Here it is Labor Day 2019. Anyone else think it strange that to honor the efforts of all those who toil by calling it “Labor Day?” Seems like for all those who strive there should be a better name. After all, with a name like “Labor Day,” then giving people a day off is sort of an oxymoron. Sounds like we should work more rather than less. Maybe double the hours to 16 or better yet, work the entire 24 hours!
I know I’m not going to win any popularity contest with that one, but maybe I could run for office? It might just be confusing enough of a platform to get me noticed. (Hint; that’s sarcasm).
Also, Labor Day is signaling the end of Summer. A day when people all throughout our country make sure they breakout the ole grill and fire it up. Be it gas, charcoal or wood, whatever your choice of flame or smoke, it is our rite of passage. Hurling massive amounts of red meat over an open fire to char the poor thing into oblivion, while we stand back and take so much pride in our achievement.
Sarcasm? Not at all! It’s just that, as I have exclaimed in many a prior post, I do not own a grill, so I have to take my pride in my achievement through my gas oven. Not as sexy I know, but then again, the cleanup and smoke and that burnt char on the meat is not something I need deal with.
Like most, I have my meat planned and sides ready to go. The traditional “Baby Back Ribs” with potatoes and greens lay in wait. So no pix in this post of my food. Thou I do want to thank an old friend of mine (she would kill me if she read that I called her old), for introducing me to a company that produces some excellent spice rubs; Char Crust. Headquartered in Chicago, I’m not sure how far their marketing area goes if you go looking for it. They do have a website where you can order. I usually use their Roasted Garlic Peppercorn rub, use it on almost everything. I did buy their Southwest Chipotle rub for a change and plan to use it this time around for the ribs.
Lastly, I had to plan the wine I was going to drink while munching on those wonderful ribs. I know they are wonderful and I can talk about the wine because, in all truthfulness, I had a dry-run of the exact same thing a couple of days ago, I couldn’t wait!
Dry-rubbed ribs in a 250° oven for 4 hours, if I feel like it, slather the ribs with a Bar-B-Q sauce for the last half hour (I did that the other day so probably won’t today). Get the other fixin’s ready and, unlike the other day when I used my trusty Coravin, I will pop the cork today to finish the wine off.
I promised (at least I think I did) that I wouldn’t use the Flintstone reference anymore, so I’m not! Been a big fan of Bedrock Wine for years and love what they do and their passion for producing great wine. From single vineyard / single varietal to their blended wines from areas across Northern California.
I don’t really celebrate Labor Day, but that doesn’t mean I’m not pulling out all the stops and going for the gusto (too much like a beer commercial?) This wine was a perfect choice. The Lorenzo’s Heritage is comprised of dry-farmed vines planted between 1900 and 1940 on the Dry Creek bench, known as Teldeschi Ranch. Composed of roughly 60% Zinfandel, 25% Carignane, and the remainder Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet, Cinsualt, Valdigue and a few other odds and ends. The care given to winemaking is obvious if you’ve ever tried their wines. Minimal intervention and their obsession towards quality over quantity (most of their wines are low production).
This wine’s production amounted to only 500 cases! While I usually try and use my own words to describe a wine, I’m going to let the 94 Point review from Wine Spectator take the lead: “The aroma recalls a warm summer day in the vineyard, with scents of wild berry, dried flowers and sage. The flavors are deep and distinctive, showing notes of smoky pepper, mineral and grilled anise, and the tannins gain power on the finish.” Ditto! For the record I was just too lazy today to come up with my own words.
So as I sit here awaiting the moment I prepare the ribs, apply the spice rub and wait those long arduous 4 hours, I know I will be rewarded by both food and drink on this Labor Day 2019! May your day today bring you happiness and the comfort and friendship of those around you.
“Yabba Dabba Doo!” I just couldn’t help myself!
Half Priced Wine! Gotta have ‘em!
That’s what happened in the case of this Wine-Sum-More edition. I had drunk many a Cabernet from Tor Kenward before but never had the opportunity to try one of their Chardonnays. Those are the two main grapes the winery has produced since Tor retired in 2001 and set out to produce some of the best wines from Napa Valley. A goal which many would concede he has attained.
Back to paragraph one. I couldn’t believe it when I saw a wine from this auspicious winery ON SALE! Since I love Chardonnays it was an easy decision to pick up some and save it for the right occasion. Well, the right occasion presented itself and Wiz-Bam-Boom (okay, I got that from the tech sheet on the wine), a decision was made to open this potentially wonderful wine. With at least one 96 Point review, I had nothing but the strongest desire to avail this wine and the right food in a prestigious marriage.
Now in my “Wine-Sum-More” posts I try to limit the food exposure and concentrate on the wine. But the Salmon with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and a Horseradish Lemon Cream Sauce went marvelous darlin’ (with all thanks to Tallulah Bankhead – Millennials don’t bother to look up, it’s WAY before your generation).
Citrus on the nose with a honeyed nuttiness that seamlessly became a lovely part of the palate. Combined with stoned fruit, a light floral note, and richness that transcended to a bright fresh creaminess on the long finish. Couldn’t find if wine goes through ML, but I think not, or at least very little. Beautiful wine. Starting with a base of Torchiana Vineyard for its richness and acidity the balance from the Hyde and Durell Vineyards, there were only 100 cases produced! AND I GOT SOME! Bragging rights you know.
Now you’re not likely to get the kind of deal I got and 2015 is probably long gone, but keep an eye out for 2016 or 2017. If you love Chardonnays as I do, even at regular price, IT’S WORTH IT!
Chenin Blanc; the grape conjures up thoughts of sweetness on one hand to the many drier versions available on the other. Planted in many regions throughout the world; Vouvray in the Loire Valley in France and more recently in most of the New World wine areas.
For this “Wine-Sum-More” post I’ll be looking at an area of the world where Chenin is planted to the tune of twice as much as in France and is this country’s largest grape varietal – South Africa! The winery, Ken Forrester Vineyards, most of their land in Stellenbosch, South Africa planted with Chenin Blanc and producing predominately 3 lines of Chenin; the Petite Series, Reserve and Icon Ranges, each range of wines showing a style unto itself. For this post, I’m looking at their Icon Series and more specifically The FMC 2014. Made from 100% Chenin Blanc, this is one of a few Chenins to see oak aging, 12 months in new French oak 400L barrels, giving this wine richness and substance. Due to their “repetitive harvesting” there is almost always a certain level of botrytis present as well.
This wine is much more than bright and lively; there is a core of dried stone fruit flavors along with honey, almond and splash of ginger notes. While good acidity, I think that the oak aging has mellowed that to a degree, making this an excellent food wine. The wine ends with a long satisfying finish.
Likely that you’ll see the 2016 or 2017 on shelves currently, don’t let that stop you, it’s a wine that shows consistent quality year after year.
While I make no guarantees, I’m hoping that this will be the last time I review a wine from Bedrock Wine Company and NOT use the vailed association with good ole’ Fred Flintstone and his native city.
For now, I’ll stick to reviewing my most recently extracted wine from my cellar (sounds too much like a trip to the dentist). Bedrock Wine Co. Hudson Vineyard South T’n’S-Blocks Carneros Syrah.
From the vineyards of Lee Hudson, this time comes a phenomenal Syrah, right beside the tremendous Chardonnays I love from his vineyards. Added to the talent at Bedrock, I had no doubt what this wine would bring to the table (literally, as I had it with dinner), the richness and depth of dark red fruit in concert with a minerality and slight herb notes leading to a nice rustic yet dried fruit and long finish. Layers of flavor come from meticulous farming and winemaking. 50% Whole Cluster Press and a combo of smaller barriques and larger puncheons help present the ambrosia, being deep and dark, that resides in the glass. Yabba Dabba Doo!!
I am, and probably will always be, a fan of Bedrock Wines. Quality of this sort is something you never want to lose sight of. I’m sure there will be more reviews coming as well. As I mentioned, I’ll try to leave out the Flintstones part! “But no guarantees!”
I don’t give many wines a second go around, but in the case of this wine, it just had to be done.
I found myself planning a leisurely Sunday dinner using some Sockeye Salmon. My typical idea for dinner would be to make some rice and veggies and plate it up, nothing extraordinaire. Found myself wanting MORE! I liked the idea of rice but pumped up a notch; Risotto. Had some nice snow peas, always a good side veggie, and I had plenty of time to prepare. I was in for the evening and besides, it was raining outside.
The wine for this dinner? I thought about Chardonnay but I’ve had a few recently so, no. A search of my wines and a named jumped out at me. Only problem, it was my last bottle. Merry Edwards Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2015. What a dilemma. Use my last bottle or go for something different? Not even the slightest hesitation. In the fridge it goes.
I’ve talked about my risotto before; 45 minutes of slaving over a hot over stirring endlessly. In the end it was worth every minute! Using leeks instead of onions my only change. When complete, a true masterpiece if I say so myself. Put it together with the wine and OMG it couldn’t get any better.
I’ve done a review of this wine before (that’s why this is the second go around for the wine) that you can review by clicking here. It might be a year and a half later but the wine is still as luxurious as always. Rich, clean, smooth and creamy with that slight citrus notes and a finish of nice minerality created through an oak aging regime. Perfect for dinner.
One quandary, 2015 is no longer available, nor 2016. 2017 may be out shortly and I wait impatiently for the wine to hit the shelves. I’m going to have to give some consideration to buying more than I usually do as the winery was sold earlier this year to Louis Roederer. Merry Edwards herself stepped down as winemaker about a year earlier making, by my math, 2017 possibly the last vintage actually made by Merry Edwards. Time to stock up!