Pinot Noir 2010
I first tasted Comanche Cellars Pinot when a friend brought a bottle to share over lunch at Center Street Grill in Santa Cruz. Upon trying it, I knew I had to find out more about it.
Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Wine Wednesday at Seascape Beach Resort is not only a fun event to attend, but it also gives one an opportunity to taste wines that one wouldn’t normally come across. When I saw that Fred Scherrer’s Frederick William Cellars was the featured winery recently, I gathered a few friends together and we headed to the resort for a tasting.
A trip to Loma Prieta Winery is well worth a visit. Situated at about 2,600 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains, it is like being on top of the world—and the view of the Monterey Bay is spectacular. Loma Prieta’s wines are wonderful, which makes it even more worthwhile to take a jaunt to their impressive property.
Pinot Noir 2012
This gorgeous Pinot, made with grapes harvested from Split Rail Vineyard in Corralitos, is a big bold beauty that, once tasted, will make you come back for more. And the man responsible for this nectar is John Benedetti, owner and winemaker at Sante Arcangeli.
Pinot Noir Dylan David Reserve 2009
By Josie Cowden When I visited Lester Family Vineyards not that long ago for a wine event featuring Pleasant Valley Vineyards wines from grapes grown on the Lester property, I was absolutely bowled over with the 2009 Dylan David Pinot, Lester Family Vineyards Willa Louise Block. Handcrafted from nurtured vines of French Dijon clone 667, this is a Pinot to be reckoned with.
Winemaker Craig Handley reveals his magic touch with the superb quality of his wines. Part of that magic is because he always uses the finest grapes, and the supreme fruit grown in Dan Lester’s vineyards most certainly falls into that category.
Petit Sirah 2011
Katie Fox, winemaker at Vino Tabi, was showcasing her wines recently at an impressive six-course winemaker’s dinner at Lago di Como Restaurant in Santa Cruz. Not only was the food outstanding, but also the wines poured that evening were superb.
The 2011 Petit Sirah, Santa Cruz Mountains ($28) was featured with Nodino di vitello alla crèma di Gorgonzola—a veal chop served with a Gorgonzola and cream sauce—and a perfect pairing.
Grüner Veltliner 2012
Made from the most widely planted grape in Austria, this dry white wine is like a burst of spring with its gorgeous flavors of lime and grapefruit. Aged for six months in stainless steel barrels, 70 cases were produced—and I imagine it’s going fast. La Playita Vineyard, where the grapes are grown, is the only CCOF-certified organic Grüner Veltliner vineyard in California—making this a pretty exceptional wine.
Five of the six guests I had over to dinner recently are vegetarian, so I made vegetable moussaka from my Greek recipe book. This traditional Greek dish usually calls for ground lamb, but I used onions, tomatoes, potatoes and sliced eggplant instead of meat—layering it all and then adding a topping of béchamel sauce. It was pretty tasty.
After a few appetizers, enjoyed with wine our friends brought, we opened up a bottle of Silver Mountain Syrah 2008 to go with the “meaty” moussaka. Aromas of ripe plum, cocoa, white pepper and pancetta were quite exotic—and delicious dark fruit, black olive and white pepper rounded out the silky flavor. Winemaker Jerold O’Brien says this is a very sexy Syrah, and it most certainly is.