Saturday, May 14, 2022

Podcast Milestone -- 6 Years. 150 + Episodes. 3 Taste Awards!


6 years. 150 + episodes. 3 Taste Awards. And inducted into the Taste Award Hall of Fame. 

Six years ago this month I pitched the idea to Beth that the Wine Road should have a podcast. We started out recording in the warehouse and settled on a schedule of posting a show every other week. Our audience grew and we started recording episodes at Threshold studios with our sound engineer Richard Ross. 


Anyone who has a podcast knows how much work it is to consistently record and post—be it every week, every two weeks or even once a month. 


Most podcasts run out of steam after a few months. It’s easy to start a podcast it’s hard to keep it going. I’m proud to say we’re going strong and heading into our 7th year. 


Thanks to Beth Costa for believing in my crazy ideas, to Richard for making us sound so good and to our amazing sponsor Ron Rubin Winery for their generous support. And most of all cheers all our listeners! 


Thursday, May 12, 2022

Wine Road Podcast-- Dan Teldeschi, Owner F. Teldeschi Wines with Bobby Terrano

Dan Teldeschi and Bobby Terrano join us for a fun filled conversation about the wines of F.Teldeschi and how they both came to be in the wine business. Wine of the Day 2002 F.Teldeschi Petite Sirah.
Fast Five recipe: Barbecued Tri-Tip from Jason Robinson of Ehret Family Winery

 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Wine Road Podcast -- Healdsburg Wine & Food Experience with Karissa Kruse, President Sonoma County Winegrowers

 

 

Karissa Kruse, President Sonoma County Winegrowers joins us to tell us all about the Healdsburg Food and Wine Experience May 20-22, 2022. Wine of the Day CAST Blanc de Noirs Sparkling. Fast Five Recipe: Apple Cider Pulled Chicken from Elizabeth at Dutton Estate Winery.


Friday, April 22, 2022

Pinot Noir: Varietal of the Month

 


Pinot Noir is synonymous with Sonoma County as one of the flagship wines of the Russian River Valley region. Light bodied with moderate to high acidity gives Pinot Noir a structure that makes it eminently pair worthy with a wide range of foods. A cool climate grape, Pinot Noir can be finicky and difficult to grow, but it is also most expressive and reflective of the place where it’s grown. Here in Sonoma County, in the Russian River Valley and along the Sonoma Coast, we have some of world’s best vineyards and growing conditions for producing classic Pinot Noir of elegance and complexity.

Here are capsule reviews of Pinot Noir you may find along the Wine Road.


Baldassari 2019 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

On the nose the 2019 Baldassari Pinot Noir presents a bouquet of strawberry, clove and pomegranate and a hint of flint. A nice balance of fruit, acid and tannin with a plush mouth feel delivers tart cherry, hibiscus, rose hips and deep grounding notes of tobacco. It’s juicy and zingy and full of flavor with a long taut finish. Enjoyable now, but for those that can wait, a few years of bottle age will make it sing. Pair with pulled pork sliders.

ABV 14.1%
$52

Dutton Estate 2018 La Familia Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

Deep garnet in color the 2018 Dutton Estate La Familia Pinot Noir opens with a beautiful nose of cranberry, plum, warm spun sugar, black cherry and a touch of white pepper. Well balanced with silky unobtrusive tannins that glide across the palate with lush notes of cocoa, red plums, pomegranate and wild blueberry. Great acidity and a long spicy finish with a pleasant hit of mint at the end. Pair with something classic such as a Liberty Duck confit with a cherry glaze.

ABV 14.4%
$72


Ektimo 2017 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

The Ektimo 2017 Pinot Noir is perfumed with crushed rose petals and violets and a heavenly scent of wild strawberry. Bright and fruity with good acidity featuring primary notes of ripe cherry, plum sauce, and spicy carnation along with savory notes of fig and cocoa that linger on the finish. Great balance and structure make this a sure bet for cellaring, but who wants to wait? Enjoy now with a baked Brie or warm goat cheese salad alongside a rotisserie chicken.

ABV 13.5%
$38

Furthermore 2017 Gaps Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir, Petaluma Gap

The deep garnet color of the 2017 Furthermore Pinot Noir, from Gaps Crown in the Petaluma Gap AVA, portends what’s to come. On the nose you’ll find earthy scents of mushroom and tobacco, with notes of cocoa and ripe Bing cherry. Bright fruit flavors sashay across the palate with juicy red raspberry, black plum and tart pomegranate. The spicy finish offers notes of clove, baking spice and candied ginger that is savory and long lasting. Pair with mac and cheese for a high/low combination that is both elegant and satisfying.

ABV 14.7%
$60


Russian River Vineyards 2017 Horseridge Vineyards Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

There used to be an airline slogan “Something special in the air…” and that’s what came to mind as I inhaled the complex scents of this Russian River Vineyards 2017 Pinot Noir. It was an aromatic rush to the senses of strawberry, leather, clove, vanilla, cigar and plum. Balanced and well-integrated interplay of acid and tannins deliver tart layered flavors of cherry, red raspberry, wild blueberry, smoky fig, rhubarb and a dusting of cocoa. Pair with a fine cigar or something decadent like black truffle risotto.

ABV 14.5%
$90 (Library Wine)

Trione 2017 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

On the nose, the 2017 Trione Pinot Noir has scents of sweet briar, cherry, cranberry, clove, mushroom and plum sauce. Soft silky tannins provide a seamless backdrop to the juicy flavors of strawberry, pomegranate and a wonderful note of bacon fat. The long spicy finish has a touch of rose hips and raspberry. There’s a lot going on here but it all comes together in perfect harmony. Great to drink now and I suspect it will be rewarding well into the future too. Pair with bacon wrapped Scallops or cedar plank salmon.

ABV 14.6%
$44

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Wine Road Podcast-- Elizabeth Miller, Hospitality Manager for Dutton Estate Winery

 

We sip on some Dutton Estate Chardonnay and chat with Elizabeth Miller about what’s new and happening at Dutton Estate in the heart of the Russian River Valley. Plus the book of the day --Wine: A Tasting Course from Grape to Glass by Marnie Old, and a Fast Five recipe, Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn from West Wines.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Wine Road Podcast-- Robert V. Camuto, Author, Wine Journalist, Contributing Editor for Wine Spectator

 

We go all Italian on this episode with Robert V. Camuto, author of South of Somewhere: Wine, Food, and The Soul of Italy, plus our with the Wine of the Day--Orsi Family Biancolella d’Ischia, and the Fast Five Recipe--Negroncelli cocktail from Pedroncelli Winery.

 

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Wine Road Podcast-- Craig Colagrossi, Owner & Winemaker Colagrossi Wines


We chat with Craig about his wine program focusing on Italian varietals and what’s new and upcoming at Colagrossi Wines on Artisan Alley in Windsor. Plus our Fast Five recipe from Jesse Malvesti of David Coffaro Wines.


Friday, March 18, 2022

Zinfandel: Varietal of the Month

 


Zinfandel is know as the All American grape and has been grown in California since the 1800’s. Yet the grapes true roots are in Croatia where it’s known as Tribidrag. In Italy Zinfandel is called Primitivo. Although the majority of California producers label their wine as Zinfandel, you may see a few Tribidrag’s and Primitiov’s too. Zinfandel is a medium-bodied dry red wine with a range of dark fruit flavors that include raspberry, blueberry, red and black cherry, and plum. Notes of tobacco, brambles, hickory and spice are common as well. Medium tannins make it a versatile food pairing wine, with flavors ranging from juicy and jammy, to lean and elegant depending on climate.

Here are capsule reviews of Zinfandel’s you may find along the Wine Road. 


Acorn 2018 Heritage Vines Zinfandel, Russian River Valley 

The Acorn 2018 Heritage Vines Zinfandel is a field blend of 78% Zinfandel, 11% Alicante Bouschet and 9% Petite Sirah fermented with eight other varieties including Carignane, Trousseau, Sangiovese, Petit Bouschet, Negrette, Syrah, Black Muscat, Cinsaut, and Grenache which comprise the final 2% of the blend. On the nose a rush of mocha and peppercorn rise up from the glass with a prominent note of rooibos. Generous body with bright initial notes of blueberry and menthol is balanced with deep lush flavors of blackberry and mocha. Lovely balance of tannin and fruit with long gentle finish that rings with spice. But do those eight other varieties that make up the 2% of the blend matter? I say yes! It brings a certain something, a je ne sais quoi, not easy to define, but ultimately delicious. 
ABV14.7%
$50


Carol Shelton Wines 2019 Wild Thing Old Vine Zinfandel, Mendocino County

The OG* Zinfandel—Carol Shelton’s 2019 Wild Thing Old Vine Zinfandel is a love note to the grape and an astounding value to boot. On the nose you’ll find notes of plum sauce, and sweet briar with touch of cedar. As the wine opens there is a wonderful layer of bacon fat and mocha too. Wild Thing is zippy and alive with juicy flavors of raspberry, clove, fennel, and blackberry crumble.  The long round finish walks a savory tightrope of texture between creamy and bright. Pair with Moo Shu Pork for a savory call-and-response interplay of flavors. NOTE: *OG =Original Gangster, slang for someone/something incredibly exceptional, authentic, or “old-school.” 
ABV 14.5%
$20 


Ehret 2020 Zinfandel, Knights Valley

In the glass the 2020 Ehret Zinfandel is deep dark purple with a pinkish rim. Juicy with an intense with black fruits and a savory quality of smoked meat and bacon fat too! Spiky tannins hit all the pleasure points with a peppy sour cherry finish. A lot of oomph going on in this 2020 youngster and I find it reminiscent of Primitivo, the doppelgänger of Zinfandel in Italy. Expect this to age and blossom with elegance, yet it’s eminently quaffable right now. Pair with spicy food and your most finicky guests, as this will surely gain their attention and respect. 
ABV 15.5%
$ N


Pedroncelli 2019 Zinfandel Bushnell Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley

The Pedroncelli family has been producing wine for close to a century and the 2019 Zinfandel from Bushnell Vineyard is a great example of their decades of experience. On the nose toasty nutmeg and clove intermingle with lush aromas of black and blueberry crumble and an intriguing note of butterscotch. Full bodied and rich with primary flavors of cola and spicy strawberry preserves. The bright and bouncy acidity delivers a ribbon of red fruits and raspberry fizz that merges seamlessly into a creamy long elegant finish with taut tannins. Pair with a classic sausage pizza.
ABV 16%
$30


Peterson 2017 Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley  

The 2017 Peterson Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley is a blend of 82% Zinfandel, 7% Petite Sirah, 6% Carignane, and 5% Grenache. On the nose a heady bouquet of garrigue – aka a veritable potpourri of juniper, thyme, rosemary and sage, with a fresh minty-herbal top note. Lush and delectable, it has deep flavors of tobacco, dark plum and earthy brambles, with secondary notes of cherry and rhubarb that are both bright and savory. It’s a shape-shifting marvel of fruit, acid, and tannin. Pair with something tangy and saucy like barbecue ribs or try a savory slow roasted pork shoulder. 
ABV 15.5%
$26


Seghesio 2019 Zinfandel Todd Brothers Ranch, Alexander Valley

The 2019 Seghesio Zinfandel hails from the storied Todd Brothers Ranch in Alexander Valley. On the nose sweet briar and graphite mix with blackberry jam and a touch of vanilla. Very soft and plush mouth feel with concentrated flavors of mocha, black cherry, and all spice with a dash of smoked hickory wood. Great texture and body. Taut long tannins balance the rich black fruit flavors with notes of leather and sweet tobacco. Pair with rich mushroom risotto or hearty lasagna. 
ABV 15.6%
$50


Taddei Wines 2018 Zinfandel Ionnatti Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley 

Deep dark and alluring in the glass the Taddei 2018 Zinfandel from Ionnatti Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley is both engaging and enigmatic. The nose is a riddle of sassafras, cinnamon, black plum, tobacco and sweet briar. Lots going on here with a yin and yang of plush sweet notes and tart bright flavors that slowly build to a power punch of strawberry jam over crushed gravel, dotted with white pepper and clove. Tannins so long they extend into the next week! Pair with a suitcase packed for adventure because this wine will take you somewhere unexpected. 
ABV 15.2%
$55 


Trione 2016 Zinfandel Flatridge Ranch

On the nose, the 2016 Trione Zinfandel has deep earthy aromas of sage, blackberry preserves and nutmeg. On the palate it has plush juicy flavors of plum and olallieberry, followed by bright notes of raspberry and rhubarb. Soft and balanced tannins deliver a long spicy finish of tart red cherry, pink peppercorn and a touch of thyme. Pair with spicy beef empanadas or slow roasted barbecue short ribs. 
ABV 15.5%
$37

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Wine Road Podcast--Chef Kristina Daya, Owner of Mazza Catering

 

Kristina Daya, owner of Mazza catering tells us how she got started, the services Mazza catering provides and her philosophy of food—making a celebration out of gathering and being present in the moment.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Wine Road Podcast-- Denise Gill – Tasting Room Manager from Alexander Valley Vineyards


 Denise Gill, Wine Judge and Tasting Room Manager at Alexander Valley Vineyards chats with Beth and Marcy about what’s going on at the winery, how she got into the wine business and how she became a wine judge. Our Fast Five recipe is from Zina Bower of Woodenhead Wines. And our wine of the day is Alexander Valley Vineyards 2018 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

 

Friday, February 18, 2022

Sauvignon Blanc: Varietal of the Month

 


Widely planted and universally loved, Sauvignon Blanc is well known for it’s spiky, lively acidity. Flavors range from lean, green and grassy to creamy with notes of passion fruit and fleshy peach depending on climate and how the wine is aged be it in stainless steel or oak.  Zesty, zippy and zingy –Sauvignon Blanc has swing and bounce with aromas run the gamut from citrusy to herbaceous. When it comes to food pairing—Sauvignon Blanc is the ultimate flex, versatile and accommodating to a vast array of foods from oysters on the half shell to cheese and charcuterie, and even tomato based dishes. 

Here are capsule reviews of Sauvignon Blanc’s you may find along the Wine Road. 

Dutton Estate Kylie’s Cuvée Sauvignon Blanc, RRV

The Dutton Estate Kylie’s Cuvée has an unmistakable Sauvignon Blanc nose; a spicy coquet of scents composed of bright green and tropical notes including honeysuckle, spring grass, pineapple and lychee. Aged in stainless steel and a barrel mix of new and neutral French oak, the combination yields brisk acidity yet soft body and mouthfeel with notes of lemon curd, creamy peach, lychee, and grapefruit. The long lingering finish buzzes with gooseberry and ripe apricot. Pair with Panzenella (the Italian bread and tomato salad) and a spur of the moment picnic in a meadow.
$27
ABV 13.9%


Ehret 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, Knights Valley

Clean and precise the Ehret Sauvignon Blanc hits all the right notes with a bold surge of lemon zest and candied ginger on the nose and a pleasant through line of fresh cut grass. The initial flavors of pear, melon, guava and fleshy white peach, give way to full round flavors of lemon curd with a spike of grapefruit. The spicy acidity builds to a crescendo followed by a long juicy finish with a touch of creamy passion fruit and squeeze of lime. It’s a wonderful example of how Sauvignon Blanc can be both expressive and exhilarating.
$35
ABV 14.5%


G & C Lurton 2019 L’Orange Wine Sauvignon Blanc

A horse of a different color here, the G & C Lurton L’Orange glows amber in the glass and offers a delicious twist on traditional Sauvignon Blanc. Made in an “orange wine style” the juice is kept on the skins for two months to achieve the distinct color and deep flavors. Rich and complex it amps up the aromatics and delivers an exciting range of flavors including orange marmalade, apricot, tomato leaf, and thyme. Great body and long finish with notes of jalapeño, ginger and green apple. Delicious chilled, but allow it to warm a bit in the glass and notice how the flavors deepen.
$ Sold Out
AVB 14.5% or 13.3?


J. Rickards Winery 2019 Sauvignon Blanc, Croft Vineyard, Alexander Valley

Bright and fresh the J. Rickards Sauvignon Blanc zips across the palate in a zesty burst of citrus, melon, white peach, pineapple and juicy nectarine. On the nose you’ll find pleasant notes of grapefruit, jasmine, and a touch of chalk. Crisp acidity and spiky tannins usher in a juicy long finish full of fleshy peach, pear and kiwi. Pair with goat cheese and rosemary crostini. 
$26
ABV 14.2%


Selby 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, RRV 

The Selby Sauvignon Blanc is fermented in stainless steel with a touch of Semillon that adds richness to the body. On the nose it’s a spring frolic of sweet carnation, and fresh grass, ginger and apple blossom. On the palate it’s zesty and bright full of lush tropical flavors of guava and passion fruit in parallel with creamy notes of coconut and vanilla, courtesy of the of Semillon. Vibrant and delicious, the refreshing clean finish lingers well into the next sip. Pair with pan fried scallops (and invite me over!) 
$23
ABV 14.0%

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Wine ROad Podcast--Gio Balistreri -- Owner and Winemaker, Russian River Vineyards


 Giovanni “Gio” Balistreri, Owner and Winemaker at Russian River Vineyards tells us what's happening at the property this year as we sip on the 2017 Pinot and 2020 Chardonnay form Russian River Vineyards. Our Fast Five recipe is from Damy Tamburrino of Foppiano Vineyards.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Wine Road Podcast-- Ehret Family Winery


 Jason Robinson, Sales Manager at Ehret Family Winery chats with Beth and Marcy about the Ehret wines, the vineyard tours, the new tasting room in Healdsburg, and what he loves most about Sonoma County all while we sip on the lovely 2017 Ehret Bella Cabernet Sauvignon. Our Fast Five guest is Executive Chef Tom Schmidt of Vintners Resort / John Ash & Co. And our Book of the Day is The Wine Explorer by Graham Mitchell.

 

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Syrah: Varietal of the Month

 


Syrah, a Rhône varietal, is a medium bodied to full-bodied dry red wine. For many years Syrah was ignored by consumers, it struggled to find it’s place at the table and stylistically many Syrah’s were pushed to the far side of the jam jar. Today winemakers embrace the inherent wild nature of the grape and coax it to its full natural expression of flavors from bright to savory, making wines of great structure and complexity with a balance of fruit, tannin, acidity and alcohol. Syrah is a many splendored thing, a poem of scents, flavors and textures; it’s a varietal worthy of your attention and ultimately your love. 

Here are capsule reviews of Syrah you may find along the Wine Road. Note: These wines were tasted over several days and I recommend decanting Syrah for 30 minutes or more, to experience how the wine may change and develop.


Alexander Valley Vineyards 2018 Syrah, Alexander Valley

The Alexander Valley Vineyards Syrah is comprised of 98% Syrah 98% and 2% Viognier, which is often added as a stabilizing factor for color and tannin with Syrah. The color is a dark inky purple with a brick red at the rim. On the nose, a bouquet of chalky dusty violets, sage, and a touch of white pepper. Dry and balanced and full of red fruit flavors such as raspberry, pomegranate and plum on the initial sips, followed by rich dark fruits of blackberry, boysenberry and plum. Nice acidity with notes of leather graphite, cigar box and licorice on finish. Further tasting revealed softer tannins and a wonderful lingering note of mocha and mint.
$24
ABV 14.0%


Baldassari 2018 Syrah Bennett Valley  

This eye opening Syrah is bight and energetic, juicy and packed with flavor. On the nose notes of black pepper, licorice, sage and eucalyptus prevail. Intense and exiting it opens up to with fresh dark fruits of blueberry and olallieberry, and delivers a long and lingering spicy finish with notes of black olive and spicy pink peppercorns. Very kinetic at first, with a griping crunchy minerality that settles nicely into a balanced smooth grove of rich lip smacking flavor. 
$38
ABV 14.3%


Balletto 2017 Syrah BCD Vineyard Russian River Valley

The Balletto BCD Vineyard Syrah has a captivating perfumed nose of black pepper, anise and plum. On the palate, bright juicy acidity leads to a steady savory wave of blackberry, tobacco and woody sweet briar. Earthy and lyrical it has great integration of fruit, acidity and tannin with layers of flavor and depth. The smooth velvety tannins carry out to a long plush satisfying finish. Immensely enjoyable with all the earmarks of complexity and cohesiveness that make for great wine experience. 
$36
AVB 14.3%


Cast 2019 Syrah Sonoma Mountain

Dark and bold, the Cast Syrah has a deep violet color with notes of spicy carnation and cocoa-mocha on the nose. Bold flavors and primary notes of black olive and juniper berry come to front of the palate and mingle with bright red fruits of pomegranate and raspberry that bring great acidity to the mix. Brambly and bracing this Syrah is alive with texture and typicity of the grape—a crisp crunch and snap of pink peppercorns that harmonizes seamlessly with lush black fruit flavors of plum and blueberry. The powdery tannins deliver a velvet glove finish. Earthy, lithe and full of flavor, it’s deeply satisfying and exhilarating. 
$52
ABV


Dutton Estate 2018 Syrah My Father’s Vineyard Russian River Valley

The Dutton Estate Syrah presents as dark ruby in the glass with a bluish edge. The nose is a soft bouquet of floral and herbal notes opening with violets, fennel, black pepper, dark plum, chaparral, and sweet tobacco. An unmistakable Peppermint Patty note shines through on both the nose and palate. It’s unquestionably dry, with layers and layers of deep dark fruits, savory smoked meat and leather. Smooth and opulent each sip presents a new facet such as cedar, licorice, mulberry, menthol, and clove. The ample body is full of oomph and vitality with soft powdery tannins on the long silky finish. Beautiful and enchanting—it’s like liquid love. 
$58
ABV 14.9%


Frick 2019 Syrah Owl Hill Vineyard Dry Creek Valley

The Frick Syrah from Owl Hill Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley is a deep garnet color with subtle aromas of mocha, dusty rose, and lavender. The initial flavors are vibrant and bright with juicy black cherry, boysenberry, and plum studded with cloves and licorice. Harmonious and balanced with nice body and earthy, savory notes of bacon fat, sage, green peppercorn and sassafras on the long elegant finish. A thought provoking and engaging wine, perfect for a special date night. 
$29
ABV 14.4%


Limerick Lane 2019 Rocks & Fog Syrah Russian River Valley

The Limerick Lane Syrah is composed of 79% Syrah 13% Grenache 5% Viognier and 3% Petite Sirah. Inky purple in the glass, this Syrah has a bouquet of dark plum, black cherry, sweet tobacco and baking spice. The overall structure is well balanced and lithe with high acidity and flavors of black olive, bramble, cardamom, pencil shavings and a wonderful note of petrichor. Long powdery tannins deliver a velvety finish that thrums with savory, smoky notes of sage and chaparral. 
$50
ABV 14.7%

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