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Dry Creek 2011 Chenin Blanc Bottle Picmonkey

2011 Dry Chenin Blanc


Producer: Dry Creek Vineyard

Appellation: Clarksburg

Alcohol: 12.5%

Suggested Retail: $12


“Dry Creek Vineyard is situated, fittingly enough, in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County, but for years the winery has sourced Chenin Blanc grapes from an area more than a two-hour drive to the southeast. Clarksburg's vineyards lie along the banks of the Sacramento River just south of the State Captiol. Other grape varieties grown there produce good quality wines, but Chenin Blanc is the star of their show. Once very popular in California when made in a slightly sweet style, Chenin Blanc fell out of favor a couple of decades ago. What a shame. Wines like this dry Chenin Blanc merit comparison to examples from France's Loire Valley. They're worthy alternatives to the ubiquitous Chardonnay and much more affordable, but they deserve recognition for their own qualities.”

“The 2011 Dry Creek Chenin Blanc exhibits aromas of melon, with a little peach and citrus. Crisp and clean favors reminiscent of apple and citrus are there. Serve chilled, but not too col, so that the minerality will show through.”

Food Affinity: Would be fine with many chicken and fish dishes and even lighter treatments of veal. It's an absolutely wonderful choice with oysters and has been a frequent winner in a nationwide oyster and wine pairing competition sponsored by Washington's Taylor Shellfish Company.


MET cab 09 bottle Picmonkey


2009 Cabernet Sauvignon


Producer: Mettler Family Vineyards

Appelleation: Lodi


Suggested Retail: $24.99


“A big wine and an attractive one. The Lodi appellation has long held a fine reputation for Zinfandel, but Cabernets like this show the region should not be dismissed lightly when considering their other varieties. Composition is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petite Sirah, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. We have tasted several vintages of Mettler Cabernet and this one seems the best yet.”

“Big—lots of fruit. Blueberry and plum qualities with some cedar and leather aspects.”

“More power than finesse, but a good example of the powerful, fruit-forward style at a decent price.”

Food Affinity: Many bold, red meat dishes come to mind. How about some prime rib beef bones slowly roasted in the oven or a Webber kettle?”

Dry Creek 2008 meritage btl xlg Picmonkey



2008 Meritage


“Bordeaux Blend”


Producer: Dry Creek Vineyard

Appellation: Sonoma County

Alcohol: 14.5%

Suggested Retail: $30


“Meritage is a term created for wines made of one or more of the grapes typically grown in Bordeaux in the southwest of France. Though made from grapes grown in Sonoma County, this wine contains all five of the predominant red varieties native to Bordeaux—Cabernet Sauvignon (33%), Merlot (30%), Cabernet Franc (17%), Malbec (14%) and Petit Verdot (6%). Wines made from blends of more than one grape are perceived by many as being more complex than those vinified from just a single variety.

“While the 2008 Meritage from Dry Creek Vineyard is a blend of grapes native to Bordeaux, it's unmistakably Californian--big, powerful. It will please drinkers with “a California Palate” right now, but will likely gain finesse with a few more years of aging. The “nose” is unusual. There's the aroma of blackberries, which is appealing though not so uncommon. Intriguing is the subtler aspect of the faint dustiness of finely-ground black pepper. The first taste fills the mouth with flavors of plum and cassis and a toasty background resultant from its oak aging. Thirty dollars is a fair price for a wine of this quality (and might seem a very good price if one lays some away to revisit as it reaches its potential in years to come).”

Food Affinity: The wine needs bold flavors in whatever dish you choose to pair with it. Maybe a grilled New York steak with a slightly spicy rub or finished with a dollop of blue cheese?

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