Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cerro Prieto Vineyard and Cellars

“Ok – I’m not making this up myself. Check this out – here are all the awards:
2006 Cerro Prieto Merlot, Reserve, San Diego International Wine Competition, March, 2009, Gold Medal, Merlot
2006 Merlot Reserve, Critics Challenge International Wine Competition, April, 2009, Gold Medal, Merlot, $39 & up
2006 Merlot Reserve, Los Angeles International Wine Competition, May, 2009, Silver Medal, $30 & up
2006 Paso Bordo Reserve, Los Angeles International Wine Competition, May 2009, Bronze Medal,Cabernet/ Syrah blends all prices

The Merlot and the Bordo Blend are off the charts. I give them both a mid-90 point spread. These wines are typical Paso, in the sense that they are full-bodied and full of big flavor. You can drink now or hold for 10 years. Either way you will be impressed with the fruit forward, smooth tannin wines. I still dream of tasting them. This is a small production winery, so you need to order a case to store now.

Jan Manni
Certified Sommelier, Court of the Master Sommeliers”

Saturday, July 25, 2009

07 Syrah, Lot 135 Central Coast, Cameron Hughes

Another winner, Lot 135, Central Coast Syrah. Stone fruits, tobacco, spicey finish. Was lucky to get a sample of it. You will have to go on-line to see if you can get it.

If you like Syrah from the Central Coast, this comes from one of the best appellations for Syrah in California.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Lot 112, Merlot, Napa from Cameron Hughes Wine

This wine is amazing at $9 bucks at Costco. It is a true Napa Valley Merlot - worth 3 times more than its price point. Lots of bright cherry and soft tannins. A real winner for those new red wine drinkers. Goes down really easy. Very delicious. After an hour, it was even better - more fruit. And, who can beat the price? Great with pizza, pasta, grilled meats. What a great find - Go to Costco for the best deal. Why is this so good? Because it's from Coombsville and Jamieson Canyon. Go buy a case - it's a 90 point wine for under $10 bucks. Highly recommended.

Vino Noceto

I went to Vino Noceto yesterday and tasted through their wines. The most notable was their '06 Mistura which is released each vintage with a slightly different blend. I give this wine 90 points. Very well made. Bobbie Gullet, son of owners, suggested I purchase one of their library wines which they have a nice selection - 2003 Mistura which I'm saving for next year. This winery is off of Shenandoah Rod in Plymouth, CA.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Best Summer White Chardonnay

Ever had a Chardonnay that tasted like pink grapefruit? This is a really refreshing wine for these hot, hot summers up here in Folsom and/or Paso Robles CA USA. This wine is not only delicious sipped by itself poolside but can also be quite the great food pairing wine with some grilled salmon and mango salsa. Make sure you add pepper flakes to the salsa. The Flying Winemaker series in now available at local retail stores or restaurant/wine bars. Try a glass and you will agree. This '08 Margaret River, Australia wine retails for about $12. The Flying winemaker searches the world for the best of the best vineyards. Creamy texture, yet nice acidity. Blended with full ML, slight oak finish.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Paso Robles L'Aventure Winery - top choice

Back in Paso after almost two months, visiting L'Aventure Winery, considered one of the best wineries in the Paso Robles AVA. Wines rated high 90s by Parker. Tasted through all of Stephan's wines, starting with his amazing rosé. Stephan's 2008 releases will go forward being 100% estate wines. We were able to barrel taste the 2008 Côte a Côte, Estate Cuvee and a new blend of 60% Petite Verdot. All reds are black in color, full bodied, fruit bombs. The 07 Optimus was tasting amazing also. Drink now or hold for 3-4 years. Go to to purchase wines.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Findleton Estate

I had the pleasure of going to Placerville and taste some of the Sierra Foothills' best. The 2006 Findleton Estate and Vineyard Syrah, named after Pamela Findleton’s “Raven Red” painting, is 90% Syrah from Marchini Vineyard in Placerville and 10% Syrah from Matson Vineyard in Pleasant Valley. They just opened up their 2nd tasting room at 440 Main St., downtown Placerville. Husband Tom is the winemaker and Pamela, the labels' artist, create a wonderful package of hand-crafted wines. Total production is around 2000 cases.