Luke Donald Wine

Luke Donald WineThe Donald

No, this month’s wines aren’t associated with Donald Trump (a teetotaler, by the way), but rather, English professional golfer Luke Donald. The Luke Donald Wine Collection is the result of a collaboration between Donald and Bill Terlato, head of the behemoth wine distribution operation, Terlato Wines International.

Terlato first met Donald when the golfer was a student at Northwestern University. Terlato took lessons from Donald’s coach, Pat Goss, who initially suggested the two get together. Along with an interest in golf, the two men shared an interest in sports cars and ultimately, wine.

Golfer-endorsed wines are a growing trend, and already include such players as Ernie Els, Nick Faldo, David Frost, Cristie Kerr, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, and Arnold Palmer. In 2006, Terlato approached Donald with the idea of creating a pair of wines for him under the Luke Donald label. He was adamant, however, that he didn’t want merely a celebrity endorser. Terlato wanted someone who would be involved in the development of the product. The wines that resulted from this partnership are serious wines, rather than a vanity effort (and are priced accordingly).

Chardonnay 2010

This 100% Chardonnay is sourced from vineyards in the Carnaros AVA, which lies at the northern end of San Pablo Bay (the northern section of San Francisco Bay).

The wine is pale yellow in the glass. On entry, it offers a full mouthfeel. That buttery sensation continues to develop on the palate, followed by just the right amount of acidity.

For this wine’s flavor profile, Donald looked to the white Burgundies of France. The flavor is predominantly of tart citrus fruits; the wood (25% new French oak, 75% used French oak) is there, but is nicely balanced.

Enjoy this wine with Summer Vegetable Stir-fry with Couscous, Braised Greek Chicken and Artichokes, or Almond-crusted Sole with Leek-and-lemon Cream.

Claret 2009

Befitting Donald’s background, this red wine blend is a Claret. Although “claret” has no legal definition, it is generally a term used by the English when referring to certain red wines of Bordeaux with a light, refreshing style.

This easy-drinking red blend (mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, 100% Napa Valley) is transparent ruby in color. The taste features wild black berries and subtle spice notes. This is supported by well-integrated tannins.

This Claret would go well with Chicken Simmered with Cream and Onions, Roast Duck with Cherries, or Braised Ham with Mushroom Stuffing.

These wines are limited production, each limited to less than 1000 cases, but are well worth seeking out.


Top of page:

Cline Cellars

Cline CellarsYes, We Have No Cabernet

As you enter Sonoma county from the south on California 121, one of the first wineries you encounter is Cline Cellars, and there could hardly be a better introduction to the Carneros AVA.

Even as a young teenager, Fred Cline learned to make wine from his grandfather, Valeriano Jacuzzi (yes, he of the hydrotherapy tub, as well as many other innovations). With a $9000 inheritance from Valeriano, in 1981 Cline founded the eponymous Cline Cellars in Oakley, California.

The winery was relocated to its current location in 1991. The property is the original site of the Mission San Francisco de Solano, the 21st and final of the historic California missions. Although the mission was moved in 1823, the Cline tasting room is located in a rustic 1850s farmhouse that is original to the property, surrounded by spring-fed ponds and thousands of rose bushes. The vineyards also reflect this history, with vines ranging from 80 to 120 years old.
Cline is one of the first of the pioneering Rhone Rangers, a group dedicated to wines from the grapes of the Côtes du Rhône in France (ironic for a boy with an Italian grandfather, no?)

Cline also has been a pioneer in sustainable farming. It is the second-largest completely solar-powered winery in California. Natural cover crops are used to nourish the soils, sheep and goats roam freely as they graze on weeds, and compost teas are used as fertilizer. “We’d be considered ‘organic’ if we wanted to follow the rules of the government,“ said Cline. “We are actually more sustainable [than the law calls for] by not following their organic rules.“ He calls his methods “beyond organic.”

Viognier 2017

Ah, Viognier [vee-oh-NYAY], such an elusive and underappreciated wine. The grapes are finicky to grow, and once vinified exhibit a wide range of floral qualities, some more delightful than others.

This expression is pale reddish-golden in the glass, with a BAM! nose of honeysuckle. This is followed on the palate by the expected flavor of peach, as well as mango and sour orange. This unoaked wine tastes dry, but has a surprising, slightly sweet finish. To enjoy its nuance, do not overchill.

Drink this tipple with braised tuna in white wine, oven-braised halibut steaks, or Provençal seafood with aioli.

Heritage Zinfandel 2015

The provenance of this Zin are the 100-year-old Big Break, Live Oak, and Bridgehead vines in Oakley, which are dry-farmed in deep, sandy soil. It is crystal ruby in the glass. Flavors of cola, blueberry, and coffee greet you on the tongue. There is just a hint of Zinfandel’s characteristic pepper. The body has a nice satin quality, supported by nicely balanced medium tannins and acidity. An eminently drinkable wine.

Enjoy this red with braised pork with sweet and hot peppers, Niçoise chicken with tomatoes and black olives, or lamb with artichokes.

Top of page:

Portugese Red Table Wine

Portugese Red Table WineLeaving Port

In the 1970s, Portugese rosés such as Lancers and Mateus were the height of sophistication to many young wine drinkers: “It’s imported, and comes in a fun bottle!” With age comes wisdom, and these wines were eventually abandoned for the justifiably famous fortified wines of Portugal, Port and Madeira, produced by many ancient and famous houses.

Much less well-known is Portugal’s status as a producer of both red and white table wine, ranking in the world’s top ten in production.  With a population of just 10 million, but top five in per capita consumption, much of that wine is sipped by the thirsty Portuguese.

Winemaking in Portugal has a long and storied history. It was the first country to implement an appellation system, the Denominação de Origem Controlada, in 1756, almost 180 years before the French established their own similar system. The DOC established early quality-control standards, but because it has been in place for over 350 years much Portuguese winemaking is tightly bound by tradition; even calcified, some would say. However, this has been steadily changing, and many producers are updating their winemaking equipment and methods and are producing good high-quality wines.

The wines of this post come from the Douro [DOO-roh], a wild mountainous region located along the Douro river starting at the Spanish border and extending west into northern Portugal. The grapes for many Ports originate here also, but the vineyards for the table wines are at higher altitudes, where the grapes don’t ripen as fully or produce the higher sugar levels desirable for fortified wines.

All three wines are also the result of a collaboration that began in 1998, a joint project between Bruno Prats, former owner of the famed Château Cos d’Estournel, and the Symington family, world-renowned fourth generation Port producers. A dedicated facility with an underground barrel cellar was built specifically for this partnership. Vinification and élévage (i.e. racking) closely follow the Bordeaux method.

Each of these wines is composed of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Tinta Francisca, and/or Tinta Barroca, so right there you can tell these ain’t your everyday quaffs.

Chryseia Douro DOC 2007

The flagship of the Prats and Symington combine, Chryseia (Greek for ‘golden,’ as ‘douro’ is in Portuguese), was first launched in 2001. The fruit is Toriga Nacional [50%] and Touriga Franca [50%]. After fermentation, only 30% of the juice was deemed worthy of Chryseia.

On the nose, the wine opens with aromas of coconut macaroons. The coconut is also evident on the palate, in pleasant concert with black currants and black cherries. There’s even a hint of bacon on the back palate. The wine displays characteristic Douro minerality (wet rocks), here well-balanced by the firm tannins and supporting acidity.

If you’re like me and hate to wait, give Chryseia two hours to breathe in the decanter and serve it with Pork Chops with Apple Filling, Roast Duck with Cherries, or Cholula Spicy Chicken Pizza.

Post Scriptum de Chryseia Douro DOC 2007

Many European houses have a tradition of a ‘second label,’ a wine made from the ‘not quite good enough for prime time’ grapes featured in their most premium wines. Post Scriptum de Chryseia fills that role, and is therefore the little brother to Chryseia. (And, the Post Scriptum name mimics the initials of Prats and Symington. A little wine humor.)

The Post Scriptum is made up of Tinta Roriz [40 %], Touriga Franca [35 %], and Tinta Barocca [20 %]. It spent nine months in French oak, but the influence is subtle. Again, the wine displays characteristic minerality, balanced by dark fruit, leather, and smoke. The understated fruit is complemented by soft tannins and some acidity for structure. The medium finish has a hint of bitterness.

Enjoy this wine with a top-quality Reuben Sandwich, Filets with Mushroom and Madeira Sauce, or Lamb Brochettes.

Prazo de Roriz Douro DOC 2008

The grapes for this Douro were sourced exclusively from Quinta de Roriz, making it comparable to a French estate-grown wine. Quinta [KEEN-tah] is Portugese for “farm,” so this wine literally comes from “Roriz’s Farm.” It is a blend of Touriga Nacional [35%], Tinta Roriz [35%], Touriga Franca [28%], and Tinta Francisca [2%]. The wine was aged in French oak barrels and subsequently in bottle, prior to release.

In the glass, the wine is dark red, a misdirection from its surprisingly light body. There is a slight tartness on entry. The palate displays flavors of mulberries, cedar, unsweetened cocoa, and minerals, which add to the dustiness on the rather short finish. Allow this wine to breath for an hour or so.

Pair it up with Barbequed Salmon, Flank Steak Filled with Spinach and Pistachios, or Roast Chicken with Port, Cream, and Mushrooms.

Top of page:

Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay

Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon and ChardonnayAn American in Paris

Steven Spurrier is an Englishman who once owned a wine shop in Paris that catered to the English-speaking expatriate community. In 1976, in order to drum up interest in his business, he hit upon the idea of holding a blind tasting pitting ten of France’s and California’s best producers against one another. He was able to enlist nine esteemed French wine experts as judges, among them Odette Kahn, editor of the influential Revue du Vin de France; and Christian Vannequé, sommelier of the three-star Parisian restaurant La Tour d’Argent. The French wines included the 1970 Haut-Brion, the 1970 Mouton Rothschild, and the 1973 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles.

The famous tasting, held May 24, 1976, at Paris’ InterContinental Hotel, has come to be known as The Judgement of Paris. Neither Spurrier, a Francophile to the core, nor anyone else expected the upstart Yanks to really put up a fight against the French heavyweights. However, when the votes were tallied, the judges were shocked to discover they had awarded the top prize for the red to the 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, and top prize for the white to Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, both from Napa Valley. It was the shock heard ‘round the world, and legitimized California as a world-class wine-making region.

George M. Taber, the Time magazine correspondent present at the time, details the event in Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine. The story was also dramatized in the 2008 film Bottle Shock.

Thirty years later, in May of 2006, as a celebration of the original Judgement, the same wines were retasted to gauge their aging potential. The French were confident that here the weak Californians would stumble. Instead, mon dieu, they placed first through fifth. Boo Ya!

Chateau Montelena has seen three cycles of family stewardship. The first began in 1882 when the winery was founded by Alfred L. Tubbs, a European immigrant and San Fransciso entrepreneur. The original property was 254 acres of rugged, well drained, stony, and loose land just two miles north of Calistoga at the base of Mount Saint Helena. (Montelena is a contracted form of Mount Saint Helena.) By 1896 Tubbs’ winery was the seventh largest in the Napa Valley.

The Tubbs family sold the winery in 1958, at which time the Chateau and its overgrown grounds passed into the hands of Yort and Jeanie Frank, who were looking for a peaceful spot to retire. The setting inspired Frank to excavate a lake and add landscaping to reflect the Chinese gardens of his homeland.

The modern renaissance of Chateau Montelena started under the leadership of Jim Barrett, who purchased the winery in 1972. The vineyard was cleared and replanted, and the winery was renovated and outfitted with modern winemaking equipment, complemented by the highest-quality grapes from the Napa Valley. In 1972 wines were made for the first time, and shortly thereafter Chateau Montelena stunned the wine world with its win at the 1976 Paris Tasting. The winery continues today with Jim Barrett at the helm.

Napa Valley Chardonnay 2008

This Chardonnay started by being harvested at night in order to preserve delicate flavors and aromas. The wine is brilliantly clear with a golden-straw color. The nose suggests pear and tropical passion fruit. On the palate, there are flavors of juicy peach, citrus notes of pink grapefruit, honey tangerine, and starfruit, conveyed by an appealing softness. The mid-palate features an understated, nutty, oak tone which segues into an interesting long and spicy finish. The wine was aged for 10 months in 100% French barrels, 11% of which were new.

Serve this legendary wine with Morroccan Lemon Chicken, Sea Bass with Gingered Broth, Risotto with Scallops, or, if your dinner guests are French, Crow.

Napa Valley Cabernet 2006

Although famous for their Chardonnay, Montelena makes a number of reds as well, including this Cabernet Sauvignon. The blend is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Franc.

Dark ruby in color, this wine offers rich, complex aromas of ripe dark cherry, plum, cinnamon, and tobacco, with top notes of earth and forest floor. In the mouth, this wine makes a full soft round entry, after which the acid builds nicely, supporting the dominant flavor of black currant, plus licorice and spice. Plenty of fine-grain tannin completes the mouthfeel. Nice notes of toasted oak round out the tremendous long finish. This is a very well-balanced wine that will age for ten to twelve years, if you have the patience.

Pair this Cabernet with Tenderloin of Beef with Blue Cheese, Cider-Braised Pork Medallions, or Broiled Lamb Chops.

Top of page:

Clos Pegase Pinot Noir Mitsuko’s Vineyard 2016 and a Salmon Souffle

Clos Pegase Pinot Noir Mitsuko’s Vineyard 2016A Christmas Souffle

There are few things as elegant, or as easy to make, as a souffle.  My stepdaughter and her partner dropped by for Christmas, and he mentioned that, even though he is 45, he had never had a savory souffle, much less made one.  I assured him it was really simple, so I whipped up one with salmon.  The recipe is below if you want to make one as well.  But first, the wine.

Clos Pegase Pinot Noir Mitsuko’s Vineyard 2016

This wine pours a jewel-like ruby red into the glass.   The nose greets you with aromas of vanilla and ripe red cherries.   Those cherries come forward on the palate, along with hints of cinnamon and clove.  There is harmonious balance between the oak, acid, and tannins.  It’s all rounded out by a nice medium finish.  it paired quite nicely with:

Salmon Souffle 2019

I first learned to make souffles from The New York Times Cookbook by Craig Claiborne, and that was the starting place for this one.

3 Tbl butter
3 Tbl flour
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 C milk or half and half
4 eggs, separated
Salt and  dry mustard to taste
2 Tbl teriyaki sauce
14 oz. can salmon

Preheat oven to 375 deg. F.

1.  Melt the butter in a saucepan and saute the mushrooms until lightly browned.
3.  Stir in the flour and blend with a wire whisk.  Meanwhile, drain the salmon into a 1 cup measure.  Add enough milk to come to 1 cup.  Bring the milk to a boil, and add all at once to the butter-flour mixture (aka a roux), stirring with the whisk until thickened and smooth.  Let cool.
3.  Beat in, one at at time, the four egg yolks.  Season with salt, mustard, and teriyaki sauce.
4. Flake the salmon, and blend well into the white sauce and egg mixture.
5.  Using a rotary beater or an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they stand in peaks.  Do not over beat.  Fold the whites gently into the salmon mixture with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, being careful not to overblend.
6.  Pour into a 1-1/2 quart souffle dish, which may be greased or ungreased.  Place in oven and bake thirty to forty minutes.  Serve with Hollandaise sauce.

Top of page:

Dry Creek Vineyard

Dry Creek VineyardUp On Dry Creek

Dry Creek Vineyard founder David Stare arrived in Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma, California, in 1972, opening the first winery there since Prohibition. Years of neglect of the valley’s acreage had convinced locals that Dry Creek was no longer suitable for grape growing.

But Stare was undeterred. He had decided to fashion his wines by following the traditions, standards, and styles of the Loire Valley in France after extensive travels and tastings in the region.

In short order, Stare had overturned the conventional wisdom. The winery debuted with a characteristic Fumé Blanc (made with the Sauvignon Blanc grape), which met with immediate success and remains Dry Creek’s signature wine.

Dry Creek has since extensively diversified into reds as well as other whites, championing Zinfandel and Bordeaux blending techniques.

Dry Creek Fumé Blanc 2007

This refreshing unoaked Fumé Blanc is pefect for when the weather turns nice. The dominant citrus notes are joined by green melon and just a hint of grass. Mineral and spice notes also emerge and linger to the very last.

Dry Creek Merlot 2005

This nicely balanced Merlot features flavors of ripe blackberry and currant, supported by a hint of vanilla. There is just enough oak and tannins to restrain the fruit and give it structure. The wine finishes relatively soft and with moderate length. The merlot in this Bordeaux-like blend is augmented by smaller quantities of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and malbec.

For a look at Dry Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay:

Top of page:

A Pinot Blanc and a Montepulciano

Wine by Joe
Pinot Blanc 2005

Joe Dobbes is a native of Oregon, born in the Willamette Valley. Dobbes has been making wine for others in Oregon for over twenty years, and in 2003 he started Wine by Joe as a consulting and crushing company. In 2004, Joe expanded it into a complete winery, and he added the title of winemaker. He has since passed that to Travis Procter, Director of Winemaking Operations.

The 214-acre vineyard, in the Eola Hills / Amity AVA, gets cool coastal breezes from the Pacific ocean, 45 miles to the west. Pinot Blanc was planted in 1989 under previous owners.

If you like your whites subtle and unassuming, this one’s for you. The color in the glass is pale, almost to the point of colorless. The taste features hints of pears, peaches, and a bit of smokiness (no wood, though), supported by a crisp talc-flinty acidity. The finish is short.

Feature this wine at brunch with sea bass and roasted bell pepper, baked cod with tarragon, or almond-crusted sole.

Barba Colle Morino Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2005

The Fratelli [Brothers] Barba winery, completed in 1991, is in Scerne di Pineto, at the foot of the Colle Morino hills. This relatively young winery prides itself on using the latest technology and equipment, especially after a major renovation in 2005.

This Montepulciano is nicely rustic. It was fermented for about ten days in conical oak vats, and then aged in the winery’s air-conditioned cellars.
The fruit is there (primarily stone fruits like cherry and plum), but in the old world, slightly under ripe, style. Structure comes from a robust punch of tannins, particularly evident after an hour and a half or so of breathing. The initial taste is surprisingly “hot,” even with a respectable alcohol level of 13%.
During summer, scrape off that grill and pair this Montepulciano with black pepper / ancho beef filets, barbequed porterhouse steaks, beer-simmered bratwurst with grilled onions and ‘kraut, or lamb chops with fresh thyme and grilled lemons.

Top of page:

Charles Krug Winery

Charles Krug WineryStart It Up

After stints as a teacher, political activist, newspaper editor, U.S. Treasury employee, and inventor, in 1861 the restless German immigrant Charles Krug established the very first commercial winery in Napa Valley.

Krug was not only a pioneer, but was innovative and inspirational as well. He became the major local winery figure of his era. He introduced the cider press for winemaking (no more foot stomping!), and carefully selected rootstocks, varietals, and vineyards, a novel approach to winemaking at the time.

Upon Krug’s death in 1892, James Moffitt became proprietor of the winery, and succeeded in keeping it open during the dark days of Prohibition. In 1943, Robert Mondavi persuaded his parents, Cesare and Rosa, to purchase the winery from Moffitt for $75,000. Robert Mondavi developed his wine career there, until he founded his own winery in 1966 and went on to become one of the greatest legends in all of California’s wine industry.

Cesare rejuvinated the winery, and reestablished it as one of Napa’s premier producers. Following Cesare’s death in 1959, Rosa ran the winery until 1976 when it was inherited by Peter Mondavi, Sr.

Innovation continued under Peter, who introduced vintage dating, cold fermentation, cold filtration, and fermentation in small French oak barrels. He was active in the affairs of the winery nearly up until his death in 2016 at the age of 101.  The operation continues under the guidance of his sons Mark and Peter Jr.

Carneros Chardonnay 2010

The color of this 100% chardonnay in the glass is bright yellow with a hint of green. The nose features aromas of tropical fruit, particularly lime, and fermenting bread dough. On the palate, the citrus and peach flavors are balanced with a lively acidity. There is a surprisingly creamy mouthfeel, complemented by a lingering finish. Fermentation was 70% stainless steel and 30% barrel, so the oak is present but not overbearing.

Please your guests and yourself by serving this wine with Chicken ala Kiev, Sea Bass Stuffed with Crabmeat, or Scallops Sauteed in Garlic Butter.

Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

This cabernet sauvignon favors elegance and finesse over power. The dark purple color is more transparent than inky. Black cherry dominates the nose. The taste displays the same dark fruit, abetted with cocoa and hints of tobacco and vanilla. The supple tannins help to support a relatively long finish. The blend includes 84% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot, 4% petit verdot, and 2% cabernet franc. Fermentation was for 20 months in French and American oak.

Enjoy this wine with Steak Diane, Ragout of Lamb, Herb-stuffed Pork Chops with Wine Sauce, or just with some honest bread and artisanal cheeses.

Top of page:

Graham’s Quinta Dos Malvedos 2009 Vintage Porto

Graham’s Quinta Dos Malvedos 2009 Vintage Porto
In the Douro valley of Portugal, home of true Port wines, only the finest years are declared as Vintages, the best of the best. The last declared vintage was 2017.  (Remarkably, this followed the declared 2016.  Back to back declarations are qute rare.)

However, the grapes grow every year, of course, and the foremost houses still have a high-quality product to offer even in non-decalred years. This is usually released as a single quinta [Portugese literally for farm, but understood as vineyard or estate] bottling. These wines also receive a vintage designation, rather than being used for more anonymous blended ports.

Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos is just such a product, a ruby port expressing Graham’s finest efforts of 2009. This wine has seen two years in barrel, and although I’m sure it will age well, I suggest drinking it now. The wine is delightfully approachable, with none of the aggressive characteristics so often seen in a young Vintage Port.

The alcohol, tannins, and fruit are nicely balanced, with the palate displaying the classic port flavors of cassis and blackberries.

Enjoy this wine either as an aperitif or with dessert (blue cheese and walnuts are traditional, but chocolate mousse would be delicious as well). And, please forgo fussy liqueur glasses or port “pipes;” a white wine glass will do just fine.

Top of page:

Justin Vineyards and Winery

Justin Vineyards and WineryJustin Time

Justin Vineyards and Winery is located in Paso Robles in California’s Central Coast region. William Randolph Hearst’s famous “castle,” San Simeon, is due west over the Sierra Madre mountains.

Justin was founded in 1981 by Justin Baldwin when he planted the 160-acre property with the major grapes of Bordeaux, and the emphasis on Bordeaux-style blends and single varietals remains to this day. In addition to the estate vineyard, Justin sources grapes from thirteen affiliated growers in the area.

The winery’s three prime areas of focus are: a “left bank” Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, named Isosceles, Justin’s flagship and most well-known offering; Justification, its “right bank” Merlot and Cabernet Franc cousin; and varietal bottlings of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. They also produce limited amounts of Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Port, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Viognier.

For these varietals, each year Justin commissions a different artist to execute the art portion of the label. The winery buildings and their surrounding vineyards are always the subject matter, the idea being that the artists’ interpretation of the winery is like the winemaker’s interpretation of the vineyard’s grapes.

In addition to the tasting room, there is also an inn and restaurant on the property.

Sauvignon Blanc 2010

This unoaked wine spent five and a half months in stainless steel before bottling. It is almost colorless, with hints of pale straw and delicate green.
The nose offers aromas of fresh peach, citrus notes dominated by ruby grapefruit, and a hint of coconut.

On the palate the wine is dry, with bright acidity, and some of the peach flavor carries over from the nose. The body has very good structure for a sauvignon blanc.

Pair this wine with Rosemary-Lemon Chicken, Crab and Shrimp Etouffee, or Broiled Scallops.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

After a balanced growing season and unchallenging harvest, Justin’s ‘09 Cabernet was matured for 16 months in French and American oak, 33% of it new.

In the glass, this wine is a not-quite opaque ruby red. It features aromas of black fruits, with a vanilla note from the oak. Surprisingly, there were almost no legs.

Its taste offers up red and black cherries and red currents, although the fruit is somewhat recessive, and is reflective of Justin’s preference for an old-world style, rather than what one might usually expect from the Central Coast. The wine is nicely tannic, with a medium finish.

This food-friendly wine would work well with Yankee Pot Roast, Creole Pork Chops, or Chicken Cacciatore.

Top of page: