Set high in the hills above Napa sits Somerston Wine Company. They have over 200 acres planted and the area has cool nights, late morning fog and warm afternoons. This lends itself to a nice slow ripening at harvest.
The eastern part of the property sits Priest Ranch. The history dates back to 1849 when a man named Joshua James Priest gained the title to 638 acres of the Catacula land grant in a section called Soda Valley. Today Soda Valley is called Priest Ranch.
The 2009 Priest Ranch Petite Sirah is 100% Petite Sirah. It has a pretty high alcohol content, clocking in at 15%.
Aromas of rose petals, vanilla and oak come out immediately. The first sip was strong cherry licorice and very tight. As the wine opened up it became very complex. Layers of sour cherry, cassis and hint of licorice filled my mouth.
The wine is very inky in color and you will walk away with purple teeth.
This is a pretty big wine and a although I received this wine as a media sample over a year go, this wine could use another 4 - 6 years in the bottle. So if you see it, buy it and cellar it for a few more years. SRP $46
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Monday, March 23, 2015
One hundred or so years later, Bruce Markham purchased the property and founded Markham Vineyards. He focused mainly on Cabernet Sauvignon and added Merlot with the 1980 vintage.
In 1988 the winery was sold to Mercian Corporation. Today under the direction of Kimberlee Nicholls, Markham is producing award winning wines.
Kimberlee's Cellar 1879 Blend was created as a homage to Markham founder Jean Laurent who built the winery's stone cellar in 1879.
The 2012 Cellar 1879 Blend is a blend of 36% Merlot, 21% Petite Sirah, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Syrah, 9% Zinfandel and 8% Petit Verdot. The wine spent 12 months in the barrel of which 30% of the barrels were new oak.
The wine had a beautiful deep garnet color. Notes of black cherry, blackberry and smoke filled the glass. On my palate I found flavors of blackberry jam, soft tannins and a beautiful hint of soft pepper on the finish.
The wine retails for approximately $25. Definitely would purchase this wine again.
**Note: This wine was a sample from the PR agency representing the vineyard.**
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Ed had just relocated to the Napa area from Atlanta to begin following his dream, producing his own wine. Well, I must say it didn't take him to long to realize his dream. Congratulations Ed! I'm real proud of you.
Of course I had to purchase some of his wine and try it. Boy did I like it and can't wait to taste the other selections.
The 2013 Thralls Family Cellars Chardonnay came from a vineyard in the Antonio Mountain Vineyard located in the Petaluma Gap. There were only 74 cases of this Chardonnay made.
The wine was aged in 50% neutral oak barrels and 50% stainless steel for 8 months. It went through 100% malolactic fermentation and was aged 8 months before bottling in September of 2014.
Aromas of Anjou pear, a citrus blend and a touch of butter filled the glass. One sip and both Paul and I had smiles on our faces. Well done! Flavors of red apple, Anjou pear,, creamy and delicate with just the right balance.
The wine was paired with Butternut Squash Ravioli in a brown butter sage sauce served over a bed of greens. Perfect pairing at that!
Unfortunately Thralls is only sold at select stores in California. But the god news is you can order from his website and the UPS man can deliver it.Get Your Free Wine & Food Pairing Guide