Orange Creamsicles

The wine for the evening was a 2006 De La Montanya Viognier. It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.1% alcohol by volume, and cost $20.80 in a club shipment. I love the De La Montanya wines and am much looking forward to my next shipment, which I think should be arriving soon as I haven’t gotten anything from them since January.

I was struck immediately upon sticking my nose in this glass by the aroma of melted orange creamsicles. I haven’t had an orange creamsicle in probably a good 20 years, but that was what dominated the nose for me. Otherwise, I found, oak, honey, cream, pear, apple, and peach on the nose of the wine. It was very aromatic. In the mouth I found pear, peach, oak, and cream. The wine was more tart on the front of the palate, but gave way to a creamy texture and then the heavier slightly oily characteristic I expect from Viognier towards the back of the palate.

We drank this on its own last Friday after work, and it made a great sipping wine to start the evening.

Sauvignon Blanc Now With Yeast

The wine for the night was a 2006 Quivira Sauvignon Blanc Complete. I believe they call it complete because it was left on it’s native yeast lees for 7 months. Quivira is a Biodynamic certified winery, as of a couple of years ago, and I believe all of their wines are now Biodynamic.

The wine had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.2% alcohol by volume (a little high for a Sauvignon Blanc), and arrived in a club shipment. I don’t know what it cost because the mailing didn’t break it down and I haven’t seen the bottle available on the website. I would really appreciate it if the wineries would include a breakdown of the cost of each bottle in the shipment (especially for reordering purposes). I know I’ve ranted about this before, but is it that hard to shove in a card that says: Sauvignon Blanc, $xx.xx?

Anywho, on the nose of the wine I found lemon, pineapple, cream, slight cedar with a bit of oak, and star fruit. In the mouth the wine was full of tropical fruit, lemon, star fruit, and pineapple. The wine was very full bodied for a Sauvignon Blanc, which I’ll attribute to the process in which is was aged. I was a little afraid the wine would be too oaky and ruin the fruit flavors I love in Sauvignon Blanc, but I was pleasantly surprised by the bottle, and liked it. It was tasty in a different sort of way for Sauvignon Blanc.

I served it with grilled pork chops, broccoli, and twice baked potatoes. The wine actually did really well with the meal, because it was more full bodied, it worked well with the smoky grilled quality of the meat, but still had the crisp refreshing character to cut through the cheesy potato and stand up to a green vegetable!

Main Reason We Went to the Anderson Valley

Don’t get me wrong-we tasted a lot of great wine while there for the day, but the impetus behind driving up there to spend the day was to return to Roederer Estates for some fantastic sparkling wine. We first visited Roederer on our honeymoon almost two years ago and fell in love with the 99 L’Ermitage Brut. We only bought two bottles that time, so I had to have more! Thus, our first day in the area found us making the trek up a very windy road to discover more of what the Anderson Valley had to offer.

We tasted through the menu they were pouring that day, which sadly did not include the ’99. However, they still had some for sale, and while they warned us that it had aged and was perhaps toastier now than what we had purchased in ’06, we went for 2 bottles anyway. I would have liked to have gotten more, but the price had soared to around $60 a bottle. But for nostalgia purposes, it was worth it this time.

Brut MV: $21. Crisp, apple, citrus, lively.

Brut Magnum: $43. Creamy, toasty, green apple, very different from the regular bottle size.

Brut Rose MV: $28. Not very pink, in fact almost clear unless you put it up against the white wall, very dry, crisp, slight fruit.

2000 L’Ermitage Brut: $45. Toasted almonds, apples.

Extra Dry: $23. Sweeter than the Brut, but still dry. Showed mostly apples and a little honey. Originally created for the White House.

Pinot Noir: $23. Cherry, currants, spice, peppery, red fruit, earth, leather.

Chardonnay: $19. Mineral, crisp, tropical, citrus, creamier in the mouth, vanilla.

We took home 2 ’99 L’Ermitage Bruts, 2 Extra Drys, and 1 Brut Rose. I’ve been told it’s time to drink the ’99, so we will likely haul one out in a few months for our second anniversary. As usual, Roederer’s sparkling offerings were excellent, and I wish we could have taken home more. I also love the setting and tasting room at Roederer, the tasting bar looks out across the small front lawn where a family of Quail live. On our first visit the Quail had a very small family, but this time it looked like they were nesting and getting ready for a new family. The tasting room staff was very friendly and pointed us in the direction of a few of their favorite, not to miss vineyards. More on those later.

More Mystery Wine

The wine for the night was a 2005 “La Colombaia” Valpolicella Ripasso. I’m scratching my head to figure out where this one came from. Apparently I paid $18.99 for it, which leads me to believe that perhaps it came from the Winery in Old Town Alexandria. It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14% alcohol by volume, hails from Italy, and is made from Merlot.

The nose of the wine showed raisins, currants, spices, plums, earth, and cherries. In the mouth I found tart cherries, raisins, earth, and spice. After a little while a touch of plum showed through. The wine continued to open up in the glass, showing a lot of depth. This was an easy drinking wine, very yum, and incredibly food friendly. A quick search reveals you can find it online for about $15.99.

WBW #45-Old World Riesling


Our host for this month’s edition of the virtual tasting known as Wine Blogging Wednesday is Tim of Winecast. Tim has chosen a fabulous theme, one of my absolute favorite white wines, Riesling. However, his stipulation is that the wine must come from the “Old World.” So choose a Riesling from Germany, Austria, or the Alsace region of France. He’ll give you a little leniency if you want to go with Northern Italy, the Czech Republic, or Slovenia too. You can read all the details here.

This month’s WBW deadline is May 7. Get shopping and tasting and post your review on May 7 or if you don’t have a blog and want to participate send your notes to Tim at “winecast at gmail dot com” with WBW 45 in the subject line.

Pinot Blanc. From Connecticut!

We picked up this bottle of 2006 Chamard Pinot Blanc while visiting the winery in Connecticut. It cost us $17.99, clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure.

On the nose I found pineapple, tropical fruit, lemon, and minerals. In the mouth, apple showed through the most (odd because I didn’t get it on the nose at all!), then some lemon and other citrus with underlying tropical fruit.

Overall the wine was lively and acidic with good structure. We actually didn’t get to taste this one while at the winery as they weren’t pouring it that day, but I was really curious to try a Pinot Blanc from Connecticut so we took a few bottles home with us. Since the overall quality level of the wines were tried while there was very good, we didn’t think it would be that big of a risk to take home something untried. A good gamble in my opinion, this wine was very well done.

Seven Year Old Sangiovese

And boy does it taste good! I purchased this bottle of 2001 Deerfield Ranch Sangiovese from WineQ in one of my recent club shipments. It costs $21.99 through WineQ (free shipping if you spend $35!), had a real cork closure, and clocks in at 13.6% alcohol by volume. It hails from the Clear Lake area, specifically from the Roumiguiere Vineyard. The winery made 645 cases of this bottling and it has swept up a ton of awards!

Cherry, strawberry, flowers, leather, spice, and earth jumped out of the glass. The wine was very fruit forward and the nose was definitely dominated by the cherry and strawberry. In the mouth the wine was also full of fruit. The cherry was the prominent flavor, with roses and strawberry also showing up.

The wine had just a little tannin, it’s drinking perfectly right now and was incredibly smooth after very little time in the glass. I really enjoyed this bottle of wine, and were it not for the fact that I can only get a few more WineQ shipments before it gets too hot here and there are lots of other WineQ wines I want to try, I would certainly be adding more of this to my Q!