Showing posts with label acidity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label acidity. Show all posts

Monday, May 20, 2024

Vermentino From The Heart Of Santa Barbara County

Rancho de Vega was established in 1853 in Santa Barbara County's Santa Ynez Valley. The estate now has a vineyard and a winery, and the Vega folks have hired Steve Clifton to head up their winemaking program. The wines he made under the Palmina brand are being absorbed under the Vega Vineyard and Farm banner.

The estate is on the property that used to be known as Mosby Winery, and Vega Vineyard is operating out of the little tasting room on the grounds. They are also serving lunch every day, dinner and brunch on the weekends. 

I have enjoyed Clifton's wines for years, and probably not often enough. I recently ran across the Palmina Vermentino 2021 at one of my local wine stores. It was made with grapes grown in the Los Olivos District in the Santa Ynez AVA of Santa Barbara County. Alcohol sits at 13.5% abv and it cost $17 at the cheese shop in Larchmont Village.

This wine has a light yellow-gold tint. The nose is a bit muted, but showy enough to offer some nice lemon, apricot and salinity notes. The salinity comes across clearly on the palate, and so does the lemon. Most noteworthy is the very fresh acidity. The ocean influence is strong here, and you should pair this wine with crustaceans. The citrus minerality hangs around for quite awhile after the sip.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tamas Estates Barbera 2006

One of the great things about giving gifts to your friends is that sometimes they give you gifts right back.  Denise made a wonderful three-cheese rigatoni dish last week to give to our friend Sioux-z.  Sioux-z looks forward to receiving anything that's stamped "From Denise's Kitchen."  She's almost as big a fan of my wife's cooking as I am, and that says a lot.  With several days notice, and knowing we say "yes" to wine, she very thoughtfully procured a gift for us in return for the rigatoni.  I have a glass of it beside me as I write this.

Tamas Estates - despite the European-looking name and a wine list that would fit in nicely in an Italian restaurant - is located in California's Livermore Valley.  Livermore is up the 680 from San Jose and just east of Pleasanton.  Besides the Barbera, Tamas also produces several other Cal-Italia wines.  Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, and their Vino Rosso blend.  They also make a "Prima Classe Riserva" which, I understand, combines a super-Tuscan blend with a Barbera Port.  Yummy.  The Barbera has had a half hour to breathe, so let's dive in!

Upon opening, the wine carries a lot of heat - it requires a full hour to settle down.  Once it did, though, it was very mellow.  The next night it was ready to go upon unscrewing the cap.  The Barbera's color is very dark, so dark I can barely see through it.  The nose gives notes of a brambly blackberry and a toasty vanilla.  On the palate there's big fruit and a high acidity level.  I'm thinking this wine would be great with sausage or even a steak.  Maybe I'll buy another bottle and be prepared for Denise's next rigatoni night!

Winemaker:  Chris Graves
Variety:  100% Barbera
Appellation:  California > San Francisco Bay > Alameda > Livermore Valley
Vintage:  2006

Alcohol Level:  13.5%
Price:  $13
Acquisition disclaimer:  Gift from a friend

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"They Got This Recession On" Wines, Part 1

Paraphrasing a line from O Brother, Where Art Thou?, I will spend a few posts sampling some bargain-priced wines to see how much bang I can get for under ten bucks. Here is the first in a series of Recession Buster Wines.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling 2007

(Disclaimer: The author bought this wine at the supermarket.)

The Bottle: The sleek Rhine-style bottle is one of my favorite wine containers. On my list, it comes in just after the box. Just kidding. The slender bottle may contain a sweet delight or a dry and pungent, well, delight. I can take a Riesling however it comes. This one is produced by Washington's "founding winery," as they call it, from vineyards in the Columbia Valley. The Chateau Ste. Michelle brand is well respected and readily available in a large variety of retail outlets. I don't like the way "grocery store wine" sounds, because there are many fine wines available at our supermarkets in Southern California. This brand is one you've probably encountered while shopping. It usually runs about $13, but I spotted it on sale for $7.

The Nose
: There is a trace of that wonderful petrol aroma right away, although it doesn't define the smell. It's a really gorgeous nose, with melon and minerals appearing stridently. Don't drink it too chilled - I'd hate for you miss out on the bouquet.

The Taste
: It's a clean and fresh taste on my palate with a variety of flavors. On one taste, the melon. On the next, some orange peel. Then there's that tinge of gasoline. And on each sip is the ever-present sense of minerals that really makes a white wine soar. In my mouth, a full and rich feel is accompanied by great acidity. This would be a perfect wine for a plate of grilled calamari or steamed mussels.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Napa Rose - In The Lounge

A recent visit to Napa Rose at the Disneyland/California Adventure complex was quite enjoyable, despite the fact that we came without a reservation and had to sit in the lounge area. It turned out to be perfect, as we really weren't all that hungry anyway. In the lounge you can order any of the salads or appetizers from the menu. Perfect, since that's what we wanted. The wines, as expected, were outstanding. I tried a pair.

Domaine Tempier Blanc, Bandol, France 2007 This is a very nice wine! The white wines of Bandol take such a backseat to the reds, they are practically in the trunk. Only about 5% of the grapes in Bandol are white wine grapes. Pale golden in the glass, the nose has tons of minerals along with citrus and grassy aromas. It feels full in the mouth with a great acidity. Some pear and citrus come across on the palate, but it it dominated by the minerality. Enjoy a nice, long finish. It's an interesting blend of 58% Clairette, 19% Ugni Blanc, 19% Bourboulenc, 4% Marsanne. Excellent with seared scallops.

Dry Creek Chenin Blanc 2007 From an area where they really know how to make a great white wine, this namesake winery in Dry Creek Valley does a great job with Chenin Blanc. Aromas of honeysuckle and tropical fruit capture the nose. The pale wine is crisp and refreshing, with flavors of tart apple and melon. The acidity is great, perfect for food, and the finish is pleasing.

My wife and I enjoy the appetizers-in-the-lounge experience so much, that's where we've been found on our last few visits to Napa Rose. If you are really hungry, though, you should opt for the dining area where you can order entrees.