Tag Archives: Chalk Hill

#WW – A Bold Blend w/ @ChalkHillEstate

30 May

Straight from the winery, last Memorial Day weekend  2011, we transported this extremely special bottle of wine from Russian River Valley’s renowned and unique winery Chalk Hill.  This wine was the inaugural release of their Estate Red that was inspired by the proprietor, Frederick, P. Furth’s vision of a wine authentic to Chalk Hill, as it blends and represents the lay of the land that Chalk Hill resides on. Made with 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Malbec, 13% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot, and 1% Carmenere makes this beautifully smooth red wine full of vibrant fruit.  By looking at the varietals and the burgundy color and ‘young’ looking wine in the glass, my first thought was, “this is a heavy wine that absolutely needs a meaty meal to pair with.”  However, after pouring two glasses in 80 degree weather in NYC, in these wonderful Italian wine glasses from Fishs Eddy {here} I might add, my fiancé and I enjoyed this outside (perfectly chilled for a red wine) with light salads and were blown away.  With beautiful tannins that aren’t overbearing and amazing blackberry flavors with many other fruits bursting on our taste buds, the 2007 Chalk Hill Estate Red {here} was an experience and recommended for all red wine lovers to enjoy.  

To my fiancé’s point – “For such a bold looking wine, this really hit the spot on a hot day.  It wasn’t chalky and the fruit really came out in the hot weather…” Oh how I’ve taught him well… Just kidding!

Overall, definitely worth the splurge ($70) to bring to a wonderful dinner party outside on the terrace!  Enjoy!

For more on Chalk HIll
Sunday Sips {here}
Off-Roading In Sonoma {here}

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Sunday Sips!

4 Dec

Sauvignon Blanc.  Crisp, citrus, and fruitful is what I’ve grown accustom to when tasting one of my favorite white varietals.  However, this Sunday I was presently surprised by a buttery, creamy Sauvignon Blanc that tasted almost similar to a Chardonnay, even the color was a bit more golden than the usual SB’s.   This elegant discovery was a Chalk Hill Estate Grown, Sauvignon Blanc 2008 from the Russian River Valley.  We picked this up during our Sonoma trip {here}

Since it’s one of the sweeter Sauvignon Blanc’s I’ve tasted, I decided to whip it out while decorating our lovely Christmas tree to put us in a sweet mood!  Nothing screams holiday spirit than a creamy, cozy, almost comforting wine whilst decorating the tree and listening to xmas music.  We also may or may not have nibbled on a few sweet pairing treats (dark chocolate and biscotti)!

Sip this wine to get comfortable or to go with a special dessert during a night of relaxation with close friends.

Salud!

Off-Roading in Sonoma

7 Jul

I had the great pleasure of spending my Memorial Day Weekend tasting wine at some of the most beautiful and tucked away vineyards in Sonoma (aside from one special pit stop on our way home in Napa Valley, but I’ll get to that later).  With a map in hand and no real itinerary, aside from our few favorites, we set out and crafted our own wine adventure to some of the most hidden treasures on and off the map.  With characters met along the way and enjoyable experiences, here is our road map to our “off-roading in Sonoma” or ‘off the beatin’’ as some like to call it.  Not to overwhelm you, I divided everything by day so you will have to check back for Day 2 of “Off-Roading in Sonoma”.  Beware, do not drive while reading…..

Friday, May 27th 2011

10:30AM – Premeditated first stop in the Russian River Valley; Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards & Winery.  The beautiful and diverse terrain started our trip off in a magical way. We were the first ones to enter and were treated like kings! They make a 2007 Estate Red which evokes a wonderful red wine that is true to Chalk Hill.

  • Fav Tasting: 2007 Estate Red (51% Cab, 24% Malbec, 13% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot, 1% Carmenere)
  • Bought: 2007 Estate Red and 2008 Estate Sauv. Blanc (great price)
  • Fun Fact: They do their vineyard tours in a hummer and you should ask for Rich S. when you get there!
 
11:43AMJ Vineyards stop for some morning bubbly
  • Fav Tasting: Brut Rose (what they are known for) and the entire champagne tasting we did there. Highly recommend!
  • Bought: Brut Rose (there is no way I was leaving without a bottle)
  • Fun Fact: Really cool looking bottles and you can’t help but stop and gaze at the exquisite entrance with bridge running over a lily pad filled pond.
  
1:20PM: Pit stop in Healdsburg Burger Bar and Grill (best burger in town) washed down with Damnations Russian River beer (Belgian Strong Pale Ale) brewed in Santa Rosa, CA.  TRY: GET A BURGER, IT’S WORTH IT!

2:30PM: Returned to car and found a stranded cell phone by the car, it rang, we answered, and we received a free bottle of wine for returning the lost phone! Pays off to be nice! 🙂

3:39PM: Entered Dry Creek Valley

4PM– Looked up on yelp “wineries that serve chocolate with their tastings”, Truett-Hurst Winery came up, we went and were disappointed that they didn’t have free chocolates.  They did however have the spiciest and highest in alcohol wines of the day… TRY: RED ROOSTER & DARK HORSE GPS.. Some of the most unique tastes I’ve had.  EXTREMELY INTENSE WINES!

4:45PMBella Vineyards and Wine Caves was the next stop down the road that added a nice change of atmosphere. Great cave tasting experience with top-tier Zins and Syrah’s (their specialty). This is a must stop for a nontraditional experience and tasting

  • Bought: 2009 Zin – rich, rustic and the perfect ‘all-purpose Zin’!
  • Fun Fact: They have the most amazing cheesy breadsticks to clean your pallet with and great Adirondack chairs outside on the grass to chill out in!
    
6:15PMLongboard Vineyards, the last stop that we randomly stumbled upon and had them reopen the tasting room for us which was an interesting concept of WINE and SURF!  Not only (as you can imagine) do they have surfboards hanging from the walls, t-shirts, glasses, basically everything branded with a surfboard, they also have a ‘Surf Speak’ glossary somewhere around their tasting room.  Drink up and surf’s up BRO!
  • Bought: 2007 Syrah (complex wine with dark berries and coffee notes.)
  • Fun Fact: “Stay loose, trust your own palate, get wet often and spread more time surfing and sharing life with friends and family and less time reading the back copy of wine bottle” – as I’m reading the back of the wine label… SURF’S UP!”

Day one completed and survived… Stay tuned for what’s to come for Day 2 (SPOILER: chocolate shots, olive oil tastings, and fire pits ahead!!!)

Wine Essentials #5 – Nor. Cal.

22 May

It was a night of the top dogs, heavy hitters, powerhouses at Wine Essentials Class #5.  We ventured through Northern California, Washington State and Oregon, experiencing some of the deepest, darkest reds I have ever tasted, and boy were they elegant and delicious!  Fortunately, I will be in Sonoma this weekend to experience these lovely wines first hand!  Take a look into our journey but beware for the high levels of alcohol within the California region! TAXI!

Tastings (wines I liked bolded)

Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris, Benton-Lane 2009 – Retails $16 (Alc. 13%)

  • Notes: Smells of bright young and fruity apple; tastes very light, clean apple-y with a very nice acidic balance to it.  A very simple wine
  • Pairings: A great wine for this warm weather!  Use as an aperitif wine or enjoy with clams and oysters

Santa Ynez, Viognier, Zaca Mesa 2008- Retails $26

  • Notes: Smells of fresh grapefruit, ripe/heavy stone fruit; Bitter and spicy in taste with little acidity, a bit peppery with a long lasting woody finish
  • Pairings: Pair with a roasted chicken with herbs or great with brie and an assortment of medium aged cheeses

Columbia Valley, Reisling, ‘Eroica’, Dr. Loosen, Chateau Ste. – Retails $23 (Alc. 12%)

  • Notes: Young green grape, fragrant with a hint of petroleum in smell; tastes light, sweet/sour with a fresh and fruity hint and strong acidity
  • Pairings: Great for an afternoon with cheese and grapes; spicy fish apps

Napa, Chardonnay, Grgich Hills Estate 2007 – Retails $40

  • Notes: Oaky with smoky vanilla and apple in smell; apple-y, pear, wood with calm acidity in taste.  A very elegantly balanced wine
  • Pairings: Roasted chicken or grilled shell fish

Chalk Hill (Russian River), Sauvignon Blanc, Chalk Hill Winery 2007 – Retails $27 (Alc. 14.5%)

  • Notes: Smells of ripe/sweet pineapple; Tastes very heavy and ripe in fruits, long lasting fruit finish
  • Pairings: Great with fish w/ butter and herb sauce; roasted chicken

Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir, Argyle 2008- Retails $24

  • Notes: Smells of light red fruits, strawberry and bright fruit; Tastes of bright cherry, little acidity a bit of tannin, strong taste but fades fast
  • Pairings: A lovely cob with a salad w/ raspberry vinaigrette on a sunny afternoon

Carneros, Pinot Noir, Acacia 2008 – Retails $22 (Pinot Noir, 2% Syrah) (Alc. 14.4%)

  • Notes: Smells of cherry, jammy, rich/dark fruits; tastes of rich wood, tannin, spicy, peppery and a little cedar
  • Pairings: Great with Duck!

Monterey County, ‘Le Mistral’, Joseph Phelps 2006 – Retails $40 (Alc. 15%)

  • Notes: Smelly of deep fruits and plums; Spicy plumy, dark fruit with light finish in taste.  A balanced wine
  • Pairings: Great with a stew, Pork Roast or lamb

Russian RIver, Zinfandel, Dolinsek Ranch, Mara 2005 – Retails $40 (Alc. 16.4%)

  • Notes: Ripe in fruit smelling; tastes of sweet/heavy fruit, blackberries, raisins, long lasting dark fruit finish
  • Pairings: Hard to pair with food but would be great with a BBQ or a nice dessert like cheesecake – nothing too sweet

Oakville (Napa), Merlot, Swanson 2006 – Retails $21 (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon)

  • Notes: Smells of dark plums.berries, wood in background; tastes of dark elegant plums, candy tannin, very supple and elegant wine
  • Pairings: Pair with a steak and light sauce or heavy spaghetti bolognese
Napa, Cabernet Sauvignon, ‘Georges de Latour Private Reserve’, Beaulieu Vineyard 2007 – Retails $106 (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot) – 14.8% Ac.
  • Notes: Smells of concentrated berries, very jammy; a powerhouse wine that tastes of dense berries, cedar, and strong tannins
  • Pairings: Great with steak
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