The brand new release of Chronic Cellars Dead Nuts Zin is on the shelf at $21. This is a blend of 85% Zinfandel and 15% Petite Sirah. Chronic Cellars wines are extremely popular so get yours while you can.
Posts Tagged ‘petite sirah’
Courtesy of Mark Johnson who recently toured Sonoma, Napa and Lake Tahoe with his wife Kathie for a food and wine vacation.
Here’s Day 3 for your reading enjoyment
SUNDAY, JANUARY 31
We packed up early and hit the road to Tahoe, but of course we had to do a brief detour to Napa along the way. The Sonoma area fog gave way to a beautiful, blue sky morning in Napa Valley. We stopped first at the Mondavi’s new project called Folio www.foliowinemakersstudio.com . They were pouring several of their brands (Oberon, Spellbound, Medusa, Emblem) ranging in price form $20 -$70. They were just OK — at best. Not worth the stop. Next we went to Robert Biale www.robertbialevineyards.com. Now we’re talking! We had 4 great Zins, a big Syrah and a fantastic extended barrel age Petite Sirah. They do it right. A short hop away we stopped at Darioush www.darioush.com so we could nibble on their imported Persian pistachios while tasting. What a beautiful tasting room and an extremely profession tasting staff. We tried the 2007 Chardonnay (very good), the 2008 Viognier (tasty but too sweet for us), a 2006 Merlot (not bad), and the 2006 Cabernet (excellent). After a bit of schmoozing I got him to open the 2006 Cabernet Franc (very nice). So we bought some wine and pistachios to go. Great stuff, plus he waived the $25 tasting fee. We decided it was then time to finish on a high note and hit the long road to Tahoe.
Dinner tonight was at Kalani’s www.kalanis.com, a Pacific rim/Asian fusion restaurant. We have had some great meals here and some disappointing ones. Tonight fell flat. Other than a tasty appetizer of tempura crusted ahi bits with a teriyaki and eel sauce, all other items were uninspired, not even worth writing about. Thank God we brought a great wine, the 2006 Ramey “Ritchie” Chardonnay www.rameywine.com. Big, viscous, buttery and like the Benovia, enough acid to keep it all in balance.
Check out day 4 tomorrow!
The Wine Closet www.wineclosetinc.com had the pleasure of co-hosting a wine tasting with Kate and Curt Dubost from Dubost Ranch Winery www.dubostwine.com of Paso Robles last night. This winery is truly family owned and operated and the Dubost Ranch, located in the Adelaida area of Paso Robles (among the Far Out wineries of Paso Robles Westside), has been in the family for 5 generations. The winery is new, made of rice straw bale and represents the Dubost’s family values and respect for the land where they practice sustainable farming of a variety of vines including Tempranillo, Carmenere, Negret, Chardonnay, Syrah, Grenache ,Viognier and Roussanne. There’s probably more, but this is a good idea of the varietal range with which winemaker (and eldest son of Kate), Jacob Raines, who is a young 30 something, is stepping up and producing wines of distinction in this area.
Following are my notes from the 5 wines tasted last night:
’08 Alexandrine, 75% Viognier & 25% Roussanne – I love the aromas in Viognier, exotic floral and delicate citrus and apple in this one. It’s a crisper styled Rhone White, yet still benefits from the signature creamy mouthfeel. Flavors are all about stone fruits which carries on through the lingering finish. Nicely balanced between fruit and acidity. $22
’07 Homestead Red, Tempranillo, Grenache, Syrah and Petite Sirah – A fresh and fruity, crowd-pleasing blend that’s slightly masculine as well (probably from the Tempranillo and Petite). It’s medium to full-bodied with flavors and aromas of dark fruits, herbs, and subtle oak char that acts as a fruit tamer and balances out the wine. $16
’06 Syrah – This was one of the favorites among tasters, but not your typical over-the-top styled Central Coast Syrah with high alcohol, this one is meatier, aged 30 months in 60% new and 40% neutral French oak barrels. Loaded with pepper spice and a hint of spearmint making it a lovely wine to pair with grilled lamb. $20
’06 Tempranillo (100% Tempranillo) – Tempranillo is one of my favorite varietals these days, I find we make them very well here in California and look forward to trying more. The fruit is pure and abundant, with great aromas of cigar, spice and chocolate…almost like enjoying a spicy espresso in a cigar bar – sounds strange, but it’s the best description I can muster. I enjoyed it thoroughly. $28
’05 Gran Reserva, 50/50 Tempranillo & Grenache – The ‘Gran Reserva’ label is reserved for those wines aged at least 2 years prior to bottling. This one was aged for a total of 4 years; the two varietals were aged separately for 2 years, Tempranillo in new French oak and the Grenache in neutral hogshead barrels, they were then blended and aged for another year in the neutral hogshead barrels – but wait, there’s more…once bottled, the wine was again aged for an additional year prior to release. That said, this wine is big, bold, smooth and elegantly styled. Loaded with dark plums that’s also meaty, leathery and nutty – love it! $32
Kudos to this new little family winery. I’ll definitely visit the next time I’m in Paso Robles as the company of both Curt and Kate was such a pleasure, the evening went by so quickly. I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the family.