Carneros tagged posts

2001 Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvée- No better sparkling deal $15.95

November 11, 2010 Cellar WorthyHigh End Values  No comments

I originally wrote about the 2001 Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvée back in March and, at the time, I thought it was the end of the vintage.  Apparently it wasn't, because this 93 point rated Carneros sparking wine is back at LA Wine Co for the absurdly low price of $18.95.  It's almost 10 years old at this point and is drinking better than ever (I had a bottle less than a month ago).

If you like sparking wine, I implore you buy this.  It's at the top of Gloria Ferrer's impressive lineup and will be drinking well for years to come.  I still can't figure out how they get the bubbles to stay in the bottle for so long, but I'm glad they do!  Good sparkling wine can actually last for hundreds of years as proven by divers who recently recovered bottles of Veuve Clicquot from 1780.  It was drinking

Read More

2009 Trinitas Chardonnay- Oak, smoke, no joke at $19.95

August 26, 2010 Daily DrinkersHigh End Values  No comments

Do you like subtle, clean, stainless steel Chardonnay?  If so do not buy this wine.  On the other hand, if you are like me and prefer the rich, oaky, barrel fermented version, Trinitas has yet another fantastic value with their 2009 vintage Chardonnay from Carneros.  Carneros, which spans Napa and Sonoma on Napa's southwest side, is to Chardonnay what Oakville is to Cabernet.  In a word (or three)- the perfect climate.  The cooler climate created by the maritime influence of San Palo Bay is perfect for growing Chardonnay grapes and this AVA tends to produce the most expensive Chardonnay coming out of Napa and Sonoma.

This wine has a complexity rarely found in a $20 Chardonnay.  The toasty oak in which this wine was aged makes for a fragrant, smokey nose and a rich buttery texture.  The

Read More

Etude Pinot Noir 2007- Textbook Carneros Pinot under $30

June 20, 2010 High End Values  No comments

The Napa Valley and Sonoma Coast are amazing places.  Napa specifically is a fraction the size of the Bordeaux region, yet grows basically all of the grape varietals of the entire country of France.  The reason?  The Pacific Ocean and Mayacamas Mountains combine to create unique microclimates all over the valley, each uniquely suited to the many varietals that thrive there.

Etude's Estate Pinot Noir is grown in the Carneros AVA that covers part of Napa and Sonoma counties.  Breezes from San Pablo Bay keep Carneros cooler than the rest of Napa Valley making it perfectly suited to growing Pinot Noir grapes.  Etude focuses on making great Pinot Noir in this region and the 2007 has certainly delivered.  It's exceptionally fragrant, earthy and complex, with a full bodied texture that I find

Read More

Domaine Carneros Brut 2006- Celebrate in Style for $19.95

April 25, 2010 Cellar WorthySpecial Occasions  One comment

I've been in love with this wine since I first had it last year at the winery in Carneros.  The winery itself is straight out of Champagne France and the wine follows suit.  This shouldn't come as a surprise, as it's made by Taittinger, one of the biggest Champagne houses in France.  If you can make it to Napa, spend the morning here- the surroundings are spectacular and the sparkling wine makes a perfect start to a day of wine tasting.

The Chardonnay used in this wine contributes a richness and the Pinot Noir a complexity that suggests it will age very well.  It's dry, smooth and full and really shows off the uniqueness of the Carneros appellation.  The finish has a nice tartness and a distinct taste of orange peel.  Really nice.

Sparkling wine tends to be consumed in the U.S. only

Read More

Update: 2001 Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvee $18.95- Even lower price!

April 3, 2010 High End ValuesSpecial Occasions  No comments

A couple of weeks ago I posted a review of the 2001 Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvee.  At the time, the lowest price in the country was $21.99 .  Well, LA Wine Company just listed it on their website for $18.95.  At that price, this aged sparkling wine is amazing and is worth buying by the case (or at least the half case).  Again, it was rated 93 points from Wine Spectator and the same from Wine Enthusiast.  It was also number 55 on Wine Enthusiast's top 100 of 2008.

2001 Gloria Ferrer Brut Royal Cuvee- LA Wine Company $18.95

Read More

Gloria Ferrer Brut ‘Royal Cuvee’ 2001- Great Sparkling Deal WS93

March 13, 2010 Special Occasions  4 comments

Last night I had the pleasure of celebrating a special occasion with this awesome bottle of sparkling wine from Carneros.  Gloria Ferrer is usually known for their Sonoma wines, but this vintage reserve bottling uses Napa grapes, to great effect.  Unlike many California sparklers, this wine is nuanced and very dry, much like a Champagne.  With 2/3 Pinot Noir and 1/3 Chardonnay, you get some of the smokey and nutty flavors of the Pinot coming through as well.

For me, it's fun to drink vintage sparkling wine, not just because of complexity gained during the 7-8 years in the bottle, but because I like to think about all the effort that went into creating it.   If you haven't read up on the complicated process of making champagne and other sparkling wine, it's worth a read.  It will make

Read More