A few days ago I and a small group were invited to a special tasting of the Ries wine collection at Caprice Cafe in Redlands, and what a line-up this would be! Not that any of us could have predicted the reasoning behind this tasting (flood) but for all who attended, we were able to taste some 40 year old wines that were still holding up exceptionally well.
As David would note, he was glad to share these and also came across some wines during the move that he had forgotten about, but able to share stories of memorable moments as he opened each bottle. Good food, good friends and good wine, what more can you ask for?
The line-up was as follows with notes to follow.
1- 1989 AU BON CLIMANT BIEN NACIDO VINEYARD RESERVE CHARDONNAY
2- NV HENRI ABELE’ CHAMPAGNE
3- 1999 MOSCATO d’ ASTI
4- 1970 LOUIS MARTINI SPECIAL SELECTION CABERNET (LOW FILL)
5- 2002 PARAISO SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS SYRAH
6- 1998 BRIDLEWOOD PASO ROBLES SYRAH
7- 2004 CLEAR WATER CREEK RUSSIAN RIVER SYRAH
8- 1974 JOSEPH PHELPS NAPA SYRAH
9- 1974 FETZER MENDOCINO PETITE SYRAH SPECIAL RESERVE
10- 1975 CALLAWAY TEMECULA PETITE SIRAH
11- 1991 STAGS’ LEAP NAPA PETITE SYRAH
12- 1998 ZACA MESA SANTA BARBARA CO. MISTY RIDGE VINEYARD SYRAH
13- 1974 DRY CREEK VINEYARD, DRY CREEK SONOMA PETITE SIRAH
(THIS WAS THE WINE THAT RECEIVED BOTH THE MOST FIRST AND SECOND PLACE VOTES,
ALTHOUGH THERE WERE A NUMBER OF OTHERS SCATTERED THROUGH OUT THE FLIGHTS)
14- 1974 FREEMARK ABBEY NAPA, YORK CREEK VINEYARDS PETITE SIRAH
Thanks Dave and Diane!
Spring is in the air which brought much delight for our May tasting of ‘Rose’ wines. There is a thought that rose (aka Pink) wines are known to be sweet, patio, jacuzzi wines but you would be sorely mistaken! Yes they are pink, yes they are made to drink on the patio and/or in the jacuzzi but they are far from being the sweet, non-complex wines that has given this particular colored wines a bad rap.
Rose wines come from many varietals of grapes (as noted below) and can range from very dry to very sweet, complex or simple, cheap to expensive, light pink to red and drink on its own to accompany the specific food dishes of the regions in which it is made, just like the whites and reds!
For those that may not know how rose wines are created, they are made from red grape varietals. The producer will start the process of creating the wines but in the beginning only leave the red skins on the juice for a very short time, maybe 48 hours to a week which they will syphon off and lightly pressing to get the red color and then go through normal fermentation, racking and bottling.
What we discovered in this wonderful tasting this month is that there is a rose wine that will meet your particular characteristic of wines you like, be refreshing, and ones that will accompany a certain food dish and not be that heavy red that you may want to grab from your cellar. I found all of these wines very good and all food wines, most were dry but with characteristics each to their own. The task this month was to pick the region and grape in which they came but for most it was virtually impossible with exception to Richard who picked his home-made wine out of the bunch (#12)! Awesome stuff.
So, given all that rambling don’t overlook that rose wine on the wine aisle as you may find something you enjoy and not what you expected!
1) Franz Karl Schmitt 2007 Pinot Meunier Rose Weissherbst, Niersteiner Findling 11.99
2) Schnaitmann Evoe! 2007 Rose of Trollinger & Pinot Wurttembeerg 13.99
3) Kenwood Vineyards 2007 Pinot Noir Rose Russian river Valley 9.99
4) Clos Pepe Estate 2009 Rose of Pinot Noir Sta Rita Hills 20.00 (winery only)
5) Heitz Cellar 2007 Grignolino Rose Napa Valley 16.99
6) Pietra Santa 2007 Rosato of Dolcetto Cienega Valley 11.99
7) Cougar 2009 Montes Blush Montepulciano (Sangiovese) Temecula 16.00
8) Mankas Crest 2007 Rose – Cabernet Sauvignon Suisan valley Mankas Hills 6.99
9) Corrison Corazon 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Rose Napa Valley ? (winery only)
10) Vida Organica 2009 Malbec Rose Argentina 9.00
11) Tablas Creek Vineyards2009 Rose Mouvedre, Granache, Counoise Paso Robles 20.25 (winery)
12) Arden Hills 2009 Rose of Garnacha Lodi, Bokisch Vineyard ? (winery only)
13) GreMark 2009 Syrah Rose Paso Robles 18.00 (winery only)
14) L’Aventure 2009 Rose Estate Syrah, Mouvedre, Granache, Cabernet Paso Robles 20.00 (winery only)