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Tuesday, 29 January 2019 14:59

Wine Pick of the Week

2018 Dry Rosé of Pinot Noir

Friday, 25 December 2015 18:28

December 25, 2015 Wine Pick of the Week

Domaine Carneros Brut Rose withshadow Picmonkey2012 Brut Rosé

 

Domaine Carneros

By Taittinger

Carneros

Alcohol: 12.3%

Suggested Retail: $37

 

“Good sparkling wine is appropriate for celebrating the new year. It’s also appropriate for just celebrating life in general and is a treat too frequently thought of as only for special occasions.

Sparkling wine is the generally accepted term that encompasses all wines containing bubbles, from pricey top-of-the-line imports through the cheap stuff served at all-you-can-eat Sunday brunches. Most California producers have agreed that the word Champagne refers to products that come from a particular part of France and should no longer be appropriated by wineries outside that region. Wonderful as wines from Champagne are, they’re no longer necessarily superior to their California counterparts.

Monday, 12 October 2015 14:51

Pinot Noir Partisan Walter Schug Passes

Walter Schug PicmonkeyWalter Schug 1935 - 2015By Dan Clarke

October 12, 2015 – This morning’s Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that Walter Schug passed away on Saturday. He was 80 years old. I met him only a few times, but he seemed the kind of guy I’d have liked to know better.

Walter and his wife, Gertrud, arrived in California more than half a century ago. They both came from winemaking families and Walter had studied viticulture and enology at Geisenheim before continuing his education at the University of California, Davis.

In 1966 Gallo hired Walter Schug as Director of Grower Relations and Quality Control. Much of his time was spent working with independent growers supplying grapes to that company. In 1973 he became the first winemaker for Joseph Phelps Vineyards. Though that winery set a high standard for quality, the proprietor chose to abandon making Pinot Noir in an era when that grape was not selling particularly well. Walter chafed and eventually opted to open his own winery, Schug Carneros Estate, in 1980. Though it also produces wines from other grape varieties, the winery is best known as a Pinot Noir specialist.

Friday, 04 September 2015 10:20

September 4, 2015 Wine Pick of the Week

Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay Picmonkey

2014 Chardonnay

 

Rombauer Vineyards

Carneros

Alcohol: 14.5%

Suggested Retail: $36

 

”Rombauer Vineyards does a good job with other wine varieties, but they are known for their Chardonnay. The winery itself is situated on the Silverado Trail near St. Helena in the Napa Valley, but it sources the grapes for this week’s Pick from an area south of there. Koerner Rombauer, patriarch of the family winery operation, has been using Carneros Chardonnay grapes for a long time. The Carneros growing region is a swath that includes southern parts of both Napa and Sonoma Counties. Being closer to the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays, the area is the beneficiary of a cooling marine influence. This is a good thing when you’re growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir—grapes that trace their heritage to the cooler Burgundian vineyards of northern France.

“Chardonnay can be made in many styles. In general, quality French Chardonnay (in the form of white Burgundy) is a leaner, crisper product than its California analogues. This doesn’t make it better (or worse), just different. Rombauer Chardonnays are known for being in the rich and full-blown ‘California’ style. Their 2014 Carneros Chardonnay is a straw or golden color and displays aromas of citrus and melon. These precede flavors of peach and pear set against a background of vanilla from the oak aging. The Rombauer winemaking style include malolactic fermentation, which leads to a softer, rounder feel in the mouth, and a technique which the French call battonage, which involves stirring the lees (dead yeast cells) at the bottom of the barrels. This lees stirring adds a rich and complex quality to the wine. Overall, the 2014 Rombauer Carneros provides everything a fan of big California Chardonnay could want. There’s richness, but also subtlety if you look for it. We found notes of spice, maybe a hint of apricot and even a little butterscotch.”

Food Affinity: “We suggest pairing bold with bold. Broiled lobster with drawn butter, seared big scallops, and many treatments of Dungeness crab would we work well. Veal or chicken served with morels would be another direction we’d like to investigate.”

Carneros Wine Alliance logo Picmonkey

TASTE News Service June 18, 2015 - The non-profit Carneros Wine Alliance will host a “Year of the Ram” 30th Birthday Bash on Saturday afternoon, July 25. The event will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the group’s founding as well as the 2015 Year of the Ram (“carneros” in Spanish) in the Chinese zodiac calendar. The Carneros wine region has American Viticultural Area (AVA) status and includes land in the southern parts of both Sonoma and Napa Counties.

Though famous for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which represent approximately 90% of planted vineyard acres in Carneros, the remaining 10% includes varietals ranging from Syrah and Merlot to the more unusual Marsanne, Roussane, Albariño, Petit Verdot, Pinot Meunier, Vermentino, Grenache Blanc, and Tempranillo.

Anne Moller RackeAnne Moller Racke“When we founded the Carneros Wine Alliance 30 years ago we saw the potential for The Carneros AVA to be considered a leading appellation for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay,” reflected Anne Moller-Racke, CWA president and president and winegrower of The Donum Estate in Carneros. “Now, Carneros is known around the world as a producer of world-class wines and a wine capital in its own right. I’m so very proud and honored to have been part of this history and I’m looking forward to the next three decades of promoting our beautiful appellation and the wines that are created here.”

The 30th Birthday Bash is open to the public. A broad selection of Carneros wines is to be paired with locally sourced appetizers while participants enjoy live music and art at the stunning di Rosa property in the heart of Carneros. Tickets to the 30th Birthday Bash are limited and available at $100 a person. A portion of the proceeds will benefit di Rosa, a non-profit contemporary art museum celebrating the artists of Northern California. For further details visit: carneros.com/yearoftheram-30anniversary.

About the Carneros Wine Alliance:

The Carneros Wine Alliance is a non-profit association of wineries and grape-growers in the Carneros American Viticultural Area (AVA). Carneros is located at the crossroads of two major wine regions, the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. A cool-climate appellation influenced by the waters of the San Francisco Bay, Carneros has long been known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and sparkling wine production.

About di Rosa:

Located on over 200 acres in the Carneros region of Napa Valley, di Rosa celebrates the artists of Northern California through a wide array of exhibitions and educational programs for all ages. The permanent collection features nearly 2,000 works by 800 regional artists working from the 1960s to the present. A wide range of styles, media, and subject matter provide an overview of the creative energy and freedom to experiment that characterize this region of California. For more information, hours, and tour schedules, visit diRosaArt.org.

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