My Favorite Wines

Try this…

Balletto Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir, BCD Vineyard

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Spring is in the air this week in northern California – its been warm enough at night to leave the window open a little and listen to the frogs sing about all the rain we have been getting in the last week. I thought it was time for a new wine post!

While we were living in Marin waiting to move into our new house here, we took a weekend to check out the wineries in the Russian River Valley – some of the best Pinot Noir growing areas in the country. We really enjoyed all of the wines at Balletto and had a hard time picking out what we wanted to take home. We picked up a couple of bottles of this 2010 Pinot Noir and I finally opened a bottle tonight – what a treat.  This is a really special Pinot – wonderfully smooth, light, strawberry and raspberries – nice smooth finish. I am not a wine expert – I just know what I like. If you can wait another year or two to open it, II’m sure it will be even better.   I did a little research and saw it was rated 92 points from Wine Enthusiast. Here is what they had to say about it:

an exceptionally good Pinot, from a winery that frequently gets overlooked, perhaps because they’re not charging an arm and a leg. The wine is light and silky in the mouth, with alcohol well under 14%, and marked with crisp acidity and fine-grained tannins. The flavors are classic pomegranates, rhubarbs and black cherries. Should develop over the next 4-6 years. What a great value. Cellar Selection -S.H 

So there you go – run out and get some. Actually it might be hard to find the 2010 without paying a lot.  I just checked on Balletto’s web site and the 2011 is sold out there but I saw a few sites that you can buy it online. Definitely worth a try if you are a Pinot fan!

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December 31, 2013

I can’t believe this blog is almost three months old and I haven’t talked about wine! I guess because I started the blog around Thanksgiving and with the holidays upcoming I really focused on perfecting some of my recipes…but a good dinner can only be great (in my opinion) with great wine!

So, for the last day of 2013, I want to share a few of my favorites. I am not a wine expert, I just know what I like….

The top three favorite wines wines I have discovered (or rediscovered) this year are:

the-prisoner

The Prisoner, a big red Zin blend from Napa. My dear friend Patricia gifted this to me, and the 2008 was really amazing. The price has steadily risen each year, so I know that other people are enjoying this amazing red blend as much as I am!

BoegerBarbera

I am a Barbera fan….

My hubby and I discovered this earlier in the year while out to dinner We are both Barbera fans actually, and there aren’t always a lot of choices on the menu. When we discovered this one, we immediately went down to Total Wine and picked up a case. If you haven’t discovered this underappreciated varietal (it traces back to when the italian peasants picked grapes, they were allowed to use the leftovers and the “rejects” to make this…there is a much longer story that goes with Barbera grapes, but bottom line is, it has very humble beginnings.) Great Barberas are hard to come by, but when you try one, especially the great ones from the Sierra Foothills like this, then you are in for a treat.

 

and finally…to celebrate the new year, we are breaking out one of our last bottles of wine from an outstanding winery in Charlottesville, Virginia called Octagon from Barboursville Vineyards. This 2008 Octagon is really exceptional – an awesome Bordeaux blend that will have you searching for more.  I lived in Charlottesville for a big chunk of my adult life, and let me tell my fellow Californians – they make some damn good wines in Albemarle County, Virginia. This is one of the best:

BarboursvileOctagon

So…more wine blogging to follow in the new year…as well as some ideas for visiting some great vineyards in Northern California’s Sierra Foothills.

Cheers to you and happy 2014!

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