Prettiest Rosé in the Garden

Given we are just beginning rosé season I thought I’d share some beautiful rosé wines to drink this spring & summer or if you are willing to share they make the best gifts. I know your not “supposed” to judge a wine but it’s label however sometimes it’s just best of both worlds scenario and they are blessed with looks and taste. Enjoy the following list of rosés that I personally thought were some of the prettiest out there:

Summer in a Bottle Rosé 2017 by Wolffer Estate Vineyard – $25

This unique shiny coppery rosé gold color stems from its blend of 51% Merlot 23% Chardonnay 9% Gewürztraminer 8% Cabernet Franc 5% Cabernet Sauvignon 4% Riesling. This isn’t called summer in a bottle for nothing. It’s the bright fruit, melon and lychee that make you feel like you are drinking summer. Made and bottled in New York!

Gerard Bertrand Cote des Roses Rose 2016 -$15.99

This peachy Rosé is from Languedoc-Roussillon, France.  

The bouquet releases aromas of summer fruits, cassis and redcurrant. Floral notes of rose along with hints of grapefruit complete the picture. The finish is fresh, offering notes of candy. On the palate the impression is fresh and full, with great aromatic persistence and balance.

Notorious Pink 2016 Grenache Rose   -$ 16.99

This rosé is pale pink in color that exudes floral orange blossom aromas. Made from 100% Grenache from the South of France, we use mature berries to balance the flavors of ripe berries that gives it a wonderful acidity and soft minerality. I received this one from my amor for Valentines Day and truly the bottle is so feminine and pretty. Sleek opaque glass with a glass cork epitomizes class and elegance.

J Vineyards Sparkling Rose    –$31.99

Made in Cali (whoop whoop). This rosé yields aromas of strawberry, nectarine and juicy red apples. On the palate, the wine opens with flavors of cherry, orange, citrus peel and the tropical star fruit that are underlined by a bright acidity that keeps the impression delightfully fresh with a lively, lingering finish. This simplistic design is perfect for anyone you know that has a name that starts with J.

Armand de Brignac Rose –$ 439.97

Made in Champagne, France with a champagne in France price point. A stunning wine, with aromas of strawberries and toast layered over a creamy palate filled with apple tart and fresh berries. Elegant, supple and rich, with a balanced finish and fine mousse. One of the top Champagnes to be found today. This wine is for a very special occasion or if you have money to throw around. Not your average summer pool party rosé.

 

Cavicchioli 1928 Rosé Spumante Dolce is made from 100% Lambrusco grapes. In the vineyard, the vines are raised with a Guyot training system, with spurred cordon pruning, on loose mixed soils. When poured and tasted, white and evanescent foam; fine and lingering perlage; bright and pale pink “candy” color; fresh and fruity aroma; sweet, slightly spicy and aromatic taste with red fruit notes with a lingering aftertaste.

Tsarine Brut Rose NV -$49.99

Aromas of red fruits with hints of brioche; this Champagne brings layers of fruit and creaminess on palate with bright freshness leading to an elegant finish. This twisted glass bottle makes for a elegant gift to a friend worth giving a $50 bottle of rosé. Not your average summer picnic wine.

Wineries are the gem on Treasure Island

Yesterday on my company offsite we ventured a few miles away to Treasure Island for a wine tasting. I have pasted the exit maybe 100 times and never realized there was a whole wine world on the little island.

We went this little rustic tasting room called Vie Winery. Vie’s limited-production Rhone varietal and zinfindel-based wines grapes come from Santa Barbara, Sonoma, Napa, and Lake County vineyards.

We did a blind tasting of 4 reds their Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The wines were a bit lighter and jammy than one would expect from Cab or Zin however they were tasty. I enjoyed their Zinfandel most. I didn’t do so hot on the blind tasting scoring a whopping 25%, yes I am not proud but it was a good time.

They place is situated just feet away from the water and has outdoor bocce ball courts. We had a friendly bocce competition and it was good size for a large private group.

Check out this post on a few other hidden gems on the island worth visiting.

Madonna Estate

This boutique winery only sells at the winery and online via their website. I enjoyed the feel of this winery due to the humble and warm staff and great reds.

For a rather smaller winery they have quite a variety. I enjoyed during the tastings walking around the tasting room and looking at the merchandise from local artists and craftsmen but mostly I enjoyed speaking with the staff and hearing their stories. One was a wine lover and enjoyed coming on Saturday’s to meet new people and talk wine and the other was a nice High School math teacher that had a passion for wine as well.

Madonna Estate emanates that country rustic feel that just warms your heart.

Tasting:

2013 Estate Pinot Noir: ($32) Aged in French Oak for 9 months and is extremely fruit forward, and is an excellent “food” pairing wine that accompanies many dishes such as; grilled salmon, stuffed mushrooms, polenta, and tenderloin of beef.

2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon: ($34) It is aged in oak for 18 – 24 months. On the nose I got Jalapeno! On the palate our Cabernet has a structured mouth feel with soft tannins and herbal undertones. Our Cabernet Sauvignon compliments filet mignon, pork tenderloin, and hearty tomato based pasta dishes.

 

My purchases:

 

I ended up getting the Pinot Noir – My husband enjoyed the fruit forward flavor.

Visiting & Tasting:

$15 – includes 4 wines :

  1. 2013 Estate Chardonnay
  2. 2013 Estate Pinot Noir
  3. 2014 Barbera
  4. 2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Sum it up:

  1. Great reds!
  2. Extra friendly staff
  3.  Prices are a bit high but boutique small batch wines.

 

 

Stolo Family Vineyards

As my husband and I made our way down Route 101 to Saint Luis Obispo we decided to make a quick detour off the route to a little town called Cambria. This town is just the quaintest cozy little place. We saw on Yelp there was a winery located there called Stolo Family Vineyards so naturally we jetted over there ASAP to get a tasting before their last pour.

This winery is tucked back on acre and acres of land with perfectly line grape vines. The owners of the vineyard the Stolo Family live next door and have the cutest rustic farmhouse. The tasting room is bright and welcoming. There is picnic tables on the lawn for a nice day to sit eat some cheese and crackers and sip their wines. The atmosphere is great.

The staff was a young women and older women who were polite and knowledgeable. I enjoyed speaking with them and hearing their stories. Come to find out the younger women who attends Cal Poly is one of the winemakers there. So humble and cute.

If you are heading to Paso Robles or driving down or up Route 101, make sure to stop at Stolo Family Vineyards it will be sure to charm you.

My favorites:

2014 Estate Chardonnay: Bright straw in color with aromas of ripe honeydew, stone fruit, lime zest, and a touch of cream. This medium bodied white has magnificent minerality with concentrated flavors of crisp white peach, tangerine, pear, and a hint of fresh herb.  Rich tropical notes linger. We ended purchasing this one, the husband liked which isn’t common!

2014 Estate Pinot Noir, Creekside: On the nose, this beauty boasts notes of high-tones raspberry, black cherry, cocoa, rose petal and barrel spice.  Elegant dark fruit and strawberry flavors flood the silky palate along with notes of cinnamon and allspice. Ripe berry flavors linger for a long finish.

Visiting & Tasting:

No reservations required.

Tasting Room Hours:Open Wednesday-Monday 11:30am-5pm, last pour 4:45pm, closed on Tuesdays

$10 taste per person for 5 wines

Sum it up:

  1. Will charm the socks off ya.
  2. Affordable tasting fee and wine prices are reasonable.
  3. Warm staff that welcomes tasters with open arms.

 

Up & Coming Wine Region in East Bay

Today I ended up strolling to the far back of Total Wine & More where there was a 5 cent tasting. Of course I gathered 5 cents from the bottom of my purse to have a taste. There were over 10 different types of wines to taste.

There stood local winemakers with their hard work being poured into small tasting cups. My attention was quickly captured seeing that these wines were made less than a few miles from where I live & I had very little clue this was going on.

lamorinda_ava_map2On Feb. 24, 2016 after the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau established the 29,369 acres of Lamorinda as an American Viticultural Area (AVA). The new-ish wine region includes Orinda, Lafayette & Moraga (map shown).  The 3 winemakers I met today gave me a warm feeling as they seemed humble and excited to have people tasting their hard work.

 

The two local wineries there were Meadow View Winery & Los Arabis Vineyards.

Meadow View had 4 wines to taste 

  1. Meadow View Super T Lamorinda ($21.99)- French Roast  coffee and ripe cherry on the nose. In the mouth Dutch cocoa with hints of raspberry.
  2. Meadow View Cab Lamorinda Joyce ($21.99) – A violet nose with fruit and earth. In the mouth, earth and minerals blend plums and dark chocolate.
  3. Meadow View Pinot Noir ($21.99) – Dark cherry and hint of licorice in the nose turning into lush ripe strawberries in the glass.
  4. Meadow View Rose Lamorinda ($15.99) – hints of cherry blosson, hibiscus flowers, watermelon.

Los Arabis Vineyards (Ward Family Wine) had 1 wine to taste:

  1. 2013 Pinot Noir ($21.99) – dry and silky, with flavors of cola, nutmeg and mace.

*Prices are without pick 6 price, if you pick 6 you get 10% off.

I ended buying the Dry Rose from Meadow View and the Pinot Noir from Los Arabis both can be purchased at Total Wine & More.

 

I see this wine region as a little gem of the East Bay. As flocks of tourists head to Napa, I will take the road less traveled to Lamorinda AVA. Get the wines in local stores or online at most of their website or simply take a trip down.

Cheers!

V. Sattui Winery

This winery has it all! It’s like Disneyland for wino’s! It’s crowded so be ready but the crowds are there for a reason.

Their are 3 tasting rooms, we decided to taste in the market and had a server named, Edwin, who was beyond knowledgable and made the tasting very fun with his humor. It was very crowded but I didn’t feel as though I was neglected at the tasting bar. I tried many wines ranging from their popular fruity Gamy rose to their brandy fortfied Madeira which is a sweet port.

Tasting:

2014 Los Carneros Pinot Noir ($39): sweetly scented with notes of cherry fruit and cinnamon.

2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($45): currant fruit and colors it with dusty spice and hints of black olive.

2014 Los Carneros Chardonnay ($52) : ripe pear, fig and honeydew notes to finish of white peach.

2014 Dancing Egg Riesling ($25): very crisp and refreshing. Fruity and every so slightly sweet not your typical Riesling.

2015 Gamay Rouge ($24): juicy flavors of ripe strawberry, crisp tart cherry and cranberry. 

Madiera ($59): The wine is sweet and luscious with flavors of almonds, caramel, toffee and orange zest.

My purchases:

I ended up buying the Madiera which is $59 a bottle but after opening can be kept anywhere from 1-3 years. I saw this as an investment.

I also bought the 2014 Dry Rosato because I thought it would pair nicely with light apps and was the perfect balance between dry and fruity.

Visiting & Tasting:

$15 – Let one of our friendly and knowledgeable wine-tenders customize your tasting experience by guiding you through our portfolio of wines.

  • Includes up to 5 tastes of our vintage and estate wines
  • No advance reservation required for parties of 10 or less

Free tastings for Military!

Make sure to try some of the food from the deli or if you are visiting on the weekend they have a brick oven pizza and a barbeque pit. I had the pizza and loved it!!!

Sum it up:

  1. Tons of wines to taste and buy that can only be purchased at the winery
  2. Encompasses so much in one place no need to leave to go to another
  3. Wide variety in wine quality and price. Prices for the cheapest and most expensive tastes.

 

Back to Mumm 

This past weekend I made my way back to Mumm Napa where I impressed again with the service and of course the vino!!

I wanted to write quickly about there latest release in lieu of the holiday’s! 

Their Sparkling Pinot Noir

The gorgeous, ruby red color of this wine is your welcome into aromas of black currant, plum, blackberry, and red delicious apples. On the palate, the wine is incredibly juicy, with notes of Bing cherries and plums. This wine is made in a brut style, resulting in a crisp and dry mouthfeel, with bright acid. The tannins are soft, lending structure to the wine, and the long, fruity finish invites you back for more.

Nothing would compliment your Thanksgiving spread more than this festive wine! 

Price is $25 for Club members and $36 for non-Club.