Busting into club shipments

We buy a lot of wine. No lie. I belong to 8 wine clubs. I buy wine regularly from local merchants and from internet sources as well as on our visits to local vineyards and our trips to Napa/Sonoma. In any given year I easily buy 20+ cases of wine which even if we were to exclusively consume those would be more than we could taste at home in one year. Wine is a major part of our lives. It has been since before I ever knew what a blog was and will continue to be in the future, with or without the wine blog.

One of the clubs we belong to is De La Montanya. We discovered De La Montanya on our very first trip to Sonoma nearly 4 years ago. We were out for a drive one afternoon, thinking we’d just enjoy the scenery for the day when we stumbled upon a tiny sign directing us to De La Montanya. While we weren’t looking for tasting rooms that afternoon, we couldn’t resist checking it out once we followed the signs to the small, well-hidden tasting room.  That day we attempted to join the wine club, as these weren’t wines we were going to find in any local shop back home. Much to our dismay, they had a waiting list as the club had no further capacity at the time. We signed up anyway, and indicated that they should simply add us when they could and start shipping the wine. Our first club shipment arrived about 3 months later and we were delighted to be members and have been enjoying the wines ever since. I even served all De La Montanya selections at Christmas last year after a fantastic shipping/discount offer that came in my fall club shipment. As we watch our wine overfill our racks at an alarming rate, I decided it was time to jump back in and start tasting them. We plucked the 2007 De la Montanya Viognier out of a previously unopened box. The wine had a real cork closure, clocked in at 13.2% alcohol by volume, and I think it ran about $20 in the club shipment.

On the nose I found the wine to be very perfumey, like I expect from a Viognier. (I just had a Viognier tonight at Bistro Bis that simply smelled and tasted like fresh honey, and nothing else, not at all what I was anticipating and I was disappointed that it lacked the aroma and characteristics I expect from Viognier, a grape I’ve come to expect great things from.) This was not the case at all with the De La Montanya, thankfully.  I got white flowers, orange spice, honeysuckle, orange spice cake, and citrus. In the moth I found citrus, lemon, spice, orange, lemon zest, and honeysuckle. I enjoyed this Viognier quite a bit and intend to savor my second bottle this summer while sitting on my deck and soaking up the sun.


Winter Solstice

So I’m a day late (or rather, quite a few days late) and a dollar short on the Winter Solstice thing, but I’m celebrating the lengthening days (woo hoo, it’s getting dark after 6pm again!) and the coming of Spring with lots of white wines.  Tonight being no exception, I chose the 2007 De La Montanya Felta Creek Solstice White Wine.  It cost $19.20 in a club shipment, clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure.  The wine is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Gewurztraminer, and Muscat.

The wine struck me as very aromatic.  I found aromas of melon, tropical fruit, slight lemon, and star fruit.  The melon mostly dominated the nose and I think the wine may have seen some neutral oak as there seemed to be something creamy/verging on almost vanilla peeking out from underneath the fruit.  In the mouth I got flavors of slight pink grapefruit, meyer lemon, lots of melon, white peach, apricots, and oranges.  The wine had a nice crisp element, but rounded out nicely from what I think are oak influences. The acidity showed through and suggested this would make a great food wine or a summer porch sipper!  Hurry up summer!

Pinot Noir for Christmas Dinner

While my parents were here last week, my De La Montanya club shipment arrived. In the box came an offer to repurchase any of the wines with free shipping!  I’m in charge of picking the wine for Christmas dinner, and I thought the deal too good to pass up, so we tried several of the wines to see what we liked for the dinner.  Our first pick for reorder is the 2006 De La Montanya Ridgeway Ranch Pinot Noir. It cost me $30.40 in my club shipment, clocked in at 14.2% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure.

We all agreed that the wine had an intriguing smoky quality on the nose, which I’m calling sandalwood smoke.  I also found cocoa dust, raspberry, slight mint/eucalyptus, red fruit, and cherry. The nose just emanated smoke, I loved it. In the mouth I found tart red cherries, perhaps Bing cherries, red fruit, oak, spice, earth, strawberries, spice, and slight pepper.

Overall, the fruit showed as all red and very tart. We all tasted this wine and thought it would be a real crowd pleaser for Christmas dinner. We’re having beef tenderloin, and I normally wouldn’t pick a Pinot Noir for that, but I really think that everyone will like this wine, and getting something that people will like is more important to me than pairing it exactly with the dinner.


Guess who took this photo?

Guess who took this photo?

I felt like a nice Pinot Noir the other night, so I swooped down into the basement and snagged a bottle of the 2006 De La Montanya Felta Creek Flying Rooster Ranch Pinot Noir. The wine came in a club shipment, clocked in a 14.2% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and cost me $19.20. I am eagerly awaiting my next De La Montanya shipment…I just saw that they charged my credit card, so it should be here in short order. So many of their wines work wonderfully with Thanksgiving dinner!

On the nose, I first smelled vanilla covered cherries.  That aroma quickly blew off, and I found sandalwood, leather, earth, forest, spice, and raspberries. The nose didn’t give up much fruit, but the aromatics were beautiful.  In the mouth I got flavors of black cherry. Huge black cherries! Other flavors showed as raspberries, blackberries, spice, dark fruit, oak, espresso, and sage.  I know sage sounds a little strange, but I swear, I tasted fresh sage leaves!

Overall, the Flying Rooster Ranch Pinot Noir is just gorgeous. It’s drinking beautifully now, showing tart fruit, lots of structure, and a good varietal profile. I think this bottle in particular would be lovely with your Thanksgiving turkey!

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.

For a Change

Well, I do have several more Italian Reds to review for you, but I like to mix things up sometimes and keep it interesting (well, hopefully!). So today we leave Italy and Europe and return to North America for one of the California wines that lives in my basement. As you probably know by now, most of the wines that hang out in my basement are from California and I supplement with purchases online and from local wine shops to bring you wines from other areas.

We’re diving back into one of my favorite California producers, as I just received a half case of wine from a club shipment. The wine is a 2006 De La Montanya Felta Creek Summer White. I’ve previously reviewed the 2005 vintage of this wine, you can read that review here. The wine came in a club shipment, is available for $19 a bottle, but cost us $15.20 with the club discount, had a real cork closure, and clocked in at 14% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found peach, vanilla, orange, and tropical fruit. In the mouth there were flavors of honey, pear, peach, citrus, pineapple, and tropical fruit. I really enjoyed the flavors in this wine. It would make a great summer wine (duh) and I can picture us drinking it on the patio in 100 degree weather…which we sadly get quite a bit of here in VA in the summer months! The wine had a great mouthfeel, not too heavy, but crisp and it felt just right. It goes down easy and is nice and smooth.

Happy (belated) birthday to me!

And a picture of what happens when you give your husband the camera and ask him to take a picture of the cake! In any case, my in-laws were here visiting this weekend and it was also my father-in-law’s birthday. Mine happened on Wednesday while I was away on business, so we shared a cake for the two birthdays instead.

Of course, we shared a bottle of wine to mark the occasion, this time a bottle of 2005 De la Montanya Syrah. The wine came in our last club shipment, cost around $24, had a real cork closure, and was 14.4% alcohol by volume. It was served with grilled steaks, fresh corn, and green beans prepared by Matt and my mother-in-law.

The nose showed dark fruit, cedar, oak, leather, and black currants. In the mouth there were big gobs of dark fruit. Specifically I found black currants and blackberries. Overall the wine was a bit tannic and was a big wine. I think I would let this one sit around for a bit before drinking it, or at least decant it before serving.

Another year older, the jury is still out on the wiser bit.

Getting Higher

Sheesh, the wine of the evening clocked in at 16.1% alcohol by volume! I almost didn’t serve it with dinner because we had to go to work the next day and I was a bit leery over the alcohol content. But being the good wino that I am, and for the sake of the blog, of course, I pressed on and found this to be an excellent bottle of wine.

The wine was a 2005 Felta Creek De la Montanya Zinfandel that came in a club shipment, had a real cork closure and cost $20.80.

On the nose I found blackberries, spice, black currants, and old leather. Yes, old worn in leather. In the mouth there were peppery spices, blackberries, black cherries, and plums.

The wine had a spicy kick which almost completely disappeared after an hour sitting out. Overall, this was rounder than most Zinfandels I have had, and despite the high alcohol content, really not overwhelming. The fruits were actually smooth and soft and the wine had excellent flavors after being allowed to sit out.

I served this one with a steak on the grill, and the match was pretty good given the peppery spices in the wine!

Getting good at this!

We drank this bottle of De la Montanya 2004 Pin-Up Caberet with homemade pizza. It will appear to the very attentive reader over the next weeks that I make pizza every other day, but really the case is that I lost some posts and am just getting around to catching up on what we’ve been drinking. New house + new job =total time suck.

The wine came in our most recent club shipment and cost us $30.40 plus shipping. Only 245 cases of this wine were produced, it had a real cork closure, and weighed in at 14.6% alcohol by volume.

It’s a red blend, and as soon as I opened the bottle I picked out Zinfandel and Syrah as some of the grapes involved in this wine. I was quite proud of myself when I turned the bottle over and discovered that it was 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Zinfandel, and 12% Syrah!
Got Zin and Syrah right away!

On the nose I found cedar, tobacco, oak, vanilla extract and black currants. Quite an aroma on this one, with each of the grapes seeming to contribute well to the nose. In the mouth I found lots of dark fruit and would describe the wine as smoky. The flavors were roast meat, blackberries and currants. I’m really loving these red blends, and this one was especially well-balances and went fantastically well with the pizza. However, I am a little concerned with the price tag, but am willing to let it go because I was very much impressed with the blend.

It’s not cooked!

Or at least the 2005 De la Montanya Tina’s Vineyard Pinot Noir seems to not have cooked on it’s arduous journey from CA to VA. This despite being stuck in a UPS truck for 2 full days and sitting for 3 full days over a long weekend in a warehouse! I’m hoping since this once is fine the other 5 bottles in the shipment are as well, though only time will tell, clearly.

The wine came in a club shipment (as you may have realized given my ranting about this wine over the past weeks), cost $25.60 for the bottle, has a real cork closure, and weighs in at 14% alcohol by volume.

The nose of the wine displayed spicy cedar wood, oak, spices and raspberries. In the mouth were more raspberries, tart cherries and spices. Overall the wine had what I would call a smoky characteristic, mostly imparted by the wood aromas on the nose. The wine was very light in the mouth, with the fruit feeling very fresh.

It was actually a great match with dinner! I’m experimenting with our new grill and purchased a cedar plank to cook on. Using that, our dinner was cedar-planked salmon steak with lemon, mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. Now, I know you are thinking that the cedar quality in the wine was my nose playing tricks on me with the cedar planked salmon, but I assure you that I opened and tasted the wine before the salmon was even brought in the house. And, if I do say so myself, the salmon was delicious, especially with the wine. The light body of the wine and its smoky quality paired incredibly well with the heavy salmon.