Indian Creek Pinot Noir (Smell and Taste the Smoke)



IMAG0086The fire that ravaged the area around Anderson valley in 2008 is represented in the Indian Creek, Pinot Noir.  We picked up the bottle while visiting the Navarro Vineyards Winery in Anderson Valley.  The wine was sort of a side show, because it was off to the side.  We originally were sent a bottle of the “Fire” Pinot back in 2008 with a Navarro label on it.  The strange thing about this wine is yes you can smell and taste the smoke, but it pairs with everything.  This is very very strange but good.  The bottle was inexpensive and is not being actively pushed for sale, at the winery.  As a suggestion, please try some of the 2008 vintage from that area, as it is a tasting experience, that some really enjoy.  I personally can take it or leave it.  Your mileage may vary.

Roederer Estates Sparkling Wine


Roederer Brut Sparkling wine is my go to bubbles.  Roederer is not expensive, but it is extremely high on quality.  It is not overly sweet and dry.  It has a mellow nose on it and a very positive and refreshing finish.  Pictured is the Magnum, we drank a standard sized bottle.

The winery is in Anderson Valley (Fort Bragg area) and is very welcoming.  We had the tasting room to ourselves, on our last visit.  We picked up a couple Magnums of the Brut and looking forward to doing the Standard bottle vs. Magnum tasting.  I will do my own spoiler….the Magnum tastes better.  Please try for yourself.

Girard Cabernet Sauvignon Atlas Peak



I am new to the Girard Winery and discovered them because they participate in the Napa Passport program.  I normally go to the wineries and not to tasting rooms.  This experience is changing that.  As a side note, we had a hell of a time finding their tasting room in Youtville, Ca.  We resorted to calling them and found out that we were driving past it several times.  They have a big tree in front of their sign and the tasting room is not very big.  This being said, they have some great wine.  We became wine club members on the first visit.  This was the case because everything they produced was really good and unique.  I believe they have three different wine makers.

The Girard Cabernet Sauvignon Atlas Peak is a very dry wine.  It has a light nose on it, which I found to be different.  Mid palate was strong and the draw off he back of the tongue was very dry.  The finish was nice and lasting.   Atlas Peak produces some really good grapes and this wine displays the quality of those grapes.

I encourage everyone to visit the tasting room (If you can find it)

Brutocao Cellars Primitivo 2010



I had the good fortune to come home and see my wife had opened up a bottle of Brutocao Primitivo 2010.  We picked up this bottle on our latest wine tasting trip, to Anderson Valley (Fort Bragg, Ca).  The Brutocao winery is a low key tasting environment and very friendly.  We were not rushed and were encouraged to stay and walk the grounds.   This encouraged us to purchase more wine 🙂

This Primitivo can stand on it’s own or it can be paired with pretty much anything.  It is not an over strong or over powering wine.  The wine had an Italian influence, dark red color, with no sediment.  The wine has a pleasant nose on it and the finish is very smoothly.  The wine is very easy to drink and if I remember right, the price was under $30.

Anakena Carmenere from Chile

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My wife and I split this Anakena Carmenere from Chile last night and to be honest, it was a great bottle of wine.  The price point is around $15 and I bought it on a splurge (same time as the Tannan).  The Carmenere had a nice and welcoming nose on it.  The nose consisted of berry and light pepper.  The color was a very deep red, with no sediment.  There was a middle and back of toughe finish that was enjoyable and with a slight warmth. This wine can stand on its own, but I had it with some spicy sausages.

My First Tannat

My First Tannat

I bought and sampled my first Tannat last night. I dropped into a local wine shop and I was greeted by a friendly assistant and she asked “Can I help you find something.” I said yes I am looking for a good Tannat. She did not blink an eye and took me over to the Uruguay wine section. I told her I was impressed as I never heard of the wine until I read about it the other night.

The wine was a Pisano RPF 2010 Tannat. Tannat is unique to Uruguay and I do not know of any other country producing it. The winery can be found at . The wine did not have much of a nose on it but the finish was very warm and long lasting. The cost was around $7, so I got a lot of mileage from an inexpensive bottle of wine (Napa are you listening????). You needed a couple of sips to understand where the vintner was going with the wine. The color was very deep red to purple with some sediment. I enjoyed it with my turkey and swiss sandwich, as a pairing (I had no clue what would pair well with it). I would buy it again and might purchase the other three Tannat’s and do a sampling out of it.

Wine Tasting at Petra in NorthStar

While my wife and I were up at NorthStar, we ran across a wine bar named Petra .  We decided to stop in and have some dinner with some wine.  We took the option for the 3 glass flights and we doubled up on them.  We started with sparkling and Cuvee 20 from J Vineyards of Sonoma and the Brut Sparkling from Graham Beck from Robertson, South Africa.  My wife and I were split on this one, as I liked the Cuvee 20, but she liked the Graham Beck better.  It came down to preference.

Next came the Pinot’s.  We opted for the Pelerin 2009 from Monterey, Ca and the 2011 Cristom from Willamette Vally.  My wife and I love Pinot’s.  We were very surprised with the Pelerin.  I have done wine tasting in the Montrey and was not very impressed.  Their push for fruit forward wines pretty much turned me off.  To my surprise, I like the Monterey Pinot.  The Cristom was your typical Oregon Pinot.  It was of good quality and would be great with any light meal, but the Pelerin was very good for the area.

Now came the Grenache from Farmers Jane of Mendocino.  I am just starting to get into Grenache.  It was a medium bodied wine, with some nice spice.  We added a Blend Ridge 2011 Zinfandel.  This was a very strong and spicy wine, that would stand up to any meal.  We enjoyed both, but liked Zin stood out.

To wrap things up and our meal arrived, we went from sampling to our dinner wine.  I choose  a Felino Malbec 2010 and Sandra chose the Round Pond 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon.  We were both familiar with the Round Pond and loved it.  The Malbec was extremely good and stood up to my short ribs quite well.

Peter Mondovi

Peter Mondovi

My wife and I were at the opening of Charles Krug new wine tasting room. The Redwood room is a huge improvement over the old tasting room. Peter, who is 99 now, was quite active and he participated in the closing of the time capsule. At the base of the capsule was some Charles Krug wine and it is set to open up in 100 years. We were drinking 1996 Generation from Charles Krug. Good stuff 🙂

Working out the kinks

To all, I am up in Tahoe doing some wine tasting (yes you can do this in Tahoe as they have many very nice wine bars).  I am attempting to get the site up and functioning as I envisioned it.  Wading through tech blogs is not my most fun thing to do, but I will get it done eventually.