Times, Patterns

Some areas and wineries get VERY BUSY. Others that are new, or off the beaten track will be more manageable. Saturday afternoon is typically the busiest, especially in downtown Healdsburg and Dry Creek Valley. Consider saving those for Sunday, or doing first thing in the day. Many Russian River Valley wineries (downloadable map) , because they are more spread out, don't get quite as heavily traffic.

Seek out some new wineries you haven't been to before. Also remember not all Wine Road wineries participate, so it's a good idea to again check the list of participating wineries.

3. Dump or Spit

This concept is as much about being able to properly appreciate the wines, as it is being responsible. After tasting at 2 wineries, if you have swallowed everything poured, you will have consumed enough alcohol to limit your sensory abilities. Essentially you have migrated from wine tasting and appreciation to drinking. And hey, if you have a DD and thats your thing, power to you., but for those of you looking to expand your wine appreciation consider this: Dump a wine in your glass you don't love, or try the experience of spitting – the standard 16 oz plastic disposable cup is the standard weapon, and some wineries will have these out. Taste like a Pro, and you may get some special pours to boot.

4. Support Your Local Artisans: Take Home Some Wine

Yes you did pay for these tickets – but most of that money supports the event, and perhaps some of the food costs. These wineries, the vast majority of whom are very small family businesses, make money one way: WHEN YOU BUY WINE.

Buy a few less Starbuck's lattes and/or that grocery store mass produced wine  - if you like a wine you taste, buy a bottle. It will help you appreciate and remember the event, and you show your support for a local business and artisan, as well as have something great to take home.  (ps put a cooler in the car – we often have nice weather for this event, always better to throw it one.)

Come Back Next Wednesday for Wine Sales Incentives Articles

Some of the wineries will offer sales incentives this weekend  on new releases, other inventory for single bottles, case purchases, and more. I will publish a list of special promo's sorted by region. This has been a popular article in the past as its a great chance to stock up – holidays are coming! Come back next Wednesday for this list AND a special announcement.

Follow the WineRoad on Facebook & Twitter, and “Live Broadcasts” via Twitter Hashtag

The Wine Road Executive Director is one of the best I know in Winery Social Media, and will keep you well informed. Follow the Wine Road on Facebook and on Twitter . To follow Tweets during the event follow Hashtag #WAFA11 or click here.

See you on the Wine Road – Heaven Condensed! (Love that old slogan!)

Related Articles

Don’t Miss! The Wine Road’s 11th Annual Wine & Food Affair. (tips inside)

The North Sonoma Wine Road launches their iPhone App: Review & User Tutorial

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Tasting Notes – Clouds Rest 2009 North Coast Chardonnay

Clouds Restseems to be catching the wave in their reputation as a cult small, higher end,  Pinot Noir producer. Any event I have seen them pouring at, from SF Vintners Market to Pinot on the River re-affirms that, as the line to get a

Courtesy of Clouds Rest Facebook page

pour is usually a few persons deep.

I personally feel  its a good idea for a wine producer to have  a white wine to compliment their red portfolio, so was pleased to taste their Chardonnay. (Turns out they have a Sauvignon Blanc as well, who knew.)

Tasting Notes – Clouds Rest 2009 North Coast Chardonnay

To The Eye: Clear, medium  yellow straw.

On The Nose:  Tropical notes of pineapple, lemon, citrus, and some  toasted coconut

2009 Clouds Rest Chardonnay

In The Mouth: An elegant, balanced, Chardonnay. This represents an excellent balance between a high acid, bright, unoaked Chardonnay, and a over oaked classic California butter

bomb. Good mouth feel, some minerality,  and good acidity, this wine asks  for a food pairing of seafood, roasted chicken, or pasta with cream sauce. A good crowd pleaser too for the upcoming Holiday's.

Recommendation: Buy and drink or hold. This Chardonnay drinks very well at present, but has the acidity and structure to gain some complexity with cellaring – I would recommend  laying a few bottles down, as a properly made Chardonnay with a few years of age can be beautiful thing. If you like your Chardonnay with less detectible oak,  its presence (not overwhelming by any means)  will integrate further in the next 12 months.   90 Points.

Where to Buy: Online.  $45. (Media Sample.) Clouds Rest wines are also available in California restaurants and retail shops including John Ash, Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay, the Healdsburg Wine Shop, Draeger's, and more. For a full list, click here.

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/CloudsRestWine

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