Tag: Sonoma County Wine

Passaggio Wines 2015 GSM Red Blend

When Cindy Cosco of Passaggio Wines first started on her winemaking adventure, her initial intention was to create a white wine house because, well, those were the wines she enjoyed most. With her cool, crisp Clarksburg Chenin Blanc; her fun, almost funky Rosé of Tempranillo; and her all-to-rare-for-California single varietal Roussanne, I do believe that Cindy does justice to the wider wine category that is “white wine.” But, just wait until you see what this woman can do with red…

(more…)

Y.Rousseau 2015 Old Vines Colombard

If tasting wines from Y. Rousseau, a journey into the somewhat obscure (for California) Colombard grape is a must. Yannick, owner and winemaker of Y. Rousseau wines, is a native Gascon — as is the white grape Colombard. So it’s only appropriate that in 1996, while studying for his winemaking degree at Toulouse University and interning at Côtes de Gascogne, the first wine Yannick ever made was Colombard. When Yannick eventually founded Y. Rousseau Wines in 2008, Colombard was his “inaugural wine,” and, according to Yannick, remains one of his most popular.

(more…)

The Withers 2015 Peters Vineyard Chardonnay

I recently had a week-long focus on Chardonnay. It’s a malleable grape in that the resulting wines have very little to do with the vineyard setting and everything to do with the winemakers choice during the winemaking process. I wish I had tasted The Withers Peters Vineyard Chardonnay in conjunction with that feature, as winemaker David Low implemented some unique choices when creating this wine — the result of which is pretty much unlike any other California Chardonnay you’re likely to try from the Sonoma Coast.

That being said, The Withers Winery also sourced these grapes from a unique location. And although the vineyard setting may have little to do with the resulting wines, there’s no denying that cool and coastal makes for some pretty special fruit. And so, to quote Jancis Robinson (again) “Wherever coastal fogs reliably slow down the ripening process, extending the growing season of this early ripening variety, and yields are kept in check, then California can produce some very fine wines indeed, with considerable Burgundian savour to them.” Such is the case with The Withers Peters Vineyard Chardonnay…

(more…)

Balletto 2015 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

You may know the Balletto name well — it’s no stranger to the eye-level shelves at the local supermarket. But did you know that the Balletto family is a bit of a Sonoma success story? It all started when John Balletto left his budding college career behind to help his mother run the family’s 5-acre farm, following the unforeseen death of his uncle. Throughout the 80s and 90s, John focused on expanding the family business, purchasing additional parcels of land until the Balletto farm consisted of 700-plus acres planted to over 70 different vegetables. But when drought and other acts of nature threatened the farm, Balletto decided to focus his sights on grapes — a slightly less thirsty plant. Because of encouragement from friend and neighbor Warren Dutton (of Dutton-Goldfield Winery), the family already had 35 acres planted to vines and subsequently continued to convert all their vegetable-designated land to estate vineyards — primarily Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. (more…)

Y. Rousseau 2014 Russian River Valley Tannat

“Tannat Russian River Valley is made to introduce people to the world of Tannat,” says Yannick Rousseau, owner and winemaker at Y.Rousseau Wines. Indeed, with grapes harvested from the temperate, friendly terroir of Sonoma’s valley floor and a little love from blending a bit of California-based varietals, there’s no better way to dip your toe into Tannat. But what the heck — let’s just dive right in…

“All for Wine,

WINE FOR ALL!” — Yannick Rousseau

(more…)