HBG Meetup!

Patrick kindly organized a happy hour while we were visiting for our first night in town at the Healdsburg Bar and Grill. This made me extremely happy as I still couldn’t get their truffle oil parmesan cheese fries off my mind. So GOOD.  Matt and I ate two baskets and I got to have the very adult mac and cheese.  I love mac and cheese very much and never miss a chance to have it….as I seem to be incapable of making it myself for some reason.

Over the course of the evening, quite a crowd came by to say hello and socialize for a bit.  We saw Patrick, Genevieve, Penny, Chris, Jeremy, Shana, Robert, and others.  Penny and Chris both brought wines to try (yay!) which I happily did.

From Penny, barrel samples of her newest Tempranillos….she’s going to make two for 2008!

2008 Coral Mustang Vista Creek Tempranillo: Dark, berries, vanilla, spice, jam, plum, currants, grat dark fruit. Looks to be a good one, though it clearly won’t be released for a little while!

2008 Coral Mustang Tres Palmeras Tempranillo: I slightly preferred this one.  It was lighter in color and flavor.  I found spice, red currants, red fruit, cedar, nice structure, nice acidity, raspberries.  This one will make a fabulous food wine.

Chris brought along a bottle from a new line they will be releasing that will retail for around $14-$15.

2007 Healdsburg Ranches Cabernet Sauvignon.  Screw cap, Sonoma County, 13.9% alcohol.  Mint, leather, herbs, spice, herbal, black currants, anise, black fruit, some red fruit around the edges, nicely done for a $14ish Cabernet!

All in all, a lovely evening catching up with old friends and making some new ones.  It’s always great to meet new people, and I love the feeling that when we go out to CA we have so many folks to visit, yet we aren’t even from Northern California (though Matt is from Southern California….).

Riding Mustangs

Have I mentioned before how much I love the wines from Coral Mustang?  I think I have, ;) , but just in case, I’ll say it again…I love these wines!!!  The Rose is amazing and the Tempranillo is divine.  Tonight I chose the 2004 Coral Mustang Tempranillo to sip with my lamb and mashed taters.  It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and I believe it cost me $22 from WineQ, but they are sold out, so I can’t be sure.

I first noted how dark the wine appeared in the glass.  On the nose I found berries, spice, wood, earth, black cherry, vanilla, and pie.  In my notes, I described the nose as “yummy.”  The wine tasted fabulous.  I almost didn’t want to take notes because I got so wrapped up in drinking the wine!  I got flavors of blackberries, black cherries, black plums, spice, earth, herbs, smoky notes, and almost a hint of raspberries.  The fruit tasted like it just got picked off a bush and crushed into my glass.  This is a wine you would remiss to not have a chance to taste….the 2005 is wonderful too!

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Revisting Coral Mustang Rose

I’ve written about Coral Mustang’s Rose before, over a year ago.  You can read those notes here. However, when I was out in California for the Wine Blogger Conference, I finally got to meet Penny, the winemaker and owner. We’d been trying to catch up for quite some time now, but always kept missing her.  I loved the bottle of Rose that I got from WineQ so much, that Penny brought one for me to take home with me! The is her 2006 Coral Mustang Tempranillo Rose.  I also just bought 2 cases of the 2005, that’s how much I love this Rose! It has a real cork closure, clock in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, and can be purchased for $14.99.

I really just adore this Rose. I intend to serve some of the 2005 with my Turkey Dinner on Thursday. I think it will be well received, and I already know Matt loves it!

On the nose I found candied strawberries, bananas, roses, cranberries, raspberries, slight spice, and racy citrus. I enjoy the very fruity qualities in the nose on this Rose.  In the mouth I got flavors of red apples, raspberries, lime, cranberry, tart fruit, raspberry jello, and a nice hint of spice on the back palate. It’s even better than I remember!

I’m not really one for Thanksgiving wine matching posts, but you may have noticed that I note around this time of year if I think a wine would work well with Thanksgiving dinner.  The Coral Mustang Rose gets my stamp of approval for Thanksgiving for several reasons. It’s budget friendly. You can get the 2005 for $12 a bottle and the 2006 for $14.99. I tend not to want to serve super expensive bottles of wine with Thanksgiving dinner, because really, at Thanksgiving, the food is king, and there’s so much of it and it’s so diverse, that I don’t think there’s a “perfect” wine to go with it all. I look for wines with refreshing acidity, good structure, and lighter fruit flavors.  The 2006 Coral Mustang Rose certainly fits that bill!

Under the Sea

*Disclaimer: I received this bottle from WineQ because I am a Beta Club member. It can be purchased from WineQ for $14.99.

The wine was a bottle of 2006 Coral Mustang Rose. It’s a Tempranillo Rose (another new one for me, never had a Rose made from Tempranillo grapes) and hails from Vista Creek Vineyards in Pasa Robles (another wine region I would love to visit in the near future). The wine clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume.

The color of this wine was just beautiful, though I’m not sure that Matt’s photography does it justice in this photo….I’ll put another one of his “artistic” efforts at the end of this post….

On the nose I found creamy vanilla and raspberries. The nose was reserved overall. In the mouth the wine showed flavors of raspberries and lime, and raspberry cream, like a raspberry cream soda. Overall the wine was dry but creamy, with tart fruit and crisp and refreshing on the finish.

Thanks to WineQ for the opportunity to try this wine. It’s another Rose in a great price range that I could easily see drinking all summer on the porch and would certainly be in the running for a Thanksgiving Rose for me. (Anyone else absolutely shocked that Thanksgiving is going to be here in just a month???)

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