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Coffees Are Like Fine Wines

Fri, 11/06/2020 - 14:00 -- johnk

100% Kona CoffeeCoffees like fine wine? Well let's see how can we compare a caffinated beverage to wine. Let's consider how today's Coffees are similar or like fine wines. My wife and I have belonged to several coffee clubs over the years. Still it really wasn’t until we traveled together and through parts of Costa Rica with some dear friends before I can say I started genuinely appreciating fine coffee. Oh, I had been enjoying some good coffees, but a coffee tour while visiting this beautiful country with a good friends of ours got that call Costa Rica home me looking a bit more seriously at coffee. 

I realize I am probably not the first to compare fine coffees with fine wines. Coffee that delightful brew as I knew it, is more than just the warm caffeinated beverage, to enjoy every morning. Oh, believe me, I look forward to a nice warm cup each morning. Likely you already know coffee beans, are really the seeds from the fruit of the coffee plant. Coffee plants much like wine varietals and vines themselves, are significantly affected by where they are grown and the conditions soil where they are grown. Have you heard the saying; “you are what you eat?” Well the same goes for a lot of living things. Wines and coffees certainly share similarities as to the terroir from which they came. 

The Terroir – 

Sierra Foothill Wineries and Wines - Wise Villa Winery - 2009 Sierra Foothills Syrah

Sun, 10/04/2020 - 11:28 -- johnk

Sierra Foothill wineries produce some delicous wines and Syrah is one of the wine grapes known to produce delightful wines in the region. Yes, the foothills of Placer County produce some wonderful wines with a little "altitude" if you would. I would like to introduce you to one from Wise Villa Winery.

Just a few weeks ago while going through my wine storage I discovered that I still had one of first vintage Syrah laying down. I Still remember a few other wines that I purchase during my visit with Dr. Grover Lee winemaker and the owner of the Estate and Kevin Luther the winemaker. It was a wonderful experience in the barrel room doing some barrel tasting with the owner and the winemaker that visit. 

Since Wise Villa's first vintage with their first released in 2009, Wise Villa Winery has been a family owned and operated winery, estate vineyard, and more recently a Tuscan-style bistro located in the heart of the Sierra Foothills.  Wise Villa is in the wine Appellation of Placer County and they have continued to please many a wine-lover since my first vist nearly 9 years ago.  Wines Villa's grapes are meticulously grown using organic and sustainable practices. During harvest the folks at the winery go a step further by triple sorting and then implementing whole berry cold fermentation to produce balanced wines with natural fresh fruit character. 

This Estate - Wise Villa is the only winery in Placer County that boosts a Full-Service Tuscan-Style Restaurant; 

Paso Robles Wines - Maréchal Vineyards 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon

Fri, 10/02/2020 - 16:41 -- johnk

Paso Robles Wines are getting more and more attention from wine lovers all over the world.  I would like to introduce you to Maréchal Vineyards - 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon – Paso Robles

Paso Robles strives for Big, Bold, and richly textured, both ready-to-drink and a few Cabernet Sauvignons worthy of laying down if you can wait along with Bordeaux Blends. These Paso Reds have flavors of anise, cola, peppercorns with a finish of bright acidity and quality finish.

Some pioneers of Cabernet Sauvignon are Gary Eberle, who planted Cabernet vines in the 1970’s not knowing for sure what to expect. To Gary Eberle’s delight and those that have enjoyed his cabs the vines loved the soil and the hot Paso sun. In 1979 the winemaker founded Eberle Winery. Another pioneer for this grape was Justin Baldwin or perhaps you recognize Justin Winery who planted 70 of Bordeaux varieties in 1981. Justin Vineyard and Winery was born with his first vintage in 1987. Jerry Lohr founder of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines contributed to the recognition of Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon starting in 1986 with planting and hands-on care saw to the tending of the vines while creating a winery and barreling facility. Fruits of his efforts became a reality in 1988 and currently spans over 2,000 acres in Paso Robles. Really, there are many more contributors in Paso and if you haven’t been, you are in for a treat.

Bogle Phantom Propreitory Red - 2012

Wed, 09/23/2020 - 04:30 -- johnk

 

Awhile back I was doing some customer direct marketing and pouring a wine from Bogle, Bogle Phantom.  Like any wine, you can’t please everyone with any one wine. The fact is our taste preferences are as individual as we are. Bogle Phantom is a “proprietary red wine” from Bogle Vineyards in Clarksburg, California, USA. I enjoyed my visit to the Bogle winery in Clarksburg AVA just across the river from Sacramento and manage to take the long way out. So, when you visit, unless you want to explore, remember to head back the way you came. If you don’t you will see a lot of farm and vineyard and eventual end up at a river ferry crossing with no choice but to take the ferry, or turn around. I had come this far so I took the ferry across the river, to see what I could see.

While Bogle doesn’t reveal the blend composition, “proprietary red wine” they do say the vineyard source is Amador, Clarksburg, and Lodi.  Phantom is aged 24 months in one and two-year-old American oak. On the bottle, underneath the title of the wine reads: “Mysterious and Hauntingly Seductive”
Bogle describes this wine as follows:

“As you pour it from the bottle the glass just might remind you of the dark recesses of the cellar you sense a presence, hear footsteps.  Why is it these things only happen when you are alone?  In the shadows, a glimpse of muddy boots and old blue jeans…  the lurking legacies of hard work and determination left by those who have come before you.  We are proud to carry on the traditions of our founders with this unique red wine.  A deep ruby apparition that personifies the true spirit of the Bogle.”

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.

Paso Robles Wines - Maréchal Vineyards 2017 Primitivo

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

Paso Robles Wines are really getting noticed by winelovers. Bold Cabernet Sauvignon, layered Primitivos are some of the delightful wines you will discover there.  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?

Central Valley Wines - Moravia Wines 2018 Symphony

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

Central Valley Wines have been over-looked by many a wine drinker. 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.

Monterey Wines - De Tierra Vineyards – 2019 Russel Vineyard Rosé

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

Monterey Wines are some very enjoyable wines along California's Central Coast. Today we take a look, and taste of 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

Alicante Bouschet ripens late and loves hot, dry areas with lots of sun.  Just under 1,000 acres of Alicante Bouschet grow in California, particularly in the warm, central valley regions of Lodi and Madera.

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

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