Tag: Sonoma wine

Passaggio 2017 Connect Red Blend

I don’t have an adequate introduction to this wine. Only to say that I am thoroughly impressed by the wide range of styles Cindy can produce. Taste this wine. You have to taste this wine.

Paired with crispy skin duck breast and rice pilaf (food photo below review)

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Emeritus Vineyards 2017 Pinot Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

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 😉

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Passaggio Wines 2019 Skin Fermented Pinot Grigio

Let’s talk about orange wines for a second. Orange wines are wines made from white wine grapes through a similar process as red wines are typically made. Instead of immediately pressing the white grapes to separate skin from juices, thereby making a white wine, the skins are left on during the fermentation process and, often, for a bit of post-fermentation maceration (ie: additional skin contact time). It’s the oxidative effect—oxygen’s influence on the grape skin compounds—that turn the wine it’s notable orange-y color. Resulting wines are typically dry with notes of phenolic bitterness and a slight tannic texture. Flavors will vary depending on the grape variety, but usually include tertiary, maturing notes of honey, nuts, and even dried fruits.

Like any other wine type, no two orange wines are quite the same. Of course grape variety will play a large role, but the time and attention of the winemaker is critical. Too much oxygen exposure equals spoiled wine and/or funky flavors. Too little and you don’t get the desired affect—visually or on the palate. I’ve had some funky (read: unpleasant) orange wines. I’ve had orange wines that barely touched the outer spectrum of what it means to be orange (thus quite lacking in aroma and flavor).

Today I bring you Passaggio Wines skin fermented Pinot Grigio. It’s a fun and perfectly delicious example of the winemaking process. 

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Sojourn Cellars 2017 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

This has become a Briscoe staple. And, unfortunately, sometimes staples go overlooked. This shouldn’t be the case: if there’s something that’s taken up permanent residence in the cellar (or closet as it were at the moment, thank you COVID for taking away my construction workers…), then it’s certainly something worth talking about. So cheers to an everday wine I could probably drink, well, everyday.

Yes, that IS another pizza in the background. What can I say? I like making my own pizza. Also, I’m working on an experiment with all the leftover dough…

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Radio-Coteau 2014 Las Colinas Sonoma Coast Syrah

Who likes a cool-climate Syrah? *Raises hand.* Syrah is one of the varieties that my partner in wine crime and I don’t agree on—meaning, he always wants it and I’m way picky about it. It was when I was working on an article for Edible Silicon Valley, discovering the Rhône wines of the South Bay (read: Where We RhĂ´ne: Wine Trends In Silicon Valley) that I discovered the broad range of styles that can come from the Syrah grape. And it was during an interview with renowned winemaker Ross Cobb that it dawned on me that I truly gravitate toward the subtle, but undoubtedly structured, Syrahs grown in cooler climates. “We’ve always known that this area (Sonoma Coast) is an outstanding place for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay,” Cobb said. “But I’ve always thought that it’s also an outstanding cool Northern Rhône climate here.” He’s right. (Read more: Technical Review: Anaba Wines).

Well, today I bring to you that experience—that experience of subtlety, finesse, structure, and a small snippet of the Northern Rhône with a taste of Radio-Coteau’s 2014 Las Colinas Sonoma Coast Syrah.

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