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Dec 01st
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Pleasant Valley Vineyards

wine glassPinot 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.

The sensuous aromas of this ’09 Pinot ($60) are heavy with red fruit—strawberries and cherries in particular—and characteristic earthiness. More strawberries and cherries appear in the flavor, with layers of caramel, smoke, spice and vanilla. Aged in Seguin Moreau Grand Cru French oak barrels, this unfiltered and unfined wine is simply supberb.

Pleasant Valley Vineyards will be doing an Irish Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. on March 15 to celebrate the release of their 2011 Sean Boyle Syrah. Check their website for more information.  Pleasant Valley Vineyards, 600 Pleasant Valley Road, Aptos, 288-0074. The tasting room is open from noon to 4 p.m. most Saturdays from April to September, but call ahead to check. The tasting fee is from$ 10-$15.


Marilyn Monroe Spa Opens in Hyatt Monterey
I love to treat myself to a spa session now and again—a relaxing massage can do wonders to ease the stresses of day-to-day life. When I heard about the new Marilyn Monroe Spa in the Hyatt Monterey Hotel, I had to give it a whirl, and it’s a wonderful experience. Everything has been re-done inside the spa and all the amenities are top-notch. Fabulous pictures of Marilyn Monroe adorn the walls, and there’s even a line of Marilyn Monroe Spas skincare, hair care, makeup, lips and nail products. I ended my afternoon at the spa by being invited to share champagne, brought in from the hotel’s bar, with a group of women from the nearby Laguna Seca Race Track. Around 10 of them were enjoying time off work with an afternoon at the spa. Life can be so good. Marilyn Monroe Spa in the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel, 1 Old Golf Course Road, Monterey, 831-657-6734.

Winemaker Wednesdays at Shadowbrook
Shadowbrook Restaurant continues with its Winemaker Wednesdays until the end of May. From 5-8 p.m. a different winemaker each week pours flights of their featured wine in the bar for you to sample. Cost is around $13 and includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres. March 12 features Odonata Wines, March 19 is Villa Del Monte, and March 26 is Bonny Doon Vineyard. Visit for more information.

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