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Drxeno

Location: Napa, CA

About Me: Ward Kadel – @drXeNo is the West Coast Ambassador & Staff Blogger for WineLog.net and Le Wine Buff for Bordeaux.com (CIVB), as featured in their documentary short film. He was named a “key influencer” and a “strong community manager” in the seminal white paper on wine + tech, VinTank’s “WE ARE HERE: The State of Wine Industry Social Media.” Raised in and residing in Napa, he is a proud Vintage High Crusher and has been around wine virtually all of his life.

He has published the long-running wine blog Vinopanion since May 2007. Ward has also composed content and media as Influencer for Crushpad and Brixr.com’s TinyBottles, as Community Manager for Northern California Wine on Lunch.com and has consulted for wineries, PR firms and wine organizations for web content and social channel strategy and monitoring.

His freelance articles have appeared in Palate Press and Mutineer Magazine and his content is syndicated on the mobile apps Wine By the Bar and Hello Vino, rated #1 by Mashable on “Apps for Wine Lovers.” Ward is also one of the founders of the “Wine Badge” movement with his WKBadges and is a member of the VinTank Tasting Panel. In 2011 he worked harvest at the iconic Stags Leap District estate Chimney Rock Winery, during which he posted in real-time for his Man Falls in the Vines - #MFITV media campaign.

In his varied, hectic past and present he has hosted and produced the long running radio show TeK-IndUced EuPHoriA, worked as an assistant for the internationally renown progressive house label Loöq Records and its decade+ long DJ weekly Qoöl, in San Francisco. Ever the avid investment addict, he was also a featured social investor for Covester.com and interviewed about the biotech business sector by The Wall Street Transcript.

Ward lives in the Napa Valley, very lucky in love with his wife, food and travel blogger Beth Fontaine of Rollerskating With Scissors. When not imbibing and/or tweeting, posting, filming, consulting or writing about wine, Ward can be found researching cancer, DJing at his monthly The Winchester, training for his next triathlon…or, just relaxing with friends and family with a tasty bottle of vino.

View Ward’s WineLog, follow him on Twitter or Like Vinopanion on Facebook. Contact him: “Ward at WineLog.net”.

Ward happily accepts samples but does not guarantee a review, positive or negative.

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Added Name WL Rating Actions
Jul. 30, 2014 Pertinace Langhe Roero Arneis DOCG 2012

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from Creative Palate, 02/17/14.
Drank on a hot summer evening, by the pool with friends, 07/27/14.
P: "




HAIL, PERTINACE!
The Little Piedmontese Co-op that Could – and Does

In Italy, a pertinace is a tenacious person who holds on to his or her principles. The word originates from Publio Elvio Pertinace, an Alba native famed for his honesty and civic-mindedness, who was assassinated 87 days after becoming Roman emperor by the corrupt Praetorian Guard. The small Piedmontese Pertinace co-op lives up to its namesake, making trustworthy wines that reflect with integrity the local terroir and traditions – and at killer prices.

Pertinace is a feel-good story. Back in the 1970s, no longer able to prosper, Italian farmers were deserting the countryside and their ancestral farmlands in droves. So it was that in 1973, faced with the decision to leave, Mario Barbero, a tenacious man, opted instead to organize 12 neighbors, pool resources and band together to form a co-op. Today, Mario’s son Cesare is Pertinace’s lead winemaker, and a thriving Pertinace has earned a sterling reputation as a source of fine Piedmontese wines at very competitive prices. “As a matter of principle, our growers should also be able to afford the wines they make,” Barbero observes.

If for some wine-drinkers “co-op” implies “large, corporate, impersonal, mass-market wines,” Pertinace is the antithesis. It is, however:

• A community enterprise created from the ground up, by the growers, for the growers
• Decisions are reached by consensus
• Small -- just 15 (originally 13) growers, cultivating a total of 75 hectares/185 acres
• Of those 15 growers, 11 are full-time farmers, while four work their land on the side
• A real world, successful solution to keeping family farms sustainable and economically viable
• Home to classic-style, limited-production wines from the best growers, working some of the finest vineyard sites

Those sites include the crus of Marcarini and Nervo, whose Nebbiolo grapes formerly supplied such marquee names as Ceretto, Pio Cesare and Bruno Giacosa. Identified with small properties making benchmark, costly, red wines from a finicky grape, Piedmont has been compared to Burgundy. Building on that analogy, Pertinace offers Premier Cru sourcing at Villages prices. But Piedmont differs from Burgundy in one notable respect: it is home to multiple indigenous grape varieties and Pertinace is proud to support that tradition.

Pertinace is located in Treiso (pop. 800), one of the larger communes in the Barbaresco appellation. Treiso is known for its steep slopes with soil that is primarily calcareous marl, producing long-lived, structured wines. Most of Pertinace’s 75 hectares/185 acres of vineyards (around 80%) are located around the village, with additional holdings in nearby Barbaresco, Alba, Magliano Alfieri and Neviglie.

In Treiso are found the lovingly-tended, Guyot trained, low-yield vines for making DOCG Barolo, DOCG Barbarescos (classic and single-vineyard) and a mouthwatering “Weekday” drinking Langhe Nebbiolo. Treiso is also famous for its Dolcetto and Pertinace, at 200,000 bottles, is its biggest producer. Barbero makes a traditional Dolcetto in the grapey, minerally style beloved by Italians. This is true Dolcetto, Barbero says with a smile, “not fancied up with oak or other new techniques.” Other Piedmontese favorites made by Pertinace: a fruity Barbera from some of the group’s oldest vineyards, a nutty, un-oaked Arneis and a lively Moscato d’Asti made from Malvasia. All of these offerings add up to approximately 400,000 bottles annually.

Growers use only copper and sulphur in the vineyard. Pertinace is not certified organic, but there is as little intervention as possible. Pertinace typically pays more for grapes than most other local buyers and the price paid is, of course, predicated on quality. All the Pertinace wines made from that fruit reflect the past and the character of the area. For winemaker Cesare Barbero that means wines in which you physically feel the acidity and, if red, the tannin. He doesn’t favor super-soft, super-round wines, nor barrique-aged ones. So, at Pertinace the smallest aging vessel is 500 liters (over double the size of a barrique) and the largest is 10,000 liters! For Nebbiolo, for example, Cesare believes only large casks bring out the classic bouquet of tar, licorice and cherries. Indeed, Pertinace is the new proud owner of 10,000-liter Slavonian oak barrels, good to last 30 years if you scrape them every decade.

But, over the years, there have been changes, including:

• Introducing white wines to the line (1982), the first being a Chardonnay
• Abandoning concrete tanks in favor of stainless steel for improved temperature control and worker safety (1997)
• Enlarging and adding temperature control to the cellar filled with its large tonneaux and Slavonian oak casks (1990)
• Restricting light (which damages wine when in glass) and adding temperature control to the cellar in which wines in bottle are matured and stored (1985)

Pertinace’s most ambitious project of late is targeted for completion in 2014. Pertinace bought an old building formerly used to house a trophy-making factory. Gut-renovated from top to bottom, the building, encased in a new coat of insulation, will house a larger bottling line, provide more storage space – bottles downstairs, cartons upstairs – plus a retail store open to the public. In true small co-op spirit, this has been a do-it-yourself project. Winemaker Barbero, for example, turned construction worker, pouring and laying down the white, red, brown and black resin floor.

This hands-on, understated style is part-and-parcel of what Pertinace is and stands for, even as it has become successful, selling in 13 countries around the world and winning recognition for its unparalleled price/quality ratio. Pertinace has found success making honest, distinctive, expertly crafted traditional wines and, in the process, has provided a decent living for its community of growers.

Forty years on, Pertinace, unlike its namesake Emperor, has a happy, ongoing story as second and third generation members are able to remain and prosper on their family farms. Hail Pertinace!

Pertinace wines are imported by Mionetto USA/MW Imports. The portfolio features: Moscato d' Asti DOCG, Roero Arneis DOCG, Barbaresco Cru Macarini DOCG, Barbaresco Cru Nervo DOCG, Barbaresco Normale DOCG, Barbera d'Alba DOC, Barolo DOCG and Dolcetto d'Alba DOC."

  x $18
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Medium golden in tone, with green highlights.

Nose: A bit of honeyed floral notes, then the rounder tropical fruit comes in, with just a tinge of citrus.

Palate: This medium bodied wine starts with those same honeyed floral and tropical fruit, lightly flavored, then moves into a brighter finish of light citrus flavors. - 07/30/2014


Jul. 29, 2014 Artéis & Co Champagne Premier Cru Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs 2002

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from IT PR, 05/08/14.
Drank with a light seafood dinner prepared by the Lady, 07/06/14.
A&C: "Blend :
100% Chardonnay from Cuis (Côte des Blancs)
-
100% Premier Cru
-
- Dosage : 3 g/liter
- Ageing : 10 years (tirage in March 2003)
- Disgorged in August 2013
- Ageing after disgorgement : 5 months
TASTING NOTES
- Sight :
A lustrous gold color, fine and lively mousse
- Nose :
An elegant nose dominated by the scents of fresh butter, warm viennoiserie, blood orange, grapefruit and honey; a fresh and fine minerality paired with outstanding white floral aromas
- Palate :
Elegant and complex palate with a fine acidity and bright mousse ; a perfect showcase of a refined chardonnay grown in the heart of the Côte des Blancs during an exceptional 2002 year
TASTING SUGGESTIONS
- Temperature : 8 to 10°C
- Garde : 2 to 10 years
- Food pairing suggestions :
perfect wine for apéritif or to be paired with shellfish, lobster, oyster or white fish"

  x $108
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Deeper golden in tone, this shows a still impressively robust mousse of a very fine bead of bubbles, despite its longer bottle age.

Nose: Very toasty and with plenty of aged lees yeasty notes, this has a more savory nose at this age, but still shows off good tarter, dried lemon citrus, and sautéed butter.

Palate: With its Extra Brut level of original dosage combined with all chardonnay fruit, this is a lean and elegant bubbly, but one that still displays some lees-driven richness to balance its tart, cleansing citrus acidity with good toasty, breaded notes. The palate shows off good pinpoint control of minerality, as well. - 07/29/2014


Jun. 18, 2014 Villa Maria Marlborough Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2013

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from Tatu Digital for the "First to Sip 2014 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc" Twitter tasting, 06/18/14. #NZsavvy
http://wkwine.us/1oI1CgY

VM "AWARDS & ACCOLADES
Silver – New Zealand International Wine Show 2013 (NZ)
Gold – Michelangelo Awards 2013 (NZ)
Silver – International Wine & Spirit Competition 2013
Silver – Avenues International Aromatic Wine Competition 2013
Gold – Marlborough Wine Show 2013 (NZ)
WINEMAKER’S COMMENT
A pure expression of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, bursting with aromas of passionfruit, melon and wild nettle. It is powerful and juicy, displaying vibrant grapefruit notes with fantastic mid-palate weight, and an integrated acidity. Enjoy now and until 2015.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS
Fresh pan fried fish or sautéed scallops with grilled seasonal vegetables.
VINEYARD & WINEMAKING
The 2013 vintage was warm and dry and fruit was harvested in pristine condition from the last week of March until late April. Due to the warm days, regular tasting in the vineyard was ensured to capture the flavours at their peak.
FRUIT HANDLING: Machine Harvest, Destemmed and crushed.
YEAST: Neutral and aromatic
FERMENTATION: Temperatures were cool between 10-14c
VINEYARD: The Awatere and Wairau valleys offer a variety of mesoclimates & different flavour profiles - essentially a 50% blend of the valleys, capturing the spectrum of Marlborough..
VARIETIES: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
ALCOHOL: 13% pH: 3.25 TOTAL ACIDITY: 7.4gL
RESIDUAL SUGAR: 3.6gL"

  x $30
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Light hay in tone, with clear edges.

Nose: Lighter lemon on top, then deeper hay and grapefruit beneath, with a touch of woody herbs.

Palate: This rounder, almost medium-bodied wine features great acidity, and tons of juicy citrus fruit of grapefruit and lime. Some hay and fresh woody herbs come into play into the very juicy finish, as well. - 06/18/2014


Jun. 18, 2014 Villa Maria Marlborough Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2014

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from Tatu Digital for the "First to Sip 2014 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc" Twitter tasting, 06/18/14. #NZsavvy
http://wkwine.us/1oI1CgY

VM "DESCRIPTION

Fruit for this wine was sourced from vineyards across the Marlborough region in the Wairau and Awatere valleys spanning a range of different meso-climates. Careful attention was paid to vine health and cropping levels to give the vine the best chance to optimise the season and develop strong, clean flavours.

WINEMAKER'S COMMENT

This intense Sauvignon Blanc is alive with a myriad of flavours dominated by gooseberry, passionfruit, fresh citrus, melon and herbaceous aromas. The wine has an enticing palate with a juicy flavour profile, purity and concentration, finishing crisp and clean with an interwoven thread of acidity.

SERVING SUGGESTION

This Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect pairing with seafood and all white meats."

  x $15
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Light straw colored core, clear edges.

Nose; Very bright and tart here, with big grapefruit and gooseberry, followed by a bit of cat pee and hay.

Palate: Very zesty, very bright grapefruit acidity here, light-bodied, with some nice roundness and grapefruit and lime and hay finish. Good and bright. - 06/18/2014


Jun. 14, 2014 Caymus Vineyards Napa Valley 40th Anniversary Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from Balzac Communications on 06/12/14, for the live Twitter tasting, 06/14/14.
http://bit.ly/Caymus40thLive
CV: "Long before my parents and I started Caymus Vineyards, my dad sold our
grapes to other wineries while he honed his home winemaking skills.
"Charlie's wine" was something all the neighbors knew about, so turning
his craft into a business seemed a natural- especially since our family
included farmers, grape growers and winemakers in Napa Valley for 156
years. It just felt inevitable that Dad would throw his hat in the ring.
We are celebrating our 40th year of producing Caymus Cabernet. In the
· ANNlVERSARY lol.
fall of 1971, such a milestone was just a dream for my parents, Charlie
and Lorna Wagner. In a bold move that impresses me to this day, they
sat me down and asked me to join them in creating a new winery.
We would name it Caymus, after the historical Mexican "Rancho
Caymus" of which our land is a part. My folks were 60 and 57 and
I was 19. We would construct a small winery amongst the vineyards
that my family had planted - we had 55 acres of vines when we
embarked on the wine business.
I could talk for hours about my favorite memories from the many
years I worked alongside my parents, later joined by my own children.
In preparation for the 1972 harvest, we built a 3000-square-foot
barnlike structure to make, bottle and store the wine. I am still
reminded of our early days, packing Caymus Cabernet in old prune
boxes, filling and hand-corking each bottle one by one. It was an
innocent time, and we were unaware of all that was to come. Yes,
we were a "shoe string operation," but our excitement was
ever-present and our barrels were filled with joys that financial
risk and market unknowns couldn't diminish. I have a clear
memory of our prized possessions as we began:
• Used barrels from the neighboring wineries Beaulieu and Inglenook
(gifts from George and Andre)
• Redwood fermenting tanks made by Al Bellagio of Healdsburg
• A SIPI man powered wine pump purchased from Bob Ellsworth of
the Complete Winemaker (similar to an exercise machine)
· A well-maintained 30 year-old Caterpillar D4
• Reiser pruning shears, sharpening stone and small vineyard saws
that would fit in our back pockets
· Two 1963 pickups and one 1963 International flatbed truck"

  x $60
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Very dark, opaque violet and garnet core, violet edges.

Nose: Huge sweet oak here, not yet integrated at this young age, envelopes almost the entire nose, with deep and dark black fruit that shows great ripeness. Anise and some violet floral notes are also near the rim.

Palate: Good and huge, this is just a big baby right now. The sweet oak and dark chocolate dominate flavors show that this wine still has a long way to go to integrate, but the acidity is balanced with the very deep, ripe red and mainly black fruit medley of cassis, black and red currants and black cherry. Fine, but quite coating tannin also abounds in this huge-bodied wine, but with a few more years its parts should sing quite well, in unison. - 06/14/2014


Jun. 12, 2014 Frontera Chile Specialities Pedro Jiménez 2013

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from Creative Palate, 04/17/14.
Drank during a warm summer evening by the pool with the Lady, 06/11/14.
VCyT: "GRAPE VARIETY
87,5% Pedro Jimenez /100fo Moscatel/2,5 Sauvignon Blanc.
HARVEST
1000fo hand picked.
SOIL
Colluvial.
AGING
In stainless steel tanks for 4 months.
.... ·-
COLOR
Pale yellow with green highlights.
NOSE
Fresh, citric fruits, such as grapefruit, with a crispy and
mineral finish.
TASTE
Medium body, fresh and juicy.
ENJOY WITH
Dnnk chilled as an aperitif, or along with seafood and
Japanese food.
SERVE BETWEEN 8°C AND 10°C"

  x $8
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Very light in color, with a hint of canary yellow and clear edges.

Nose: A lot of lemon here, with Meyer in the fore, followed by some saline minerality and light white florals.

Palate: Medium-bodied, yet light on its feet with great lemon acidity and juiciness, the white florals, hay, and nice juicy, yet savory saline finish belies its very low $8 price: QPRWK. - 06/12/2014


Jun. 12, 2014 Piccini Brunello di Montalcino Villa al Cortile Sangiovese Grosso 2009

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Personal Notes

Received as sa sample from Gregory White PR, 02/12/14.
Drank with a wonderful casserole dinner made by the Lady, 06/12/14.
TP: "100% Sangiovese Grosso, 14% ABV"

  x $60
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Very dark ruby in the core, with deep ruby edges.

Nose: Huge and deep, ripe cherry notes here, with raspberry, slight earth, and deeper anise in this gorgeous notes. Further away from the glass, red floral notes come out, as well.

Palate: Wonderful acidity immediately hits the palate, refreshing the deep and super deep and ripe black and red fruit medley, dominated by various cherry flavors. Big anise comes in here as well, with earthier, delicious black currant alongside the powerful structure of fine coating tannin and dark chocolate into the long, juicy finish. Very good: OldWorldWK. - 06/12/2014


Jun. 10, 2014 Santa Carolina Valle de Leyda Leyda Estate Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2013

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from Thomas Collective, 09/05/13.
Drank with a beautiful catfish dinner by the Lady, 06/10/14.

VSC: "Appellation This Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from our vineyards in the Leyda Valley. Cool sea breezes from the Pacific Ocean blow through this newly discovered wine region to counter-balance its otherwise dry climate. Its rolling hillsides are as close as 5 km (3 mi.) from the salty waters, and it is separated by the Coastal Range in the west, which leaves it isolated and makes it a unique place for viticulture. The cool conditions and long ripening periods make it an ideal place for Sauvignon Blanc, yielding wines with crisp and lean acidity. Winemaking
•Hand-harvested grapes.
•Harvest moment is decided by tasting (balance of aromas / acidity / concentration).
•Each lot in the vineyard is vinified separately.
•Blend of different lots and clones.
•Fermentation in stainless steel tanks.
•Natural settling. Tasting Note Color: yellow pale. Aromas: floral, mineral and fruity notes like grapefruit and peach. Palate: round with balanced acidity and persistent finish. Food Serving Suggestions Ideal to pair with seafood, ceviches and fresh salads with goat cheese. Serve at a temperature of 12°C / 54°F. Ageing Potential Drink now through the end of next year. Winemaker: Alejandro Wedeles"

  x $12
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Almost clear yellow, with clear edges.

Nose: Light lime and lemon citrus fruit here, slight hoppy aromas, then a bit of flint near the rim.

Palate: Extremely light-bodied, this shows off zesty citrus acidity, with a nice bit of flint and slight florals, but the rest of the wine is rather unconcentrated, leading to flashes of interest alongside imbalance. - 06/10/2014


Jun. 3, 2014 Carpenè Malvolti Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superior Glera Prosecco 1868 Extra Dry NV

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from EKT Communications, 04/15/14.
Drank with the Lady, 06/03/14.
CM: "Conegliano • Valdobbiadene Superior DOCG Prosecco
Quality sparkling wine, aromatic • Extradry
Glera 100%
The vineyards are on the hillsides of the historic
DOCG area of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene.
Excellent exposure to south/south east. Average
altitude: 200/300 metres above sea level.
Conegliano Valdobbiadene process
Colour: straw yellow with greenish nuances.
Bouquet: very delicate and fruity, with an aroma of
apple.
Taste: fruity, soft and dry at the same time thanks
to its typical acidity.
Perlage: very fine and persisting, conveying a l ively
and elegant feeling.
Alcoholic content: about 11% ABV, depending on
the year.
Excellent as an aperit if, matches perfectly with
light Mediterranean dishes. Excellent also in
cocktails.
Recommended serving temperature 6·8" C"

  x $19
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Lighter canary yellow in color, with a medium-fine, mild bead.

Nose: Very light aromas of sweeter lemon.

Palate: This is a very light bubbly, almost too light, with mild flavors of dried lemon with a touch of vanilla. - 06/03/2014


Jun. 3, 2014 Martin & Weyrich California Riesling Allegro 2012

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from Balzac Communications, 08/1013.
Drank with a spicy chicken chili verde dinner made by the Lady, 06/03/14.

  x $12
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Medium banana yellow core, with light yellow edges.

Nose: White florals here, with sweetened peach and nectarine fruit notes.

Palate: While there is bright to zesty acidity here, this wine comes off heavy and still unbalanced to the offdry to medium sweetness. There are still good floral notes out into the peach fruited finish. - 06/03/2014


Jun. 1, 2014 Rodney Strong Russian River Valley Estate Pinot Noir 2012

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from the winery as part of my sponsorship package for the RSV Vineman Monte Rio Olympic Triathlon, 05/23/14.
Drank with a nice and light pasta dinner made by the Lady, 06/01/14.
RSV: "our story
At Rodney Strong Vineyards we focus on modern artisan winemaking,
exclusively from Sonoma County, California. Our family-owned winery is
committed to quality wines and to protecting our resources for the future.
We are solar powered, certified sustainable, practice Fish Friendly Farming
and we are Sonoma County’s first carbon neutral winery.
History
Rod Strong was among the first modern wine pioneers with a vision to
plant Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley. In 1968 he planted our heritage
River East Vineyard in the alluvial clay-loam soils adjacent to the winery in
Healdsburg. Today the Russian River Valley is well established as one of
the premier Pinot Noir growing regions in the world, and we continue to
rely on the original River East Vineyard as a core contributor to our estate
vineyard bottling.
The Vineyard
The 2012 vintage started off warm and dry, with little to no frost. By midsummer
people were beginning to whisper about how perfect the growing
season was going. Rain-free, warm days and cool nights were the rule,
with no storms or heat spikes. The real cheering started when the Pinot
Noir harvest began on September 12th and we picked the last of it on
September 29th.
tasting notes
Soft and silky, with intriguing rose petal and crushed pomegranate aromas,
this medium bodied wine was aged for 10 months in small French oak barrels,
which added a hint of toasty vanilla and spice complexity. Ideal for current
enjoyment, this Pinot Noir will age nicely over the next two to four years.
2012 PINOT NOIR
estate vineyards
Winemaker Rick Sayre
Alcohol 14.5%
TA 0.54 g/100 mL
pH 3.69
Appellation Russian River Valley
Sonoma County
Cellar &
Fermentation
10 months in 100%
French oak barrels"

  x $25
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Lighter ruby core here, with very light ruby edges.

Nose: A beautiful nose here, elegant, with great rose petal floral notes and a light toast, followed by bright and beautiful cranberry, raspberry, and rhubarb fruit notes.

Palate: The elegance of this wine also continues here, with a light body, great bright acidity and very silky tannin and mouthfeel. The fruit is also very good, a bright and juicy raspberry and cranberry medley, finishing with a light toast, earth, and those floral notes from the nose. Good. - 06/01/2014


May. 30, 2014 Rodney Strong Northern Sonoma Knotty Vines Estate Zinfandel 2012

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from the winery as part of my sponsorship package for the RSV Vineman Monte Rio Olympic Triathlon, 05/23/14.
Drank with an easy dinner made by the Lady, 05/30/14.
RSV: "OUR STORY
At Rodney Strong Vineyards we focus on modern artisan winemaking,
exclusively from Sonoma County, California. Our family-owned winery is
committed to quality wines and to protecting our resources for the future.
We are solar powered, certified sustainable, practice Fish Friendly Farming
and we are Sonoma County’s first carbon neutral winery.
HISTORY
When Rod Strong first acquired benchland acreage on Westside Road just
behind the winery, he wisely chose to leave untouched the 15 acres of old,
gnarled Zinfandel vines that had been thriving there since 1904. Today we
still harvest Zinfandel from those same old vines, along with a handful of
vineyards we farm to the north in the Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys.
THE VINEYARD
The 2012 vintage started off warm and dry, with little to no frost. By midsummer
people were beginning to whisper about how perfect the growing
season was going. Rain-free warm days and cool nights were the rule, with
no storms or heat spikes. The real cheering began when we finally started
picking the fruit, beginning on August 27th; a full sixteen days earlier than
the year before. We harvested this Zinfandel in September under ideal,
rain free conditions.
TASTING NOTES
Fresh, bright berry fruit from our heritage Russian River vineyard
combined with the ripe peppery jamminess from our Alexander Valley and
Dry Creek vineyards make for a wonderful diversity of flavor showcasing
the best that Zinfandel can offer in one wine. Aging for 16 months in French
and American oak enhances the Zinfandel’s inherent spicy qualities, while
the ebullient fruit of this medium rich wine suggests enjoyment over the
next two to four years.
2012 ZINFANDEL
KNOTTY VINES ESTATE VINEYARDS
WINEMAKER Rick Sayre
ALCOHOL 15.0%
TA 0.58 g /100 mL
PH 3.85
APPELLATION Northern Sonoma
CELLAR &
FERMENTATION
16 months in French
and American
Oak barrels"

  x $25
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Darker violet and ruby in the core, with violet edges.

Nose: Tarter cherry fruit here, with a touch of rhubarb and toast, then more deeper black and blue fruit near the rim.

Palate: A full-bodied wine here, but not over the top huge, by any means. Toasty blue and black fruit begins the fore-palate, then violet florals dominate the mid-. Bigger sweet toast follows into the chewy-tannin finish, with medium acidity to round things out a bit. Still young, with a little heat. - 05/30/2014


May. 30, 2014 Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from the winery as part of my sponsorship package for the RSV Vineman Monte Rio Olympic Triathlon, 05/23/14.
Drank with an easy dinner made by the Lady, 05/30/14.
RSV: "our story
At Rodney Strong Vineyards we focus on modern artisan winemaking,
exclusively from Sonoma County, California. Our family-owned winery is
committed to quality wines and to protecting our resources for the future.
We are solar powered, certified sustainable, practice Fish Friendly Farming
and we are Sonoma County’s first carbon neutral winery.
History
Rod Strong recognized the alexander Valley as an ideal place to grow
Cabernet Sauvignon as far back as 1971, when he planted our first Cabernet
vineyard on a hill known as alexander’s Crown. today we proudly farm
three different estate vineyards on the benches and hillsides above the
valley floor, where Cabernet displays the finest expression of the alexander
Valley terroir.
tHe Vineyard
the 2011 vintage started off cool and damp, but with little to no frost.
late rains continued until July, with almost two inches of rain in the month
of June. the end of the rainy season led to a cool weather pattern for most
of the summer, with average high temperatures around 80 degrees for both
July and august. the heat finally returned in September, with one six day
stretch of temperatures in the 90s, exactly what the vintage needed.
We harvested the last of our estate Cabernet Sauvignon on october
26th under ideal conditions.
tasting notes
the alexander Valley signature style is evident in this delicious Cabernet:
bold fruit aromas and flavors centered on red plum, boysenberry, and
a rich, mouth filling texture with soft tannins; all of which we’ve framed
in the finest oak barrels for just over 17 months. enjoy over the next three
to six years.
2011 cabernet sauVignon
eState VineyaRdS
Winemaker Rick Sayre
alcohol 14.5%
Ta 0.57 g/100 ml
ph 3.69
appellaTion alexander Valley
cellar &
FermenTaTion
17 mmonths in
predominantly french
oak barrels "

  x $28
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Dark garnet core, garnet edges.

Nose: Good, dusty black cherry here, with toast and good ripeness, overall.

Palate: Full and smooth, this wine has finer, dusty tannin and medium acid to go with the dark cherry fruit and toast, that remains full out into the flinty and pencil lead finish. Good. - 05/30/2014


May. 29, 2014 Rodney Strong Northern Sonoma Charlotte's Home Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2013

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from the winery as part of my sponsorship package for the RSV Vineman Monte Rio Olympic Triathlon, 05/23/14.
Drank with a nice light seafood dinner made by the Lady, 05/29/14.
RSV: "History: Rod Strong established our heritage Sauvignon Blanc vineyard in 1971, naming it Charlotte’s home in honor of his wife. today that vineyard remains the core of our Charlotte’s home Sauvignon Blanc, along with
other select estate vineyards in alexander valley as well as russian river valley."

  x $17
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: lighter yellow green in the core, with clear edges.

Nose: A touch of toast comes in at first, then good and very bright grapefruit, pineapple, and light vanilla come nicely into the fore.

Palate: Zesty acidity starts everything off very fresh and clean here, filled with grapefruit, lime, happily brightening up this light-bodied, yet still round wine. Tart green apple has a small appearance in the mid-palate, then it finishes with a hint of vanilla and very juicy citrus fruit, with a small zing of saline minerality. Good. - 05/29/2014


May. 28, 2014 Jacopo Biondi Santi Toscana IGT Braccale Red 2010

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Personal Notes

Received as a sample from EKT Communications, 04/15/14.
Drank with dinner on a warm night, 05/24/14.
WA: "The 2010 Braccale is a dense and compelling expression of Sangiovese Grosso (with 20% Merlot) that shows hints of wild Mediterranean brush and herb for added elegance and class. At its core are dark fruit nuances and lingering tones of crushed mineral or dry earth. The wine drinks beautifully right now, thanks to its softly velvety tannins. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018.""

  x $20
Tasting Notes
& Comments

Color: Medium to darker ruby in the core, with lighter ruby edges.

Nose: Great ripe red fruit here, that kicks out good brightness in the nose, as well. Good light ripe garden herb aromas, with a very light hint of earth and oak.

Palate: Good here as well, this palate starts off with great juicy, ripe red cherry mix of fruit, savory earth, herb, and zing of minerality in the mid-palate to the juicy, nicely complex and fun, light tannin, finish. Good. - 05/28/2014


Statistics for Drxeno

Total wines logged: 2625

Varieties: 333

Number of wines in cellar: 109 (113 bottles)

Number of Notes: 2468

Number of Comments: 2481

Average rating: 3.5

Favorites: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay

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