Ziveli Winery - 2017 California  Gewürztraminer

Thu, 07/23/2020 - 06:45 -- johnk

Ziveli Winery - 2017 California Gewürztraminer -



Ever wonder how a person’s name affects their potential? Perhaps it’s in the name that Gewürztraminer is a bit less known in the world of wine. Gewürztraminer has carried its lesser known name for nearly 200 years. While all too often a Gewürztraminer is from Germany it you do locate one in the while wine or import section of your local wine shop. A good Gewürztraminer is good, if not great and can like so many wines be not the same from one wine maker to another. While aromatic sweet wines like Gewürztraminer are slightly out of fashion, there is opportunity to find some of the most outstanding values on the planet. I hope that highlighting Ziveli 2017 Gewürztraminer wine tastes and food pairing recommendations that will get you to thinking about this wine grape. Gewürztraminer is like the grown-up version of Moscato. While there are many similarities to Moscato it also has higher alcohol, more striking aromatics, and lower acidity. These characteristics make this grape and the wines produced a bit more difficult to slurp down, thus making it a little more ‘adult like’.

Kings River Winery - 2015 Karmir

Wed, 07/22/2020 - 07:50 -- johnk

In old Armenian, Karmir, means crimson red. Bob Bagdasarian winemaker and winery owner at Kings River Winery has taken several wine grapes known to be teeth-stainers, Alicante Bouschet, Tempranillo and Syrah and has created crimson in the glass. I meet Bob sometime back while visiting his winery with Lance Huntress with Huntress Media shooting some video to for a video collage for a few Central Valley wineries (you can take a peek at the video by using the link at the end of this post). Bob was a gracious host and took the time to give me the grand tour of the winery and the vineyard. I will be doing some video reviews on several of Kings River Winery wines in the weeks to come. During a recent visit Bob was at the winery and he asked which wines I had selected during the visit. I let Bob know I would really like to feature one of his wines that many people might not be so familiar with and Bob suggested his 2015 Karmir.


Karmir is a blend of 60% Alicante Bouschet, 20% Tempranillo, and 20% Syrah. 

About Kings River Winery

Fäsi Estate Winery – 2003 Private Reserve

Wed, 07/15/2020 - 07:39 -- johnk

California Wine tasting with Fäsi Estate Winery – 2003 Private Reserve
2009 Fäsi Crest Private Reserve Syrah
CA - Madera County - Madera

Retired Vintage/Library Wine / Ingredients: Organic Syrah Grapes
Winemaker Notes: Deep rich color, black cherry spice. Hint of tobacco with a background of toasty oak. Flavors of blackberry, chocolate, black licorice combined with warm toasty wood flavors and balanced acidity. Fruit forward finish with nuance of vanilla.
Food Pairing: Beef, lamb, BBQ meats, gourmet pastas
Cellaring: Ready to enjoy now
Alcohol 14.14%

Syrah’s often carry flavors of black cherry, black pepper, blackberry, plum, bell pepper, clove, licorice, espresso and dark chocolate.  So, when wondering what pairs best with Syrah’s consider these flavors, and whether these would complement the meal you are planning. Think grilled meats, vegetables, wild game and beef stew for starters.

While I enjoy a good many California Syrah’s there a at least two local wineries in the Fresno and Madera County area that seem to stand out. That being said, I would like to share with you 2003 Fäsi Crest Private Reserve Syrah. I should start out by saying that this wine is a retired vintage/library wine at this time. I just wanted to share with how well this nearly 11-year-old vintage is performing right now.  I just find this to be one of the outstanding wines that has been produced in California's Central Valley.

Idle Hour Winery – 2015 Cabernet Franc

Tue, 07/07/2020 - 15:48 -- johnk

California Wine Tasting With Idle Hour Idle Hour Winery – 2015 Cabernet Franc

Ingredients: Cabernet Franc
Nose: aromas of rich berry, herbs, and caramel
Taste: This Cab Franc has excellent balance of soften tannin and flavor
Character: Rich full-bodied wine is a fantastic balance of soft tannin
Food Pairing: Beef, lamb, stews
Cellaring: While ready to enjoy now, this wine will age well few more years 
Alc. by Vol.: 14.2%

Cabernet Franc - Interest in the grape started with California wine makers who wanted to replicate the Bordeaux blend, perhaps you have purchased a Meritage. In the 1980s, heightened interest in Cabernet Franc led to an increase in plantings that helped push the total acreage of Cabernet Franc in California and you will find much of it In Clarksburg, Napa, and Sonoma counties. Idle Hour Winery’s Cabernet Franc is a rich and full-bodied wine with distinctive aromas of flowers, herbs, red fruits, and a touch of caramel. As you sip, you begin to appreciate red currant with some hint of darker fruit and notes of herb and black pepper. Though a full-bodied wine this Cab Franc has excellent balance of soften tannin and flavor that would go perfectly with any party or meal.

Pair this wine – Consider spring lamb or veal, salmon, grilled chicken. Maybe one of my favorites for BBQ party, tequila chicken wings. Which ever you choose to pair one thing for certain if you are a red wine lover. That first taste will leave you wanting more.

Matson Vineyards – 2014 Tango Handcrafted – Tannat and Tempranillo Blend

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 08:00 -- johnk

Some years back while visiting family in Redding, CA I had the pleasure of discovering and visiting a small family winery just outside of Redding, CA called Matson Vineyards.  I know, not a big surprise, me visiting another winery – right?  Yes, I love to visit wineries of California and I enjoy visit wineries of all sizes. However, the smaller family wineries hold a special place in my heart. Why? Because of the generally relaxed atmosphere, and at the same time a real energy and passion in the air.  You can sense it as you listen to the owner and often the winemaker as he tell his or her story or simply just getting a conversation rolling on why he, or she loves making wines. The winery I am referring to produces between 1,200 and 1,300 cases of wine each year. The main vineyard is 4.5 acres of vines with two additional locations not to far from the winery.

Treasure Island Wines – 2017 Russian River Valley – Sonoma, CA

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 07:33 -- johnk

Chardonnay can be a bit of a chameleon. In making that statement it becomes clear that Chardonnays can be bright, crisp and lean, or big and buttery. This grape and the wines it produce can be so many different things yet the same grape and so susceptible to suggestion. So, if a winemaker goes for rich ripeness and lots of long bathing in oak, this agreeable grape goes along for the big and buttery ride so to speak but is just as agreeable to go the crisper and leaner too! Generally, the made in stainless steel and unoaked style is crisper and leaner and often depending on the soil of the vineyard of the fruit used you can detect a taste of stone, perhaps a flinty flavor along with some apple and melon.  

Jim Mirowski, winemaker, and owner of Treasure Island Wines has achieved with his 2017 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley a delightful crisper and leaner Chard. This Chardonnay was made in stainless steel fermenters with just a touch of oak.

Moseley Family Cellars – Le Jardin Rouge – 2015 Capay Valley

Wed, 06/17/2020 - 19:05 -- johnk

Let me introduce a genuinely nice GSM with a little “V” on the end.  The wine, Le Jardin Rouge – 2015 Capay Valley  This blend was produced by Moseley Family Cellars.

Capay Valley is a rural valley northwest of Sacramento in Yolo County California. This California AVA is about 102,400 acres region in size and borders Napa County, Lake County and Colusa County. Actual vineyards planted are about 25 acres. Some excellent fruit comes from this AVA and you will find a few wineries such as Cache Creek, Taber Ranch and Capay Valley Vineyards. This little AVA produces Tempranillo, Merlot, Viognier, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Mourvedre, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Petite Sirah, Sangiovese and Petite Verdot. Moseley Family Cellars has selected for this blend Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Viognier wine grapes. The blend is 55%/33%/10% and 2% respectively for their 2015 Le Jardin Rouge.  


The primary grape in this blend, Grenache (gruh·naash) is a dry, red wine that is typically full-bodied and interestingly light in both color and tannins. Grenache produces wines that are loaded with strawberry, cherry, blackberry, purple plum and in the richest examples, even cocoa, black tea or licorice. 

Next is Syrah and it often carry flavors of black cherry, black pepper, blackberry, plum, bell pepper, clove, licorice, espresso, and dark chocolate. 

Wine Wednesday with Westbrook Wine Farm

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 12:06 -- johnk

Westbrook Wine Farm – 2007 Mariposa Count, Cabernet Sauvignon
Ingredients: Cabernet Sauvignon
Nose: earthy deep and rich
Taste: dark cherry for the fruit, hint of chocolate or mocha with just a hint or leather.
Character: Full flavored, fleshy and well-structured
Cellaring: good for a few more years if cellared but my last bottle will not last that long.
Alc. by Vol.: 14.5%
Personal note: While my favorite from this boutique winery is their Flagship wine, Fait Accompli, this wine has flavors of dark cherries, dark roses, chocolate, truffles, cedar, and Cabernet sauvignon fruit.
Tasting notes: smooth, well-balanced
Suggested pairing: Grilled ribeye steak

Westbrook Wine Farm is a vineyard and winery in the Sierra Nevada Foothills of eastern Madera County, California, near Bass Lake and Yosemite National Park. Westbrook’s mountain vineyards are planted to field blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Gros Verdot and Carmenere. The Krause’s, Ray and Tammy, practice sustainable farming and minimalist winemaking and make their wine in the traditional Claret style by co-fermenting grapes, rather than by making separate varietal wines and blending them. Their Flagship wine is their Fait Accompli includes six and our Museum, three of the eight red varieties permitted for use in Bordeaux or Meritage style wines.

Wine Wednesday - FӒSI - 2003 Syrah

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:17 -- johnk

FӒSI - 2003 Syrah

Private Reserve 

Ingredients:Organic Syrah Grapes 
Nose:Black cherry, plum, and toasty oak 
Taste:Black cherry, sweet spice, and plum 
Character:Full-bodied with ripe fruit flavors, integrated tannins, and a spicy finish 
Food Pairing:Beef, lamb, stews, and gourmet pastas 
Cellaring:While ready to enjoy now, this wine will age well few more years 
Alc. by Vol.:14.1%


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