Toucan Wines 2010 Carignane – Evangelho Vineyard, Contra Costa County, CA
Carignane also spelled Carignan is a black-skinned wine grape variety commonly found along the Mediterranean cost primarily in Northern Spain and in France. This grape is commonly used in blending with the more well-known Grenache, Syrah, or Mourvèdre to produce some delightful wines. However, some wonderful Carignane wine grapes grow in the Evangelho Vineyard located in Contra Costa County here in California and is the last, and only vineyard in Antioch. There are other dry-farmed, ancient vineyards throughout the country. However, this remaining vineyard offers a special piece of Antioch history with its vines were planted in 1890 and still feeds into the current wine-making industry in California.
Coffees 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.
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 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.
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.”
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 are really getting noticed by winelovers. Bold Cabernet Sauvignon, layered Primitivos are some of the delightful wines you will discover there. Maréchal VineyardsPrimitivo 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.
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.
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 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.
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!