Posts Tagged ‘sauvignon blanc’

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 177: Troon Vineyard 2014 Vermentino / Sauvignon Blanc

July 16, 2016

In this episode, Jeff gets into a sample of a different type of white wine from a different type of region in Southern Oregon.

Wine Tasted:

Troon Vineyard 2014 Vermentino / Sauvignon Blanc

Food Pairing:

Za’atar Chicken Burger and Oven Fries with Feta-Labneh Spread and Garlic Chips

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Be sure to listen to Jeff each and every week on the We Like Drinking Podcast (available now on iTunes).

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The Wine in My Glass

March 28, 2015

I’ve been drinking a lot of my wine out of tumblers these days…

Case in point.

For me, the tumbler represents a relaxed vibe.

Yes.  I know that there is a difference in your abilities to perceive aromas and flavors when drinking vessels are switched up, but sometimes wine ain’t about all that.

Sometimes you just want to sit back on your patio with some good food, wine, and company… and just enjoy the moment.

Ferrari-Carano 2013 Fume Blanc

Ferrari-Carano 2013 Fume Blanc

Thank you for the food, Safeway.

Thank you for the wine, Ferrari-Carano.

Thank you, Parker, for going to bed early so your mom and I could enjoy this beautiful evening.

Tumble on, baby.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

 What’s your spring time patio wine?  Who are you sharing it with?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 131: Blanc to the Future

April 13, 2014

In this episode, Jeff tries a three vintage vertical of Sauvignon Blanc samples from Cornerstone Cellars

Wine Tasted:

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Cornerstone Cellars 2011, 2010, and 2009 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc

Food Pairing:

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King Crab Mac and Cheese. The acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc cut through the fattiness of the crab and the cheese. The salinity of the wine also highlighted the seafood. This food pairing does a great job of showcasing the richness of the Cornerstone Sauvignon Blanc.

Next Day Bonus Food Pairings:

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Shrimp Ceviche. This spicy and rich ceviche brought out some of the ripe fruit flavors in the wine.

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Super Burrito Al Pastor. The savory burrito highlighted the herbaceous notes in the Sauvignon Blanc. I would show you a picture of the burrito unwrapped, but that would make for a messy meal.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s the oldest Sauvignon Blanc you’ve had?  What are your thoughts on aging your white wines?  Leave us a comment, and let us know what you think.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 92: Monkeying Around With My Dog

April 5, 2013

In this episode, Jeff and Angel taste another Colorado wine from The Infinite Monkey Theorem

Wine Tasted:

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The Infinite Monkey Theorem 2012 Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon

After the Fact:

Check out Jeff’s review of The Infinite Monkey Theorem 2011 Cabernet Franc here.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

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

The Super Secret Stay Rad TV Bonus Episode

August 8, 2012

A couple of weeks back, I got together with my ol’ buddy, Nick TheDrummer.

Some of you may remember that he is the guy that made this sweet logo for me…

Stay Rad. A Logo.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may also recall that we were in a punk rock band in high school…

What? You’ve never heard of The Willies?

And if you’ve been really keen on what’s been going down, you may also recall that he tried to steal my Halloween candy from me once.

Anyways…

While hanging out recently, we decided to film an episode of Stay Rad Wine Blog TV.

It started out as a really cool idea…

We pooled together his two video cameras and my iPhone.  We set them up in different areas of the room, pressed record on all of them at the same time, and were set to make a supper slick three angle episode.

It was gonna be epic.

Well…

Once we started filming, Nick and I started to ignore the cameras, and really spent the next 42 minutes drinking and telling a bunch of inside jokes.

During the episode, I noticed that one of the cameras shut down.

After we were done filming, it also turned out that my iPhone only recorded the first 8 minutes and the digital audio recorder that we were using ran out of space.

What we were left with was a single camera shot of two old friends hanging out.

While I think you’re going to enjoy some of this, the episode is pretty long and does start to fall apart at the end.

I really like this episode.  I just want you to know what you are getting into before you invest 42 minutes into it, ’cause it is a bit different from the videos I usually do.

Check it out…

Stay Rad,

Jeff

PS – To those that don’t know, Nick is a pretty badass musician.  Here’s his newest single, “Better Way”…

He also owns and operates a Music and DJ service called Santa Cruz Live Music and DJ.  Check it out!

I’ll Bordeaux when the Sauternes

November 7, 2011

This past Saturday, Kara and I headed over to Cin-Cin Wine Bar for another tasting event…

This time... Bordeaux!

Bordeaux France is one of the premier wine appellations in the world.  Although there are 57 regions within Bordeaux, there are really only four that you would need to become familiar with in order to sound like a wine geek:

Graves (including Pessac-Leognan, and Sauternes): Found on the “Left Bank” of the Garonne River, Graves is known for reds, dry whites, and some of the best dessert wine in the world (Sauternes).

Medoc: This is a wide-spread region found along the “Left Bank” of the Gironde River.  There are seven major sub-appellations of the Medoc (Haut Medoc, St-Estephe, Paullac, St-Julien, Margaux, Moulis, and Listrac), all producing reds.  In 1855, sixty-one of the chateaux were classified under the Grand Cru Classe (5 of which were of such high quality to be called Premiers Cru).

St-Emilion: Found on the “Right Bank” of the Dordogne River, the wines of St-Emilion are always red.  Piggy-backing off of the Medoc, St-Emilion also has a Grand Cru Classe ranking for their chateaux.

Pomerol: This is the smallest of the top red wine regions in Bordeaux.  Pomerol, also on the “Right Bank” of the Dordogne, makes about 15% as much wine as St-Emilion.  Though Pomerol does not have a ranking system, one can almost be assured (since they are so scarce) that most Pomerols are the bomb.

As far as grape varietals go, you will rarely see the breakdown of grapes listed on the bottle.  Bordeaux does, however, follow rules in terms of which grapes are allowed in their wines.  The whites of Graves (including the dessert wine of Sauternes) is primarily made of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.  As far as reds go, Bordeaux can be made from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec.  To figure out what is the predominant grape, just look at the rivers.  Wines from the “Left Bank” are Cabernet Sauvignon based, while those from the “Right Bank” are mostly Merlot.

On the real, though… I’m tired of getting my nerd on.  Let’s get some drink!

There were three distributors at the event; James, Luke, and Jon.  Each had their own table with hella different styles of Bordeaux to choose from.  To make sure we started with whites, moved to reds, and finished with Sauternes, Kara and I had to bounce around a bit from one table to the next.

First… The Whites!

Chateau Ducasse 2010 Bordeaux Blanc ($18): We started at Luke’s table with this white wine made of 60% Semillon.  It had a crisp, flowery finish.  A great way to start the day.  86

Chateau Hout Rian 2010 Bordeaux Blanc ($11): Over at Jon’s table, we picked up this white made of primarily Semillon.  Again, this one had flowery notes, but with a hint of honeysuckle.  It was crisp and dry.  85

Once we got our palates primed, we headed moved into the reds at James’ table.

James

Chateau Petit Manou 2007 Medoc ($21): So, here I am telling you the Left Vs Right Bank rules, and the first red I show you just shatters them.  This is a Left Bank wine that is made like a Right-Banker.  The Petit Manou is 70% Merlot.  The fruit is bright cherry and cranberry with a soft, buttery finish.  Good stuff.  87

Chateau Picque Caillou 2007 Pessac-Leognan ($26): A Left-Banker with 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc, the Picque Caillou had a dusty nose with a green palate.  87+

Chateau Mongravey 2008 Margaux ($33): A true Left Bank Bordeaux made of primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, the Chateau Mongravey falls under the Cru Bourgeois (just under Grand Cru) classification.  This one brought lots of dusty cranberry and Earth notes.  89

Chateau Pipeau 2007 St-Emilion ($34): A Grand Cru from the Right Bank, the Pipeau is 90% Merlot.  Now, don’t get it twisted.  This is a Merlot with balls.  There is a BIG barnyard funk on the nose.  The palate brings BIG leather and minerality.  It is both juicy and Earthy.  Nice!  90

To the next table…

Jon

Lafleur Gazin 2007 Pomerol ($45): 80% Merlot.  This Right Bank wine brings bright cranberry and cherry fruit.  A smooth wine.  89+

Chateau Hout Beausejour 2007 St-Estephe ($25): Barnyard.  Raspberry.  Dry palate.  Good acid.  There is a growing note of mushroom the longer the wine stays in the glass.  88+

Chateau Paveil de Luze 2008 Margaux ($30): This is a Left Bank red made of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon  The Paveil de Luze has some nice cranberry fruit, but it is more texture driven than anything else.  There is a nice acidity on this.  89-

Chateau Gloria 2008 St-Julien($63): 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot from the Left Bank.  This wine is silky smooth with leathery tannins and raspberry fruit.  Lovely!  91+  G-L-O-R-I-A!

Croix du Trale 2009 Haut-Medoc ($16): We were just about to move on to the last table, when I realized that we missed one of the wines.  Considering that the Gloria was so dope, it’s hard to go back to the Croix.  Dusty raspberry with butter.  Nice, but no Gloria.  88+

With that, we moved on to the last table…

Luke

Chateau Belles Graves 2007 Lalande-de-Pomerol ($28): Though not from the actual Pomerol appellation (Lalande-de-Pomerol is on the other side of the train tracks), Belles Graves is well-known for a different reason.  This is the wine that Jacques-Yves Cousteau would take on all of his adventures.  A Right Bank wine primarilly made from Merlot, this wine was hella tart and dry with fruit of cherries.  Not my cup of tea.  86

To make up for the Belles Graves, Luke provided the only vertical of the day with two (real) Pomerols…

Chateau Gombaude Guillot 2005 Pomerol ($67): Now this is why I love these tastings!  I’ve heard plenty of folks rave about the 2005 vintage of Bordeaux, but until now I’ve never had the opportunity to taste any 2005 that would be considered more than just a table wine.  This Pomerol is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc.  On the palate, this right-banker was one smooth criminal.  Beautiful cranberry fruit, and a good hit of oak.  This wine has the body to last another 15 – 20 years, but is elegant enough to enjoy right now.  92.

Chateau Gombaude Guillot 1996 Pomerol ($60): Oh my!  The nose this wine is just dope!  Loads of juicy blackberry get smoothed out with tannins of delicious cigar tobacco leaf.  Wow!  Sometimes I wish you could taste these things with me.  Wow!  93

We finished off the tasting with two Sauternes dessert wines…

L’Alliance 2009 Sauternes ($27 Half-Bottle): Luke served us this Sauternes made of 90% Semillon.  There is a BIG nose of apricot and gapefruit.  On the palate the SWEET dride apricot overpowers the typical yeasty finish.  Good, but not what I think of when it comes to Sauternes.  90

Chateau Haut-Peyraguey 2005 Sauternes ($56): Jon capped off our tasting with this Permier Cru chateau from the epic 2005 vintage.  In comparison to the L’Alliance, the Haut-Peyraguey is much more reserved with its fruit.  This is a yeast-driven Sauternes (the way I think it should be).  This dessert wine has a good sweetness, but it is not obnoxious.  91

And there you have it…

16 wines…

One good time.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

The House of Thevegetarian: A Bordeaux Vertical w/ Enough Food to Make a Man Grow Horizontally.

July 10, 2011

Remember when I asked you to pick which wine I should drink?

Fine then!  Go here to refresh your memory.

One of the wines I featured was this guy…

Chateau Ballan-Larquette 2006 Bordeaux

At the end of the post, this guy (the winemaker for Chateau Ballan-Larquette) asked me to let him know what I thought about it.

Well…

The other day at BevMo, I was checking out the wines for the 5 Cent Sale (again… a total scam), and I found that they had the 2007 and 2009 vintages of the exact same wine I already had.  I decided right then that I had to purchase those other vintages and do a vertical tasting.

The problem is, 3 bottles of wine is just too much for one man to drink alone (1 bottle is too much).  So I needed to make an event out of it.

That’s where the Thevegetarians come in.

Dave Thevegetarian has been my best friend ever since we were in third grade.  Third grade, man!  If you want to figure out how long we’ve been friends, take the age that you are supposed to be when you’re in third grade (I’m too lazy to ask my Kara.  She teaches third grade.) and subtract that from 33.  That’s about how many years we’ve known each other, or something.

Dave and his wife, Kara Thevegetarian, both happen to be vegetarians, coincidentally.  They love throwing dinner parties.  I would invite the Thevegetarians over for dinner at my house more often, but I doubt they would eat my Blue Cheese Burgers.  They had us over for dinner last Friday.

“You bring the wine,” Dave told me, “and I’ll make some dope food for you, home boy.”  In spite of Dave Thevegetarian’s odd choice of words, I pulled my three bottles from the old wine fridge along with a little bubbly, grabbed Kara by the hand, and headed over to the House of Thevegetarian.

“It’s on!” I shouted.

“Oh brother!” Kara responded.

We arrived at 6:30 pm to a table loaded with vegetarian hors d’oeuvres and a cork screw.  I opened up the three bottles of Chateau Ballan-Larquette and arranged them thusly…

Chateau Ballan-Larquette 2006, 2007, 2009, and vegetarian goodness.

While waiting for the wine to breathe a little, Kara Thevegetarian poured us each a glass of this…

Clos La Chance 2009 Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc. Why it was kept in the vegetable crisper is beyond me.

I’ve always been a fan of Clos La Chance.  So much so, that KaraIsRad and I were married there.

See! I told you!

The Clos La Chance 2009 Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc is a grassy lemon/lime machine.  The perfect aperitif on a hot summer day.  I’m not giving you a score for this one, ’cause I didn’t take any notes on it.  Let me just say that I recommend it.

On to the vertical tasting…

The Cateau Ballan-Larquette is a “value” Bordeaux.  The list price for this one is $19.99.  At BevMo, you will pay that much for it during the 5 Cent Sale, but when it’s not on “sale” you should be able to get it for about 15 bucks.  This wine is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc.  It spends 12 to 18 months in steel and cement tanks.

Up first…

2006

Color:  Ruby red with a little rust.

Nose:  Chalk (I love chalk), Cola, Green Bell Pepper.

Taste:  This wine is GREEN!  Bell peppers for days!  There is also a spicy black pepper component.  Good acidity.  There is a little bit of bacon fat in this one which really brings the whole thing together.

Score:  A solid 88.  Solid!

How about some food?

Roasted Asparagus Soup by Dave Thevegetarian.

Up next…

2007

Color: Same ruby color as the first.  Maybe a little darker.

Nose:  Bright Cherry.  A little wood shop action too (Strange, since to my knowledge this wine is not oaked).

Taste:  Very green with some SHARP tannins.  Sour Cherry.  Acid.  A little rubbery bike tire thing.

Score:  I originally gave this one an 87, but after the tasting was completed I gave it a retaste.  It just doesn’t hold up to the other two wines.  I now give it an 86-.

Note:  I bought this wine two weeks ago at the 5 Cent Sale.  All of the vintages at Bev Mo were 2009, but I found this one tucked in the bin.  At Bev Mo, they display their wines upright at room temperature.  There is a strong possibility that this bottle was sitting around the store for two years before I bought it.  Not being stored properly, this bottle may not represent the 2007 vintage properly.  Two questions:  A) Have any of you tried the 2007 Ch. Ballan-Larquette and have notes to share?  B) Would any of you ever buy an odd-vintaged wine that was not stored properly?

What?  You want more food?  Okay…

Stuffed Zucchini Crumble. It tasted WAY better than it looks.

Alright.  More wine…

2009

Color:  Same as the rest.

Nose:  Blueberry.  Cocoa.  Chalk (I love chalk).  I’m looking at my notes from Friday.  It says “DOPE!”

Taste:  Bell Pepper.  There is this sweet lacquered wood taste to it.  See that table in the picture above.  Imagine taking a bite out of that, but in a good way.  There is also a cranberry and white pepper component.

Score:  The 09 was my favorite.  It edged out the 06 because it was a little more complex.  Give it an 89+.

For fun, I also had the other folks rank the wines before I revealed my scores.  Here’s what they said…

KaraIsRad: She liked the 07 the best.  It was followed closely by the 09 which barely edged out the 06.

Kara Thevegetarian: She also thought the 07 was the best, but she liked the 06 better than the 09.

Dave Thevegetarian:  He was very much in my camp, scoring the 09 as the top wine (followed by the 06 and 07).

The takeaway for me was that this is a wine that can be consumed young.  If you are going to hold it for a while (I had mine for 3 years), make sure that you store it properly.  Put it in a cool place if you do not have a wine fridge, and keep them on their sides.  Decanting for 15 minutes to a half and hour is a good idea.  The 07 did start tasting off after a few hours, but again… I think it was doomed from the start.  I am looking forward to tasting more wines from Ch. Ballan-Larquette.

What?  MORE FOOD?!?!?

Baked ziti of smoked mozzarella. Like a circus, this dish was "in tents"!

After the business of the night was done with, we had a really fun time hanging out.  We even had a dance off.

Here is what my camera saw…

Sparkling white wine paired with sparkling bon fire.

Emile's California Champagne by Guglielmo.

Croatian Fig Brandy. Yikes!

Good times, but now I’m hungry…

Dave called my bluff and brought me some fruit. What a sweetheart.

Stay Rad,

Jeff


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