I know what I just said about not often being in the mood for a Cabernet Sauvignon. Maybe it’s the temperament of the times, or maybe because “tis the season to rosé all day and sip white wine on the porch,” and I’m nothing if not a wine rebel. Hah. Anyway, the mood struck me for a classic Cabernet. And by “classic,” I mean a wine that is in keeping with its varietal character, in keeping with the stylistic expectations of the region—and so not fancy. Because, Friday, you know? Well, that’s when I reach for good old reliable Rutherford Ranch estate Cabernet.
I was just in the mood for a Cab. That mood doesn’t strike me often, so when it does I want something deliciously reliable. Luckily I had just received a shipment of new releases from J. Lohr that included their Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon. Done deal.
P.S. I didn’t pair this wine with a burger (though that’s a fab idea). I actually paired it with a pizza (also a fab idea—especially if you like a bit of peppery heat on your pie.)
Last year, I was able to tasted the 2015 vintage of this very wine. This year, I’ve been able to reconnect with Emeritus, attending their bi-monthly webinar series, specifically catered to wine professionals. President Mari Jones, along with vineyard manager Kirk Lokka and winemaker David Lattin deep dive into how and why soil, climate, and clones, along with viticultural management practices, all effect the resulting wine.
So while I obviously enjoyed the Pinot Hill Pinot Noir last year, and even had a personal kind of geek-out on their vineyard location, this year I have a whole new level of appreciation. Education, man. It does something to you…
I also want to note that I enjoyed this wine as part of my date-night-in anniversary dinner. We paired the wine with a dish we simply call “Forbes.” The close-up picture of this dish is below the wine review. PM me if you want to know what it is 😉
Holy frijoles there’s a lot that went on this past week. So much so that I had to break this little newsletter into sections. We start with a little COVID round up of what’s going on here in wine country. Yes, businesses are attempting to reopen, but it’s not as glamorous as all that. There’s confusion about county regulations in Napa, and Sonoma’s health advisor is putting the breaks on California’s “Phase 3.” And she’s not wrong to do so: The Sonoma Index Tribune reports that 134 new cases were uncovered in Sonoma County the week between May 19 and May 26 – rising from 390 cases to 524. The outbreak was traced back to workplace outbreaks, one of which was a winery.
In Food news, Eater asks who are restaurants really opening for? As eateries attempt to service guests on decks, patios, and other outdoor areas, there aren’t a whole lot of folks interested in dining out at the moment. Understandable.
The L.A. Times reports about Vernon meatpacking plant where at least 153 have come down with COVID-19. The facility has been shutdown for now. But if you’re thinking, “Well, I’m better off with seafood anyway,” the S.F. Chronicle discusses how last weekend’s fire at Fisherman’s Wharf is effecting the seafood industry.
Of course don’t forget to scroll down to the Blogs where Mike Veseth discusses the trend away from premiumization in the wine industry, while Tim Atkins features a piece by Christy Canterbury, MW about how to define and buy “fine wine.” There’s a few other goodies in the blogs for you as well that I’ll let you discover on your own. And do NOT miss Eric Asimov‘s piece about a wine lover’s battle with the olfactory-inhibiting coronavirus.
Here at home, it looks like Sonoma County may start to see a slow, cautious re-opening of local businesses, including wineries and tasting rooms. (I just ask that if you do decide to visit my hometown, please be respectful of all the rules and regulations put in place. Thank you.) Oregon, on the other hand, seems to be going at it a bit more aggressively.
And of course don’t forget to check out the Blogs below. We’ve got some great opinion pieces, some wine science, and more. Cheers!