I like Balletto wines. I like that they are easily accessible in every sense of the word. They’re available at most local shops; they’re affordable; and they’re (most importantly) fun and easy wines to drink. I’ve yet to be disappointed by anything by Balletto — and they have the added perk of still being a family-run business who sources their grapes from their own estate vineyards. So of course after enjoying their classic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay offerings, I was most eager to give their sparkling brut rosé a go in conjunction with my holiday sparkling wine series.
I don’t often write about sparkling wines because I feel like they live in a world all their own. But when I popped the cork on this J Cuvée 20 Brut, I seemed to have entered the realm in which they live. Beautifully light and refreshing, yet profoundly complex and structured. A sip of this sparkle simultaneously released me and engaged me. Cheers to that.
Was I late to the Ferrari-Carano game? Maybe. I believe I’d had their Fume Blanc sometime in the past, but don’t feel like I truly became a part of the FC club until I tried their UNA GSM Red Blend. While that one seems to be a bit of an anomaly amongst their portfolio, it certainly hooked me and made me understand why this iconic vineyard is, well, iconic, and has such a heavy cult following. Today, I continue my exploration of Ferrari-Carano with one of their classics — their Sonoma County Chardonnay.
The story of The Withers winery is one of a small-time dream turned big-time success. Across the board, The Withers wine portfolio is made up of single-vineyard bottlings from both the Sonoma Coast and El Dorado. While the two may seem quite disparate, it is for a reason. While some of the most nuanced Rhones come out of California’s inland El Dorado County, there’s no denying that Sonoma is home to some of the finest Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. Thus, they have a portfolio that — I would say — speaks of California’s greatest wine successes. And, what I particularly love, is because they’re all single-vineyard bottlings, one can really taste the fingerprint of time and place with each sip.
For this year’s Thanksgiving week, I want to dedicate a few posts to those in the wine industry for whom I am grateful. During my time at this year’s Wine Blogger’s Conference (WBC17), I had the opportunity to spend some time with one of my favorite winery’s, Jordan Winery, located on Alexander Valley Road, just north of downtown Healdsburg. What I love about this winery is not just their amazing wines (indeed, their focused Cabernet Sauvignon is some of the most balanced I’ve experienced), but the true sense of welcome every time I walk through the winery’s doors or participate in one of their events.
“We like to say we do three things here at Jordan Winery: Cabernet, Chardonnay, and Hospitality.” –John Jordan