2014 Wine Industry Technology Symposium Tasting

A few weeks ago, the Wine Industry Technology Symposium  met at the Napa Valley Marriott and had two days filled with speakers, presentations, and events. The Symposium was founded back in 2005 by a mix of professionals of both the wine and technology industries. It was created to address the unique technology needs of the wine industry.

During the Symposium, there were many tastings and events as one might expect. During the first day of the Symposium, WineTwits held a huge virtual tasting that featured wines from six different producers:  Wente Vineyards, Garnet Vineyards, Redwood Winery, Kendall-Jackson, Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, and Franciscan Estate Vineyards. Participants of this virtual tasting, tasted through all the wines and joined fellow wine bloggers and wine lovers from all over on Twitter to tweet about the event using hashtag, #WITS2014. They were also joined by the winemakers who tweeted along with them, providing a wonderful dialogue for the event. Due to unforeseen circumstances with my work, I was unable to participate in the tasting. I did however have an opportunity to taste each of these fantastic wines, and wanted an opportunity to write about them and share my thoughts with you. I present to you the wines of the #WITS2014 tasting.

Wines of the #WITS2014 virtual tasting

Wines of the #WITS2014 virtual tasting

Wente Vineyards 2012 Morning Fog Chardonnay: I had an opportunity to taste this wine a while back for International Chardonnay Day and absolutely loved it. This is 100% Chardonnay and pours a pale lemon color in the glass. On the nose, you get vibrant green apple, white stone fruit, honeydew melon, spice, and vanilla. On the palate, flavors of green apple, pear, melon, spice, toasty oak, vanilla, and spice are embraced by nice acidity. This wine spends some time sur lie aging which gives the wine, viscosity, body, and a savory component that adds another level of complexity, which I absolutely love. The wine also has a long, satisfying finish. $12 SRP.

Garnet Vineyards 2012 Monterey County Pinot Noir: This cool climate, California Pinot Noir is aged in 100% French Oak for 11 months. The wine pours a lovely ruby color in the glass with pink hues. Immediately, the glass fills with a bouquet of cherries, cranberries, plums, raspberries, spice, oak, and vanilla. The robust flavors of the dark red fruits continue on the palate giving it a big, juicy mouthfeel. Another layer of vanilla, spice, and cola emerges. The wine has a decent amount of acidity and a long finish. I typically drink Pinot Noirs from Oregon and Burgundy so it was interesting to taste this California Pinot Noir. It is definitely a different style from what I normally drink. $14.99 SRP.

Franciscan Estate 2011 Magnificat: I have had the opportunity to taste this Bordeaux-style red blend before in different vintages and have always enjoyed it. The blend is composed of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, and 3% Malbec. The wine pours a deep ruby color in the glass with long legs upon swirling the wine. On the nose, the wine offers ample dark fruits such as blackberry and boysenberry as well as dark cherry and plum. As the wine opens up more in the glass, you get aromas of espresso, baker’s chocolate, and tobacco. On the palate, robust dark fruits dominate as well as layers of the baker’s chocolate, espresso, cassis, and vanilla, all embraced by a firm tannic structure. The mouthfeel of this wine is rich and robust and has a lingering finish. Always an excellent wine. $50 SRP

Jamieson Ranch 2011 Double Lariat Cabernet Sauvignon: This Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is aged for 18 months in 100% French Oak. In the glass, the wine pours a dark ruby color with aromas of blackberry, blackcurrant, dark cherry, cocoa, leather, cedar, toasted oak, and vanilla. Flavors of blackberry, raspberry, dark cherry, cocoa, and vanilla coat the palate. The wine has rich, silky tannins and a very long finish. This wine would pair great with a bacon cheeseburger or a juicy steak. $55 SRP

Kendall-Jackson 2011 Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon: This Sonoma County wine is 94.8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.4% Petit Verdot, 0.5% Merlot, and 0.2% Cabernet Franc. The wine is aged 17 months in 82% French Oak and 18% American Oak. The wine pours a deep ruby color in the glass with aromas of blackberry, black cherry, blackcurrant, espresso, dark chocolate, leather, and an herbaceous note from the touch of Cabernet Franc that the blend has. On the palate, the wine shows the lush black fruit, espresso, dark chocolate, sweet spices, and hints of herbs, mint, and licorice; all embodied by finely integrated tannins and a long finish. $28 SRP

Renwood 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel Amador County: This Zinfandel pours a deep ruby color in the glass with thick, long legs as the wine is swirled in the glass. The glass fills with aromas of blackberry, boysenberry, blueberry, cherry, and raspberry jam. On the nose you also gets aromas of sweet spice, vanilla, toasted oak, cocoa powder, fresh ground pepper, and dust. The palate is filled with juicy, ripe dark fruits, cocoa, vanilla, coffee, spice, and fresh ground pepper on the finish with a bold tannic structure. This wine is really big and bold and would be BBQ’s best friend. It definitely begs for ribs or burgers. $19.99 SRP

There you have the wines featured at the WineTwits virtual tasting in honor of the 2014 Wine Industry Technology Symposium. All these wines can be purchased at the respective winery’s websites or across various online wine merchants. WineTwits has also partnered with Uber to provide two free rides valued at up to $15 each way to be used anywhere Uber has service until the end of this year. To take advantage of this offer, download the Uber app and enter WITS2014 in the promotions tab. You can also text WITS2014 to 827-222 or click here to sign up to take advantage of this promotion.

Although I regret that I was unable to participate in the live virtual tasting with WineTwits, I enjoyed tasting through the wines from the event and sharing them with you. Be sure to check out each of the above producer’s websites to learn more about their wines as well as check out the WineTwits website to learn more about them and the awesome events they produce.

Until the next time. Cheers!

~Monica

*These wines were provided as media samples for review purposes. 

 

 

 

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Great Summer Whites By Rios De Chile

Summertime is finally here, so it’s time to break out the barbecues and enjoy those pool parties and picnics! As the temperatures rise, so does our thirst for light, crisp summertime white wines. Friends are always asking me for recommendations on summertime whites that are versatile enough to serve at summertime picnics and parties as well as to enjoy anytime at home. I recently had an opportunity to taste a couple of Chilean white wines produced by Rios De Chile. These two wines definitely fit the bill and are a great value.

Rios De Chile Chardonnay a& Sauvignon Blanc

Rios De Chile Chardonnay a& Sauvignon Blanc

Rios De Chile produces three categories of wines: the basic line of wines, Reserve (or Reserva) wines, and a Grand Reserve (Gran Reserva) line of wines. I tasted a 2011 Chardonnay and a 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, both from the basic line. Both of these wines are produced from fruit sourced from Chile’s vast Central Valley Region; a region with a reputation for producing quality wines at a good value. Now let’s get to the fun part; the wines!

The Rios De Chile 2011 Chardonnay is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes and is fermented in 100% stainless steel tanks that allow the purest expression of the grape. In the glass, the wine pours a golden lemon color. Swirling the wine in the glass allows a bouquet of tropical fruits, green apples, and white stone fruits to emerge. On the palate, you get refreshing tropical fruits such as pineapple, passion fruit, and mango as well as another layer of fresh green apple, and citrus. All of the flavors are balanced out by nice acidity and the wine finishes long. This is a very crisp, clean, and light Chardonnay that will pair great with lighter summer foods such as salads, seafood, poultry, and creamy pasta dishes. This wine retails for $10.

Rios De Chile 2011 Chardonnay

Rios De Chile 2011 Chardonnay

Now, on to the Rios De Chile 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes and is also fermented in 100% stainless steel. The wine pours a pale, lemon color in the glass. On the nose, you get a perfumed bouquet of tropical fruits, lively lemon and lime, flowers, herbs, and minerals. The bouquet is lovely and not overly pungent like you get in most Sauvignon Blancs that come from New Zealand. The palate is full of tropical fruits, lemon, lime, ruby grapefruit, pear, and finishes with a crisp, long finish with an herbaceous note. This wine also has lovely, crisp acidity that will make it a perfect pairing for light pasta dishes and seafood grilled on the barbecue. This wine retails for $10.

Rios De Chile 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

Rios De Chile 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

Both of these wines are an excellent example of the quality wines being produced in Chile’s Central Valley Region. These wines are great to have on hand for summertime picnics, and barbecues and are a great introduction to Chilean wines. Up until recently, these wines were not found in the United States. The wines are being imported by Pacific Wine Group and will become more widely available.

Rios De Chile can be found on Twitter and Facebook. Be sure to connect with them to stay up to date on latest releases and information. It was a pleasure tasting these wines and sharing them with you. Until the next time friends.

Cheers,

Monica

*These wines were provided as media samples for review purposes. 

 

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Happy New Year From Fab OC Wine Chick!

Happy 2014 everyone! I cannot believe another year is gone. 2013 was a wonderful year for me filled with wine, travel, and friends.

Happy 2014!

Happy 2014!

I know that this blog has been kind of quiet for a few weeks but I assure you, I am still here busy working, tasting fabulous wines, and continuing my studies with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. I am busy working on Level 3 and will travel to London at the end of March for a workshop and then for the exam itself. Then, it’s on to Diploma which will be spanned out over two years with more travel back to London for the various exams and units. I decided on doing Level 3 and Diploma online with the travel abroad for the exams because it fits my crazy work schedule better and the travel will hopefully help me retain my elite status with my airline and hotel programs. Plus, London has always been one of my favourite cities in the world and it’s like home to me.

What else in 2014 you ask? My year will be filled with lots of studying, natch and I do have a fair mount of travel booked and planned. My goal in 2014 is to get into the wine industry in some capacity and move where the job takes me. Hopefully my backgrounds in marketing, business development, social media, and hospitality along with my WSET certifications and connections in the industry will make that possible. Stay tuned. I plan to taste many more great wines in 2014 and continue to blog. Fabocwinechick.com has already been purchased so I will migrate this blog over soon. Last year had a lot of challenges with me health-wise and recovering from surgery but I am much healthier and plan to rock 2014!

My wish for you all is to have an absolutely amazing 2014 filled with happiness, health, prosperity, and of course great wine. I treasure all the friends that I have made in the past few years in the wine industry and wine blogging communities and I am excited to meet many more of you at the 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Barbara and in my travels. Raising a glass to all of you and wishing you a wonderful year ahead!

Cheers!

~Monica

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Journeying To South Africa With The Wines Of Silkbush Mountain Vineyards

I recently had an opportunity to taste some wines from a South African wine producer, Silkbush Mountain Vineyards. I was sent a Viognier and a Pinotage. Having never tasted a Viognier from South Africa before and with my very limited experience with Pinotage, I was particularly eager to taste these wines and share them with you.

Silkbush Mountain Vineyards is located in Breedekloof, in the Breede River Valley in the infamous Western Cape; beyond the more widely known Cape Town and Stellenbosch. The wine farm boasts 341 total mountain acres and contains sloped hillsides up to 2100′ above sea level. The rocky soils, abundance of pure water, and cool evenings are ideal growing conditions for growing their premium grapes. Silkbush got its start with duo Dave Jefferson and Anton Roos. When a wine farm became available, they purchased it and became partners. In the beginning, they were contracted to sell their grapes to several famous wineries which won the wineries awards for their wines. After their continued success in growing premium grapes, they hired a winemaker and began producing their own wines under the Silkbush Mountain Vineyards label. Currently in production is a Viognier and Pinotage, with other varietals for future release.

Silkbush Mountain Vineyard Viognier & Pinotage

Silkbush Mountain Vineyard Viognier & Pinotage

First up is the 2012 Viognier. This wine is made from 100% Viognier grapes and is fermented in stainless steel tanks with an additional six months after fermentation on the lees to give the wine it’s signature creaminess. In the glass, the wine pours a pale yellow color. The nose of the wine is lovely. Right away, you get scents of juicy white stone fruits such as peaches and nectarines, as well as honeysuckle and floral notes. On the palate, the white stone fruits dominate as well as flavors of ripe honeydew melon, tropical fruits, and, pear. The mouthfeel of the wine is smooth and creamy and the finish is long. This is a delightful wine and would pair wonderfully with lighter fare such as chicken dishes, salads, and soft cheeses. The wine is drinking beautifully now but can stand a few years of aging. The suggested retail price is $16.99; definitely a QPR winner and a highly recommended wine.

Next up is the 2009 Lion’s Drift Pinotage. As I had mentioned before, my experience with Pinotage is limited and previous experience was not very good. The wines I’ve tasted always had the burnt rubber-like element mixed with stewed fruit that I did not care for. That is definitely not the case with this Pinotage. The 2009 Lion’s Drift Pinotage is 100% Pinotage and is fermented for 13 months in a combination of New French and American Oak. In the glass, the wine pours a deep plum color. Scents of dark cherry, plum, strawberry, and sweet spice fill the glass. I also picked up on some leather and tar on the nose. On the palate, cranberry, red currant, plums, and dark cherry dominate. There is also another layer of black licorice, pepper, baker’s chocolate, and a touch of espresso, with a very long finish. This is a rich, full bodied wine, with a nice tannic structure. There is a lot of complexity with this wine and is very interesting to drink. This wine will stand up to heartier fare such as lamb chops, meat stews, and hard cheeses. The suggested price for this wine is $18. Another QPR winner and a very highly recommended wine. The wine is drinking beautifully now but is built to age up to 10 years, possibly more. For those who have limited experience with Pinotage or who have yet to find one they enjoy, this is definitely one for you to try.

The wines are currently distributed in several states and can be purchased online here. Silkbush Mountain Vineyards can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out the Silkbush Mountain Vineyards website for more information on their history and winemaking practices.

Cheers,

Monica

* These wines were provided as media samples for review purposes.

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Cornerstone Cellars, A Chic & Sophisticated Oasis In The Heart Of Yountville

Many of you know that I have been writing about the wines of Cornerstone Cellars for years, however the irony is that I had never been to the tasting room in Yountville. Truth is, I had not made it out to the Napa Valley all that much and when the opportunity for a trip up north presented itself to visit my friend Thea, the first order of business was to schedule a tasting at their tasting room in Yountville. I contacted friend and Managing Partner for Cornerstone Cellars, Craig Camp to let him know that I would be in town. He set up a wonderful tasting with Cornerstone Cellars winemaker, Jeff Keene. A great time was in store for us!

Cornerstone Cellars tasting room in Yountville

Cornerstone Cellars tasting room in Yountville

From the moment you walk into the tasting room, you are surrounded with a chic, yet elegant ambiance. The look is very contemporary and inviting. The walls are adorned with the colorful artwork of artist, Janet Ekholm. Her artwork appears on some of the labels of the Cornerstone wines including the 2010 Stepping Stone Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and the 2012 Stepping Stone Corallina Rosé. Comfortable leather furniture and and barstools will make you want to stay a while, relax, and really experience the wines of Cornerstone Cellars.

Display in the Cornerstone Cellars tasting room

Display in the Cornerstone Cellars tasting room

Cornerstone Cellars tasting room

Cornerstone Cellars tasting room

Love the elegant, yet inviting feel of the tasting room

Love the elegant, yet inviting feel of the tasting room

The bar in the tasting room

The bar in the tasting room

Cornerstone Cellars tasting room

Cornerstone Cellars tasting room

We were greeted by winemaker, Jeff Keene who took wonderful care of us. Jeff has been one of my favorite winemakers for a long time now and to be able to taste through his wines with him was an absolute treat. He tasted us through some old favorites that I have had the privilege of writing about on this blog before as well as a sneak preview of some of the 2011 pre-releases. Let me tell you, the 2011s were an absolute delight to preview and you have a treat in store with them when they are finally released. The new labels on the 2011 Stepping Stone Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon are classy and contemporary. In addition to the labels designed by Janet Ekholm, the new labels on the 2011 pre-releases are my favorite.

The Stepping Stone 2011s

The Stepping Stone 2011s

Winemaker, Jeff Keene getting set-up for us

Winemaker, Jeff Keene getting set-up for us

We kicked off the tasting with the Cornerstone Cellars 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. This crisp, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc had the perfect balance of Citrus, white stone fruits, tropical fruits, and acidity. It was the perfect wine to start with on a hot summer day. We then moved on to the 2011 pre-releases of the Stepping Stone Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Those wines will get their own respective posts in the future. They are everything you would expect from Cornerstone. They are elegant, age-worthy wines that are versatile at the same time. It was a treat to taste them prior to release and you won’t be disappointed. Next, we re-visited the iconic, bold 2010 Cornerstone Cabernets; the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and the Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. I was lucky enough to taste them earlier this year and both have their own respective posts on this blog.

Jeff had us well taken care of that day

Jeff had us well taken care of that day

Cornerstone Cellars 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

Cornerstone Cellars 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

Stepping Stone By Cornerstone 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Franc (pre-release)

Stepping Stone By Cornerstone 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Franc (pre-release)

Stepping Stone By Cornerstone 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Stepping Stone By Cornerstone 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Cornerstone Cellars 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Cornerstone Cellars 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Cornerstone Cellars 2010 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Cornerstone Cellars 2010 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

One of Cornerstone’s wines that I am very excited about is The Cornerstone. We tasted the 2010 with Jeff at the tasting room and I also tasted the 2009 during the 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference in Penticton, British Columbia. This is a classic Bordeaux-style red blend that has great depth and complexity. This wine is drinking beautifully right now but will only get better with several years aging in the cellar. This wine is robust and powerful with several layers of pleasure for your senses. This wine is very limited in production and deserves a place in your cellar.

Cornerstone Cellars 2010 The Cornerstone

Cornerstone Cellars 2010 The Cornerstone

Lastly, what is a tasting without another familiar favorite? The 2012 Stepping Stone Corallina Rosé rounded out our tasting. This is one of my all-time favorite Rosés. It gets better every time I taste it. Made from 100% Syrah, this bone-dry Rosé is a perfect accompaniment to a broad range of foods or perfect for sipping on its own. It is crisp, clean, refreshing and offers abundant white peach, strawberry, ruby grapefruit, orange zest and vibrant acidity. This wine is a lot of fun to drink. Unfortunately, this wine is sold out. By the time Thea and I got done shopping in the tasting room, they were down to a single case. Have no fear, for Corallina always returns.

Stepping Stone 2012 Corallina Rosé

Stepping Stone 2012 Corallina Rosé

Thea and I had a lovely time visiting the tasting room and Jeff took exceptional care of us. We were even lucky enough to have a quick visit with Craig. I am thrilled that I finally had the opportunity to visit the tasting room of one of my favorite wineries. Cornerstone wines are always recommended by me however if you find yourself in the Napa Valley, do yourself a favor and stop in to the Cornerstone Cellars tasting room in the lovely town of Yountville. Their staff is highly knowledgeable and friendly, and will warmly greet you and promise you a wonderful experience. I’m already looking forward to my next visit to the tasting room later on this year.

For more information on Cornerstone Cellars, be sure to visit their website. They can also be found on Twitter and Facebook. Craig and his team will always keep you up to date on new releases and winery news.

Until the next time friends.

Cheers!

~Monica

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Previewing The Jordan Winery Estate Tour & Tasting

My recent travels took me to Sonoma and Napa Valley this past weekend. While I was visiting Sonoma County, I had the privilege of being invited to Jordan Winery to preview their new Estate Tour & Tasting, opening to the public this week. The group invited to participate consisted of about ten wine, food, and travel bloggers. The purpose of this Estate Tour & Tasting is to showcase the breathtaking 1200 acre property and show that Jordan is not just a winery and tasting room but rather a journey for epicureans, wine lovers, and those who appreciate natural beauty.

Welcome to Jordan Winery

Welcome to Jordan Winery

The Estate Tour & Tasting lasts three hours but the time goes by so quickly with all that is involved. We arrived a few minutes early and were greeted outside of the Winery Chateau by our friend Lisa Mattson of Jordan Winery. The Winery Chateau is a beautiful chateau covered in ivy that makes you feel like you are transported in time to France. Outside the Chateau, fresh baked pastries and refreshing cucumber water were a welcome treat for the already warm morning. Our tour was going to make four stops along the beautiful drive along the property. We boarded an air-conditioned shuttle bus and wonderful food, wine, and scenery awaited us.

Lisa Mattson gives us a brief history of Jordan before starting the Estate Tour & Tasting

Lisa Mattson gives us a brief history of Jordan before starting the Estate Tour & Tasting

With camera’s and notepads in hand, along with much excitement, we were off to our first stop of the tour, Chef’s Garden. Right across from the garden, was a farm with livestock, chickens, and other farm animals. Jordan is working on branding its own beef from Angus to Wagyu. Just a few feet in front of the farm was the Chef’s Garden. The garden is approximately one acre in size and boasts an assortment of colorful fruits, vegetables, and herbs all of which are used in creating seasonal dishes by the Estate Executive chef, Todd Knoll, to be paired with the Jordan Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. In the garden, you will also find a colorful assortment of seasonal flowers. Some of the produced we sampled on-site were tomatoes, figs, and raspberries. This is a true farm-t0-table experience.

The farm on the Jordan Estate

The farm on the Jordan Estate

Flowers in the garden

Flowers in the garden

Chef's Garden

Chef’s Garden

Bloggers picking raspberries in the garden

Bloggers picking raspberries in the garden

Some of the tastiest, sweetest tomatoes I have ever had

Some of the tastiest, sweetest tomatoes I have ever had

After spending some time in the Chef’s Garden, we were back on the bus and off to our second stop on the Estate Tour & Tasting; Seven Oaks. Seven Oaks is a shaded oasis on the property and is named after the cluster of seven oak trees that surround it. The trees provide much needed shade on the warm days, magnificent views of the Jordan Lake and olive orchards, and a sense of tranquility. Seven Oaks also houses wildlife as well as a dock.

View of Jordan Lake from the dock at Seven Oaks

View of Jordan Lake from the dock at Seven Oaks

Jordan staff had our first wine and food pairing set up for us at Seven Oaks. We were presented with two dishes; Spiced garden escabeche with Gravenstein apple vinaigrette & wild fennel and Nigiri of seasonal fruit with Jordan Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sonoma honey & citrus. The two dishes were paired with 2010 & 2011 Jordan Chardonnay Russian River Valley. Both dishes were bursting with color and a mecca of flavors. The two Chardonnays were slightly different in style. The 2010, was a fuller, richer wine, with a creamier texture and mouthfeel coming from the malolactic fermentation and Sur Lie aging process. The 2010 boasts tropical fruit, green apple, stone fruit, vanilla, spice, and toast with a nice balance and long finish. The 2011 Chardonnay is crisp, clean, and refreshing with predominant green apple, citrus, and stone fruit notes leading the way to nice minerality and vibrant acidity. Although both wines paired beautifully with each dish, I found the 2011 Chardonnay to pair the best with the spiced garden escabeche and the 2010 with the nigiri. We also sampled Jordan’s delicious extra virgin olive oil with assorted breads. Happily filled with good food and wine, we were off to our next stop; Creekside Landing.

The presentation at Seven Oaks

The presentation at Seven Oaks

The 2010 & 2011 Jordan Chardonnay Russian River Valley

The 2010 & 2011 Jordan Chardonnay Russian River Valley

Food and wine pairings at Seven Oaks

Food and wine pairings at Seven Oaks

Creekside Landing is another picturesque, tranquil setting on the Estate that is nestled in between Jordan’s vineyards. It is home to various species of wildlife and plants. The bridge in the Creekside Landing leads the way to the vineyards where 2013’s harvest would be underway very, very soon. For those who do not know, Jordan adopts sustainable practices in the vineyards. The two wines in production are their Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Chardonnay uses 100% Chardonnay grapes and while the Cabernet Sauvignon is composed mostly of the Cabernet grape, it can also contain small amounts of Malbec, Petit Verdot, Merlot, or Cabernet Franc. The composition varies from vintage to vintage. A leisurely stroll in the vintage led to grape tasting and ideal opportunities for more pictures. A sampling of various grapes confirmed that harvest was just around the corner. After tasting Malbec and Petit Verdot, it was time to hop on the bus and head off to the fourth and final stop on the Estate Tour & Tasting; Vista Point.

Jordan Vineyard

Jordan Vineyard

Jordan Vineyard

Jordan Vineyard

Malbec grapes

Malbec grapes

Petit Verdot grapes

Petit Verdot grapes

Our fourth and final stop on the Estate Tour & Tasting took us all the way to the top of Jordan Estate’s highest hilltop, Vista Point. We were swept away by some of the most incredible views imaginable of mountains and several surrounding wine regions. This was my favorite stop of the tour.

View from Vista Point

View from Vista Point

View from Vista Point

View from Vista Point

In the middle of this hilltop was a beautiful gazebo that housed the next food and wine pairing for us. We sat down to a beautiful table with stemware and lovely wooden boxes filled with mouthwatering delights. Our two dishes were Miso-glazed Sonoma beef with Maitake mushrooms & braised endive and a Selection of Sonoma County & European artisanal cheeses. Both selections were paired with 2002 & 2009 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley. The Miso-glazed beef was filled with so many layers of flavor and textures and was complimented beautifully by the wines as was the selection of cheeses. On the table, there were also baskets of breads for dipping into individual size dishes of Jordan Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Table setting at Vista Point

Table setting at Vista Point

Absolutely loved the serving dishes for each pairing

Absolutely loved the serving dishes for each pairing

A portion of the food served for the pairing (my apologies for not getting a shot of the Miso-glazed beef that was inside the miniature pot)

Cheeses served for the pairing (my apologies for not getting a shot of the Miso-glazed beef that was inside the miniature pot)

The 2009 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander valley is the current release for their Cabernets. The composition is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and 1% Malbec. The aging process was 12 months in 77% French oak and 23% American oak. For the 2002 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, the composition is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, and 1% Cabernet Franc. The 2002 also aged for 12 months in a combination of French and American oak barrels. Both vintages poured deep ruby colors in the glasses. Both offering juicy blue and black berry fruit notes, though more concentrated on the ’09. Typical vanilla, spice, oak, and baker’s chocolate were present in both. The 2002 was just starting to develop the more complex layers like leather, tobacco, cedar, and espresso while the predominant layers for the 2009 were the fruit and spice. Both provided lovely balance, firm tannic structure, and long finishes. I enjoyed both vintages but the 2002 was my favorite. The 2009 is still very young and has very long aging potential to develop the complex layers like the 2002.

2009 and 2002 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley

2009 and 2002 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley

Both Cabernets being poured

Both Cabernets being poured

After we were done wining and dining at Vista Point, our three hours somehow managed to quickly pass by and we were whisked back to the Winery Chateau to receive a parting gift from Lisa and say our goodbyes. This Estate Tour is sure to leave a lasting impression on all of us.

The Jordan Winery Estate Tour & Tasting was a phenomenal experiences and look into what the Estate has to offer in terms of a true wine, food, and scenic experience. This was the best executed, tour and tasting that I have ever been on. The staff at Jordan have left no stone unturned in putting together an unforgettable experience. As of today, the Estate Tour & Tasting is open to the public and there is one per day. The cost is $120 per person. If you find yourself in the Sonoma area or are thinking about visiting, I highly recommend booking this tour. It will provide you with an unforgettable experience in food, wine, and nature in one of Sonoma’s most prestigious Estates that is sure to be unlike anything you have experienced before in wine country.

Please visit this link to make reservations for this experience or for more information. The wines mentioned on this blog that are part of the tour can also be purchased on the website. Be sure to connect with Jordan on their Facebook and Twitter pages to keep up to date with winery news, events, and new releases.

A special thank you to Lisa and the staff at Jordan for inviting us and allowing us to experience this before the general public. I cannot wait to get back to Sonoma and pay Jordan another visit. Until the next time friends.

Cheers,

Monica

* I was invited as a guest of the winery to participate in the Estate Tour & Tasting. Thoughts represented on this blog are my own.

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Fab OC Wine Chick Is Off To Napa Valley & Sonoma In Two Weeks!

Some of you are probably wondering what I’ve been up to since it has been a few weeks since my last post. Things at work have been keeping me pretty busy with settling into a new role and promotion. That’s meant many long hours, however things are slowly getting back to normal. I have also been working on my WSET certification. I will be jumping into the next level this fall and hopefully starting a career in the wine industry someday. Never fear though, I haven’t stopped discovering great wines or having wine-filled adventures.

Welcome to Napa Valley!

Welcome to Napa Valley!

What’s next you might ask? Well my travels are about to take me to Napa and Sonoma in a couple of weeks. I am excited to see my friends up North and looking forward to visiting wineries and taking in the beautiful scenery as well explore the culinary scene. So far on the agenda are Jordan Winery, Ridge Vineyards, Unti Vineyards, Cornerstone Cellars, and Corison. I will be attending a media event at Jordan, so look out for a future post on that as well as photos and tweets during the event. Also, as many of you know, I have been writing about the wines of Cornerstone Cellars for the past couple years and on this trip, it will be my first visit ever to their tasting room in Yountville where hopefully, I will get a chance to meet talented winemaker, Jeff Keene. So, definitely keep an eye out for a write up on that visit as well as photos during my visit. I Would definitely like to fit in a few more wineries to visit so I will be adding more to the list between now and the time I leave.

As always keep an eye out for my adventures during the trip on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you in greater detail on my blog when I return.

Have a great week everyone!

Cheers,

Monica

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