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2007 Sainstbury Carneros Syrah - Rodgers Creek, Carneros CA

Rachel and I opened up this bottle to enjoy during the Duke vs. Butler NCAA Tournament Championship and both were pretty impressed.  Great tasting Syrah - drinkable now, went great with pizza (Amicis with artichokes, olives and fresh basil).  This wine was inky and we found it to be rich with flavor with a nice finish.  Only regret is that we didn't get more when we were at the winery.  On an earlier post I wrote about what a great find this winery was off the beaten path.  We essentially had a personalized tasting and were able to sample quite a few wines.  Rachel and I intend on going back to the winery along with some friends so they can experience the great wines in a subdued setting themselves.  No crowds, just nice people that are very proud of the wines they produce who are excited to share with visitors.

Most Syrah grapes prefer warmer climates but this wine is made with grapes located in cooler climate.  You can read more detail about this wine on their web site. Winery Map.


2003 Peju Cabernet Sauvignon - Estate, Napa Valley CA

Better late than never on this post I guess.  We finally cracked open a bottle of what has been my favorite cab for the last year after enjoying a few glasses at District wine bar in our neighborhood.

We decided to bring this bottle to our Valentine's dinner this year at Incanto restaurant in Noe Valley.  A very full-bodied cab that would probably be even better after a few more years of aging.  I tasted chocolate, blueberry, dark fruit and it had a nice finish.  It went well with our Italian meal.  I guess I had really high hopes after enjoying this wine at both the winery in Napa and at District wine bar.  

If you ever get a chance to stop by the winery in Napa, I highly recommend it.  The grounds around the winery make for a great setting to wine taste - with fountains and tables outside.  The inside of the tasting room is pretty great too.  When Rachel and I stopped by last spring, it was during the tail end of a weekend trip to Mendocino.  My goal was to make just a few stops on the way back to San Francisco to pick up some bottles at select wineries.  I was suffering from a cold - which made tasting a bit challenging but this wine was so great I bought two bottles.  I've since recommended this winery to a few people traveling to Napa and it's resulted in one friend joining their wine club.  We'll definitely be back and I'm going to hold on to the other Estate Cab I have on hand and enjoy in a couple of years.

I'm unable to find tasting notes on this particular bottle but here are notes for a comparable cab, albeit $25 more in price. Winery Map.


2001 Fontanafredda Barolo, Piedmont Italy

Ok, the above picture is pretty pathetic but is the only one I could find online.  Hopefully I'm able to get my hands on a bottle to take a better picture of the label.  I ordered this wine at District the other night based on our server Justin's recommendation.  It was a great discovery.  Black cherries and rapsberries, dusty tannins, and nice acidity with a smooth finish.  Apparently this wine will age well too for another ten years or so.  It paired well with a pizza that Rachel was having that had fresh arugula and from what I have read also goes well with rich red meats.

The Fontanafredda winery is located in the Piedmont region in Italy and produces a large quantity of Barolo.  Wine growing region map.


2006 Goldeneye Gowan Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, CA

I can't say enough about the quality of Goldeneye Pinots.  I paired this wine with roasted chicken, broccolini and mashed potatoes and it went very well.    Great nose and fruity mouthful and boy can you taste the alcohol.  Pulled straight from label on the bottle this wine is noted as having an "inky depth and robust untamed fruit flavors".  It's very inky.  Wine notes can be found on the Goldeneye site here.

As you'll see on the site, the Gowan Creek Vineyard lies in the heart of the Anderson Valley in Northern California where it sees considerably cooler temps from coastal fog.  The vineyard is actually planted to eight diffferent clones of Pinot Noir, each tailored to a specific site and soil type (from their site).  The site describes this region as producing "powerful" and "expressive" wine and I couldn't agree more.  Winery map.


2003 Camelback Shiraz, Rockbank Vineyard, Australia

We came across this wine at a fundraising benefit for the wildfires in Australia that was held at Crushpad in San Francisco.  Pulled straight from the MDM Dist. web site that describes this wine quite well: "densely colored with lifted aromas of dark berries and spice. Medium bodied with ripe fruit flavors and fine tannins with a soft finish"  Grown in the Sunbury Wine Region of Victoria, this vineyard is close to the city of Melbourne, just 30 minutes away.  This Shiraz was given a 91 pts by WinePros - the authority on Austalian wines.  I opened this bottle to enjoy with a Little Star Pizza that we picked up on our way home from wine tasting last night.  It went great with pizza and would probably fare well with other Italian foods and pastas.  Winery Map.