Tag: food and wine

Clos du Val 2015 Hirondelle Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Clos du Val built their foundation like many Napa wineries did in the 1970s, with the great, noble Cabernet Sauvignon grape. According to the winery, the “crown jewel” of their estate program is the Hirondelle Vineyard located in the Stags Leap District. The vineyard spans 100 acres and is planted to nine different Cabernet Sauvignon Clones.

Stag’s Leap’s place along the valley floor gets love from the sun and cooling breezes from the San Pablo Bay, which means grapes plush tannins but also a vibrant acidity. This is probably why — as you’ll see in my notes — Clos du Val is able to craft an age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon that is also completely approachable now.

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Clos du Val 2016 Estate Chardonnay

There are so many different styles of Chardonnay — from the crisp and refreshing, a result from 100% stainless steel fermentation and aging, to the full-out butter-bombs that occur from an abundant use of fresh oak and 100% malolactic fermentation. And then everything in between. How a Chardonnay tastes and feels is almost exclusively determined by the winemaker’s chosen process. Which Chardonnay you enjoy, well that is ultimately up to your personal palate. What I love about this Clos du Val Chardonnay is that it’s for the folks who are going to Dante’s fourth circle — the folks who can’t make up their minds. Soft palate, vibrant acidity, and depending on the temperature as milky (or not!) as you like.

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Clos du Val 2016 Estate Pinot Noir

Clos du Val is a name that I’d heard of but had yet to experience until just recently. The winery has been around since the 1970s Napa Valley boom and it seems that they’ve not just lasted through the years, but have developed and refined both their vineyards and their winemaking, becoming the triumph they are today. Once a Cab-dominant wine program, Clos du Val now boasts a full portfolio showcasing all the varietals the region does well. In the past I’ve been hesitant about Carneros Pinot Noirs — and, yes, I know it’s something the sub-AVA is known for. It’s just within these past two or three years that I’ve seen an increase in a more “hands-off” approach span across both grape growers and winemakers in this area, and I have to say that the results have been phenomenal (and delicious). Case and point is this estate Pinot Noir from Clos du Val. 

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Left Coast Cellars The Orchards Pinot Gris 2017

I have no catchy introduction for this Left Coast Cellars The Orchards Pinot Gris 2017 other than to say this is a legitimate expression of the Pinot Gris grape. I’ve had those that are, for lack of a better word, watery, those that are too fruity, others that are just bland. But here you have the subtlety of aromas, the delicacy of flavors, and that suggestion of texture that makes a white wine sing. Cheers Left Coast — Pinot Gris isn’t just palatable, it’s enjoyable.

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Left Coast Cellars 2017 Estate Rosé

I literally just read four separate articles in four separate (real) publications about rosé today. While some industry experts still call this pink wine thing a fad, others argue that it’s here to stay. The thing is, rosé is a style of winemaking — not a wine. And like all things, there is always a chance that it can go out of style. This may be true — eventually. Right now winemakers are doing interesting things with their grapes — varying skin contact time, using lesser-known varietals, creating some blends that are down right “old-world” and others that are undeniably “new-world.” There are so many styles, enough to suit all kinds of palates. So, whether or not the style stays popular in the mass market, rosé wine, itself, isn’t going anywhere. I think. I also think that this Left Coast Cellars 2017 Estate Rosé is worth a sip…so let’s dive in, shall we?

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