Posts Tagged ‘Chardonnay’

White Rocks and Turkey Burgers

May 11, 2013

Is it summertime yet?

In Northern California, it sure has been feeling like it.

On hot days like these, you’ve gotta get you some nice, cold, white wine.

Luckily, the folks at Cornerstone Cellars just sent me this sample…

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Stepping Stone 2012 North Coast White Rocks

Stepping Stone is the entry-level label by Cornerstone Cellars.  The Rocks series releases a different red and white wine blend each year.  The goal is to provide interesting, approachable, and affordable food-friendly wines every vintage.

The 2012 White Rocks is a blend of Chardonnay and Muscat Canelli selected from the California North Coast AVA.  It rolls in at $18.

Color: Pale yellow, with a bit of a greenish tint.

Nose: Honeysuckle, pear, lime and minerals.  Nice!

Taste: There is a great viscosity to this wine.  The White Rocks is loaded with citrus flavors of lemon and lime, with just a touch of melon.  There are some subtle grassy notes, as well as a hint of honey.  If I were tasting this blind, I would swear that this was a Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend.

Score: This is a fun wine.  It’s got a great balance of fruit, mineral, and acid.  It’s a solid 89 for me, and well worth your 18 dollars.

This wine was great, so you know I had to pair it with some food…

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Mediterranean Turkey Slider with Tzatziki, Lemon Arugula Salad, and Roasted Corn

Now that ROCKS!

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your summertime wine of choice?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 88: Talkin’ ’bout Chard’

March 20, 2013

In this episode, Jeff tries a not-so-typical Napa Chardonnay…

Wine Tasted:

Stay Rad,

Jeff

How often do you drink Chardonnay?  How much do you usually pay for it?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

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Napa Fun Time 1.2: Everybody Must Get Cornerstone

October 17, 2012

After spending the morning in the wine cave at Del Dotto in Napa, Kara and I headed North on the 29 to the Cornerstone Cellars tasting room in Yountville.

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Cornerstone Cellars

Upon arrival, we met up with managing partner, blogger, and all around great guy, Craig Camp, who hosted us in a tasting of their current releases…

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Stepping Stone 2011 North Coast White Rocks: A dry white blend of Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer, the White Rocks brings flavors of subtle grassy notes and pineapple.  There’s a good acid and weight to this. 87

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Stepping Stone 2010 Napa Valley Riesling: Nose of honey suckle and minerality.  There’s a good medium light weight to this bone dry white. 87

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Cornerstone Oregon 2010 Willamette Valley Chardonnay: Toasty nose of lemon and vanilla. There’s a good, creamy mouthfeel that is complimented by a balanced lemon acidity. I love this wine. 91

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Cornerstone Cellars 2010 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc: Pretty nose of papaya and peach. Good lime flavored acidity and subtle grassy notes. 90

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Stepping Stone 2010 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir: A nice, light Pinot Noir that smells of pepper and strawberries. On the palate, the pepper spice is balanced with hints of cola, cranberry, and leather. This is some good stuff. 90+

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Cornerstone Oregon 2009 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir: Toasty nose of tomatoes and cherries are complimented by the taste of cola, cherries, sassafras, and cranberries. There is a great balance to this wine. 91+

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Cornerstone Cellars 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Dark burgundy in color, this wine has a pretty nose of strawberry and black fruits. This Cabernet has some fantastic structure with its smooth, chalky tannins. The wine has plenty of pretty black fruit, and a long finish of black olives (which may be due to the 5% Merlot blended into the wine). I’m a fan. 92

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Cornerstone Cellars 2008 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon: This wine is hella dark. It has a pretty nose of menthol and dried cherries. On the palate, it is all tannin, acid, and spice. This is definitely and age-worthy cab. Craig also poured us a splash of the 2006 to show how it ages. The wine will definitely showcase some herb notes and the tannins pull back over the next few years. This is a great wine. 92+

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Cornerstone Cellars 2009 The Cornerstone Red Wine: This is THEE wine that showcases what good fruit and good winemaking can do in Napa Valley. This wine features 95% Cabernet Sauvignon from the famed Oakville Station/To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville, along with equal parts Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The wine is dark red, verging on black. It features a nose of strawberry shortcake and boysenberries. The palate has great fruit of blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and plum. There is a nice long acid, good green notes of bell pepper, and chalky, bike tire-like tannins. This a fantastic wine. It has the chops to go toe-to-toe with some of Napa’s finest. 93

Before we took off, Craig brought out some Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from To Kalon for us to sample…

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Yum!

The next time you’re in the Napa Valley, you’ve gotta check out Cornerstone.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 45: Chardonnay, Chalk, and Chips

June 5, 2012

In this episode, Jeff tries a 5 dollar Chardonnay from the Chalk Hill region of Sonoma County with some potato chips…

Wine Tasted:

VINTJS 2009 Chalk Hill Chardonnay

Stay Rad,

Jeff

This is how we Chablis…

September 7, 2011

On a hot ass day, not too long ago, Kara and I decided to do a little hangin’ out on the front patio.

When the weather heats up, you’ve got to chill your wine down, so it was the perfect time to bust open this sucker…

Jacques Bourguignon 2009 Chablis

We picked up the Jacques Bourguignon 2009 Chablis from Trader Joe’s for 8 bucks.  I’ve been meaning to try some REAL Chablis for a while.  I say real, because in California the name “Chablis” is used for generic white wine… Usually from a jug.  In France, Chablis is a region located in the Northern-most area of Burgundy.  French Chablis are always 100% Chardonnay.  Don’t get it twisted.  Chablis are not gonna be big and buttery like the Chards from Cali.  These bad boys are known for their acidity.

Before popping the bottle, Kara whipped up a dope cheese plate…

Told you... Dope!

Now, on to the wine…

Color: This JB Chablis is a pale straw yellow.

Nose: There’s some oakiness to the nose, but it’s mainly packed with mushrooms and minerals.

Taste: There’s a big grassiness up front, followed by melon fruit, firm acid, and some sweet oaky tannins.

Score: This wine was nice.  That’s it.  Just nice.  For 8 bucks, it’s nothing I would ever run out to buy again… But… It was nice.  I give it an 85.

Look…

Though the wine was uninspiring, sometimes you don’t need to be blown away to enjoy your wine experience.

It was a beautiful day, with my beautiful wife.

We had some nice treats with some nice cold wine.

As the Chablis continued to flow, so did our conversations.

And that’s pretty cool.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

It’s all good: A two day extravaganza @ #RidgeVineyards

July 6, 2011

Chillin' on the Ridge.

I’m just gonna say it.

Somebody has to.

It may as well be me.

Ridge Vineyards is the raddest winery in the history of all that is awesome.

A couple of months back, after visiting their Monte Bello tasting room in Cupertino, Kara and I decided to become members.  The membership allows us free tasting, discounts on wine, and the ability to buy futures of their Monte Bello at a DEEP discount.  One of the really neat things we’ve discovered since joining Ridge is how many cool members-only events we get to take part in.  Recently we were able to go to two different events on back-to-back days.

Here’s the rundown…

July 1st: First Friday at Monte Bello

During the summer season, the Monte Bello tasting room will serve a special flight to club members on the first Friday of each month.  Although Ridge is most known for their zinfandel and Bordeaux blends, for July, they offered a vertical tasting of chardonnay.

Who says white wine can't age?

The tasting consisted of the 2003 and 2004 vintages of the Monte Bello Chardonnay, as well as the 2005 and 2006 vintages of the Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Charonnay.  The great part about this tasting was seeing just how well chardonnay can age.  The two Monte Bellos were very much smooth and balanced.  They both had really nice acidity.  The 2005 Estate was a crowd-pleasing chardonnay with a beautiful creamy finish.  The 06 Estate had this amazing smell of figs, but the taste did not live up to the nose.  The winner of this throwdown was…

The 2003 Monte Bello Chardonnay. Class in a glass.

After the chardonnay vertical, I had a hankering for a zinfandel and a picnic.  Now, if you’re talking zins, Ridge has ’em.  Based on a recommendation, we got a bottle of this bad boy…

Ridge 2007 Carmichael Zinfandel and a picnic.

This zin had a nice spice and ripe fruit, without being too jammy.  It was a great way to cap off the day…

Okay…

Seeing this thing on the road on the way back was pretty cool too…

If my car were just a little bit smaller, I'd have tried to drive under this thing.

July 2nd:  Zins, Blends & BBQ

For an early 4th of July celebration, the next day, Ridge offered barbecue paired with many of their fine wines.  Here’s what we had…

Check in with a glass of 2009 Mikulaco Chardonnay. Don't mind if I do.

2009 Geyserville paired with a bomb ass North Carolina Pulled Pork sandwich.

2006 Mazzoni Home Ranch with Kansas City Baby Back Ribs and a bunch of forks.

2007 Lytton Estate Zinfandel w/ California Tri Tip and Blue Cheese Potato Salad. Yum!

I found this 2008 York Creek Zinfandel hiding in the corner with Texas Beef Brisket. This York Creek has become one of my favorite zins in the Ridge collection.

After these pairings, there were three more wines for us to try in the main tasting room…

"Would you like to try our 2009 Jimsomare Chardonnay?" "Does a bear poo in the woods?"

The 2009 Buchignani Carignane. So nice, I had it twice... You'll see.

2006 Lytton Estate Syrah done in the true Côte-Rôtie style with 8% viognier.

We were such fans of the Buchignani Carignane that we got another bottle to have with our picnic leftovers from the day before.

I told you.

And there you have it!

13 wines.

4 barbecue dishes.

2 picnics.

1 dope time.

The shadows of Kara and JeffIsRad on the Ridge.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Leftovers on a hot day? Kara-gria!

June 20, 2011

Kara and I got back from a quick trip to Capitola Village to a HOT ASS HOUSE.

We didn’t have much left in the fridge, save for a few half full bottles of Rose and Chardonnay and a GANG of PRODUCE!

So…

Kara made a dope Sangria.  Let’s call it a Kara-Gria:

In a large pitcher add:

1/2 a bottle of chilled chardonnay

1/2 a bottle of chilled rose

1 bottle of sparkling apple juice

1/2 cup of gin

1 whole orange… sliced

1 diced nectarine

hella sliced strawberries

Stir that sucka up.

Chill in the fridge.

Enjoy responsibly.

Stay Rad,

Jeff


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