Riesling is a elegant yet powerful varietal that dates back to at least the 1400's in Europe. One of the most popular whites, Riesling can make quality wines from very sweet to bone dry and when crafted appropriately can be aged longer than pretty much any other white wine. Here in the states, sweet bulk Riesling flooded the market after WII in response to how much it was loved by those serving overseas. This lower quality wine has prejudiced many against this remarkable grape and its potential. This flight will destroy any prejudice you might have had! The flight is $28 and features Rielsing from Austria, Germany, New Zealand, France with a "bonus" wine from New York.
Wine #1 is the Nigl Dornleiten Riesling, Kremstal, Austria and is very light, crisp and shows some nice acidity. Subtle nose with attractive, bright fruit, elegant lemon notes, hint of stone fruit, a little white bread and lightly spicy. There is the slightest hint of sweetness ever so briefly on the front of this wine. Kremstal is a region in northern Austria and it is known for producing dry white wines, mostly riesling and gruner veltliner.
Well you guys drank up all the Burgundy so we need a new flight! We've got a very different flight for you now featuring big bold Spanish reds and a lovely white from Valdeorras in Northwest Spain.
The white is a Godello from the producer of the original Godello clone. The vines are all over fifty years old and with some aging on the lees this is a rich, round white with still vibrant acidity. Melon and meyer lemon curd flavors matched with a creamy texture - yum!
Of the three reds, the oldest is a Navarro Lopez 2004 old vine Tempranillo that saw a full 24 months in oak before bottling. Great drinkability on its own with intense black fruit with soft cedar notes has made this the staff favorite. A Crianza with all the required time in oak from Ribera Del Duero also is included. This 2007 Valdehermoso is Tempranillo as well but with a bit more structure than the Navarro Lopez. This wine's tannins enjoy a lttle food or a few minutes to soften but then it truly shines.
The last red is a Monastrell from Spain's hot midsection - Alicante. The 2010 Tarima Hill is juicy and inky black with amazing rich blueberry flavors. If you like California Zinfandel, this is the wine for you!
"God made Cabernet, whereas the Devil made Pinot Noir" - Andre Tchelistcheff
New to Wine & Cheese is our Pinot Noir tasting flight. Here for a limited time you may sample a flight from three of the world's best places for Pinot Noir.
The 2009 Black Diamond Pinot Noir is from the Russian River Valley and is 100% Pinot. Whereas many CA Pinots throw in Syrah or Malbec to up the alcohol and turn it into a jammy cab like substance, the Black Diamond is unashamedly Burgundian in style but showcasing the soft ripeness that CA can bring to the picture. The fruit is vibrant and clean, letting this wine sing with any of our soft cheeses. Try it at home with a barely done pork loin to see how food friendly this guy is.
And speaking of Burgundy, (and not Almaden Mountain Burgundy) we have a 2008 Premier Cru Mercurey from the Les Saumonts vineyard. Warmer than average summers have softened many of this region's wines and this one is no exception. Very drinkable today with rich fruit and impressive body, we are excited to be pouring this by the glass or flight for a limited time.
And last but not least is a Pinot from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. The 2010 Evesham Wood Pinot from their Illahe Vineyard is classic Oregon Pinot showing mushroom and soft forest floor aromas behind its impressive fruit balance.
This flight is a bit of a change for us as these wines are similar in weight and style, making the differences more subtle but still obvious when tasting side by side. Pinot Noir is a challenging grape to grow with its thin skins but when done right becomes probably the best food wine on the planet with its acidity and soft flavors. Come on out and try some with us!
We finally got our order of Sweet Sunset Chocolate Infused Merlot in today! As usual we bought every bottle that came into the state and are unpacking it right now. These 20 cases might last through Christmas but who knows?
First phone call of the day was a phone order for 3 bottles and a half pound of Walnut Gourmandise!
We loved the Kings of Italy Flight and I guess everyone else did too because they are all gone! We do have a couple bottles left in the Wine Cellar for retail sale but its now time for another premium flight - The "Holiday in Napa" flight.
We're showcasing some beautiful Napa reds starting with The Volunteer, crafted by volunteer firefighter Tony Leonardini. Tony squeaked his harvest in before the monster October rain of '09 and has crafted a powerful Cabernet (touch of Merlot and Cab Franc) that shows rich cherry, hints of cranberry wrapped up in toasted vanilla notes from French oak.
The second red is the 2006 Smith-Madrone Cabernet Sauvignon from the Spring Mountain District in Napa. The Romans knew about the benefits of planting on hillsides and the Smiths agree with these vines growing on slopes up to 35% at almost 2000 ft elevation. Somewhat subtler than the others in the flight, this 85% Cab, 6% Merlot and 9% Cab Franc blend is elegant with warm flavors of dark cherry, cassis and cedar. Twenty-two months in American oak adds some tannic depth and character as well.