Archive

Posts Tagged ‘flora springs’

Wine, Pick Me Up, Please!

May 23, 2012 8 comments

So you had a bad day at work. During the meeting boss kept giving you the look, you know, that one. Engineering just informed you that project delivery will be delayed [yet again]  by 4 weeks, and you are the one to come up with the third(!) apology/excuse to the customer. And actually, this Sunday you will have to be on the plane, and it will be 3rd week in a row you have to travel over the weekend and cancel all your plans. Is that bad enough, or do we need to throw in a flat tire and a speeding ticket on the way to work?

Okay, you arrive home in sufficiently bad mood. Sit down, relax, may be put on some nice music (I don’t know about you, but Stan Getz, Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett will fit the bill for me). Will glass of wine help to cheer you up? Most probably. But what bottle should you open? If your answer is “the only one I already have”, this post might not help you much…

My wine teacher Kevin Zraly always said that “the wine should give you pleasure“. So another short answer would be “the one which will give you pleasure” – and what we need to keep in mind is that the wine I would enjoy immensely might be completely not your thing. Let’s put this aside, and let’s assume that I actually had a bad day at work. Well, it would be the easiest then to write this blog post empirically and emphatically, but I’m not sure than if I actually had a bad day at work, I would be able to write a good blog post, so … did I lose you yet? Let’s get back to the subject.

Here are three important criteria for selecting the “pick me up” wine. First, it should be an “instantly on” wine. What I mean is that the wine should be ready to drink as soon as the bottle is open. This will effectively exclude lots of big Italian wines, such as Barolo and Brunello, as well as many California Cabs (unless you have something aged to perfection in your cellar and it is actually ready to drink now) – anything which needs decanting or prolonged breathing time should be avoided here.

Then I would suggest that the wine should be familiar. It should be the wine you had before and you know how it will taste like. There is nothing wrong with opening a totally unknown bottle of wine, but – you are in a bad mood already, are you sure it is worth taking chances?

The last factor I want to throw in here – I want this wine to have a great smell. I think the “pick me up” process should start from the very first whiff from your glass, way before you take a first sip. Smell has a great power to transform your mood right away – and the great bonus or a great smell is that you can smell the wine indefinitely as it opposed to drinking it.

Oh, wait, there is one more desired feature here – the wine should be good. In other words, it should give you pleasure. In my personal book it means that the wine should be balanced and as an added bonus, have sense of place.

Let me give you some examples of the wines which should be able to improve one’s mood (I’m sure they will work for me).

2010 Fiction Red Wine Paso Robles by Field Recordings. I talked about this magnificent wine a number of times already in this blog, so let me just quote myself:First and foremost, it is a smell which doesn’t lets you put the glass down. Fresh flowers, meadows, herbs, fresh summer air – it is all captured in the smell of this wine. On the palate, this wine shows bright red fruit, like raspberries and cherries, all perfectly balanced with a great finesse. Any time you want to experience beautiful summer day, reach out to that wine.”

Flora Springs Soliloquy Sauvignon Blanc 2009. “One of the very best California Sauvignon Blanc I ever had. Beautiful combination of traditional grassiness with fruit forward and finesse. Outstanding!”

 

 

Rozes Over 40 Years Old Port. “My best port ever. I can close eyes and imagine the smell and taste of this wine – multiple layers, tremendous complexity and great opportunity to reflect on life when the finish lasts for 15 minutes or longer.”

 

 

2007 Inniskillin Cabernet Franc Icewine “This was definitely the best Icewine I ever tried. Light and effervescent (not your usual descriptors for the icewine), with perfect acidity complementing beautiful fruit. True masterpiece.

 

There you have it – I’m sure either one of this wines will greatly improve your mood. However, there is an extremely good chance that any [your personal good] bottle of wine will help too. Besides, having a bad day at work is not at all mandatory to enjoy a glass of wine (or two). Tell me, what will be in your glass today? Cheers!

Wine, Aged Beautifully

July 12, 2011 4 comments

Let’s talk about aging. No, that’s not what you think – not people aging and not the world problems with the aging populations. Let’s talk about aging of the wine. By the way, it appears that second time in the row I’m taking upon popular subject – in previous post we were comparing the wine glasses (post can be found here), and now the wine aging.

With all due respect (based on this phrase, my friend Kfir would tell you right away that I’m about to blast something), I completely disagree with majority of the popular opinion on the subject of wine aging. Open a wine book, read a wine blog, or ask a question on Quora, and for the most part you will get an answer that 95% of the wines are not supposed to be aged and should be consumed within a year or two from the release date.

Based on my personal experience, I disagree with this viewpoint. I can’t put a percentage or a quantity on it, but I believe that well in excess of half of the wines produced in the world (not by the volume, but by the variety of the actual wines) can age very well for 5 to 10 years – and “age well”  means “to improve with age”. My biggest problem with aging of the wines is … space. If you want to drink aged wine, you either need a lot of space, or you need [typically] lots of money, as most of the aged wines increase in price. If you have cool and dark area with constant humidity, you can buy wines as they are released.  store them and enjoy them later as they evolve and mature. Otherwise, you need to have money and reputable source of the aged wines (improper storage conditions will ruin any wine in no time). Once you solved your space problem, the rest is easy.

How easy is that? How can we know if that bottle of wine will age well – read: improve with age? There are way too many factors affecting aging of the wine, and being able to predict age-worthiness of the wine (age-worthiness means that wine will evolve and taste better in the future) is more art than science. As an example, Matt Kramer, one of my favorite wine writers identifies age worthy wines using characteristic of the mouth-feel, a mid-palate weight of wine in the mouth. Here is my take on the subject. First, yes, of course, some of the wines are meant to be aged – for instance, Beaujolais Noveau is released in November and should be consumed by May of next year. Outside of the wines which are designated by winemakers as “do not age”, majority has some aging potential. I believe the biggest dependecy here is on the winemaker and what she or he want to acheieve with particular wine – if wine is well made,  there is a good chance that it will also age well.

Some wines are helped by their “DNA” – under which I mean from what grape and where in the world the wine is made (of course good/bad year matters too). California Cabernet Sauvignon expected to [typically] reach maturity at around 13 years. Bordeaux easily age for 30-50 years. Syrah-based wines, whether from Australia or France, can live for 50 years. Many 50-years old Riojas are fresh and vibrant as being just made. But “DNA” alone is not enough – wine should be well made in order to age well.

If you are still reading this post, I guess you might be tired by now by this prolonged escapade into the wine aging, and you might be wondering why, why is all that wine aging might be important? Well, I can’t answer this question. At least not before you will find the wine with a little age on it, which will blow you away. Yes, it is an acquired taste. But once you will actually acquire that “mature wine”taste, this is what you are going to crave, I guarantee you.

Let me share some recent and exciting discoveries. Let’s start with 1995 Flora Springs Chardonnay Napa Valley. This wine is made out of 100% Chardonnay. While nose was not very expressive, the level of complexity of this wine is unimaginable. Yes, considering dark golden color, this wine might well be past prime, and without that “acquired taste” for the aged white wine, you might be even upset after the first sip. This wine was exhibiting notes of vanilla which almost moved up to some sort of the almond paste, still showing some acidity. Next are savory notes, almost to the level of saltiness, which was increasing the complexity even further. The wine was in a very stable shape as it tasted the same on the second day as well. Will this wine evolve further? Who knows – but I would be very happy to taste this wine again in five or may be ten years. Drinkability: 8

Next wine is 1992 Domaine de Thalabert Crozes Hermitage from France. Crozes Hermitage wines are made primarily out of Syrah, typically with very small addition of Marsanne and Rousanne grapes. As we mentioned before, Syrah wines age quite well, and this was an excellent example of the well aged Syrah wine. This wine was very playful and soft, with lots of red fruit on the nose and on the palate, very good acidity and good level of tannins. This wine probably will continue evolving for the next five to ten years, and again I will be glad to help you share the bottle later on – if you will have one. Drinkability: 8-

 

Going back to California, 2001 Lolonis Petite Sirah Redwood Valley. In short – outstanding. This 10 years old wine was completely fresh and beautiful. It is made from organically grown Petite Sirah grape. The wine showed perfect dark fruit, good acidity, full body, excellent tannins and perfect overall balance. This wine might be evolving for the next 10-20 years – again, the trick will be to find it.

Drinkability: 8+.

 

Last, but not least, 1991 Justin Cabernet Franc, San Luis Obispo County. This was the “wow” wine, that exact mind-blowing one. First, while I like Cabernet Franc wines, I had no idea they can age so well. I can literally guarantee that in the blind tasting format, very very few people would be able to guess the age of this wine. Deep garnet color, not a hint of age (no brownish overtones at all). Perfect fresh fruit, soft and luscious, perfect balance of tannins and acidity. This wine was the oldest in the tasting, and it was definitely best of tasting. Considering how good is was now, I can’t even guess how much time it has left – but I would be very glad to find a few more bottles to be “wowed” again in the future. Drinkability: 9-

One note before we conclude – this was a rare case of someone doing all the hard work, and me enjoying the results – I got all wines from Benchmark Wine Company and each one of them had been less that $20.

Don’t know if got the desire to seek well aged wines – I hope you will one day. For now, I can only wish upon myself, my family, all my friends and all of you, my readers, to age as beautifully as this Justin Cabernet Franc does. Cheers!

 

Sauvignon Blanc For Sauvignon Blanc Day #SauvBlanc

June 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Turns out that yesterday was an [International] Sauvignon Blanc Day, as I learned from the post on Bottle Notes. I wouldn’t call this quite “International” yet – it was originated in 2009 by St. Supéry winery in California, to celebrate one of the main wine-making  grapes in the world, Sauvignon Blanc. While St. Supéry run the whole program of seminars and tastings on June 24th, all dedicated to Sauvignon Blanc, this was also a social media event which anyone could join in using Twitter or any other social media outlets.

Sauvignon Blanc is a white grape used in many regions throughout the world. With all due respect to California, I would like to first mention Loire Valley in France, which brings us Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé wines. French Sauvignon Blanc wines typically very dry, with pronounced herbaceous flavors and expressive minerality. The same Sauvignon Blanc grape takes on totally different expression in New Zealand and Chile – very bright, zinging acidity, lots of fresh citrus flavors and some hint of fresh cut grass. Then comes California with yet another take on the popular grape – California Sauvignon Blanc typically much fuller bodied than their counterparts from France or New Zealand, much fruitier and with lesser acidity.

I talked about Sauvignon Blanc wines already a few times on this blog (you can find those posts here and here). This time, I want to talk about some special (and totally unexpected) experience with California Sauvignon Blanc. In general, Sauvignon Blanc wines are not expected to age. They are typically consumed young, may be within 3-4 years of age. When we opened a bottle of 2000 Flora Springs Soliloquy from Napa Valley, a Sauvignon Blanc wine, we didn’t have much [good] expectations – it was more of an experiment – hey, let’s see if this is even drinkable. To our complete surprise, this wine was perfect! Yes, it showed signs of maturity, definitely in the dense dark yellow color of aged white wine,  but otherwise, it was fresh, complex, with lots of white fruit and hint of earthiness on the palate, good acidity. 2009 Soliloquy was one of my favorite wines of last year, it was number 9  in my 2010 Top Dozen list, but still I didn’t expect that 11 years old Sauvignon Blanc will taste so good. Drinkability: 8+.

Sauvignon Blanc is perfect summer wine. You really don’t need to wait for 11 years to enjoy it – and even that we are already past Sauvignon Blanc Day, go get a bottle today and toast summer day and great discoveries. Cheers!

Vino Volo: Great Wines On The Go

January 7, 2011 3 comments

Did you have any good wine at the airport lately? I hope you have, because I did. No, I didn’t need to sneak anything past security or convince myself that no name Merlot for $15/glass is great wine and great value. Your gateway to the good wine experience at the airport is called Vino Volo, and I recommend that you will look them up next time you are in the airport and in the mood for a good glass of wine.

Great thing about Vino Volo (actually, there are multiple) is that they have good wine selection and good prices, and you can also buy a bottle if you like something. On top of that is my favorite feature – wine tasting flights, opportunity to experience and learn. At any given moment they offer 4-5 different wine tasting flights, with selection slanted towards local wines – as much as possible, of course. So if you are in California, you should expect to find more Californian wines, and if you are in Portland, Oregon – you will find more wines from Oregon and Washington.

I stopped by Vino Volo in Oakland airport in California, and selected tasting flight of 3 California Cabernets (there were 6 different tasting flights available). I think spending $19 to try 3 different California Cabernets ranging from $48 to $87 per bottle represents a very good value.

All three wines were good and solid – no, they were not amazing, but they were good. Bremer Family Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 was the best of tasting – it had all the classic cedar and blackberry aromas, and had good balanced tannins and acidity. Blackbird Vineyards Contrarian 2007, which is a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, was not ready to drink. It was way to aggressive on the palate and will probably open up in another 5 years. And Flora Springs Trilogy 2007 had all the great aromatics, but unfortunately was disappearing in the mouth leaving you with the impression that something is missing (needed more structure). I might be totally wrong on this wine, however, as it might be simply too young – well, the time will tell. And last note I want to make here – out of curiosity, I wanted to check how bad Vino Volo’s prices are. I checked prices on the wine-searcher, and happy to report that all the prices were within $5 range from the best price which can be found on the wine-searcher (and it doesn’t include shipping), plus Bremer Family is available only from the winery so it is also a great find.

I can only thank folks at Vino Volo for their great service to all the wine lovers – and next time you are in the airport, remember – you CAN find good wine there…

Top Dozen Wines of 2010

December 29, 2010 18 comments

One more year is passing by, becoming memories. As the closing bell nears, we often like to count good things which happened during that year. After reading the post by Joe Roberts, where he talks about his ten most interesting wines of the year, the idea for this post was born.

Here we go – a dozen of wines which made special memories throughout the 2010. Are these the best ever wines I had? No. Are these the best wines of 2010? Not necessarily. Why is there a dozen? After going through my records, I simply counted 12 wines I want to reflect upon. A lot of these wines were covered in the prior posts – I will give you links and prices if I have them. And I will explain why I felt so special about these wines. And – I will make an effort to sort the list. Prioritizing memories and experiences is hard, but I will do it nevertheless – may be just to get a good chuckle later on. And now, without further delay…

12. Haut Charmes Sauternes 2007 ($17). One of the best Sauternes I ever had – clean, balanced, with white peaches and honeysuckle on the palate. Few reasons to be in the “Top Dozens” – legend has it is declassified Chateau D’Yquem, plus great QPR for the Sauternes.

11. Cambria Bench Break Chardonnay 2006, Santa Maria ($25). For the first time in a long while, California Chardonnay tasted like California Chardonnay – lots of vanilla, butter and toasted oak on the palate, extremely balanced at the same time. Real Chardonnay as opposed to wimpy white wine without identity.

10. Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir 2008, South Africa ($40). Totally unexpected – amazing Pinot Noir from South Africa (!). Profoundly Burgundian style, with tremendous finesse and balance. Great QPR. Worth seeking – if you like Pinot, you will enjoy it immensely.

9. Flora Springs Soliloquy Sauvignon Blanc 2009 ($18). Literally the best California Sauvignon Blanc I ever had. In general, I love French, New Zealand and Chilean versions, and ignore California Sauvignon Blancs. However, this wine you can not ignore – beautiful combination of traditional grassiness with fruit forward and finesse. Outstanding!

8. Visp Chantone Eyholzer Roter 2008 ($26). Swiss wines are great – it is unfortunate that they literally can’t be found in US. I’m lucky to be able to experience the Swiss wines – and this particular red is probably the best Swiss wine I ever had. Playful, balanced, easy to drink and thought provoking – good till the last drop.

7. Domaine de Granajolo Corse Porto-Vecchio 2009 (€12). Best Rose wine I had in 2010. Nuf said.

6. Domaine de Torraccia Niellucciu 2009,  Corse Porto-Vecchio (€11). Accidental find in the wine shop in Paris (while hunting for the new grapes) – amazing. Playful, balanced and inviting – pure pleasure in the glass.

5. Chateau Hosanna 2003, Pomerol ($100). One of the best Bordeaux wines ever. Very approachable now, and will be amazing in another 20 years.

4. Jamesport Petit Verdot 2006, Long Island ($100). One of the biggest surprises of the year – having only bad experience with 100% Petit Verdot wines from Australia, this wine was absolutely pleasantly unexpected. Luscious , silky smooth, concentrated wine – no edges or rough corners. Lots of pleasure.

3. Satrapezo Saperavi 2006, Georgia ($28). This wine completely changed my perception of Georgian wines. Georgia was a birthplace of winemaking, but tasting Georgian wines until recent was saying that the art is lost. This wine changed that. Perfectly balanced and restrained, with earthiness, fruit, acidity and tannins coming to play as a team. Great wine, and great value.

2. Rozes Over 40 Years Old Port ($90). My best port ever. I can close eyes and imagine the smell and taste of this wine – multiple layers, tremendous complexity and great opportunity to reflect on life when the finish lasts for 15 minutes. Find this wine and experience for yourself.

1. Mara Laughlin Road Ranch Pinot Noir 2007, Russian River Valley ($45). Incredibly balanced, silky smooth wine, very powerful and round. Alcohol content is 15.6%, and it can’t be noticed unless you read the label. Great wine now, will improve with some cellar time. Find it if you can.

There were many other wines worth mentioning, and I did my best throughout the year to cover them. The wines in this group delivered special experiences – that’s why they listed here. That’s all, folks – for this post. I will be glad to hear, however, about YOUR special wines and wine experiences from 2010. Speak up – now is the time!

Wine Till Sold Out (WTSO) – Value Wines At Your Doorstep

November 24, 2010 7 comments

I’m sure you saw in my prior posts mention of QPR – Quality Price Ratio. I like wine in general – but being able to achieve high QPR makes it even more enjoyable.  One of the best ways to reach high QPR is to buy wine online. Wine-searcher is the best tool I know to find the wine online, but when it comes to buying wine it is hard to beat Wine Till Sold Out, or WTSO (you can now find them also on Facebook). What I like about WTSO is price (of course), simplicity, reliability and service. They do respond to your e-mails, and answer your questions! The reason I emphasize that is because when you deal with “value” businesses, often you have to give up on some of the elements, like service, for instance – and WTSO is pleasantly different. Information on the web site is simple, easy to understand and comprehensive, and wines are available on, well, first come first serve basis – yep, I missed a few wines are dearly regretted.

Just to give you an idea of what WTSO can bring you, I decided to collect the e-mail notification during one week (week of November 15th), so here is the information in the form of the table:

Date Time Wine Name Rating(s) Original Price WTSO Price Min # ofBottles % off
Nov 15 12:02a Andre Farjon La Deveze Cotes du Rhone 2007 $19.99 $11.99 4 40%
Nov 15 12:50p Charles Heidsieck Brut Champagne Reserve Rose NV WS93, WE92 $79.99 $49.99 2 38%
Nov 15 3:01p Bodega LuzDivina Amigo Baloiro Beirzo Mencia 2005 RP 91, W&S90 $30.00 $13.99 4 53%
Nov 15 4:19p Miguel Torres ‘Salmos’ Priorat Red 2007 W&S91,WS90 $39.99 $23.39 3 42%
Nov 15 7:33p Juslyn Vineyards Vineyard Select Napa Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
RP91 $84.99 $49.99 1 41%
Nov 16 12:02a Champagne Charles Ellner Cuvee De Reserve
Brut NV
WS90 $49.99 $29.99 3 40%
Nov 16 11:49a Reserve du Chateau Croix Mouton Bordeaux Superieur 2009 by Michel Rolland and Jean-Philippe Janoueix $23.99 $12.99 4 46%
Nov 16 4:18p Robert Storey Cellars Napa Valley Pinot Noir 2007 by Bill Knuttel JHN92 $31.99 $17.99 4 44%
Nov 16 8:47p Soos Creek Wine Cellars Artist Series #7
Columbia Valley Red Wine 2007
ST89, RP90 $35.99 $17.99 4 50%
Nov 17 12:01a Il Palazzone Brunello di Montalcino 2003 RP90 $90.00 $39.99 2 56%
Nov 17 12:00p Valsanzo Vina Sanzo Reuda Verdejo 2009 RP89 $19.99 $10.99 4 45%
Nov 17 3:31p Flora Springs Winery & Vineyards Trilogy
Napa Valley Red Wine 2006
RP90,JHN92 $65.00 $32.49 3 50%
Nov 17 9:32p St. Supery Vineyards & Winery Elu Napa Valley Red Wine 2003 3.0L Double Magnum W&S90,WRO92 $350.00 $159.99 1 54%
Nov 18 12:03a Coelho Winery Paciencia Willamette Valley
Pinot Noir 2007
WS89 $35.99 $14.99 4 58%
Nov 18 10:55a Bodegas Y Vinedos Recoletas Vendimia Seleccionada 2004 RP90 $40.00 $19.99 4 50%
Nov 18 1:34p Feudi di San Gregorio Serpico Irpinia Rosso
IGT 2003
WRO92,TWN92, RP92+ $80 $37.99 3 53%
Nov 18 6:03p I Greppi Greppicante Bolgheri, DOC 2007 WS92,RP90 $29.99 $19.99 4 33%
Nov 19 12:01a Tom Eddy Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 JHN94 $90.00 $39.99 2 56%
Nov 19 1:03p Benessere Vineyards Napa Valley Estate Sangiovese 2006 JHN90+ $45.00 $15.99 4 64%
Nov 19 4:01p Gonfrier Freres Chateau de Lyde Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux 2009 $17.99 $10.99 4 39%
Nov 19 8:02p Portal del Montsant Santbru 2007 RP93 $47.99 $23.00 2 50%
Nov 20 12:02a Maroon Winery Spring Mountain District,
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
$45.00 $19.99 2 56%
Nov 20 8:42a Warwick Estate  Professor Black Stellenbosch
Sauvignon Blanc 2009
WS90 $12.49 $12.49 4 50%
Nov 20 1:07p Altesino Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli DOCG 2003 RP91, WS90 $149.99 $59.99 2 60%
Nov 20 5:05p Chateau Bizard Serre de Courrent Cotes du Rhone 2007 $34.99 $19.99 4 43%
Nov 20 6:55p Saintsbury Lee Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir 2007 WS93 $49.99 $29.99 4 40%
Nov 21 12:03a Feudi di San Gregorio Serpico Irpinia Rosso
IGT 2001
WS94, RP92+ $100.00 $49.99 2 50%
Nov 21 11:35a Domaine Fond Croze Cuvee Romanaise Cotes du Rhone 2007 RP91 $18.99 $12.99 4 32%
Nov 21 12:47p Casali di Bibbiano Argante Toscana Red Blend 2006 WS91 $44.99 $18.99 3 58%
Nov 21 4:03p St. Supery Vineyards & Winery Elu Napa Valley Meritage 2004 TWN92 $64.99 $34.99 3 46%
Nov 21 5:50p Domaine Drouhin Arthur Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Chardonnay 2007 IWR91, WS91, ST90 $55.00 $19.99 3 64%

To give you an idea about ratings: WS stands for Wine Spectator, RP = Robert Parker, WE = Wine Enthusiast, ST – Stephen Tanzer, WRO = Wine Review Online, TWN = The Wine News, JHN = Jonathan H. Newman. Min # of bottles column specifies minimum number of bottles to buy to get free shipping, which I never saw exceeding 4. Time column specifies the exact time when WTSO e-mail arrived to my mail box.

If you will scroll through the table, you will see that during one week, 31 different wines from California, Oregon, France, Spain, Italy and South Africa had being offered. The discounts ranged from 32% to the 64%, and wine ratings had being the range of 89 – 94.

Is WTSO The place to get all your wines? Of course not – you can’t beat good wine store, such as Cost Less Wines I talked about before. However, combination of QPR and good service definitely should put WTSO on your short list of places to buy the wine from. Happy hunting!

Treble Journey: Calling All Clones, Grapes #269 – #272

October 16, 2010 4 comments

Clones are looked at somewhat skeptical when it comes to wines – simply because in some cases, the origin of the grape is not easy to establish, and then all sorts of claims can be associated with particular characteristics of the grape. Well, when you on the hunch to get to the Treble level, even the clones will help – especially if they are certified by UC Davis.

This Flora Springs Sauvignon Blanc is a blend of two clones of Sauvignon Blanc: Soliloquy Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Musqué clone. It is a beautiful wine, combining finesse, the grassiness of traditional Sancerre and fruit-forward style of California wines, perfectly balanced. This is one of the very few California Sauvignon Blanc wines which I actually enjoy, as in general my preferences are on Loire and New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc. I will put drinkability rating on this wine as 8+, and these are the two new grapes.

Then come two more wines, which are adding two more grapes, both grapes being in the main Wine Century Club application table from the beginning. One is Petite Arvine, a grape from Switzerland, which is hard to find in US. I got the wine directly from Switzerland with the help of my friend Patrick, and it was 2009 Valiciana Petite Arvine du Valais – simple and herbaceous, working well as aperitif.

And the last grape for this update was Garnacha Peluda, also known as Ladoner Pelut, or Grey Grenache. And even as Wikipedia simply lists all of the clones of Grenache as one and the same grape, as we are counting clones, this is perfectly suitable grape to be counted by itself. It was a part of the blend in wine called 2007 Sexto Terra Alta from Spain – an interesting wine with some dark fruit notes showing up after the wine breathes for a while – it would be an interesting wine to try in 3-4 years.

That’s all for now – and more to follow, as the wine adventures never stop…