Holiday Wine Round up

As the new year begins I have been reflecting on the last few weeks and the holiday rush. With the rush comes parties with friends and family and lots of holiday wine drinking! Each time we shared a bottle, I had some great stories to tell either about the wine, where it came from or the people who had previously enjoyed it with me.

This holiday season we shared a few wines that we brought from our trip to Healdsburg, some from one of the few clubs I can get wine from and some of my own homemade Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon. I’ve picked a few to share with you; some you will recognize, some you may not. Either way, it’s wine so we know it is gonna be good!

The first on the list is 2009 Wilson Winery Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel (Gold Medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition). Picked this up after tasting it at Taste of Sonoma, also picked up the Sawyer Zinfandel. This is sourced throughout the valley, but it is a wonderful Zin. Spice, berry, slight acidity, even slightly smokey and a great finish. This is a Dry Creek Zin for sure and makes you want to keep having glass after glass.

Then there is the Mazzacco Winery Sonoma County Zinfandel. Mazzoco is located in Dry Creek Valley right around the bend from Wilson. This zinfandel is a Sonoma County Zinfandel which is sourced from throughout the county. This was reminiscent on the Wilson but not nearly as complex or flavorful. A little less burst, if you will from the zinfandel, some spice and a slight tart note to it. Still a great zin.

We also shared a bottle of 2005 Chesterfield Cellars Bretts Barrel Blend with our family. This is a wine I bought from a wine club that consists of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon. It has robust, concentrated berry, dark cherry, some earthiness, acidity but the finish sort of drops off the table. It’s a great value for us, so we keep drinking it. If you allow it to open up for some time, it improves dramatically. Also want to be sure it is not too cool.

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At Christmas dinner we decided to change it up slightly with a bubbly from Korbel. This was called Rouge as it is made with Pinot Noir. It is a great sparkling wine to have with food as it is not too sweet, much more on the dry end of the spectrum.  The layers from the Pinot are very nice and a welcome change form the sweet champagne style wines we are used to. We paired this with Braciole with marinara and white wine sauce and some fontina mac and cheese. It worked very well.

Finally, we shared a bottle of Gracianna Zinfandel and Pinot Noir on separate occasions. I have reviewed the 2008 vintages but these were the 2009. Many similar characteristics to the 2008 but as vintages go, they are very unique in their own way. The Zin maintains its bold fruit, pepper and a great balance of oak and acidity. The Pinot is as complex as ever, great layers (not to overuse the term) and a flavor experience that true Pinot lovers will enjoy. I always look to Gracianna for a great wine to share with family and friends over the holidays!

A few we did not open yet, but will soon: Stryker Sonoma Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Merriam Vineyards Block 8 Cabernet and John Tyler Wines Zinfandel and Pinot Noir. I will be sure to share these experiences with you soon!