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Tag: Creekside Cellars

Creekside Cellars’ Wine and Cheese Fest

English: Barrels of 2007 Zinfandel wine fermen...

English: Barrels of 2007 Zinfandel wine fermenting in a wine cave in Amador County, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every year, Creekside Cellars hosts wine and cheese fest. During the event, many people come in to taste wine and cheese from around the region. Wining Husband and I were curious and decided that we would attend. Boy, were there a lot of people there! We were glad we showed up a few minutes later into the event so that we wouldn’t have to claw our way through lines of people to get to a place where we could try the various wines featured by our favorite spot.

Our favorite wines of the event came from Epic Wines, Doe Mill, and Youngs Market Company. Standouts included:

  • A to Z Pinot Gris ($16) **
  • Breggo Pinot Noir ($30) ***
  • Titus Cabernet Sauvignon ($43) *
  • Elyse Morisoli Vineyard Zinfandel ($36) ***
  • Montsara Sparkling Cava ($15) *
  • Sequoia Grove Cabernet ($49) **
  • Michael David 7 Heavenly Chardonnay ($28) *
  • Treana white blend ($23) *
  • Doe Mill Old Vine Zinfandel ($24) **
  • Doe Mill Smokey Ridge Red Table Wine ($24) ***
  • Doe Mill Zinfandel Rose ($16) *
  • Doe Mill Late Harvest Zinfandel ($24) ***
  • Trefethen Harmony White ($50) **
  • Talbot Logan Chardonnay ($20) *

There really was quite a range of wines both in terms of quality and taste (the first table we visited was disappointing to us) and in terms of price point. The great thing about events like these is that you get to try out such a wide range of wines, so if you’re someone who doesn’t know a whole lot about wine, you can learn more about what you like and what you don’t like. we definitely added some of the wines to our cellar wish-list.

Creekside: A Little of This and a Little of That

Napa Valley

Napa Valley (Photo credit: Sarah_Ackerman)

 

This week’s Creekside Cellars tasting as a mish-mash of different wines. Of the 9 we tasted, we liked 9 of the wines. Here are our notes on the wines we tasted.

 

2011 Fillaboa Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain ($17) – This wine was floral, crisp, and refreshing. It tasted of mandarins, sweet apples, and various citrus fruits.

 

2011 Chehalem “Three Vineyards” Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon ($19) – This wine was smokey, hazy, and buttery. It had a sweet flavor and accompanied the Purple Haze cheese quite nicely.

 

2010 Pine Ridge “Dijon Clone” ChardonnayNapa Valley ($30) – This wine had Dijon mustard notes. It was easy drinking but robust, with hints of butter and oak. It had a finish with multiple seasonings, but it was not overpowering. It would pair quite well with ham or fondue. (We gave it a star and exclamation mark).

 

2010 Morgan “Twelve Clones” Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey ($32) – This had a strange nose – it was like nail polish remover and fruit – but the wine itself was complex and sweet. There was spice that could be drawn out, it was sweet and chocolatey and was quite versatile when paired with the various cheeses. It also had that lovely cigar box finish that we love so much.

 

2010 Sextant “Wheelhouse” Zinfandel, Paso Robles ($20) – This wine had a Nesquik chocolate milk nose mixed with cheap jelly to be eaten with Wonder Bread. It was okay, but frankly was too jammy for our palates. 

 

2010 Peter Lehmann “Clancy’s” Cabernet 38%, Syrah 39%, and Merlot 23%, Barossa Valley, Australia ($18) – This was tannic with a tight nose. It had hints of leather and fruit which came out as it aerated. It was very good with creamy cheeses, which brought the spice out, and it paired wonderfully with the Purple Haze.

 

2010 Tamarack Cellars “Firehouse Red” Cabernet 54%, Syrah 32%, Merlot 12%, Cab Franc 10% with Malbec, Sangiovese & Zinfandel, Columbia Valley, Washington ($18) – This was the final wine we had and it was a higher end version of one of our favorite go-to wines, 14 Hands Hot-to-Trot. The wine was a classic silky red. It had notes of vanilla, chocolate, cloves, and nutmeg.

 

 

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To Zin or Not to Zin? There is No Question!

Zinfandel Grapes

 

This week’s wine tasting at Creekside Cellars featured a selection of Zinfandel wines. It’s always fun to do comparisons of wines, since each has its own unique qualities that it brings to the table. Here’s a list of the wines that we tried.

 

NV Codorniu Cava, Spain ($10) – This wine was sparkling and had a citrus and wheat bouquet to it.

 

2010 Ventana Pinot Gris, Monterey 2010 ($12) – This was pretty good. It was floral and sweet with an almond flavor. It would pair well with a pear and candied walnut salad I make.

 

2010 Talbott Logan “Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Chardonnay,” Santa Lucia Highlands, ($20) – This wine was filled with notes of butter and spice. It also had hints of dry mustard when paired with the Red Dragon cheese.

 

2011 Doe Mill Vineyards Dry Rosé of Zinfandel, Sierra Foothills (Butte County) ($16) – This wine had a cheesy, almost sweaty gym sock nose. On the tasting, it had notes of watermelon, being similar to a Jolly Rancher.

 

2010 Sextant “Wheelhouse” Zinfandel, Paso Robles ($20) – This wine was quite good. It was both light and spicy and had lots of tannin. It also had notes of cashews and berries.

 

Laurel Glen 'Terra Rosa' Malbec, Mendoza Argen...

Laurel Glen wine (Photo credit: Renée S.)

 

2009 Laurel Glen “Za Zin” Old Vine Zin, Lodi ($19) – We did not care much for this wine. It reminded us too much of a “barn” wine that we had at Purple Wine Bar and Cafe some months ago. It was sweet and almost like Play-Dough. It did have notes of allspice, chocolate, cream, and cloves.

 

2009 Green & Red Vineyards Chiles Canyon Zinfandel, Napa Valley ($24) – This wine was pretty good. It went with everything on the cheese plate, and it had ink and paint on the nose, but became tannic on the swirl. It was buttery.

 

2009 Joel Gott “Dillian Ranch” Zinfandel, Amador ($27) – This wine was also quite good. It had flavors of vanilla and berry, but at the same time there was a lot of spice and tannin to balance the wine.

 

2009 Rock Wall “Julie’s Vineyard” Zinfandel, Sonoma ($23) – This wine was outstanding. It had notes of dark chocolate and raspberries. While it was richer than some of the other wines, it was also easy drinking and a bit spicy. It would pair wonderfully with the smothered pork chops I shared with you the other night.

 

2009 JC Cellars “Sweetwater Springs Vineyard” Zinfandel, Russian River Valley ($43) – This wine was also amazing. It had a french roast coffee nose, and it was filled with spices and allspice. If you’re looking for a wine for a special occasion, this is your wine.

 

 

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Creekside Summertime Wines

Ripe Sauvignon blanc grapes.

Ripe Sauvignon blanc grapes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This week’s theme at Creekside was summertime wines. We tasted eight out of nine of the offered wines, and we liked all but one of the wines (and that one was still pretty good. All of the wines were meant to be refreshing and fun – the perfect wines to accompany a late summer barbecue.

 

2010 Domaine des Corbillieres Sauvignon Blanc from Touraine, Loire Valley, France – ($18) – This wine had a hint of apples to it. It was dry like Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider (except for the fact that it was a crisp white wine). This wine would be a great accompaniment to brie and apples as an appetizer. We liked it a good bit.

 

2011 Pine Ridge 79% Chenin Blanc and 21% Viognier from Clarksburg, California – ($17) – This wine had a stone fruit nose, and on tasting, we sensed white peaches and pepper. It went very well with the blue cheese from the cheese plate (Roaring Forties Blue). This wine was also very nice.

 

2011 Chamisal Vineyard Unoaked Chardonnay from Edna Valley, San Luis Obispo, California – ($17) – This wine was also nice. It had hints of paprika and spice. It was a dry white wine.

 

2011 Waterbrook Rose of Sangiovese from Columbia Valley, Washington – ($16) – This wine was buttery, lemony, and spicy. It would go well with a sweet and sour type dish. We liked it okay, but thought that Bertagna’s Rose of Sangiovese outshone it.

 

2007 Monte Antico “Toscana” 85% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet and 5% Merlot from Tuscany, Italy – ($13) – Even though the composition of this wine only included 5% Merlot, you could taste the fruit forward done right qualities. This wine had the cigar box qualities we love with notes of black pepper. If you love caprese salad (who doesn’t?), this would be a perfect pairing.

 

2009 Ancient Peaks Merlot from Paso Robles, California – ($16) – This wine was filled with notes of berries and spice. It was very robust and went great with the blue cheese. It’s strongly recommended.

 

2009 Kingston Family “Lucero” Syrah from Casablanca Valley, Chile – ($18) – This wine as phenomenal. This wine had a mushroom finish to it. It would be a wonderful pairing with a stroganoff. It also had a coffee finish and hints of truffles and cigar box qualities. This wine is on our must-purchase list.

 

2009 Yalumba “The Scribbler” 61% Cabernet Sauvignon and 39% Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Australia – ($19) – If you only try one wine from this list, you might want to make it this one. This wine was sour, hazy, and also had a lovely cigar box quality to it. It was spicy, and the finish reminded me of pumpkin pie spice – something I love to sprinkle over fruity summer deserts. It also has some hints of olives to it, and it turned smooth with the creamy cheeses. It was simply wonderful.

 

 

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Creekside’s Grilling Wines Tasting

Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting (Photo credit: cheesy42)

This weeks tasting focused on wines that pair well with grilled foods. The cheese plate featured the added bonus of grilled marinated sausage. It was definitely a very fun tasting at Creekside Cellars.

We started off with the whites, and skipped the sparkling. The first white was the 2011 Terranoble Sauvignon Blanc from Chile ($10). This wine had notes of grapefruit and granny smith apples. It was young, green, and good – but not amazing. My suspicion is that in a few years, this wine will develop further and come to maturity.

The 2009 Naia Verdejo from Spain ($15) was next. This was a very nice wine. It would go very well with a grilled peach dish or with an appetizer of chips and mango salsa. There was a tiny bit of oak on the taste, but it also had apricot and nectarine hints. I thought it would pair nicely with a desert I make involving broiled peaches and mascarpone cheese. For this, half peaches and remove pits. Sprinkle nutmeg and allspice over the fruit, and put a dollop of maple syrup in each half. Finally, spoon some marscapone cheese in and put peaches under the broiler for 5-8 minutes. Enjoy while still warm.

Unidentified glass of rose wine

Unidentified glass of rose wine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 2010 Catena Chardonay from Mendoza, Argentina ($19) was pretty good. It was strong with a smokey oak flavor done well with hints of cream and artichokes.

Next up was the rosé, Bastianich’s Rosato di Refosco from Friulani, Italy. Until the experiences both of tasting Bertagna’s rosé and of the wine trail rosé wines, we would forgo this pink wine choice. Like many are now realizing, there are merits to a good rosé. This one had hints of parsley, it was pretty decent.

We then moved onto the reds. First up was the 2009 Moniz Family Pinot Noir from Sonoma, California ($20). This was a very nice wine. It paired well with gouda and bleu cheese, and it was very balanced. The wine itself had notes of plums, basil, and sage.

tasty boom boom

tasty boom boom (Photo credit: sara_mc)

The 2009 D’Arenberg “The Stump Jump” 42% Grenache, 33% Syrah, and 25% Mourvedre ($13) was up next. This wine had a lemon lime and blueberry flavor. It wasn’t our favorite, but it wasn’t bad either. The 2010 Charles Smith Wines “Boom Boom” Syrah from Washington State ($19) was phenomenal. This wine was light yet peppery. It had hints of oregano, white pepper, marjoram, and berries. It had a floral perfume nose and was quite creamy. It would make an amazing pairing with chicken.

The final wine we tasted was the 2010 Ancient Peaks Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles ($18). This wine had the wonderful smokey cigar box/tobacco notes that I’ve come to love in wines. It also had hints of espresso and blackberries.

What are your favorite flavors to taste in wines? Post your answers in the comments.

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Tour de France – in Wine at Creekside Cellars

The Wining Husband and myself have made a habit of visiting Creekside Cellars once a week. Not only are their wine selections always excellent, but their cheese plate is quite the treat. This week’s selection had a French Wine theme.

This image shows a red wine glass.

This image shows a red wine glass. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are the notes on the reds:

Bugey-Cerdon “La Cueille” Sparkling Pinot Muenier from Savoie ($20) – this one was a party in a glass. It was a beautiful sparkling rosé color. It was a lot of fun, and we decided that this would be the perfect wine for toasting the New Year at our annual New Year’s Eve party.

2009 Clos La Coutale 80% Malbec 20% Merlot blend from Cahors in Southwest France ($16) – This wine was definitely a summer red. It was fruity, light, and easy drinking. It was reasonably good, but it couldn’t compete with some of the other great wines we’ve had.

2010 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Cabernet Franc from Chinon and Loire Valley ($22) – This wine reminded me of a “barn” wine we had when visiting the Purple Wine Bar and Cafe in Seattle. I was not a fan of this wine, for that reason, but I could tell this was a well-crafted wine.

2010 Ermitage “Tour de Pierres” Syrah 50%, Grenache 40%, and Mourvedre 10% red blend from Pic St. Loupe, Languedoc ($17) – This wine was light, sour, and good. It was interesting, because on the nose, we both got grapefruit. This one is worth checking out for an evening dinner with garlic fries and grilled chicken sandwiches.

2007 Domaine du Vieux Lazaret Chateauneuf~du~Pape from Southern Rhone ($46) – This wine was spectacular. It had that lovely cigar box flavor that my husband and I both really enjoy. It was fruity and balanced.

What are some of your favorite French Wines? Have you had any of these? Please share your thoughts in the comments section!

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