Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bonterra Vineyards 2003 Cabernet

Roughly translated, I believe that "bonterra" means "good land" which is an apt name for an organic vineyard. Organic wine is gaining in popularity, yet the organic wine I tried prior to this one tasted like dirt. This wine, however, did not.

I was really impressed with this big red cabernet. It was incredibly smooth, and could stand up to the pizza and gaspacho that we had with it for dinner. The wine is blended with syrah, which isn't the usual choice for a blending grape in a cabernet. The syrah gives it a bit of extra spice that the wine wouldn't have if it were blended with merlot, the usual choice. According to the winemaker's notes, the wine was aged for 17 months in French and American medium toast oak. It's a smooth rich wine that I believe would go equally well with pizza as it would with a steak, or a piece of chocolate.

We've been told by our friends Scott and Janet, that they've noticed that California Cabernets from 2003 are particularly good, and I have to agree. This wine, from Mendocino, CA, is no exception to that rule.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Red or White Wine...?

Thank you to Kally for sending this to me!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Chateau St Jean - 2005 Fume Blanc

I wish I could remember whether I bought this wine when I was actually visiting Chateau St Jean this summer, or at a local wine store. I hope it was the latter, because that means that I'll be able to buy it again.

This was an interesting wine. It is a combination of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes. It had a golden, straw-like color, and an aroma of tart apples, wood and cut grass. The taste was light and crisp, with a distinct citrus tone (made me think of lemons, but not in a bad way). It was a bright, grassy wine with a hint of apple.

I had this with some pasta with pesto, which wasn't the worst pairing in the world.

I'll admit that I often avoid Sauvignon Blanc as a wine because the sometime description of the aroma as "cat piss" rang too close to home for me. (I had a cat who took liberties around the house). However, I found this wine to be very drinkable and smooth, and I would get it again. I envision that it would be a great wine for spring or summer, served quite cold with a salad or vegetable appetizer.

Chateau St Jean does a fine job with its wines. On our trip there this summer, we were extremely impressed with the quality of the wines and beauty of the grounds. If you ever get to Sonoma, CA, you should take the time to visit.