Alpha Omega Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley 2012


If you have read my posts on Alpha Omega, you will know that both Sandra and I are huge fans of the winery and the wine they produce.  The Cabernet Franc is a great example of their level of wine making.  Sandra is a big fan of Cabernet Franc’s and when Alpha Omega came out with theirs, we were there to sample it (and buy it).  I will admit here that I am biased, but this is a very good bottle of wine.  I will keep this short.

Nose:  The nose on this Cabernet Franc was light and had some spice and strawberry notes.  The nose was enjoyable.

Tasting phase:  The tasting phase had some spice notes, with a slight berry notes.  I will go as far as to say there was some tangy notes, to the tasting phase.

Finish:  The finish had spice and strawberry notes.  I found the wine pulls from the back of the tongue.  The finish had a quality to it that I have come to expect from Alpha Omega wines.

I can solve the riddle of if we have purchased more of this wine and we have.  We are headed to the winery this weekend  for a private tasting, with the Director of Sales.  He wants some input on the experience at the winery, for its customers.  By the way, the view from the tasting area is great in the winter months.  Mountains, fog, clouds, and cool weather equal a great tasting experience.

Trefethen 2012 Harmony Chardonnay


This bottle of Trefethen 2012 Harmony Chardonnay was sourced at the winery, just before the big earth quake that devastated many Napa wineries.  We were very surprised when we arrived and found two of our favorite wine servers.  Adam from Alpha Omega and Angie from Charles Krug.  They both left their  mother ships and moved to Trefethen.  It was great to see them.

We were given a great tour through the gravity fed winery and they introduced us to their whole product line.  The winery looked great.  During the earth quake, the gravity fed winery was damaged.  It is a shame, it was a really good looking and historic building.

To the wine:  This bottle of 2012 Harmony Chardonnay is from the Oak Knoll district of Napa valley.  The grapes in this Chardonnay were sourced on the estate of Trefethen.

Nose:  The nose on this Chardonnay had very nice floral  and fruit notes.  The nose was medium in intensity and pleasant.

Tasting phase:  The tasting phase was pleasant and full of floral and green melon notes.  The tasting phase was distinctive and of quality.

Finish:  The finish was very mellow and falls away.  There was no warmth and pulls lightly from the middle of the tongue. The finish had some nice fruit notes that lingered.

Conclusion:  The name on the bottle of Chardonnay is Harmony.  This makes sense because this describes this wine very well.  Everything had a balance to it and I have purchased another bottle of this wine.

Jonas Red Wine 2010 Napa


This bottle of Jonas Red Wine 2010 from Napa was sourced in the Girard Winery tasting room in Yountville, ca.  This bottle is normally not available for tasting.  I have a philosophy that if I am served the wine, I just might buy it.  When I discussed this philosophy with the server, the server opened up a bottle of Jonas.  In the end, we purchased a bottle of it.

There was a saying on the label of this bottle of wine and it states “Vinum ex Steriliis.”  This is Latin for “Wine of the Barrel.”  The wine is a blend Cabernet Franc and Syrah.  The production volume of Jonas is 150 cases, so you can see why it is not normally tasted, at the tasting room.

To the wine:

Nose:  The nose on this Jonas Red Wine was strong and full of berry notes.  Nothing individual dominated the nose of this wine, it was just nice and added to the wine tasting experience.

Tasting Phase:  The tasting phase on this red wine, was strong on the berry and spice notes.  Nothing overpowering was sensed during the tasting phase, but this is a bolder wine, that can stand on its own.

Finish:  The finish on this wine pulls from the full tongue.  The spice note was muted on the finish and lost a bit to the berry notes.  I really enjoyed the finish on this wine.

Now to the question:  Yes I would purchase this wine again.  I look forward to next years vintage.

Jeff Runquist 2012 Cabernet Franc Amador County


This bottle of Jeff Runquist 2012 Cabernet Franc, was sourced at a tasting room in Amador County.  This tasting trip was part an invite from a vendor, who is a friend of mine.  Friend first, vendor second.  I have never heard of Jeff Runquist, but I can tell you he is a talented guy.  I do not have very detailed notes on this wine, because the bottle was opened and drank rather quickly.  Sandra and I enjoyed it.

To the wine:

Nose:  The nose on this Cabernet Franc was full of berry and spice notes.  I would say the nose was medium in intensity.

Tasting Phase:  During the tasting phase, the wine gives you a medium heat with a strong spice note.  I found this to be very enjoyable and balanced.

Finish:  The finish was warm and full of spice notes.  I found the finish fades quickly and is a little light.  I found the finish to be of quality and the wine is distinct.

In the end, would I buy this wine again and the answer is yes.  I do not get to Amador county very often, so the next time I am up there, I will be stopping by the tasting room

Domaine Chandon 2011 Carneros Clone 667 Pinot Noir

IMG_0964I have posted before about having a gift certificate to the restaurant at the winery at Chandon.  The restaurant closed and we were left with a gift certificate that had no value.  That is until we called the winery.  Chandon honored the gift certificate with wine.  What a great deal and we joined the wine club and doubled our value.

Sandra and I have had a few different bottles of Chandon’s wines.  I normally associate Chandon with sparkling wines.  They do some really nice sparkling wines.  The Pinot clones (They have several) are very good examples of what can be produced on the Napa valley floor.  We have enjoyed Pinot Nior’s clones 667 and 777.

To the wine:

The nose on this Pinot Noir was strong with dark cherry and muted plum notes.  I found the nose to be very nice and a good start to a good glass of wine.

The tasting phase.  During the tasting phase I received tobacco, and smoke.  I found this to be very different from the Pinot Noir’s from the Carneros area.  The tasting notes faded slowly.

The finish to this Chandon Carneros Pinot Noir had a small warmth to it.  There was a pull on he front of the tongue.  The finish stays with you for a while.  All and all, this was a nice finish to this wine.

Conclusion:  I like this wine and since we are in their wine club, I am sure we will be seeing more of this.

Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 4 2009

IMG_0962Sandra and I stopped by Beaulieu Vineyards tasting room (George de Latour) back around a year ago and were surprised to walk into a library vertical tasting of George de Latour.  We sampled George de Latour from the early 80’s to present.  This was a very interesting experience and we have never been able to sample vintages like that.  Both of us loved the experience, but vintage wines is not something we are going to invest in.  Since we were able to do the library tasting for no cost, it was an easy sale to join their wine club.  They just asked us to get a minimum of two wine shipments.  This bottle was part of one of those wine club shipments.

This bottle of Beaulieu Vineyards, Rutherford, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Clone 4, stood out to us, when we tasted it at the winery.  Sorry for the choppy sentence.  What Clone 4 is, is a clone taken from Argentina and then grown in Rutherford AVA (Valley floor) in the Napa Valley.  Spoiler alert….this is a great bottle of wine.

To the wine:

Nose:  The nose on this Cabernet Sauvignon was full of plum and cherry notes.  I would rate the nose to be medium in intensity.  There was a hint of spice notes here.

Taste:  During the tasting phase I received plum and cherry notes with a very tangy spice notes.

Finish:  The finish of this Cabernet Sauvignon was full of fruit notes.  There was also a medium warmth to the finish that stayed with you.    The finish had a nice spice note and the finish was quality.

Alph Omega Malbec 2013

IMG_0954I am a huge fan of Alpha Omega winery.  I think that they are producing some of the best wine in the Napa valley.  Since Sandra and I are members of their wine club, this wine was picked up as part of a wine shipment.  We also both enjoy the grounds of Alpha Omega and if you get a chance, you should stop by.  This Malbec is a new varietal for Alpha Omega as per my understanding.  We sampled this wine at the winery and looked forward to enjoying it at home.

To the wine:

Noes.  The nose on this Malbec was light with berry and fruit notes.  This is not normal for a Alpha Omega wine.  Normally, Alpha produces “Statement” wines, with strong nose.  I would have liked a little more nose on this wine.

Taste:  During the tasting phase I experienced a berry and spice notes, that pull from the middle of the tongue.  The spice notes were very distinctive and welcomed.

Finish:  The finish on this Malbec left me with spice and fruit notes.  I also could sense the tannis in this wine.

Conclusion:  This may surprise you, since I am such a big fan of Alpha Omega, but I do not think this wine is up to the standards of Alpha Omega.  Now the bar is set very high for anything they produce, so I am not saying this is a bad bottle of wine.  I am saying just the opposite.  This is a pretty good bottle of wine, it just is not at the same level as the rest of the Alpha Omega wines.  Yes I am being picky here, but I am also being honest.

I look forward to going back to the winery and talking to them about this wine.  Maybe sample some more.

Edmeades 2010 Zinfandel

IMG_0942This bottle of Edmeades 2010 Zinfandel, from the Samrock Vineyard, in Mendocino County, was sourced on our latest trip to Mendocino County.  We visited many wineries while we were up there and had a good time.  Edmeades is on a hill off the main drag and they had a few good bottles of wine.  We were tasting toward the later part of the day, so we were ready to be done for the day.  The tasting room was pretty interesting, because of the views and we were the only people in it.  The winery was well worth the visit and I do recommend dropping in for a tasting.

To the wine:

Nose:  The nose on this Mendocino Zinfandel was very lite, with spice notes.  I had to swirl vigorously to get a full sampling of the nose and the spice notes were interesting, in a good way.

Tasting Phase:  During the tasting phase I received a very lite strawberry notes and and a huge spice notes.  The spice notes were strong.  This created a very nice combination.

Finish:  The finish had a lite fruit notes, but the spice notes continue and stay with you.

Conclusion:  This was a pretty good bottle of wine.  When Sandra and I make it back up to Mendocino County, we will be stopping by for another tasting.  We will buy this wine again.

Terra d’oro 2012 Barbera Amador County

IMG_0937Sandra picked up this bottle of Terra d’oro 2012 Barbera, from Amado County in California, at our local grocery store.  The bottle stood out a bit and it looked good to her.  The price point on this wine was under $10, so it was worth the risk of buying it and hoping it was good.

To the wine:

Nose:  The nose of this Barbera, was full of strawberry and fruit notes.  The nose was medium in strength and was pleasant.

Tasting Phase:  During the tasting phase, I received  black current notes with a definitive spice note.  The depth of the tasting phase was pretty strong and was defined.

Finish:  The finish of this Barbera was best described, as a little complex.  I received spice notes and a very slight berry and cherry notes.  Nice finish.

Conclusion:  For an impulse buy, this was a pretty good bottle of wine.  At an under $10 price point, I cannot complain about anything.  Sandra and I would buy this again.

The Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2012


Sandra and I mail ordered this bottle of The Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2012.  We used and it was pretty easy.  Both Sandra and I like Hess wines and have been to the winery. Hess has a very eclectic art collection at the winery. The flaming typewriter was my favorite piece of art.

To the wine:

Nose:  The nose on this Cabernet Sauvignon was very light on the berry and cherry notes.  I had a hard time getting any nose from this wine.

Tasting Phase:  While tasting this wine I received blackberry and plum notes.  I normally do not get plum tasting notes from a Cabernet Sauvignon.  The berry notes were very strong.  How the tasting phase was so strong and the nose was so light, is a mystery to me.

Finish:  The finish of this wine on this Cabernet Sauvignon had blackberry and  plum notes.  The finish was very warm and stayed with me for a while.  The wine really pulls off the tongue and finished well.

Conclusion:  We would purchase this wine again.