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!


The Weather Outside is Frightful

But the wine is so delightful! This bottle of wine is a great winter red, big and fruity in all the right ways, and perfect to drink in front of the fire with some beef stew. Which is what we did. Winter has really arrived this week, it was 10 out yesterday with the wind chill!

The wine was a 2005 Quivira Anderson Ranch Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley. It came in a club shipment, cost us $27.20, clocked in at 14.8% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure.

On the nose I found blackberry, spice, cranberry sauce (yes, I do mean the kind you serve with turkey), and vanilla. In the mouth, the wine was tannic at first, but after we let it sit, the flavors came shining through. I got tart cherries, blackberries, and cranberries. Overall, the wine was really dark. The fruit appeared fresher and more vibrant as the wine opened up. A delicious bottle of wine.

Purple Beauty

The wine for the evening was a 2005 Quivira Mourvedre. You’ll be noticing lots of new wines around here as the shipments are pouring in from my wine clubs after a long summer break. Hopefully come April I’ll have a new selection of wineries for you as we are planning to head up to Calaveras County to visit El Jefe.

The wine had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.4% alcohol by volume, came in a club shipment and cost around $24 (can’t find the price on line, this is my best guess).

On the nose I found vanilla, leather, spice, pepper, and bramble fruit. Overall the nose did not display much fruit. In the mouth I found licorice, blackberries, cherry pie, and what I think might have been eucalyptus, or in any case was a medicinal note. The wine was fruitier in the mouth than on the nose. I found it to be dark and earthy with a slightly bitter component. It was a bit tannic, so I think it could age. We have another bottle in the basement, so I’ll try to hang onto that one for a while.

This wine was very different, unlike anything else I’d ever had. I really liked this bottle and would definitely seek it out again.

Try this Wine.

I loved it. An overall fabulous bottle of wine, it had it all. An amazing nose, flavorful in the mouth, excellent structure and acidity, good tannins, I could go on….

The wine was a 2005 Quivira Grenache 2005 from Wine Creek Ranch Vineyard. It cost us $20.40 in a club shipment, clocked in at 14.8% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure. I’ve always liked Quivira and this is easily among the top wines I’ve tasted from them.

On the nose I found dark fruit. It was actually surprisingly floral overall. I specifically detected blackberries, strawberries, black currants, vanilla, and spice. This was a very aromatic wine.

In the mouth I would describe this wine as round, smooth, and full-bodied. Again, the dark fruit showed through, with slightly sweet strawberries and blackberries being the most prominent flavors. Overall this was a very dark wine.

I served it with homemade bruschetta and pizza and it was a fabulous match. A great pizza wine in my opinion!

Quivira 2004 Zinfandel

This bottle arrived in the mail in our latest Quivira club shipment (by the way, how did I not learn about wine by mail before last summer??). The wine was a 2004 Dry Creek Valley Wine Creek Ranch Quivira Zinfandel. It cost $25.50 after a discount, had a real cork closure and clocked in at 14.4% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found blackberries, raspberries, dark cherries and undercurrents of currants (yeah, I know, poor choice of words, give me a break, it’s been a long week already and it’s only Tuesday). In the mouth I found raspberries, red fruit and cracked pepper.

In the mouth the wine had quite a bit of juicy fruit mid-palate and was a bit tannic towards the finish. I think that overall the wine was fairly young and could easily sit on my shelf for at least another year, probably a bit longer than that as well. I served the wine with my steak and risotto dish, with the sauce made from raspberry jam instead of red currant jam as I was out of red currant jam and didn’t realize it until the steaks were already cooking. The risotto only had two cheeses, the extra sharp Cabot I had in the fridge and some fresh grated parmesean. Good match for our dinner, I do like using the wine we are drinking in the sauce for the steak!

A Rose by Any Other Name

I almost missed the boat on this wine event, the Catavino Virtual Rose tasting, which Dr.Debs told me to write up the Preston Vin Gris I was twittering about the other night for. However, I had already reviewed that one and didn’t take any notes. But the weather is inspiring me to dig into my lighter wines, so another rose tonight. This one just arrived in a club shipment last week and only managed to make it into my Cellartracker on Sunday.

The wine is a 2006 Quivira Grenache Rose. It had a real cork closure and clocks in at 14.1% alcohol by volume, a lot stronger than I am used to in a Rose. Unfortunately, I can’t find a price for it anywhere and my packing slip is gone, but judging by the amount billed to my credit card and the cost of the other wines in the shipment, my educated guess is that it is no more than $16.

I served this with a beef stroganoff over wheat egg noodles. I think it would have paired better with the pasta and fresh tomato sauce I served the other night and the Syrah I drank with that would have been even better with this meal (that review will be up soon!).

The first notable thing about this Rose is the color. It’s very unusual, though I’m not sure my photo does it much justice. It’s almost an orangey-salmon color, and very lightly colored, you can see right through it when it’s in the glass.

On the nose there are crisp strawberries and the slightest hint of watermelon. Also, a spicy note that I can’t quite place. The alcohol is there a bit too, it’s not offensive and blows off quickly, but to me it was odd for that to be there on a Rose. In the mouth, this a tart and incredibly dry wine. Quite possibly the driest Rose I have ever had. The mouth is full of strawberries, but the strawberries are heavy. If the makes any sense at all. Overall, I liked this Rose, though I’ve had others made from different grapes that I’ve enjoyed more, most notably a Merlot based Rose from Wilson Winery.

Now, I probably have 3 or 4 other roses hanging around in my collection at the moment, all of which I’ve reviewed already. I don’t have any from locations other than California, so I hope to get to the wine shop before April 30 so I can do a full comparison. Thanks for hosting this Catavino!

Quivira 2004 Zinfandel

First, the empty bottle from this wine weighs a ton. Second, this bottle of 2004 Quivira Zinfandel cost us $28, is 14.5% alcohol by volume and had a real cork closure. Only 425 cases of this wine were produced.

In this wine, I found blackberry, spices and cedar on the nose. This is not a huge zin like I am used to, it seems more reserved in the mouth. The fruit flavors don’t jump out and drown your palate. Instead, it’s silky smooth in the mouth, showing raspberries, blackberries and bit of peppery spice.

This is a really well balanced zin, and certainly not a “fruit bomb” despite the 14.5% alcohol by volume. It didn’t overwhelm our dinner at all, which many zins tend to do unless you serve them with a really big meal: smoky bbq or a huge steak. I served it with a bread crumb and parmesean baked tilapia filet over a bed of creamy parmesean polenta and steamed broccoli florets on the side.

The Forrest Through the Trees

Last night’s wine was all about the pine! The bottle was a 2004 Quivira Fig Tree Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. Weighs in at 13.8% alcohol by volume (thankfully less than the night before!), cost us $13.60, though I found it online for $11.99, and had a real cork closure. I served it with chicken roll-ups, cream sauce, broccoli and white rice. I thought a crisp Sauvignon Blanc would be a good match for the creamy, cheesy chicken dish. I thought it turned out well, with the acidity cutting through the creaminess and cleansing the palate.

Thie one was full of pine on the nose, with some lemon (but not smelling like pinesol, I promise!). Citrus flavors were in the mouth, with crisp apples and a little bit of a creamy melon flavor at the end.

Overall, the wine had good acidity and structure holding it together which balanced well with the fruit flavors. It’s not terribly complex, but is easy to drink and was a pleasant match with dinner. And if you can find for around $12, I think it’s an excellent deal and would easily be something we could use as an everyday wine. It was especially nice to see a wine under 14% alcohol by volume!

Friday Night Causulties

We hosted a dinner party on Friday night for several of Matt’s coworkers. Since it was my day off, I got to spend the day prepping food and picking out wine to serve. A total of 5 bottles of wine fell here on Friday, 2 whites, 2 reds and a dessert wine. With them I served a platter of assorted cheese and crackers, bruschetta, homemade pizza (1 pepperoni, 1 ham and pineapple) and chocolate mousse with raspberry sauce and fresh whipped cream.

The first wine served was a 2005 Fritz Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc, served with the assorted cheese and crackers. I’m almost always a fan of a crisp sauvignon blanc with cheese, especially when I’m serving creamy, tongue coating cheese, and this was no exception. We picked this bottle up at Fritz for $16.20 this summer, real cork closure and 13.6% alcohol by volume. A great match! Crisp, tart and acidic on the finish. Fairly citrusy, with lemons and grapefruits on the nose and the mouth. A nice long acidic finish. I’m glad we have a few more of these hanging around.

Second was a bottle of Quivira 2004 Syrah. I don’t remember if this came in a club shipment o if we bought it at Quivira, but it was $28.00, had a real cork closure and is 14.4% alcohol by volume. This bottle was a big hit with all of our guests and was served with the pepperoni pizza. A deep inky purple, it was a beautiful glass of wine. I decanted it for nearly an hour before serving, which was definetly a good call. There was vanilla and spice on the nose, and also a distinct scent of bacon. In the mouth there were blackberries and currants. It had a big mouth feel and was smooth, but the alcohol was there, so decant!

Third was a bottle of Ferrari Carano 2003 Zinfandel. At 14.8% alcohol by volume, this was a big wine. It had a real cork closure and ran us $21.60. This one is done, it didn’t need to be decanted at all, if you have it drink it now. We have one other bottle and I will serve it asap. Raisins and black currants on the nose, with blackberries in the mouth. It had a very nice finish and I didn’t even notice the big alcohol. This was not the typical big zinfandel, it was more reserved and not too fruit forward, but an excellent balanced bottle. I served this with the ham and pineapple pizza. Drink up now!

Forth was a bottle of Trentadue Chocolate Amore Red Dessert Wine. Now, if you want to talk about big alcohol levels, here it is! This one sits at 18.5% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure and I don’t remember what it cost. It’s a very tasty and well done dessert wine, though the chocolate is flavor added. Under the chocolate, there were layers of red raspberry. It was fairly thick, but this is probably Matt’s favorite dessert wine ever. I served it with chocolate mousse.

Finally, a bottle of 2005 De La Montanya Fume Blanc. 14.6% alcohol by volume, a real cork closure and cost us $16 at the vineyard. This was floral and aromatic on the nose. In the mouth there was green apple. A crisp wine with a good structure and a decent finish. I thought the flavors in this bottle were very well done and it was definitely a good value. I think we have 2 more of these hanging around.

Phew, that was a long one, but an excellent party, with excellent food if I do say so myself and delicious wine!

Certainly not Petite

2003 Quivira Petite Sirah. Nothing small about this wine. Big nose, big mouth. I smell blackberry, currants, pepper and vanilla on this one. Dark fruits of many kinds in the mouth, though primarily blackberry. Spicy, some toasted oak in the mouth as well. Tannins at the end would probably mellow a bit more with some age.

Club shipment, $24 minus whatever discount, plus shipping (really, I understand that I don’t save anything with the discount since I have to ship it across the country, but eh, I can’t get these wines locally). 14.2% alcohol by volume and a real cork closure. Quivira only makes this varietal wine in years they deem to be “exceptional.” Otherwise, I gather they blend the grape in their zinfandels. A very good value on this one, and I wish I had another bottle to taste in a year or so to see if the tannins have mellowed out. Though perhaps if I had bothered to decant this for a while, I wouldn’t have noticed them at all. And really, that’s probably what would have happened as I noticed the wine getting smoother as I made my way through my glass (hey, it took me a while, I was distracted by typing up last night’s tasting notes).

A fair match for our dinner of homemade bruschetta (sensing yet that we really like bruschetta?) and porcupines (no silly, not road kill (though that would be interesting, I wonder exactly how one would skin and prepare a porcupine and what it taste like? Chicken probably, everyone always says various meats taste like chicken) but meatballs made with rice and simmered in a beefstock just like my mom used to make). For some reason, I think it would have gone really well with Pasta Bolognese.