Monday, December 21, 2009

Cameron Hughes – Lot 117, 2007 Santa Barbara County Grencache Blanc/Viognier « Gabe's View

Cameron Hughes – Lot 117, 2007 Santa Barbara County Grencache Blanc/Viognier « Gabe's View

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2006 Colosi, Sicilia Rosso IGT

Made from 100% Nero D`Avola grapes, indeginous to Sicily.  This wine has a ruby red color with an expressive nose with aromas of plum and cherries. On the palate it is dry but velvety, medium bodied plus and well balanced, no harsh tannins; an excellent accompaniment for spicey pasta, beef, roasted meats, and aged cheeses with rustic bread.

After the Vinitaly Trade Show in San Francisco a couple of months ago, my new favorite grape is Nero D'Avola.  I found this wine at Cost Plus World Market for $9.99.  It is well worth the price.  Very enjoyable.

Latest Editions - Wine Book Favorites

Here are a few of my favorite wine reference books.  I do carry the Sales and Service for Wine Professionals around in my car, just so I have a quick place to look up information on a certain wine region and related  indigenous variatals.  The Professional Wine Reference is a "must have" in your wine library.  These suggested books are a good incentive to dive into studying for Certified Sommelier.  The more you know, the more you know you don't know.  I can't believe how much I have spent on wine books, let alone wines.  It's a very adventurous hobby that takes you around the world's wine regions.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Guild of Sommeliers Cruise on the SF Bay

Trip Notes - December 15, 2009

We all had a great time on the yacht of Alpha Omega Winery, Rutherford, out on the SF Bay. The event was organized by Geoff Kruth, MS, the Guild of Sommeliers for 20 of its members from all around California. With that said, you can only imagine what great wine we had. Our hosts, Alpha Omega, brought their flagship wines. What a treat to sip on luscious wine while food pairing was catered by La Saison in St. Helena and cruising on the Bay. It was a very fun and relaxing time. The weather was perfect, considering it was mid-December and we could have been out in a storm. The yacht was very beautiful, spacious and comfortable. Even if it would have been cold and windy, we were well-protected in the cabins. Alpha Omega is one of Rutherford's newest wineries. Call Eric and let him know you are coming before your visit and he will give you the VIP tour. You may even be able to meet award winning winemaker, Jean Hoefliger who teams with Michel Rolland to create beautifully blended wines. Paul Kamian, CS, was also on board from Darioush, one of my all time favorites wineries. He brought a bottle of their Syrah, VERY nice. Among other guests were Alexandra Alznauer, CS and Wine Consultant, Suzanne Chowla, Wine Director and Som for Chez TJ in Mountain View, and, Ryan Williams, CS, for Ana Mandara, a Vietnamese cuisine restaurant at Ghirardelli Square. Please do visit these wineries and restaurants - all wonderful and worth the trip.

Monday, December 7, 2009

2006 Monte Antico Toscano

Wow - here is another Wine Attic pic for $8 bucks at Costco. 85% Sangio, 10% Cab and 5% Merlot. Wine Spectator rated this 90 points. I picked up a bottle to try and was very pleasantly surprised and delighted to drink it with pizza. But this wine is better than just pizza wine. The 2007 sangio from this area was outstanding and so made this wine really shine. It is definitely a real winner. This is another outstanding wine where quality outshines the price point. If you are serving Italian - roast and ravioli for Christmas, then go out and get a case of this before the secret is out. It has a nice soft finish, no harsh tannins but still has nice body. After 15 minutes it was quite smooth.

2007 Cameron Hughes Lot 141 Chardonnay

2007 Cameron Hughes Chardonnay from San Luis Obispo County, Lot 141. Get it while you can for the holidays. It's only $10/bottle. As you know, the CHWines are all high quality wines at recession prices. You always get triple the quality from the price point. This delicious char has a very pleasant, fresh nose. Complexity is added by waiting to open this '07 vintage. Still fresh and complex. It's creaminess must come from stirring sur lees as this wine did not go through ML. I get a nice tropical fruit, pineapple, honey, smooth and balanced acids. A nice soft finish. This is a nice wine for your holiday guests as we all toast to a bright and better new year!!!