Porch Sippers

Spring is in the air, I swear! My Daffodils have actually already bloomed and faded, as have my Hyacinths.  I’m only waiting on my Peonies and Irises and then my garden will be done for the Spring. However, the weather doesn’t seem to agree with me as it’s mid-April and only 42 degrees out….thankfully we are headed for warmer parts in Sonoma and Napa this week!  Last night I chose the 2007 Stevenot Verdelho from Calaveras County.  I picked this up last fall on my swing through Murphys.  It retails for $15, though I paid something less than that with a discount, had a plastic cork, and clocked in at 14.6% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found flowers, honey, honeysuckle, orange blossom, citrus, peach, lemon, and some tropical notes.  The aromas on this wine just poured out of the glass.  In the mouth I got flavors of peach, orange, lots of lemon, a little honey, slight spice, and apricot.  This wine would be perfect to enjoy on the porch with the hot weather I know will get here eventually!

A Citrus Bowl

I’ve been in a white wine mood this week, even with temperatures plummeting into the 20s…brr! I reached for the 2007 Stevenot Torrontes that I picked up on my recent trip to Murphys, California.  This wine retails for $18, though I paid something less than that with a discount, it had a real cork closure and clocked in at 13.9% alcohol by volume.  Just as I was checking the alcohol content for you, I saw that the Stevenot folks added a handy little guide to the back label telling you the wine is dry, should be served lightly chilled, consumed within 2 years, and that it has a natural cork!  I wonder if they do that with all their wines?

The nose on the wine is just amazing.  It smells like a bowl of assorted citrus.  I found pink grapefruit, orange zest, lime, lemon, and lychee.  The citrus is incredibly fresh and so prominent.  I’d like to bottle this scent!  In the mouth I found orange, mandarins, and similar citrus to what I found on the nose.

Overall, the citrus dominated this wine both on the nose and in the mouth.  This would be an absolutely perfect summer wine for a hot humid day, something we have a lot of here in the DC area.  The wine was dry, crisp, refreshing, tart, and had great acidity.  Very yummy.

Stevenot (Steev en o)

My next stop in Murhpys might be a little hard to pronounce, I certainly flubbed it the first time I tried. The second “t” is silent! Stevenot began in 1975 and produced their first vintage in 1978.  The vineyard has 81 acres planted with 18 different grapes, ranging from the traditional (Chardonnay, Merlot, etc.) to more off the beaten path (Torrontes, Verdelho, etc.).

Stevenot turned out to be a bit tough for me to find. The tasting room is entirely hidden behind huge leafy trees and I drove right past it.  I ended up down in the crush facility! However, once I found the tasting room, I got to try some great wines.

2007 Torrontes: $18. Honey, flowers, melons, pear, light, slightly sweet, but quite crisp. I took one home.

2006 Chardonnay: $14. Spends 6 months in neutral oak. Apple, flowers, peach, pear, light, but good round mouthfeel.

2006 Rserve Chardonnay: $20. Toasty oak, butter, green apple, pear, rounder and smoother than the regular Charonnay.

2007 Verdelho: $16. Tropical, peach, pineapple, starfruit, citrus, crisp, light, yum!

2007 Rosado: $16. Tempranillo and Albariño blend. Lime, strawberry, cherry, dry, crisp.

2005 Merlot: $16. Plum, cherries, berries, vanilla, strawberries, chocolate.

2006 Zinfandel: $22. Cinnamon, berries, anise, vanilla, spicy, red fruit, berries. I bought one.

Tempranillo: Smoke, spice, dark fruit, plums, raspberries, tannic, dark fruit, spice, cherries.

2006 Muscat Canelli: $18. Honey, tangerine, peach, crisp finish. I bought one for Matt.

2005 Red Rover Cabernet Sauvignon: $8. Fruit forward, tobacco, chocolate, red fruit, cherry, berries.

2005 Red Rover Merlot: $8. Big red fruit, cherries, berries, plum, fruit forward, chocolate, vanilla, tannic.

2005 Orange Muscat: $18. Lime, orange, tangerines, apples, sweet.

Overall, I thought the wines were really well priced and the quality really showed through.  The tasting room is well laid out and spacious, it could easily accommodate a crowd, though when I tasted only two other people were at the tasting bar.

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