Holiday Wine Tasting
December 15th & 17th
Thursday 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM, Saturday 12 PM – 5:00 PM
St. Francis Splash White 2010
Varietal: Using carefully selected fruit from California's top appellations, St. Francis WHITE Splash is a lively blend of Gewurztraminer, Malvasia Bianca, Viognier, and Pinot Grigio.
Tasting Notes: Each varietal contributes distinctive qualities to this fun, approachable wine and gives aromas of lychee fruit, jasmine and honeyed citrus with flavors of peach, honeydew, mango and green apple. White Splash is bright and fruit forward with natural crisp acidity. Blended and fermented in 100% stainless steel to preserve the fruit's fresh flavors and aromas, White Splash has a juicy mouth-feel and zesty finish. Partial malolactic fermentation gives this wine a delightfully soft texture.
Food Pairing: It is easy to enjoy on its own or paired with food such as salads, chicken, or fish.
Artesa Carneros Chardonnay 2010
Origin: Carneros, California
Varietal: 98% Chardonnay, 2% Sauvignon Blanc
Tasting Notes: Crisp and mouthwatering offering pear, apricot, lime and apple streaked with notes of oregano, tarragon, and hints of vanilla and honey. The vivid citrus and tropical fruit flavors are delicately wrapped in a rich and generously-textured mouthfeel. Mature acids hold the wine's structure and create length, while a touch of scrumptious cinnamon toast note lingers in the elegant finish. Wine Enthusiast – 92 points - "For the last few years, Artesa has produced one of the best Chardonnays in its price tier in all of California. Once again, they've hit the sweet spot with the 2010. It’s rich and creamy, with orange, pineapple, crème brûlée and buttered toast flavors." Alcohol: 14.3%
Food Pairing: This Chard pairs well with Crab, Shrimp, Salmon, Chicken, Turkey, Duck, Veal, Pork, D’Affinois, Gouda, and Parmesan. The following spices bring out the best in this Chardonnay: Basil, Thyme and Saffron.
Hayman & Hill Pinot Noir 2008
Origin: Santa Lucia Highlands, California. Santa Lucia Highlands is the talk of the town for the quality of its pinot noir. Some say it's the moderate temperatures and cool fogs that cloak the hillsides. Others swear by the sandy, well draining soils.
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Tasting Notes: Lifted strawberry and sweet ripe raspberry characters attack you on the nose and palate. Subtle dusty overtones with a sweet smokiness help to make this a powerful yet elegant Pinot with plenty of class.
Food Pairing: Perfect with just about any game birds or lighter meats such as veal, turkey or pork. Try it with seared duck breast with exotic mushrooms.
Elements by Artesa 2007
Origin: 65% Sonoma County & 35% Napa County
Varietal: 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Tempranillo, 20% Merlot, 18% Malbec, 11% Garnacha, 2% Petite Sirah, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Graciano, & 1% Cabernet Franc.
Tasting Notes: This wine is brimming with lively black currant, raspberry and blueberry enveloped in a spicy bouquet of cinnamon, clove, vanilla, nutmeg and faint hints of smoked meat. The flavor is true to the aromas and the texture is silky and supple. This wonderful blend of fruit, spice and silk dances and lingers in your mouth. The acid balance and slight dryness of the tannin on the finish indicate that this wine has the structure to age gracefully for several years.
" A really nice, classically structured Cabernet that can stand beside bottles costing far more. The blackberry and cherry flavors have a touch of sweet oak. With savory acidity, it’s good to go now. Production was 13,500 cases." 88 Points, Wine Enthusiast
Food Pairing: This is a very versatile food wine. It should pair well with beef, pork, lamb, chicken and heavier fish such as salmon. It drinks well with appetizers and hard cheeses or on its own.
Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Reserva 2007
Origin: Chianti Rufina, Tuscany, Italy
Varietal: 90% Sangiovese and complementary grapes. (Malvasia nera, Colorino, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon)
Tasting Notes: It appears a deep, purple-edged ruby red, of impressive brilliance. Solid fruit notes of wild blackberry, blueberry, raspberry and dark cherry emerge initially on the nose, gradually yielding to more pungent impressions of sage, rosemary, vanilla, and cinnamon. That spiciness segues onto the palate, and then into a finish that ends with a flourish of balsam, black pepper, and cocoa powder. The mid-palate shows alcoholic warmth and roundedness, while the tannins and acidity are noticeable, adding to the wine’s overall harmony. Aging: 24 months in second and third use barriques and 3 months in bottle. Wine Enthusiast's #1 Wine of the Year 2011" 93 Points - "From Frescobaldi’s gorgeous Nipozzano estate, this Riserva Sangiovese (with small percentages of Malvasia Nera, Cabernet and Merlot for extra density and intensity) opens with impressive generosity and personality. It offers lingering flavors of cherry, chocolate and dark spice.
#65 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010 " 91 Points - "A burly Rufina, with dried dark fruits, chewy tannins and a dark chocolate and mineral aftertaste. Full and satisfying. Always the fresh acidity in the back palate. A go-to Chianti. Drink now. 91 Points International Wine Cellar - "90% sangiovese, the rest colorino, malvasia nera, cabernet sauvignon and merlot) Deep violet-ruby. Fresh, fruity aromas of red cherry, blueberry and blackberry, with hints of underbrush and minerals; much less spicy, tarry and dark than some other recent vintages of this wine. Then bright and fresh in the mouth, with red cherry, plum and mineral flavors. Finishes smoothly tannic, polite and persistent. One of the better young Nipozzano vintages I recall: this really does remind you of the higher-altitude, cooler Rufina zone." 90 Points The Wine Advocate - "The 2007 Chianti Rufina Riserva shows the open, opulent personality that makes this vintage so alluring. Ripe, silky tannins frame a core of red fruits, flowers and spices, all of which come together with unsual grace. Though medium in body, there is wonderful generosity to the fruit, not to mention fabulous overall balance. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2015."
Food Pairing: Barbecued meat and beef stews, aged cheeses. Pasta with Tuscan tomato sauce.
Agricola Punica Barrua Isola Dei Nuraghi 2004
Origin: Sardinia, Italy
Varietal: The 2004 Barrua is a blend of 85% Carignano, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot.
Tasting Notes: Agricola Punica is a ground-breaking endeavor from Super-Stars of Italian winemaking. Dr. Sebastiano Rosa, architect of Sassicaia at Tenuta San Guido and the President of Catina Santadi Antonello Pilloni. Giacomo Tachis – who helped create the original Super Tuscan, Sassicaia, as well as Tignanello and Solaia, is the technical director. Barrua is deep crimson red in color with violet highlights and aromas of crushed fresh blackberries and a suave, silky palate supported by sweet, refined tannins and a fine note of acidity. Together, the color, fragrance, extract and alcohol achieve a degree of richness which yields wine of opulent suppleness, elegant tannins and finely tuned acidity: a textbook expression of the Carignano grape.
Food & Wine Guide 2010 – 3 Stars (highest rating) - This blend of 85 percent Carignano, 10 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 5 percent Merlot aims to be a “Super-Sardinian,” with its dense, weighty mix of black cherry, molasses, spiced fig and hefty oak flavors.
Wine & Spirits – “Our blind panels tasted 162 new-release Southern Italian Reds over the last 12 months. Wolfgang Weber, our critic for Italian wine, rate 29 exceptional (90+) and 26 best buys. Year’s Best Southern Italy – Exceptional – 92 points - Barrua is the flagship of a partnership between Sebastiano Rosa of Bolgheri’s Tenuta San Guido and the Sardinian producer Santadi, with Giacomo Tachis as consultant. Blended from 85 percent carignano with cabernet sauvignon (10) and merlot (5), this ’04 is dense and full, with chewy tannins that frame a sweet core of currant and cases. It’s a massive wine that will become more sophisticated with ten to 15 years in the cellar.”
Wine Spectator 92 points - Impressive aromas of ripe fruit and grilled meat follow through to a full body, with velvety tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Juicy and concentrated, yet balanced.
Food Pairing: A natural match for roasted chicken, pasta with red sauce, Leg of Lamb with Rosemary and garlic, grilled pork chops, and grilled Filet Mignon. This is a big wine that pairs well with big dishes.
Chatom Vineyards Cuvee 2007
Origin: Calaveras County, California
Varietal: The final blend on this luscious red is 29% Merlot, 20% Malbec, 17% Zinfandel, 14% Cabernet, 11% Syrah, 9% Touriga.
Tasting Notes: Aromas of milk chocolate and spice along with hints of blueberries and vanilla. Flavors of ripe cherries and raspberries with nicely balanced oak on the finish. Barrel aged for 18 months. Alcohol: 14.8%. 821 cases produced. Double Gold Medal, Calaveras County Fair Professional Wine Competition.
Food Pairing: Delicious with everything from pasta to grilled steaks, lamb chops and barbecued beef, pork or chicken.
Biagio Brachetto D’Aqui DOCG N/V
Origin: Acqui Terme,Piedmont, Italy.
Varietal: 100% Brachetto D’Acqui.
Tasting Notes: Festive cranberry in color with a haunting, aromatic bouquet with hints of raspberries, strawberries and hints of rose petals. A fresh raspberry taste, with crisp acidity, enticing the palate with an initial softness, graduating to a round and luscious finish.
Food Pairing: On its own, it is an elegant aperitif. Its fruity character beguiles the heat of spicy Asian and Latino fare, and its gentle acidity is an ideal foil to the piquant richness of goat cheese. Quiches, glazed hams, beets, vichyssoise, gazpacho and chowders, all traditionally challenging wine matches, are enchanted by this Brachetto. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, trifles and hazelnut tortes are also elevated by this frothy wine.
Origin: Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
Tasting Notes: A delicate, balanced young Barolo, with dried mushroom, cedar and plum aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, with chewy tannins and a medium finish. This is a small vineyard Barolo with very limited availability in the US. The best description I can give this wine is: “ The best under $40 Barolo I have ever tasted.” The 2005 vintage got 91 points from Wine Spectator. The overall Barolo vintage rating for 2005 was 92points. The 2006 overall vintage rating was 96 points.
Food Pairing: Barolo goes well with game (pheasant and hare), roast meat, piquant cheeses, recipes with truffles, braised lamb shanks, spaghetti with bolognese sauce, braised veal, and rib roast.