Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving from Wine and Opine

Each year, I like to choose one wine that stands out from all of the wines that I have reviewed so far that year as my recommendation for Thanksgiving. This year, My winner is the Willamette Valley Vineyards Estate Rosé. Read below to learn more about my choice.

I recently visited Willamette Valley Vineyards while visiting family in Oregon. The location and facility are quite impressive and the view from the entrance, breathtaking. 
This is one of the wines we tasted and decided to bring home with us. I always like it when I taste a wine at the winery and then when I get home and try it again, it’s as good as I remembered it being.  Sometimes, especially in cases like this, where the setting and ambience contribute greatly to the experience, I worry whether the wine will hold up without it. FYI, it most certainly does.
A rosé made from Pinot Noir, it is left with skin contact for 48 hours resulting in the medium pink color.  On the nose, slightly floral, hints of citrus and a pleasant minerality. Having been fermented in stainless, it is lively on the tongue with strawberry and honey notes on the palate.

This is a great summer picnic wine, quite versatile for pairing with lighter fare. We enjoyed it with Oven-Roasted Cornish Game Hens and Sage and Garlic Infused Whipped Potatoes. It occurred to me that this could be my Thanksgiving 2017 wine. 

I also noticed on the label that if you bring the bottle back to the winery, they’ll give you a 10 cent refund.  Perfect, I was looking for an excuse to go back. Click the links below for recipe paring suggestions.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Cosa Obra Sauvignon Blanc (2016) and Proprietor’s Blend (2013) Wine Review

Saturday afternoon, I was shopping at AJ’s Fine Foods, and was fortunate to be able to enjoy their Saturday tasting. This week they were featuring wines from Cosa Obra of Sonoma County.  There were 3 wines offered; a Sauvignon Blanc, a Pinot Noir, and a red blend.

I have to admit, as winemaker Gregory Hayes introduced the wines, I wasn’t all that enthused about trying a CA Sauvignon Blanc.  You see, for the longest time, if I had to choose a favorite varietal, it would be Sauvignon Blanc.  I have loved the crisp citrus, sometimes grassy, sometimes mineral notes, but usually prefer the New Zealand or French styles of this varietal. It seems the CA winemakers like to introduce oak, or too much oak for my taste, and I don’t care for that in my Sauvignon Blanc.  I say this, but at the same time, lately, I have found myself to be somewhat bored with my favorite varietal. 

Gregory poured the Sauvignon Blanc tasting. I swirled and sniffed and was “wowed’ and “wooed” by the nose. Lush tropical fruit, peach and orange blossom. The wine had a wonderful viscosity, more body than most Sauvignon Blancs and was very well balanced.  There was a luscious fruity finish, so much more than the typical citrus burst.  He mentioned that the wine was probably not chilled as much as it should be, but I thought it was perfect. At this temperature, there was nothing to hide behind. The wine is fermented in stainless tanks, but does just a short amount of time in neutral French Oak.  Fabulous!

As I was enjoying my tasting, Gregory mentioned that the wine was 100% Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Musqué. When I sat down to write this, my curiosity led me to learn more about this Musqué. A Musqué is a clone or mutation of the parent grape that has Muscat (highly perfumed) qualities. Sauvignon Musqué is not yet recognized as a varietal, thus, though unique, is still considered Sauvignon Blanc. This discovery was quite exciting to me. My favorite varietal, once again, claimed and owned its distinction as my favorite varietal.  Though the importance of exceptional fruit must be noted, this fruit, thankfully, ended up in the right hands. 

I went on to taste the other two wines, both very fruit forward options.  I also purchased the Proprietor's Blend, a red blend of 96% Syrah and 4% Grenache.  I enjoyed the dark fruit, blackberry and blueberry and the wonderful peppery finish as well as the deft use of oak.

We enjoyed the Proprietor's Blend with Beef Fajitas on Sunday evening, and I look forward to uncorking the Sauvignon Blanc very soon.  I also plan to make Cosa Obra a stop on my next CA wine tour. Click the link below to print or save the recipe pairing suggestion.