Preston Vineyards – 2009 Madam Preston

September 29, 2010

The Facts:

The Preston of Dry Creek 2009 Madam Preston was produced using organically grown estate fruit. This wine is a blend of Roussanne (47%), Viognier (32%), Grenache Blanc (11%), and Marsanne (10%). This wine was fermented in French oak using native yeasts. 731 cases of this offering were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $34.

Preston Vineyards is a classic Dry Creek Valley producer. Lou and Sue Preston have been making wine at their Dry Creek Valley Farm since 1975. Their tasting room is located at 9282 West Dry Creek Road in Healdsburg. Preston is open daily from 11:00 AM to 4:30 PM for tasting. They also offer picnic grounds to their visitors. Check their website for the details about that as well as special events and more.

Gabe’s Take:

Citrus aromas are underpinned by lychee and apricot notes in the attractive nose of this 2009 Rhone inspired blend. White peach, apricot, nectarine and continued wisps of citrus all play a role in the palate. It’s full of flavor but even keeled and almost gentle in nature, yet loaded with layers of complexity. Fruit flavors continue through the finish along with light mineral notes, a hint of honey, hazelnut, nutmeg and white pepper. All of those flavors join together beautifully and linger, clinging to the back of the throat for a good long while.

I happen to think there should be more Rhone varietals coming out of Dry Creek Valley. So it’s good to see folks like the Prestons make wines of such distinction and character from these grapes. This wine is delicious on its own. In fact it’s the kind of wine I think of when I yearn to sit out on the deck or porch to enjoy the nice weather and a bottle of wine. That said it’ll also pair beautifully with light summer cuisine as well as spicy foods. Avoid over-chilling this wine which will mask its true beauty and gentle complexities. If you like white Rhone inspired blends, this is one of the best in California, don’t miss it.

Montemaggiore – 2009 3 Divas Viognier / Marsanne / Roussanne

September 11, 2010

The Facts:

The Montemaggiore 2009 3 Divas was produced using fruit sourced at the famed Saralee’s Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. This wine is blend of Viognier (36%), Marsanne (32%) and Roussanne (32%). The grapes were pressed into stainless steel and after 24 hours racked into neutral French oak. Each varietal was aged separately and blended prior to bottling. A mere 100 cases of this wine were produced. It has a suggested retail price of $25. Montemaggiore’s main focus is on estate grown wines. This Rhone style blend is the lone wine sourced outside of their Dry Creek Valley Estate Vineyards.

Montemaggiore is a small family owned winery. Their production size varies from year to year but they tend to hover around 1,000 cases. Husband and wife team Lise and Vincent Ciolino each take the reins on winemaking and grape growing respectively. They’re located at 2355 West Dry Creek Road in Healdsburg. Tours are available by prior appointment. Visit their website for specific details.

Gabe’s Take:

Lychee fruit, bright citrus, pear, hazelnut and spice aromas fill the vibrant and effusive nose of this 2009 Rhone inspired blend. The palate is layered with fruit flavors such as pear as well as a nice layer of lemon crème as well as clove and nutmeg spice. Overall it has a luxurious, pleasing feel loaded with flavor. Minerals, hazelnut, ginger and a touch of white pepper emerge in the above average finish. This wine is crisp and refreshing with impeccable balance. Appealing and refreshing are two of the main ways I would describe this wine which beckons you back to the glass for sip after sip.

This wine is a natural complement to the Estate, Syrah-based Reds that have been in the Montemaggiore portfolio for a number of years now. This offering is both delicious on its own and well suited to match up with a host of diverse lighter, but full flavored foods. It’ll work particularly well with spicy Thai or Indian dishes for example.

Quivira Vineyards & Winery Ushers in a New Era

There are certain changes a Winery makes on a year to year basis that are transparent to consumers and don’t necessarily affect the wine that ends up on the shelf. And then there are changes that impact every aspect of an operation, from soup to nuts; bringing in a new winemaker is a wholesale change that can have a dramatic impact. Just about a year ago Quivira Vineyards and Winery brought aboard winemaker Hugh Chapelle. About a month ago I had the opportunity to Read The Whole Thing>>>

Wilson Winery – 2009 Sydney Vineyard Zinfandel

The Wilson Winery 2009 Sydney Vineyard Zinfandel was produced from fruit sourced at the wine’s namesake vineyard. This property which was planted in 1989 sits at an elevation of 1,500 feet. The Sydney Vineyard Zinfandel is a 100% varietal wine. Fruit was hand harvested and fermented in open top vessels with punchdowns three times a day. Aging took place in a combination of French and American oak over a period of 18 months. 540 cases were produced.Read The Whole Thing >>>