Gems in My Glass . . . December 2010

Gems in MY Glass . . ., Tasting Notes

New Year’s Eve 2010 is days away; what a perfect time to start out with bubbles!

J Sparkling Cuvee 20 NV Brut, Russian River Valley, CA:   The fresh baked bread aromas and a splash of citrus that tantalize the nose are followed by crisp apple and creamy pear flavors dotted with baking spices that coat the palate decadently.    With its consistent stream of tiny bubbles this lively sparkling boasts dazzling acidity that brightens the focused fruit at the core.  Any day is a celebration with this impressive sparkling wine.

Chateau Montelena 2007 Zinfandel, Calistoga, Napa Valley, CA:  Alluring dark berry and fresh earth aromas led to an elegant entry of juicy blackberries and tart huckleberries harmonizing superbly with a touch of tobacco, tea and pretty oak notes that are beautifully in tune on the palate.  An impeccably balanced Zinfandel that finishes with silky well integrated tannins.

Penman Springs 2007 Meritage Artisan Cuvee, Paso Robles, CA:  Aromas brimming full of black cherries and plums enthrall the nose and hold firmly through the palate, where elements of tobacco and spice thread throughout the juicy sun-ripened fruit flavors.  Firm tannins and pretty oak notes round out the pretty package leaving a satisfying aftertaste.

Chateau de Beaucastel 2004 Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France:  Flowers delight the nose with this beautiful white wine from Chateauneuf-du-Pape.  A blend of 80% Roussanne along with Grenache Blanc, Picardan, Bourboulenc and Clairette, this gem is fermented in 20% new oak barrels and 80% steel vats.   The palate is rich and full with creamy pear and a touch of honey and sweet oak; finishes nicely with a steely quality.

Diamond Ridge Vineyards 2008 Petite Sirah, Lake County, CA:  Fresh dark plums, and wild berries waft from the glass and blossom richly on the palate.   The glorious purity of fruit is accented by black pepper, allspice and a touch of earthiness that adds complexity to this deeply structured Petite Sirah.   Generous plump tannins are big and bold yet velvety and lead to a memorably finish.

Diamond Ridge Vineyards 2007 Aspects, Lake County, CA:  This elegant blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petite Sirah showcases lush boysenberry and blueberry fruit, mineral notes, a dash of green bell pepper and fresh herbs all meshing melodiously and deliciously from the minute it touches your lips to the juicy, lingering aftertaste.

De La Montanya 2005 Christine’s Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, CA:   Enticing spice notes rise temptingly from the glass and lead to a scrumptious mouth full of raspberry, Bing cherry, dried cherry and cola notes intertwining with a subtle oak influence.  Delicate and perfectly balanced with an elegant, memorable finish.

San Antonio 2008 Riboli Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford, CA:   Classic “Rutherford dust” jumps from the glass with this stylish Cab Sauv from the Riboli Family Vineyard along Silverado Trail.   From start to finish layers of berry, plum and black currant are handsomely accented by spice box and toast notes and enrobed in well structured tannins that are firm yet approachable.  Pleasing now, and age worthy too.