Californian wines are somewhat under-represented in the UK. Here are a couple of impressive Sonoma Chardonnays that I liked quite a bit, and which show restraint, balance and complexity.
Marimar Estate Son Miguel Vineyard Chardonnay ‘Acero’ Unoaked 2009 Russian River Valley, Sonoma
13.5% alcohol. Powerful and rich textured with pear and peach fruit as well as a [...]
I’ve only visited California’s most famous wine region – Napa Valley – once. But I was quite taken by the place. It’s actually a really good place to grow wine grapes, and makes some really superbwines. You can’t bash the wine region for the stylistic extremes and bad taste of some of the wineries, while [...]
So, after my good experience with Cain’s Five, here’s another serious Napa wine – this time, a varietal Cabernet Sauvignon. Again, this was drunk, not tasted. It also passed the drained bottle test – after tasting it, I took it along to dinner at my friend Rob’s place (he’s a fellow Man City fan, btw), [...]
I have a soft spot for Cain. It was the first winery I visited in Napa Valley (fairly recently, actually) and I was impressed by the thoughtful approach of Chris Howell. Cain ‘Five’ refers to the fact that the wine contains all five Bordeaux red grapes, and it’s an elegant, rather European-styled wine, made from [...]
Grape juice concentrate is a controversial topic in winemaking. It’s widely used, but people don’t really like to talk about it, because it sounds a bit like cheating. It’s a brave winemaker who shows journalists this widely used trick of the trade. Normally, it’s kept hidden away.
Most controversial of all is a substance called Mega [...]
I returned home from my all-too-brief California trip on Friday. Mercifully, the effects of jet-lag have been minimal this trip. I slept through every night while I was there, and have slept through since my return. I’ve not needed to go to bed early, either. My only conclusion is that tiredness + a reasonable dose [...]
On my way home now, but here are some more Sonoma pictures. The light was just so good this week.
Last night’s meal at Shimo, Healdsburg will live long in the memory. It describes its offerings as ‘modern steak’, and the steak we had was probably the best I’ve ever experienced.
Between five, we ordered two significant hunks of meat. A porterhouse (below), and a bone-in ribeye (above). They were prepared on the rare side of [...]
Yesterday afternoon was fun, with two contrasting winery visits. Scott Burr, my host, arranged two appointments, on a gloriously bright spring day. On the one hand, Kenwood: a relatively large winery in the Sonoma Valley (production – 500 000 cases), and on the other, Benovia, a boutique operation producing 4000 cases.
Both were very good. Pat [...]
Some very nice wines at Willi’s Wine Bar here in Santa Rosa last night. It’s an interesting place: they offer wine in a range of measures, including 2 oz tasting pours, which makes it possible to try quite a number over the course of an evening. Our 2 oz pours seemed quite generous, with more [...]