Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Hill 2014

Traveling Tuesday brings us back to Napa Valley for a visit we made to Rutherford Hill Winery and brought home a 2014 Limited Release Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon. We opened this baby up, let it decant for 2 hours and boy was it ready! Aromas of black cherries and blackberries with hints of coffee bean and vanilla that correlates into a black fruity juice forward that floats like velvet over the palate. The tannins and acidity are perfectly balanced given to a nice long finish with that Rutherford dust flavor.
This wine went perfectly with the ribeye steaks (sorry no picture, it was half way gone when I thought about the pic). It tasted just like the sample that Jimmy,our wine ambassador, gave us at Rutherford Hill! I don’t know how many times I’ve loved a wine in the tasting room and once I open it at home, it didn’t taste the same.

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San Antonio Winery

Have you visited San Antonio Winery, the oldest winery in Los Angeles? Founded in 1917, this is the most awarded winery in California.  Richard remembers going there with his parents in the 60s, a five hour round trip drive, just to pick up a case of jug wine (San Antonio Burgundy).  Today, the  Winery has expanded to twenty brands with vineyards in Paso Robles, Monterey, and Napa Valley as well as their Stella Rosa label (celebrating 15 years) which is made and bottled in Italy.

 

Our visit began with a welcome sampling of the Stella Rosa Orange Moscato a 92 point wine (above). Dominic (below), our wine ambassador, started us off with a glass of Stella Rosa Prosecco, then moved us right along to the Windstream Pinot Noir, Opaque Zinfandel, San Simeon Petite Sirah, Opaque Malbec, San Simeon Cabernet, and Stormwatch a Bordeaux blend. (Wine reviews to follow.) Many thanks to Dominic for hosting MyRedWineGuys for a really awesome wine tasting!

Dominic gave us a wonderful behind the scenes tour where we saw the huge original redwood vats that have been retired for the stainless steel tanks used for fermentation and the thousands of oak barrels that are aging the wine. The bottling line which processes over 700,000 cases a year was quiet this time of year but impressive none-the-less.  Private rooms for banquets and meetings are also available.

We concluded our visit with dinner and live music at the Maddalena restaurant located in the winery. They offer a great variety of dishes including pasta, lamb chops, and a seared ahi tuna salad.  We had a beautiful 2012 Opaque Petite Syrah which was wonderful.

        

On the way out,  don’t forget to browse through the extensive gift shop.  We had so much fun shopping and browsing the wonderful gourmet foods, desserts, and wine accessories.  This historic popular winery should be added to your must visit list when you are in Los Angeles.

 

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Calla Lily Ultimate Red Pinot Noir 2014

We tasted one of the better Pinot Noirs this summer in Napa Valley while visiting Calla Lily Estate in Pope Valley.  Now you are probably thinking that Pope Valley is known for their Cabernets, you’re right.  This 2014 Calla Lily Ultimate Red Pinot Noir comes from Carneros AVA, aged for 10 months in French oak.  Aromas red fruit (raspberries, cherries and strawberries) with a hint of vanilla and this red fruity aroma continues across the palate with a velvety texture.  The acidity was high which made you want more of the wine after each sip.  This wine can be enjoyed easily for the next 10 years.

We think winemakers Cary Gott and Kelly Deianni knocked it out of the park on this Pinot Noir!

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Boys of Summer 2019

What better way to welcome July than a night at Petco Park watching the San Diego Padres play the St Louis Cardinals! Checkout that sunset, don’t know which was more beautiful — the sunset shining on the downtown buildings or the green grass of the ballpark.  The @myredwineguys and wives enjoyed a wonderful night out to cheer on our boys of summer!  They also have an awesome wine shop inside the park to enjoy a nice wine.

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Bodegas Antidoto Ribera del Duero 2016

From Spain’s northern region of Castilla y León comes the Bodegas Antidoto Ribera del Duero 2016 Tempranillo. Wine making in this area goes back 2000 years! The wine comes from incredibly old vines which produce a lively, fresh and spicy red with balanced tannins and acidity. Matured in 100% new 600 liter oak barrels that is very noticeable with the oak overtones. This wine will only get better. You can find this wine at Birdrock Fine Wines.

Do you know what the locals of Ribera del Duero call the Tempranillo — Tinto Fino. The grape must survive scorching summers and frigid winters which gives low yields but concentrated fruit.

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URLO (Scream) Tuscan Red Blend 2013

So, what do you do when you have two hours to kill on the Island of Coronado? Go to happy hour at your favorite Italian restaurant Il Fornaio and drink wine and eat calamari of course. Which is what we did.

The wine was URLO (Scream), a 2013 red blend from Tuscany with some nice complexity. The color was ruby red with slight garnet on the edges. The aromas are dark cherry, vanilla with some light oak. This is a full-bodied wine with dark fruit characters on the palate tapered with vanilla and spice (that’s nice). The tannins are smooth and balanced well. The finish was medium and left you wanting more.

And as the picture shows: Cheers from San Diego!

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Clif Family Cold Springs Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Have you ever visited a winery that is the by product of bicycling? How about one that is known for it’s food truck? We had so much fun visiting Clif Family Winery and tasting their awesome lineup of wines. You get great vibes just walking into the cycling themed tasting room which is more like a wine bar just off busy Highway 29 in St Helena.
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For us the star of the lineup was not only the food from the Bruschetteria Food Truck (to die for), but the 2013 Cold Springs Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a Howell Mountain vineyard that is well known for producing the grapes that go into great Cabernets. This is a vineyard to keep your eyes on.
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Hillary, our wine ambassador, led us through the different reds that Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford produce. Hillary advised us to have a Bruschetta from their well known Green Food Truck. Since my wife and I are big mushroom fans, we chose the “Funghi” bruschetta. It was so delicious, we had to stop by the next day for lunch!! Let me tell you, the Cold Springs Cab from Howell Mountain was the perfect pairing for @MyRedWineGuys!
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A bouquet of mountain fruits and black cherries with a hint of vanilla. The tannins were medium to high which gives one to think a few more years in the cellar and this wine will only get better. This Cabernet just flowed across the palate with a nice and long finish!
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Have you tried a Cliff Family wine?
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Petra Zingari Toscana Sangiovese 2015

Well it is the start of grilling season for me and I can’t think of a better beginning than Portobello Mushroom Pizza’s. And what better wine to go with pizza than a Sangiovese blend from Italy.  Dark cherry, plum, chocolate with a hint of tobacco awaits your nose as you savor the aroma’s before you have that first sip.  And what a nice first sip it was!  This is a medium bodied wine with balanced tannins and acidity.  The finish was longer than expected and really got the palette ready for the mini Traegered mushrooms.  What a nice wine and the mushrooms weren’t bad either.

I give this wine 4 glasses and my mushrooms 5.     

 

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Calla Lily Vineyards

There lays a vineyard nestled in the hills of Pope Valley on the edge of Howell Mountain AVA, Calla Lily Vineyards, producing some exceptional red wines. The winery was built in 2010 and is a fully equipped and modern winery. The tasting room is unique with dark wood cabinetry, crown molding, old-fashioned gilt ceiling tin paneling with a bar you find in an old western. Just a very comfortable atmosphere. We spent some time with part owner and winemaker, Cary Gott (4th generation Napa Valley) and assistant wine maker Kelly Deianni to learn more about Calla Lily Vineyards.

When we arrived, Cary and Kelly were in the middle of tasting the 2018 lot vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Cary invited us to sample the wines from different barrels, as well as, different lot locations and give our analysis. They do this about 3 times a year before settling on the correct blend before bottling. Wow, what an opportunity! Also from these samplings they determine which Cabernet Sauvignon grapes go into their flagship wine, “Audax”.

We walked the property of 20 acres planted with 12 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon (Clone 7 – our favorite) also on two different root stocks (another story), 5 acres Petit Syrah and 1 acre each of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Pope Valley is the last area in Napa Valley with ample undeveloped land to grow grapes but as with most areas, water plays the determining factor on receiving approval from the county supervisors which could take years.

Calla Lily produces three wines for sale, Ultimate Pinot Noir, Ultimate Cabernet Sauvignon and Audax (which means “Bold” in Latin). Calla Lily Vineyard wines can be purchased in few of restaurants around Napa Valley or on their website at www.callalilywines.com

The tasting room is not open to the public and visits are by appointment only. We appreciate the time given to us by Calla Lily’s winemaking team of Cary and Kelly.

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2016 Domaine Carneros The Famous Gate Pinot Noir

Have you enjoyed a Pinot Noir lately? We had the pleasure of tasting this Pinot on a recent visit to Domaine Carneros in Napa Valley. The Domaine Carneros château is a California wine country landmark. Inspired by the classic 18th century Château de la Marquetterie in Champagne, France. If you ever have the opportunity to visit you should reserve a time to experience this beautiful winery and their lovely hospitality!

This 2016 Pinot Noir, “The Famous Gate“, from Domaine Carneros is ruby in color with a wonderful bouquet of strawberries, blackberries and blueberries with just a hint of cocoa at the edge.  The Famous Gate feels more in line with the French Pinots than the ones from Russian River area (which we truly love).  Medium tannins and acidity, perfectly balanced with a silky finish.  This Pinot Noir can stand on it’s own, doesn’t need any pairings, it’s just that good!  We give this 3 glasses. 

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