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2006 Lazy Creek Vineyards Syrah, Anderson Valley CA

This Syrah is very fruit forward and versatile going with the spinach and cheese ravioli dish that Rachel was having as well as the spicy chicken dish that I was eating.   More wine tasting notes can be found on the Lazy Creek web site at the link below.

Lazy Creek Vineyards holds a special place in our hearts going all the way back over seven years ago on our first trip out to the Mendocino coast.  At that time the winery was very much a boutique winery producing a small quantity of wine available mainly to restaurants and those that visited the winery.  We almost missed the entrance since the Lazy Creek sign on the highway was small and un-noticeable.  We meandered on a dirt road, over a narrow wooden bridge and through thick tree cover to discover a farm with chickens running around.  We jumped out and noticed a man in the living room jumping to his feet and running back to the rear of the house to greet us on the path we eventually took after following signs from the parking area.  After greeting us he opened up a barn that had a small wooden bar with glasses where he started to pour us wine.  For the first time we were introduced to unfiltered Pinot Noir – which we really liked.  After a few more tastings we decided to purchase a few bottles but discovered that they only took cash.  The man told us to go ahead and take the wine and to send him a check once we got home.  Not only were we blown away by the wine but we were won over by the hospitality. 

Lazy Creek has since gone through an ownership change but the quality remains.  We went back this year and encountered a new tasting room at the winery as well as larger crowds.  The quaintness will never be the same at Lazy Creek but the quality of wine produced there continues to be great.  Winery Map.


2008 Rochioli Sauvignon Blanc, Healdsburg CA

After waiting a few years to get on the 'buying list' at Rochioli they finally gave Rachel a call and said she was now officially able to purchase Rochioli wines.  It's not really a club membership - but instead a buying opportunity of sorts to purchase their wines.  The 2008 Rochioli Sauvignon Blanc is one of the bottles we purchased on our trip up to the winery a few weeks back and I just opened it the other night.  The Rochioli web site describes this wine as having "tropical fruit, grapefruit, and flinty characteristics" which I fully agree with.  I enjoyed this wine with chicken covered in sauteed spinach and swiss cheese, broccoli and rice.   It went very well - a very crisp wine with a nice finish.  I'm not a big white wine drinker so I'm pleased when I find a bottle that pairs well with my meal.  I would recommend this Sauvignon Blanc to white wine enthusiasts.  Winery Map.


District Wine Bar, San Francisco

We headed over to our neighborhood wine bar last night to enjoy some wine and grab a light dinner.  Rachel and I both chose a wine flight to start, Rachel going for the 'Spices and Berries' flight which included: 2006 Unti Zinfandel - Dry Creek - Healdsburg CA , 2008 Miguel Torres Santa Digna Carmenere - Curico Chile and 2007 Kenneth Volk Caleri Vineyard Negrette - San Benito CA.  Of the three wines in this flight, Rachel enjoyed the Chilean wine the most and followed the flight by ordering a glass.

When I was  ready to order, Rachel and I discovered that we were both going to choose the same flight so I switched mine to the 'Bordeaux Blends' flight which included: 2008 Argento Reserva Malbec - Mendoza Argentina, 2006 Niner Cabernet Sauvignon - Boot Jack Ranch CA and 2004 Chateau Mont Perat Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux - France.  To be honest, this flight went much better with food than as stand alone glasses.   I ordered a Pesto Pizzetta with goat cheese, ricotta and prosciutto and I would have to say that the Chateau Mont Perat Bordeeaux went the best with the food and later as a stand alone glass.  My goal was to go outside of my comfort zone of CA wines and try the Bordeaux and I'm glad I did.  It was a smooth red - easy on the finish and paired so well with the pizza.  The wine notes from District's menu describes the Bordeaux as "Merlot blend.  Nose and palate of plum, dark fruit, and earth with hint of tobacco.  Full body with elegant tannins on the finish."  I think it was both the Merlot blend and the finish of this wine that made it a winner for me.


2002 D.V. Catena Cabernet Cabernet

You're reading that correctly - Cabernet is printed twice - probably cause this is a great Cabernet Sauvignon worth repeating from the Mendoza region in Argentina that I really enjoyed.  Probably the best part of this wine is how I purchased it.  On a trip to South America last year, we visited both Argentina and Chile and discovering wine was one of our great experiences while down there.  While in Argentina I set out on a mission to buy six bottles of wine to bring home and found an old Parilla in Buenos Aires that was well known to the locals for their wine selection.  I actually wanted to go to a wine shop which apparently was closed down - which led me across the street to the Parilla.  I'm forgetting the name of the place but will include once I remember.

Upon entering the restaurant, I realized that they were essentially closed and not serving food but after speaking to the proprietor (who was in several photos with customers on the wall) - he agreed to help me select and purchase six bottles.  He had his wait staff circle around and they discussed what would be the best wines to select.  I asked for some great Malbec wine and other varietals that the locals favored.  I was looking for three wines priced on the low-end and three wines priced on the high-end.  The D.V. Catena Cabernet was one of the high-end wines and now I know why - it's such a great tasting cab that is different from the California Cabs I am used to.  I enjoyed the wine with some slow cooked ribs (in a honey bbq sauce mix) with onions and garlic over rice.  You can find details on this wine from their web site

I'm hoping to find a wine shop in San Francisco that sells this wine because it's one that I would like to have on hand for special occasions.


2006 Goldeneye Migration

Goldeneye is probably our favorite winery right now - producing incredible Pinot Noir in the heart of Anderson Valley in Mendocino County.  Goldeneye by far offers the best wine tasting experience we have ever had.  Wine tasting is done directly behind the winery - either seated at tables or in reclining wood chairs on a lawn overlooking the vineyard.  Wine and snacks are brought to you by the staff and each wine comes with a card/coaster with detailed information on each wine.

The last time we visited the winery was back in May, 2009 and we were treated to a complimentary reserve tasting which included the entire flight of wines they produce (Pinots mainly).  We walked away with a club membership.

Their Migration varietal is a blend of their best Pinot grapes from their different vineyards.  It's a great tasting Pinot that is really versatile going well sipping with snacks or with a meal.  Apparently, they will be releasing a Chardonnay for the first time for their 2008 vintage.  If it's half as good as their reds, it should be great.

One of the best Pinot Noir's that I have ever tasted is their Ten Degrees Pinot Noir - which left both Rachel and I really impressed and wanting more.