Touring California

Another formal wine presentation tonight for some new corporate clients.  We are going to tour California with some of our favorites from Napa, Sonoma, and Monterey.  Here are my notes for your perusal.

Domaine Carneros Brut

  • Champagne style wine
  • Blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
  • Winery owned by Taittinger (famed Champagne family)
  • Grapes grown in the Carneros region of California
  • Cooler growing region, better for grapes of this type
  • Vintage dated
  • Brut style means not only means dry but also the traditional blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
  • Rated 91 points by Spectator
  • Flavors fresh cherry and bright pear

Caymus Conundrum

  • The fun part of Conundrum is we don’t know what it is
  • Typically 5 grapes dominated by Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay
  • Sourced from all over California including Napa, Sonoma, Monterey, and Tulare counties
  • Each lot of grapes treated separately and fermentated separately including aging some grapes in French oak and others in Stainless Steel tanks
  • Blend changes every year
  • Made by Caymus Winery/Wagner Family – one of the California winery royals
  • Honeysuckle (Muscat), Butter/Silk Texture (Chardonnay), Bell Pepper/Grass (Sauvignon Blanc), Spicy, Crisp finish (Viognier)

Cuvasion Chardonnay

  • Cuvasion winery 2 locations – St Helena & Carneros
  • Grow Chardonnay and Pinot Noir at Carneros location, because of cooler climate
  • Ferment Chardonnay in neutral French oak, typically 1 – 2 years used
  • Dry style, very balanced
  • Peach, pineapple (typical of CY), clove and toast (French oak)

Fogdog Pinot Noir

  • One of my favorites
  • From Sonoma Coast right near the Pacific, they grow exclusively Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
  • Owned and made by Joseph Phelps who also owns Insignia which recently received 99 point rating for ’07 Cabernet
  • 100% sourced from 2 vineyards
  • Fermented for 15 months in 45% new French oak and 55% 2-3 year used barrels
  • Wine is typical of Sonoma Coast
  • Spice and backbone balanced with minerality and cherry

Chappellet Mountain Cuvee

  • Bordeaux style blend from California
  • 6 Bordeaux Grapes:  Cabernet Sav, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Carmenere
  • Chappellet’s Cuvee has all except Carmenere
  • Aged in French oak
  • This wine is made for early consumption – i.e. not to be aged
  • Complex wine with full fruit (Cab & Merlot), earth/floral (Cab Franc) and toasted finish (oak aging)

Stags Leap Wine Cellars Hands of Time

  • It’s 1976, California is set to compete with the French (kings of the wine world) in their famous annual blind tasting, two wines emerge as winners:  Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet & Chateau Montelena Chardonnay
  • Stag’s Leap was founded by William Winiarski in early 70’s and has been home to some very famous wine makers
    • Bob Sessions (Hanzell)
    • John Williams (Frog’s Leap)
    • Ricardo Herrera (Screaming Eagle)
    • Paul Hobbs (Paul Hobbs)
    • Michael Silicci (Opus One)
    • John Kongsgaard (Kongsgaard/Arietta)
  • This wine honors all of those and other winemakers of SLWC in “Hands of Time”
  • Cabernet (51%), Merlot (46%), Syrah (3%)
  • Fresh berries – cherry, strawberry, raspberry

Posted on April 7, 2011, in Wine and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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