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Pinot Noir Wine Club

October Pinot Noir Club

One of the highlights of my year so far was the wine dinner we held with Dan Goldfield at the sublime Rivoli restaurant.  Dan was an articulate campaigner for cool climate wines, and his bottlings are plush, lush, well-balanced and very food friendly.

You have a choice between a bottle of

  • Dutton-Goldfield Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
  • Dutton-Goldfield McDougal Ranch Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
  • Dutton-Goldfield Devil's Gulch Pinot Noir Marin County



Russian River Pinot Noir  Dutton Ranch
A blend of five of our favorite Dutton Ranch vineyards in Russian River Valley, this wine is a our vision for classic Russian River pinot. The 2007 vintage was about a good as it gets for growing Pinot. Ample early winter rains provided excellent subsoil moisture, while the dry, warm spring and early summer stimulated balanced vine growth, good set, and early conversion to ripening metabolism. The year turned cool in late summer and fall, preserving acidity and providing us with extended hang time for superb flavor and tannin development. The resulting wine is everything we want in the Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir: opulent and bright on the nose, focused and lush in the mouth, and fresh and lingering on the finish. The nose bursts with ripe black cherry, Asian spice and cinnamon. The mouth is striking for its combination of plush cherry and blackberry fruit, bright acidity and supple tannins, all carried through the persistent, spicy finish. A very versatile food match, try it with roasted fowl, salmon on the barbeque, chanterelle risotto, or your favorite fresh cheeses. 90 points, Wine Spectator.

Read more: October Pinot Noir Club

October Pinot Noir Club

One of the highlights of my year so far was the wine dinner we held with Dan Goldfield at the sublime Rivoli restaurant.  Dan was an articulate campaigner for cool climate wines, and his bottlings are plush, lush, well-balanced and very food friendly.

You have a choice between a bottle of

  • Dutton-Goldfield Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
  • Dutton-Goldfield McDougal Ranch Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
  • Dutton-Goldfield Devil's Gulch Pinot Noir Marin County



Russian River Pinot Noir  Dutton Ranch
A blend of five of our favorite Dutton Ranch vineyards in Russian River Valley, this wine is a our vision for classic Russian River pinot. The 2007 vintage was about a good as it gets for growing Pinot. Ample early winter rains provided excellent subsoil moisture, while the dry, warm spring and early summer stimulated balanced vine growth, good set, and early conversion to ripening metabolism. The year turned cool in late summer and fall, preserving acidity and providing us with extended hang time for superb flavor and tannin development. The resulting wine is everything we want in the Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir: opulent and bright on the nose, focused and lush in the mouth, and fresh and lingering on the finish. The nose bursts with ripe black cherry, Asian spice and cinnamon. The mouth is striking for its combination of plush cherry and blackberry fruit, bright acidity and supple tannins, all carried through the persistent, spicy finish. A very versatile food match, try it with roasted fowl, salmon on the barbeque, chanterelle risotto, or your favorite fresh cheeses. 90 points, Wine Spectator.

Read more: October Pinot Noir Club

August Pinot Selection



This month, we head to the Pinot Noir motherland - Burgundy - to taste a fabulous wine from the Cote de Nuits - a single vineyard (premier cru)  Morey St Denis from Jouan:  2006 Olivier Jouan Morey Saint-Denis Premier Cru Les Ruchots.

Sixth-generation Morey-Saint-Denis grower Olivier Jouan became the first in his family to make wine commercially in 1999 after completing studies at the Lycée Viticole (aka La Viti) in Beaune.

Read more: August Pinot Selection

Sept '09 Pinot



This month, we present wines from Foxen,  an acclaimed small Central Coast winery.   Bill Wathen and Dick Doré have been making wine together since 1985, when they founded Foxen at the historic Rancho Tinaquaic in northern Santa Barbara County. Their first Pinot Noir came in 1989. They create very small production, vineyard-designate wines and have become quite famous since the winery was featured in the movie 'Sideways.'

“I hope readers have recognized how gorgeous the Foxen wines have been over the last five or six years. Their individuality and distinctiveness as well as high quality are evidenced in their newest releases. Kudos to Foxen...”– Robert Parker, Jr., Wine Advocate, June 2008

“Foxen continues to go from strength to strength, no matter what the varietal . . . .The winery has been on a hot streak and just about every wine they have produced over recent vintages merits serious attention.”– Robert Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate August, 2006

This month, you have a choice of one bottle from the following (first come, first served)

Foxen Bien Nacido Block 8 Pinot Noir 
Foxen Julia's Pinot Noir
Foxen Sea Smoke Pinot Noir

2006 Pinot Noir- Bien Nacido Vineyard-Block 8
A notably ripe and seductively spicy nose that offers hints of Pinot Noir liqueur merges into rich and equally ripe big-bodied flavors that are utterly delicious and as long as the wine is kept at proper serving temperature, it carries its alcohol effortlessly. Note that there are moderately firm tannis that will permit this to age over the medium-term though it's awfully pretty right now. In sum, if you enjoy big-bodied pinots, this is a good choice because it doesn't lack for a certain elegance.  91 points, Burghound

2007 Pinot Noir - Julia's Vineyard
The most seductive at present is the 2007 Pinot Noir Julia’s Vineyard, a dense ruby/purple-tinged effort offering sweet aromas of kirsch, black fruits, and forest floor. It displays a broad, full-bodied, velvety mouthfeel as well as good underlying acidity that provides uplift and vibrancy, but the overall impression is one of a silk glove. Drink this beauty over the next 4-5 years.  90 points, Parker

2006 Pinot Noir - Sea Smoke Vineyard
Rich, with smoky blackberry, currant and wild berry fruit that's intense and fleshy, touching on opulent and ending with a rich burst of fruit. Drink now through 2012. 90 points Wine Spectator Winemaker Bill Wathen helped found this vineyard, and he understands it as well as anyone. There's no denying the opulence of the blackberry, cherry and currant flavors, and the finish is thoroughly dry. Drink this powerful wine with game, broiled steak or grilled lamb. 91 points Wine Enthusiast.

Recipe Poached Chicken and Herb Dumplings Serves Four

This is a stress-free meal to make, and very comforting to eat. Serve with a side of pesto or salsa verde.

Dumplings:

* ½ onion, finely chopped
* 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
* 1-ounce plain flour
* ¾ ounce semolina
* 4 egg yolks
* 15 ounces plain mashed potatoes
* 2 tablespoons each of tarragon and parsley, finely chopped
* Salt and pepper

Sweat** the onions and garlic in a little butter until soft. In a bowl mix together the flour and semolina. Make a well in the center and mix in the eggs, then the mashed potatoes, onions, garlic and herbs. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Flour your hands and roll the mixture in balls, about the size of a golf ball. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the dumplings until they float to the top. Drain carefully, and place on a tray and leave in the refrigerator until the chicken is done.

Chicken:
* 1 leek
* 1 sprig each thyme and parsley
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 carrot peeled and chopped in half
* 1 celery stick
* 4 garlic cloves
* 1 onion cut in half

Wash the leek well, and take one outer layer and wrap around the herbs and bay leaf. Tie with string and then tie the string to the handle of a large pot. Place the chicken in the pot with vegetables, leek-herb bundle and enough water to cover, then bring to a boil, skim and turn down the heat to a simmer. Cook for about one hour or until the juices of the chicken run clear when you pierce a thigh with a fork. Lift the chicken from the pot and place on a platter. Discard the vegetables and remove the dumplings from the refrigerator and drop into the broth. Simmer for about 3 minutes until heated through. Lift out with a slotted spoon and arrange around the chicken. Spoon a little of the broth around and over the chicken and dumplings.

**Sweat : To cook over low heat in a small amount of fat, usually in a covered pan or pot. Often used to describe the way aromatic vegetables such as onions, carrots and celery are cooked prior to adding other ingredients. The objective in sweating vegetables is to soften them and release the moisture in them, not to brown them. This release of moisture is how the term "sweat" gets its name.

July '09 Selection



We were wowed by this month's selection - Mara Laughlin Road Russian River Pinot Noir.  This was a powerful, full throttled Pinot with all the bells and whistles - teeny production (six barrels), great provenance (a Martinelli vineyard).  It just needed some time in the bottle.  So we stashed it away in our storage room - waiting for the right moment - now. 

Here's what winemaker Charles Mara has to say about this, his inaugural release of his first Pinot:  "I have waited for over 6 years to produce a Pinot Noir for MARA. You just don't go out and take any Pinot Noir grapes, you have to find the right micro-climate, clones and grower. Laughlin Road Ranch is in the heart of the Russian River Valley where the soil, climate and Pinot Noir clones are just right. Along with that, the grower is one of the most respected for growing Pinot Noir. (Martinelli). This vineyard is contiguous to the well known "Moonshine Vineyard".

Read more: July '09 Selection


510 864 WINE (9463)  ♦  866 931 WINE (9463) ♦ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.