Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Syrah’

 Woodenhead Winery 5700 River Road, Santa Rosa, CA. Phone (707) 887-2703

2007 Woodenhead Pinot Noir Humboldt County ($42) I don’t think it’s a coincidence that what I consider Woodenhead’s most consistently evocative wine comes from the same region of California where, let us say, other, semi-legal intoxicants are cultivated. The Humboldt Pinot is rich and milk chocolate-y with exotic shiitake mushroom  on the mid palate and a lovely back. It’s also 14.4% alcohol. There are many Sonoma pinots who wouldn’t qualify as demure when it comes to alcohol content, but there is something about these Woodenheads, lovely as they are, that goes to my head and makes everything a little more “Maui Wowie” than most. I’ll blame it on the Humboldt, and save these stunners for the weekend. 90 pts. (Tasted 9/10)

2006 Woodenhead Zinfandel Martinelli Road Old Vines Russian River Valley ($45) I think it’s always appropriate to make clear where one is coming from, especially in wine reviews. Since everyone’s palate is difference, the best you can do is throw out your own impressions and truth, and hopefully, you, dear reader, will find something that sparks some connection or inspiration. This is a long winded way of saying, The Sonomaist is a bit of a zin snob. It’s just not my thing. I’ve tried. But I never really “connected” with the big jam and 16% alcohol of so many Sonoma zins. That being said, when a zin manages to impress, I give credit where credit is due. But I also allow for the fact that I’m not a zinophile, so it’s usually the “Un-zin” zins that make me perk up and take notice. This is one of them. I was pleasantly surprised at the dry, not at all over the top spiciness. If I tasted this blind I would think syrah. I was even more surprised that Woodenhead, a winery that is hardly shy about going full throttle on its pinots went so restrained on the zin. This is a wine that would go perfectly with bacon wrapped pork loin cooked on the grill. 89 pts. (Tasted (9/11)

2007 Woodenhead Syrah Russian River Valley ($36) Dry, tobacco, mushrooms and loamy soil. The fruit isn’t at all overpowering. Lovely. (Tasted 9/11)

2007 Woodenhead Pinot Noir Russian River Valley ($42) Rich and spicy with mocha mid palate. Another BIG Woodenhead pinot with a long finish. 95 pts. (Tasted 9/11)

2007  Woodenhead Pinot Noir Buena Tierra Vineyard (Original Planting) Russian River Valley ($60) Spicy, light nutmeg and red cherry on the mid palate. Cedar on the back. Light and almost Burgundian. Almost like a Volnay. An elegant departure from Woodenhead’s more full throttle style. 94 pts. (Tasted 9/11)

2006 Woodenhead Pinot Noir Morning Dew Ranch ($45) Very dry and loamy. Would be amazing with ankimo (Japanese monkfish liver. It’s very similar to fois gras. I call it “fois gras of the sea.” If you’ve never tried it, next time you’re at a reputable sushi bar and see it on the menu, give it a whirl, it’s best served as sashimi with ponzu rather than sushi, but I digress…) 93 pts. (Tasted 9/11)

2006 Woodenhead Pinot Noir Wiley Vineyard ($60) Deep, complex wine with an intoxicating perfumed nose. 94 pts. (Tasted 9/11)

Read Full Post »

It’s very rare that one’s first love is their greatest love. Sure, there are the lucky boys and girls next door, the hometown honeys and the high school prom dates. But for most of us, it’s years, decades even, of trial and error, high highs, low lows and experiences that you might deeply regret. Or look back at and laugh. For the most part, my ongoing love affair with wine has been fabulous, and there’s been something to look back at and love about each of my suitors, as badly matched as we may have been.

There was early puppy love with a sweet, well-intentioned, but dumb as a box of rocks Temecula sparkler (Yes, they can make “Champagne” out of almonds…I’ll leave it at that.)

Then, the flashy, testosterone heavy, Alpha Male Napa Cabernet, who, all too often, had more money than sense, and questionable taste in decor (I suppose all that Travertine marble does evoke ancient Mesopotamia, but does that make it right?) He took me on a blinged-out ride, which was a ton of fun while it lasted, but The Sonomaist was ill-prepared to subsist entirely on rib eye steaks, duck confit and Cohiba Cigars.

A sand and sun soaked, lazy, hazy summer with the unfocused, Surfer Boy, Santa Barbara Syrah, a mellow, fellow to be sure, but eventually I realized, there wasn’t a lot of depth there and ended up with a splitting headache from his rather monotonous dude-speak.

Having “grown into my big girl pants” after some wild time abroad with très romantique Burgundies (red and white, The Sonomaist is an equal opportunity quaffer!) And mad Riojas, full of unbridled passion, clad in an exotic leathery wardrobes hissing promises to last until the end of time and beyond, I returned home to the good ole U.S of A. Older, wiser, and looking for love.

Where does a smart, wordly girl like The Sonomaist go next, you might ask? Why, the Pacific Northwest, of course. The place of Serious Pinot Noir, dark framed nerd glasses and earnest intentions. Willamette (I call him Will, he hates it) was an intense, brooding young pinot, intent on getting out from under the demanding, looming shadow of his French father, but aching to make him proud nonetheless. Will was an unheralded genius. One day he will change the world, and I’ll look back wistfully at our time together. But The Sonomaist needed someone to meet her halfway. Brains, beauty, a twinkle in the eye that speaks to an old soul with a wicked sense of humor. I think you know where this is going, don’t you?

I’d run into Sonoma a few times, you know how you do, mutual friends, shared turf. And here we were again, Carneros, neither here nor “There.” I was back on with Napa Cab (he’s so intoxicating, dontcha know) riding high on a wave of Louboutins and lobster tails. Every night a different gala event, another éminence grise. But this night was different. Darker, uncoreographed. It was a house party, more like a barn party really. Slumming, not “our kind of people” Napa said. But he was more than ready to mingle, every man wanted to be him and every woman wanted to be with him. I hugged a corner, The Sonomaist was never a real social butterfly. more of a social caterpillar, content to linger around the edges of any given event (true fact, if you stay stationary at a party, eventually, all the minglers and movers will circle around to you because they have to “do” the room, you just have to observe. It’s like being the sun, and they are but planets. Think of it that way, my dear wallflowers.) From my spot, I observed Napa Cab, working the room, reveling in the admiration. Flirting a little too seriously with the out of town girl, big hair, bought bustline and new money to burn. He couldn’t help himself. I finally saw him for who he really was.

I sipped the local Pinot Noir, how good could it be? It came out of this dusty old shed, not a single ode to Ulysses rendered in bronze  anywhere. But as I sipped, there He was. Nothing flashy, but good looking, in an aw’ shucks kind of a way. A native intelligence passed down through generations who worked equally well with their brains and their hands. Mud in the treads of his boots, tan earned not sprayed. Made for use, not displaying under a pinpoint spot. His fruity side got my jokes and his steady, firm, gravitas and depth stole my heart. Sonoma asked me to dance back in 1997. We’ve been dancing ever since, and he never fails to surprise me with new steps, twists, and always a good joke or two. He laughs his, deep, earthy laugh, and every time he looks at me with those hazel eyes, sometimes green as the leaves of a Gravenstein apple tree in July, sometimes as deep and brown as the loamy soil of the Valley in wintertime, I know he gets me. And I get him. And that, my friends, is what true love is all about. Which is why I was more than happy to take his name and start the journey of a lifetime. Come with, it’ll be fun.

Read Full Post »

The Lady Is A Chef

All the juice I can squeeze from my mind grapes...

Attempts in Domesticity

trying to emulate Martha Stewart in a town full of hipsters...

Small World Supper Club

Dining at the Venn Diagram

The Vagabond Filmmaker

Travel + Film = A Happy Life

Homemade with Mess

who wants life to be tidy when you can have more fun making a mess??!

Soap Cauldron

Fine Handmade Soaps & Sundries

foodwineclick

When food and wine click!

Albion Cooks

Sonoma County Wine and Whimsey

101 Cookbooks

Sonoma County Wine and Whimsey

Nook & Pantry - A Food and Recipe Blog

Sonoma County Wine and Whimsey

Sonoma Cork Dork

Dedicated to wine and food in Sonoma County!

Made In Sonoma

Life In The Wine Country

sonomagirl.com

tales from a wine country kitchen

a sonoma garden

adventures in organic living

%d bloggers like this: