Villa Wolf Rose of Pinot Noir, 2011

First of all, a sincere apology.  I’ve been a very bad blogger of late.  I can’t believe it’s been since March 12th since I’ve written anything.  You may remember I went to Vegas a few days after I wrote that post, and life has been moving at warp speed since then.  First of all, we had a few weeks of summer.  Where did that come from??  Can’t say I was a fan.  And it really threw me off; my Rose obsession kicked in way too early, but I didn’t want to jump the gun and give in to the obsession full-force.  So I felt I was in a holding pattern of sorts.  There have been a ton of wines that I’ve been *this* close to sitting down and writing about, but somehow it just never happened.  Se la vie.

Image

But here I sit, on my freshly cleaned patio on a gorgeous April day with the doors and windows open, after an extremely productive day off and a feeling of immense satisfaction.  My hands and feet are dirty from planting herbs and a few succulents, I have dinner made and in the fridge and laundry in the dryer.  And this is when it really hits me; ROSE.  RoseRoseRose.  Need it.  Have to have it.  I am owed this pleasure.

Image

Also, I am listening to Kesha on Pandora.  I’d love to lie and say I’m listening to something cool and amazing like Esperanza Spalding (which I did listen to the other day), but my Kesha Pandora station has been fine-tuned after many trips to the gym, and it just makes me happy.  So judge all you want, Judgey Wudgies.  I’m loving it.  I love that she is unapologetic in her trashiness, and that she literally goes out in public looking a hot mess and, by all appearances, high as a kite.  Honey Badger don’t care.  And neither do I.

So there ya go- a picture of an average Monday evening at my casa.  And this has all been my way of introducing you to this wine.  Oh, this gorgeous wine.  It was built for RIGHT. NOW.  Villa Wolf Rose of Pinot Noir, 2011 vintage hails from the Pfalz region of Germany, a warm, sunny and serendipitous little place where Riesling and various other grapes like to grow.  I believe Pinot Noir to be one of the only reds that does fairly well here, but I may be remiss in making that statement.  In any case, this wine is made from Pinot and it’s stunning.  I absolutely love a very dry Rose, but this one, while not sweet, is not supremely dry.  It’s more flirty, soft, and round.  But with gorgeous acidic balance, and a touch of fizz on first sip.  What I look for in any Rose is quench.  I want it to quench my thirst.  Because Rose is really what I drink when I want to be refreshed and relaxed and rejuvenated.  Which is…. kind of all the time.  So, I suppose we have just narrowed down why I like Rose so much.  Refresh and relax.  Who doesn’t like these things?  And who doesn’t want to do that right NOW, at 6pm on a Monday?  Why delay gratification?

Back to the wine.  Soft, round, flirty- we got that far.  Aromatics are owned by the berries- strawberry, raspberry, and bright cherry.  A juicy yet crisp palate with hints of apple and red plum.  It’s fruit, fruit, fruit and finishes with zing.  That is the most succinct description I can come up with.  Speaking of fruit, look what popped up on my strawberry plant recently?!

Image

I know, a strawberry!  Shocking, right?!  Well, the shocking thing is that this plant seems to have thrived on neglect.  I haven’t watered it or done anything to it since last summer.  But it has returned.  So I replanted him today and vowed to care more for my plants this summer.  For an awfully responsible person, sometimes I shun plants after my excitement for them has worn off.  Not my best personality characteristic.  Maybe that’s why I’m single.  Huh.  Interesting.  Fascinating, the things that occur to me after a bit of wine and some rambling.

Some quick stats before I big you adieu; Villa Wolf is currently by the glass at Cellar, so you’re cordially invited to swing in and taste it at your convenience.  You can also take a bottle home for $13.  How ’bout dem apples??  Now that’s a Monday wine.  Or you could stop in and see myself and the Cellar girls this Saturday (4/21) at the Wine Sale from 12-2, and have some then!  Oh and PS: LAS LILAS ROSE IS BACK TOO!  Oh, happy day.

Also, be sure to check out Villa Wolf’s parent company, Dr. Loosen Wines- they have an active twitter feed worth a follow, too- @drloosenwines.  They’ve tweeted me a few times and I feel special.

Have a great week, thanks for reading, and I am strengthening my resolve to be a good (ok, better) blogger!

A Saturday afternoon quickie…

A beautiful Saturday was spent by me at Cellar on Greene, with the doors wide open and my favorite Pandora stations on rotation all afternoon.  No wine sale today, so it was a fairly quiet day.  So what made it even better?  Ricky showed up at 5:00 with an open bottle of the 2008 Migration Pinot Noir, which MIGRATED (get it??!) all the way from Solstice to Five Points just to see me!

Actually, there was a wine sale this morning at Solstice, which is why this open bottle of Migration arrived at my doorstep.  I got lucky and scored some leftovers!  Anyway, this is a nice little treat for a warm Saturday afternoon.  For anyone that doesn’t know, this is a second label to the celebrated winery Goldeneye, and since I can remember we have sold the bejeezus out of every vintage!  This wine is perfect for that person you know that just LOVES Pinot Noir.  Which is a lotta people.  I guess that’s sort of an obvious statement on my part, but it’s true.  I personally go through wine “phases” as I know many of you probably do.  Can’t you think of one friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, mom, granny, who-ever that is in that phase where they feel like they’re the ONLY ones in the world who know about how awesome Pinot Noir is??  It’s like when you rediscover an old band and go around for days (weeks, even) convinced that you’re the only person on the planet who TRULY appreciates it.  Well, I’m sure their birthday is probably coming right up, isn’t it?  They would love this.  It’s a special bottle, but it won’t break the bank at $28. 

Moving on to the most important part- TASTE!  It’s a delightfully smokey little pinot, with fabulous notes of roasted herbs, mushrooms, violets, cherry cola, and a juicy backbone of red fruits.  It’s classy without being overbearing.  It has a nice “bang” of lush aroma, but not in a “I’m trying to be a Syrah” sort of way.  It’s firm in it’s identity as a Pinot Noir.  Which reminds me- here’s a hilarious “Dear Pinot Noir” letter, which might only be funny in a wine-nerdy sort of way, but I think it’s fantastic.  Go figure.  

I’m off to Vegas next week to drink wine for four days straight!  Follw me on twitter @winesnobsc and I’ll be posting whatever I’m drinking.  Not because I’m such a social media whore, but it’s probably the only way I’ll  have a chance of remembering what the heck I drank while I was there.  Stop in to Cellar on Greene to grab a bottle of Migration!  Or email us an order at cellarongreene@gmail.com!  If you mention that you read about it on The Wine Snob, you can have it for $26 a bottle, how’s that?  Sounds good.  Happy drinking!

Patricia Green Reserve Pinot Noir, 2009 Willamette

I dreamed a little dream of an Oregon Pinot Noir… and it tasted JUST like the ’09 Reserve from Patty Green!   This here is a truly exceptional expression of Willamette Valley at a can’t-be-beat cost.  I love this winery.  Where else would you see a shirt like this?

I stole this from their website. Nice shirt!

It says Women Taste Better for the “I can’t find my glasses!” crowd.  I actually own one of these t-shirts, as I was extremely fortunate to be able to attend a wine dinner last year with co-owner and winemaker at Patricia Green Cellars, Jim Anderson.  I won’t brag about all the wines I had, but I did get to try the last vintage of their Chardonnay AND a special little late harvest Muscat that they only make a tiny bit of.  And let’s just say- everything they make at Patricia Green, they make well! 

The 2009 Reserve of which I write has yet to receive an “official” rating from Wine Spectator or the Wine Advocate, but if you look at the last several vintages, there is barely a rating below 90 points for the last couple years.  Many of their single vineyard selections are built to last (I sampled an ’04 at the dinner that was still a giant), but this ’09 Reserve is absolutely perfect as a young’in!  Basically the idea behind the Reserve bottling is- in simple terms- they take a bunch of wine from all the different single vineyards, put ’em together, wave their magic wand and POOF!  it is born. 

Okay, maybe not JUST like that.  But yes, the ’09 Reserve is made up of fruit from all the single vineyards (Ana, Croft, Four Winds, etc).  The juice that ends up in the Reserve isn’t of poor quality, before you leap to that conclusion.  No, they don’t just take the schwag juice and throw it in a bottle to sell.  They take tremendous care with all their fruit, and in particular they make sure that each vineyards specific qualities are expressed to their best potential.  So let’s say Vineyard A typically produces smokier fruit, just as an example.  If there’s a portion of Vineyard A that isn’t quite as smoky, WHOOSH- off it goes to be bottled under the Reserve label.  Kapiche?  Hopefully that makes sense. 

But enough about that, let’s hear about how it tastes!  Oh, darn… would you look at that… my glass seems to have been emptied since I started writing!  Funny how that happens.  I’ll need to top myself off, since I wouldn’t want to forget how it tastes…. 

Now, where was I?  Right.  Ripe, plentiful fruit greets you at the nose- cherries- both sour and black,  plums, and a pleasant hint of red fruit snacks (red fruit snacks can really be any one of a number of fruits).  After this wine introduces herself to you with the fruit content, her second act consists of notes of spice  box, cedar, savory herbs, and a little rose petal.  An  acidic backbone rounds it out and gives it a nice lift.  You almost want to smack your lips after you take a sip, it is so pleasant.  This would go so perfectly with so many foods, it makes my mind race… DUCK!  duckduckduck.  With any kind of fruit-based sauce like a cherry-balsamic glaze, or an herb bordelaise.  Topped with GOAT CHEESE!  Duck and goat cheese together are sublime.  If not Duck, easily Salmon.  Two of the most versatile species to prepare. 

Currently we’re pouring this gem of a wine at ALL THREE of our restaurants!  That would be Cellar on Greene, Mr. Friendly’s, and Solstice Kitchen & Wine Bar.  See my links/shoutouts page if you so desire.  You can also purchase a bottle to take home from us at Cellar for $27!  email us at cellarongreene@gmail.com if you’d like to order some!  Chances are it will be open for tasting at the Wine Sale next Saturday (February 5th from 12-2) as well.  Now, if that doesn’t give you many opportunities to taste and/or buy it, I don’t know what does.  Please stop in for a glass, we’d love to have you try it!  Hope everyone’s enjoying this 60+ degree day!

Wine Sale Bargains!

Yes, ma’am- we’re still having a wine sale tomorrow (10-30), depsite the fact that there is a noon football game!  We’re just hoping that there’s enough of you out there that like wine more than football… or at the very least- wine BEFORE football- that it won’t just be us employees standing around looking at each other from 12-2 tomorrow.  Please, please don’t make us do this!  So today’s post will be short, sweet and to the point- bargains, bargains & more bargains!  Well just five, actually.  But they’re good!!

hot kitchen photo shoot

Here they all are, posing together.  First is Ca’Lunghetta Pinot Grigio, 2009 Italy.  Normally around $10-11 online or at your average Wine-o-rama store, we’re selling for $8 tomorrow!  Here’s all you need to know about this one- it’s light, bright, crisp, and it goes down reallll easy.  Or, in more polite terms, it’s “easy to drink!”  Refreshing flavors of green apple, citrus, melon, and a pleasant zesty finish.  You’re bound to love it.  It’s hard not to find it at the very least, quaffable. 

Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve Pinot Gris, 2008 California.  If there was one phrase that I would’ve seriously doubted would ever enter this blog it would be Kendall Jackson.  I doubt if I ever would have picked this one up at a store for the simple reason that I tend to stay away from the Big Cali Hype… but okay I’ll level with you- it’s actually very nice!  Brighter and not as “wet” as an Oregon Pinot Gris, it offers some pleasant flavors of apple, spice, lemon zest and nice floral aromatics.  Upon further investigation, it turns out this wine is 88% Pinot Gris, and the rest is made up of various percentages of Roussane, Gewurtz, Viognier, Muscat, Chardonnay & Riesling.  Go figure!  A prettt cool little blend.  Average price- $17, tomorrow for $13!

 

Time for some REDS!!  Two Pinot’s for all you Pinot-lovers out there… Dante Pinot Noir, 2009 California, just $10!  This is a Michael Pozzan wine, which I did not know until just now when I googled looking for images.  This wine is very competatively priced- it’s price range matches- IE $10 at your average grocery store- don’t even hold a candle to it, as it easily drinks in the $14 range.  Not super new-worldy, it’s a touch more earthy and gamey than you usually find in California.  Sour cherry, cloves, leather, and an easy-going palate.  Not the most complex wine on the planet, but who doesn’t love a good Wednesday wine for $10 that would taste great with a frozen pizza?  I sure do. 

Then we skip to the little “Superstar” of today’s post- J Pinot Noir, 2007 Russian River Valley!  Now we’re stepping up to $22 a bottle for this one, but given that it averages at least $30 a bottle, that ain’t bad!  Plus, this is some great Russian River juice- classic raspberry and strawberry, but with interesting additions like hints of mint, wintergreen, cinnamon, cloves, and lovely dark, rich black cherry.  100% French Oak aged.  This one will be a welcome addition to the “grown up” wine shelf in your house, for when you need something just a bit more, but aren’t willing to break out the reserve wines just yet.  Save those for when it’s December 23rd and you haven’t finished your Holiday shopping.  You’ll need them. 

And last but not least, our old friend the L’Oca Ciuca “The Drunken Goose” Sangiovese-Merlot-Syrah, 2006 Italy.  This has been a staple around here for quite a while and folks seem to really like it.  Maybe it’s the name, who knows!  This little goose is awfully cute, too.  The long and the short of this wine is that we’ve sold it for $10 a bottle in the past, but this weekend we’re marking it down to $8!!  What could be better than a good wine for $10, but a good wine for $8?!  Especially one you know you like.  But if you’ve never had it, remember you can try it on Saturday!  It’s very smooth, versatile, and is more fruit-forward than you might expect from the Chianti region. 

So come check these bad boys out!  Actually, if you come to the sale on Saturday and mention that you read this blog- or at least this post- I might hook you up with a little gift.  I’m something of a baker, didn’t you know?  Can’t turn that down, can you?

Here a Pinot, there a Pinot…

… everywhere a Pinot!

Admit it.  You love Pinot.  This finicky grape enjoys immense buying power pretty much everywhere it goes.  Did you know that it’s one of the most difficult grapes to grow?  Yup.  ‘Tis.  “God made Cabernet Sauvignon whereas the devil made Pinot Noir,” says Andre Tchelistcheff, Vice President and Chief Winemaker at Beaulieu Vinyards from 1938 to 1973.  It seems to inspire a particular sort of passion among winemakers, probably because it is such a challenge.  Never let it be said that winemakers aren’t an obsessive bunch.  But that is a good thing for you!  Because they keep trying and trying to make the best Pinot possible.  And many times they succeed!  Like with these three Pinots that I present to you on this Monday afternoon- three recent favorites, of mine personally and of staff and customers!

First up is the Sean Minor “Four Bears” Pinot Noir, 2008 from Carneros.  We have been killing it with this wine at Cellar for a few months now.  It’s the friendliest of the three, and it really captures the sunny, warm, inviting characteristic of Carneros Pinot Noir.    I get lots of vanilla on the inhale and it’s pretty darn sexy.  A plush wine, with juicy blueberry notes, plums, laced in with toast, black tea, a little spicy nutmeg and the aforementioned vanilla.  This is a Pinot that’s been told to behave and smile- and it certainly does.  It smiles real pretty with a dimples on it’s cheeks.  At $16 a bottle, this guy is a real steal.  Wine Enthusiast gave it 91 points, to boot.

Next up is the Maysara “3 Degrees” Pinot Noir, 2008 Oregon.  I’ve been a fan of Maysara’s wines for some time now- and then recently found out two new fun facts about them- 1.) the winemakers are three sisters and they are currently the youngest female winemaking team in the country! (according to northwest-wine.com) and 2.) they are certified Biodynamic and employ Organic farming methods!  So you can feel good about this purchase, especially when you can buy it for $19 at Cellar!  Maysara makes lots and lots of different wines- Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, a delicious Rose of Pinot Noir, as well as lots of different single vineyard Pinot Noirs.  This is the first release of the 3 Degrees.  (check out their other wines here.  it’s worth a visit just to see the beautiful label art and cool names).

Anywho- the 3 Degrees is a light juicy little wine- only 12.5% alcohol.  Beautiful black cherry, cream soda, hints of fir tree, and a lean tart cranberry finish make my mouth quite happy.  This wine is a touch more demure than the Sean Minor, slightly more feminine, graceful, and yet perky.  YUM.  Can’t wait for the Advintage trade show so I can revisit all the Maysara wines!

Last but not least is the Fat Barrel Pinot Noir, 2007 Willamette Valley.  This one is a cross between a Oregon Pinot fan’s Pinot and a Burgundy fan’s Pinot.  To me it smells like Oregon and sips like Burgundy.  Vanilla, raspberry, cranberry, toast, black pepper and wood are what it’s workin’ with.  The reason I think it sips like a red Burgundy is that it’s a touch more refined and subtle.  If the Sean Minor has a bright dimpled smile, than this wine has more of a wink… and than sneaks you a smile a few seconds later.  Sexy.  We only have about a case of this wine available, and you can grab one for $24 a bottle ASAP!  As an added bonus, the folks at Fat Barrel give 10% of their sales revenue to local community organizations to help those with less.  Yet another bottle you can feel good about buying!  Happy Pinot Drinkin’!