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.

Kunde Family Winery

I’ve been told for months from fellow wine lovers to go to Sonoma and visit Kunde. Last weekend I finally made my way over to Sonoma and stopped by for a walk-in tasting. Kunde is a beaut with its rolling hills with perfectly lined vines surrounding the spectacular estate.

I was unaware how big of a deal Kunde is. The winery was established in 1904 as Wildwood Vineyard and in 1989 was reestablished as Kunde. It is currently one of the largest family owned wineries in Sonoma with over 1,850 acres. Also fun fact: Bottle Shock, a movie explaining the story of how Napa/Sonoma were put on the map by the Paris blind tasting, was filmed at Kunde. Many familiar scenes right there on the premise.

I enjoyed the stories the staff member told us during our tasting and I appreciated the passion she has towards the wine. My husband and I each got a tasting and we each picked different wines so we could try each others.

Tasting:

There are quite a few tasting options. We walked in and found a place at the inside tasting bar but if you wish to do a different tasting I would suggest making reservations as it can get crowded.

“Tastings are $15 per person for our Main Bar Tasting, $30 per person for our Kinneybrook Room Tasting, complimentary for Wine Club members (up to 4 people) and $50 per person for our Mountain Top Tasting, $30 for Wine Club members up to 4 people.”

We strayed a bit from the $15 tasting menu with trying some of the reserve wines and I do suggest trying and comparing.

My Favorites:

2014 Meritage 202 – The blending of five Bordeauxvarieties forms a distinct nose of dried cranberries, nutmeg and walnuts. This pleasing bouquet is enhanced by opulent, full mouth flavors of black cherry, red currant and cinnamon.

2014 Dunfillan Cuvée – Named after the original winery built on the Kunde Estate in the late 1800’s, our Dunfillan Cuvee is a bold Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah blend.

Wine Club Exclusive Cinnamon, dark chocolate and blueberry aromas meld with flavors of cassis, mulled spice and lavender.

1904 Dessert Cuvee– my favorite part about this was it went so well with the dark chocolate and sea salt they give you to pair with it. It’s a match made in heaven

Sum it up:

  1. large spacious winery with 360 views of hillside vines and mountains in the distance
  1. Club membership
  2. Awesome passionate staff

Necklaces that will bring wine closer to your heart

Today I stumbled across the cutest wine necklace on Pinterest. It is a little rose gold wine molecule! How freaking cute right? For all those science nerds and wine buff’s this necklace is a perfect gift! (See pic and link to buy below).

This led me to search for other necklaces for those wine lovers out there who want to bring even closer to their heart on a daily basis. (Get it since it, since it would be around their neck) Okay I will keep my day job.

Prices and link to purchase below each picture!

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Wine Molecule Comes in a variety of metals. $14.80 on Amazon
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Pour yourself a glass -Sterling Silver (.095) and comes in a variety of lengths. Starting at $48 on Etsy
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Corkscrew 14k Rose Gold $85 at Vinepair
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“Look Ma no hands” wine holder Only in black. $6.99 at Amazon
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Love Wine Pendent Comes in silver and gold. Silver is $56 at ShineOn
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Moonlight Grapes Pendent Comes in different metals, sizes and prices will varies great depending. $495 GST from Georg Jensen

 

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Pop Bottles – Comes with 3 charm options Antique plated silver charm Sterling silver necklace $27.99 on Etsy
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Celebration Time Dangle Charm Sterling Silver charm (necklace sold separate) $50 at Pandora
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Make magic champagne long pendant gold and rose gold plated metal with glass and epoxy stone $104 at Kate Spade

 

“Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilization and the art of living.”

Robert Mondavi said it best, “Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilization and the art of living.” Winemakers are artists for sure and I truly appreciate when a winemaker appreciates and displays other artists work.

The following list are a few wineries/vineyards that show appreciation to artists by displaying their art for visitors to enjoy:

Markham Vineyards: 

Displays the art by Harold and Peggy Francis.

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“Harold’s art drawing inspiration from the plant, animal and mineral kingdoms and his vivid imagination, Harold uses an intricate technique of layering color, shape and texture. As he paints new patterns and images emerge drawing the viewer deeper and deeper into his creations.

“Animals Among Us” series by artist, Peggy Francis, honors animals that are integral to our Napa Valley lifestyle. Farm life is deeply rooted in Peggy’s southern childhood, images are recalled from her Mammaw’s chickens, pigs, and milk cow and the cattle and horses on her family farm. These contemporary paintings of the farm animals among us speak to our collective longing for the gentler pace of agrarian life we experience in the Napa Valley.”

Artist website: http://www.2718indistudio.com/

Vineyard Website: http://www.markhamvineyards.com/visit-us/art-gallery

Mumm Napa:

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Mumm has photography on display from Ansel Adams and Wayne Levin. Adams’ twenty-seven gelatin silver prints includes many of his most famous photographs. Levin’s photographs made beneath the surface of the waves have captivated viewers for decades.

Website: https://www.mummnapa.com/visitmummnapa/fine-arts-gallery

The Hess Collection:

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“Donald Hess began collecting art in 1966. Today, The Hess Collection houses less than a quarter of a collection that is shown in museums worldwide. His collecting style is a personal endeavor driven by passion rather than monetary investment or current trends. He develops a close dialogue with an artist to better understand what drives him or her to create and he carefully limits his focus as a collector to 20 living artists whose work he faithfully supports long term. As is evident by the caliber of the collection, he collects with the uncanny ability to acquire works by lesser known artists who often go on to become well known and respected in their disciplines. His typical commitment to an artist spans decades and various stages of his career.”

Here are a few artists in his collection to check out:

Franz Gertsch
Robert Motherwell
Anselm Kiefer
Magdalena Abakanowicz
Leopoldo Maler
Francis Bacon
Gerhard Richter

Website: http://www.hesscollection.com/art/

Jamieson Ranch Vineyards:

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Upon approaching Jamieson Ranch you can very clearly see from the road the loud colorful graffiti-esk mural. I loved how they had a rustic feel and then added this urban pop. Contributing artists include popular SF Bay Area urban muralists Ricky Watts, Meagan Spendlove, “Griffin One” and Chris Jehly; self-taught Los Angeles artists “Duce” and “Haste” and ubiquitous graffiti specialist “Quake,” who is bringing his style from New York City.

Website: http://www.jamiesonranchvineyards.com/music-and-art

Hall Wines:

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“Avid lifelong art collectors, Craig and Kathryn Hall are delighted to invite guests to enjoy expressive art and world-class wines. HALL St. Helena and HALL Rutherford feature select works that are sure to inspire the senses. Featuring some of the most internationally acclaimed artists today, such as John Baldessari, Jim Campbell, Nick Cave, Jaume Plensa, guests will be guided through the collection, while tasting some of HALL’s amazing wines.”

Website: http://www.hallwines.com/visit/winery-experiences/hall-architecture-art

Seven Stones Winery:

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“Beginning in the mid-1980s, Ron Wornick, an accomplished woodworker in his own right, along with his wife Anita, began actively collecting master artisan pieces made from wood, ceramics, glass, fiber, and metal. Within 20 years, the Wornicks had created one of the premier contemporary craft collections in the world. The collection has been on view at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, American Craft Museum in New York, the Oakland Museum of California, and the McAllen Museum in South Texas.”

Website: https://www.sevenstoneswinery.com/pages/art.html

Please let me know if you have any other great wineries you know of that have awesome art displays!! (Pictures are not by me)

@happensforariesling or happensforariesling@gmail.com

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.

 

 

St. Supery

 

After heading to V. Sattui we drove a whopping 8 minutes to get to St. Supery. St. Supery is more of a modern winery with beautiful vineyards surrounding the estate. There is a definite modern sleek feel to the tasting area. We arrived and the tasting bar was quiet and staff was welcoming and friendly. We were welcome by the hostess with a tasting of their Rosé.

It was nice to be greeted with a drink and then we were introduced to the server who we tasted with. He was knowledgeable of the wines and told us a bit about the history of the brand and wine.

Tasting:

2015 Napa Valley Estate Rosé: Brilliant shades of red and pink combine to present a light and elegant Rosé that is bursting with vibrant young berry flavors. Strawberry, raspberry and watermelon dominate the aromatics, with a background hint of subtle rose petal. Raspberry, strawberry and cranberry laced with an underlying note of blueberry and pomegranate add to the flavorful makeup of this youthful Rosé that finishes bright and full of life.

We did the Estate Tasting ($25) very loosely because of time constraints due to our tour.

2015 Napa Valley Estate Virtu ($30): A blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, the 2015 Virtú displays elegant shades of pale yellow and aromas of lemon essence. Lime, quince and lemon rind round out the bouquet with a subtle layer of toasted vanillin oak. Lemon and quince flavors continue throughout the palate with fig, pear and crème brûlée. This is an ornate wine with bright fruit characteristics and an excellent lemon and lime finish.

2014 Napa Valley, Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Chardonnay ($35): Attractive pale yellow hues present in this Chardonnay, while aromas of subtle nectarine and pear entangle with toasted smoky French oak. Flavors of pear, mango, cantaloupe, butterscotch and caramel are met with a creamy texture on the finish from the barrel fermentation and sur lie maturation. This is a round and elegant Chardonnay.

2012 Napa Valley, Rutherford Estate Vineyard Merlot ($50): Deep shades of reds and purples present in this single vineyard Merlot. Aromas of rich ripe blackberry with subtle notes of currant, anise and charred oak combine with just a hint of graphite. Flavors of black plum and dark mocha, couple with subtle raspberry, espresso and toasted vanillin barrel. This is a wine of fine texture, terrific length and structure.

2013 Napa Valley, Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Malbec ($50): This Malbec showcases deep, vibrant, dark purple and red hues. Aromas of juicy boysenberry and dark plum combine with a hint of vanilla oak and black licorice. Flavors of youthful, focused blueberry, black plum and espresso complete the profile. It is a bright wine with fine-grained tannins, nice structure and a gentle and elegant finish.

 

Visiting & Tasting:

Their tasting bar does not require reservations unless you have more than 10. Otherwise call to make a tasting reservation.

They have a huge variety of tastings and tours!! For example: Veggies + Vino,  Aromatherapy with a Corkscrew, Vineyard to Glass tour etc. They can all be booked online .

 

Sum it up:

1). Great Sauvignon Blanc! Which I rarely love.

2) charming, quite and modern estate

3) Tons of tasting classes and tour options.