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Michael David Inkblot - 2014 Cabernet Franc

Thu, 09/17/2020 - 03:00 -- johnk

 

Michael David’s 2014 Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc, a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon, is the subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets. California winemakers are produces outstanding Cabernet Franc single varietal wines in today’s wine-producing world. Yet Cabernet Franc is still one of California's best-kept secrets for many who have yet to venture toward this wine grape. Cab Franc shines as a single varietal wine or in blends, expressing sumptuous fruit, savory bouquet, and smooth and polished tannins. 

The first Lodi Cabernet Franc wine ever produced by Michael David Winery, and one of the few produced from Lodi. This varietal originated from the Bordeaux and Loire Valley regions of France and has been grown with success in many other countries. The grapes for this wine come from a 9-acre vineyard located on the west side of Lodi right near the winery. Each year of Michael David’s Cabernet Franc are ready when made available at the winery, but each could be set down for a few years, if you can wait a few years.

Maréchal Vineyards 2017 Primitivo - Paso Robles

Tue, 09/08/2020 - 16:38 -- johnk

Maréchal Vineyards Primitivo is an Italian variety with roots in Croatia, and it bears the same DNA association with Zinfandel. Like Zinfandel, Primitivo is perfectly adapted to the growing conditions of Paso Robles. However, it is the naturally favors and elegance over heaviness—a quality that inspires Josh Marshall Winemaker, to make his Maréchal Vineyards Primitivo. The Primitivo fruit is hand-picked at peak maturity while carefully avoiding any over-ripe qualities. The winemaking approach borrows from European tradition, favoring evenness over aggressiveness in matters such as oak influence and tannin profile. 

 

TASTING NOTES
Maréchal Vineyards Primitivo is distinguished by it-weight tannins and balanced acidity offer a long, round finish.


What's the difference between Primitivo and Zinfandel?

While Primitivo and Zinfandel are genetically similar, they are quite different grapes and produce distinctive wines. Talking with winemakers that grow and produces both wines, and others we learned how they are totally different clusters of fruit and different berries too.

What is the difference?

Moravia Wines 2018 Symphony

Tue, 09/01/2020 - 10:12 -- johnk

Moravia Wines - 2018 Symphony

Many wines are described as a symphony, a favorable combination of different elements, but only one wine grape is called Symphony. Symphony is a Californian crossing of Muscat of Alexandria and Grenache in 1948 by the late Harold Olmo. Harold Olmo was a professor of viticulture at the University of California, Davis. As its name of the wine grape suggests, it is an aromatic variety with slightly spicy flavors.

Symphony is mostly used in white-wine blends, where it contributes to the aromatic profile of the final resulting wine. While limited, a few wineries have produced some delightful examples of Symphony as a varietal here in California. The wines produced as a varietal are generally off dry or semi-sweet with some residual sugars.

If you’ve never heard of or have never tried Symphony, you’re not alone. Only around 36,000 tons were crushed in the entire state of California in 2017. You begin to understand how limited this wine grape is when you compare the harvest of 600,000 tons of Chardonnay. Symphony hasn’t exactly swept over the wine world, which is curious because vintners say people usually like it when they try it. People that are newer to wine drinking more express appreciation for Symphony’s approachability and those who like wines with a touch of sweetness over tannic red wines tend to be fans, love at first taste.

De Tierra Vineyards – 2019 Russel Vineyard Rosé

Tue, 08/25/2020 - 07:09 -- johnk

De Tierra Vineyards – 2019 Russel Vineyard Rosé

First, What Is Rosé?
Rosé is a dry wine that is bright and refreshing wine that is different from a red glass of wine and sharing some traits with some dry white wines. Rosé has become more popular in the United States over the past few years. Recently in California with so much heat during the warm months of the year many are opting for something cooler for their glass. Rosé also happens to be the perfect wine for sipping in the park or at a backyard barbecue as well as sit down dinners with friend with a variety of foods. Suffice it to say, rosé has become incredibly popular, still so many of us don’t know how rosé is made or where some of the most consistent rosés comes from. Have you heard of White Zinfandel? White Zinfandel is indeed a rosé wine, made in the rosé style, it just happens to be an incredibly sweet rosé.

Kings River Winery - Alicante Bouschet

Thu, 08/20/2020 - 14:59 -- johnk

Lovers of Big Reds - Look to Alicante Bouschet


In the mid-1900s, many French and American producers realized that Alicante Bouschet wasn’t a must for rich colored wines. Winemakers no longer needed the grape’s rich color, so growth declined. Don’t worry both Portugal and Spain have planted more Alicante Bouschet over the last 50 years. Honestly, it’s probably better suited to the climates in these two countries anyway. This wine has many a red wine lover discovering Alicante Bouschet is quite the find! 

Kings River WInery 2015 Chenin Blanc

Thu, 08/20/2020 - 08:01 -- johnk

Kings River 2015 Chenin Blanc
During the 1960’s and 70’s here in California Chenin Blanc was a popular wine. If a wine glass contained California Chenin Blanc in the 1970s or ’80s, the chances were high that it was poured either from a jug of nondescript blended wine or a bottle of semisweet, inexpensive single-varietal Chenin from a North Coast producer. Chenin Blanc was one of California’s first popular white grapes, planted throughout much of the 20th century. It became popular in bulk blending juice, which was labeled as California Champagne or Chablis resulting in an inexpensive, palate-friendly single-varietal wine with residual sugar. Both versions were typically lackluster, with some exceptions. Once found in cheap blends, the grape is gaining popularity among boutique producers. Some 50 years later there only a handful of wineries in California make this wonderful crisp and delightful wine that originates from the Chenin Blanc grape. Over the past decade, artisanal winemakers have launched a new California wave of limited-production Chenin Blanc wines from the Central Valley, Sierra Foothills, Mendocino, Santa Barbara, and are striving to change the reputation of California Chenin Blanc for good. Kings River Winery in Sanger California produces a genuinely nice bottle that we will review here in California Corks’ “Zip Sips”

 

Chenin Blanc Acidity and Adaptability

ASL - Kings River 2015 Chenin Blanc

Wed, 08/19/2020 - 12:17 -- johnk

Kings River Winery - 2015 Chenin Blanc


During the 1960’s and 70’s here in California Chenin Blanc was a popular wine. If a wine glass contained California Chenin Blanc in the 1970s or ’80s, the chances were high that it was poured either from a jug of nondescript blended wine or a bottle of semisweet, inexpensive single-varietal Chenin from a North Coast producer. Chenin Blanc was one of California’s first popular white grapes, planted throughout much of the 20th century. It became popular in bulk blending juice, which was labeled as California Champagne or Chablis resulting in an inexpensive, palate-friendly single-varietal wine with residual sugar. Both versions were typically lackluster, with some exceptions. Once found in cheap blends, the grape is gaining popularity among boutique producers. Some 50 years later there only a handful of wineries in California make this wonderful crisp and delightful wine that originates from the Chenin Blanc grape. Over the past decade, artisanal winemakers have launched a new California wave of limited-production Chenin Blanc wines from the Central Valley, Sierra Foothills, Mendocino, Santa Barbara, and are striving to change the reputation of California Chenin Blanc for good. Kings River Winery in Sanger California produces a genuinely nice bottle that we will review here in California Corks’ “Zip Sips”

California Corks "Zip Sips" – Moseley Family Cellars – 2016 Chardonnay

Wed, 08/19/2020 - 07:30 -- johnk

I had the opportunity to meet Marty and Mimi Moseley at their original tasting room in downtown Redding, CA some years ago. Since then they have expanded not only the size and space where they produce their wines but the variety of wines available as well to be enjoyed by those visiting. Marty and Mimi have always had the attitude “come as friends, leave a family”. As they expanded their winery this required help to make sure not only delightful wines continued to be produced, but that visitors would still feel welcome and part of the winery’s “family”.  Enters Ashley Pierce winemaker, who took on the task as the winery’s winemaker. While my last visit with Ashley was brief at an wine event in Northern California, I was able to try a few of the wines Ashley had produced. This tasting lead to an exchange about a couple of the wines she has brought from the cellar to the tasting room and I am looking forward to my next visit to check those wines out as well.

Treasure Island Wines - 2018 Pine Mountain Sauvignon Blanc

Thu, 08/13/2020 - 06:00 -- johnk


Treasure Island Wines – 2018 – Pine Mountain
Did you know that Sauvignon Blanc is the parent grape that produced Cabernet Sauvignon? It’s true, back in the seventeenth century in southwestern France, an accidental breeding occurred between a red Cabernet Franc grape vine and a white Sauvignon Blanc grape vine. The results are what we know today as one the most popular grapes among American wine drinkers, Cabernet Sauvignon.

Treasure Island Wines 2018 Pine Mountain Sauvignon Blanc is produced by using some of California’s exceptional wine grapes. Vineyards where the fruit comes from vineyards that stand at an elevation of 2,200 to 2,800 feet in elevation just northeast of Cloverdale, CA. The Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon fruit grown in this region deliver intense color and flavors. Rightly so for Jim Mirowski, winemaker and owner produces excellent wines at his winery located on Treasure Island below the Bay Bridge and in view of the city’s skyline of San Francisco. 

Alicante Bouschet – Ziveli 2016

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 07:06 -- johnk

Where To Find Alicante Bouschet?
Some grapes came to be by nature. Alicante Bouschet was the result of a science experiment. Over its 150-year history, Alicante Bouschet has always been in the background, sort of secret ingredient to embolden other red wines, or to make bathtub booze during prohibition. If you peel back the skin of an Alicante Bouschet grape, you’ll see what separates it from the rest. Unlike other grapes, which have clear flesh, Alicante Bouschet has red flesh. When you enjoy this wine grape be prepared for purple teeth!
Lovers of Big Reds - Look to Alicante Bouschet.

In the mid-1900s, many French and American producers realized that Alicante Bouschet wasn’t a must for rich colored wines. Winemakers no longer needed the grape’s rich color, so growth declined. Don’t worry, little orphan Alicante Bouschet – the Iberian Peninsula was happy to adopt this grape. Both Portugal and Spain have planted more Alicante Bouschet over the last 50 years. Honestly, it’s probably better suited to the climates in these two countries anyway. This wine grape is one of the few red grapes with red flesh, Alicante Bouschet is an oddity that makes big, juicy red wines. Today, Alicante Bouschet is finally bottled on its own. Lovers of rich, fruit-forward reds like Shiraz, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon take note: Alicante Bouschet is quite the find! 

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