Author: TheWineMuse.net

Left Coast “Cali’s Cuvée” 2016 Estate Pinot Noir

I like surprises.  I enjoy it when something is not quite what I was expecting – especially if it is interesting and thought-provoking.  This is what I experienced with Left Coast’s “Cali’s Cuvée” 2016 Estate Pinot Noir. It began with the color.  When I poured this Pinot Noir in the glass, it was a deep, rich color of purple, almost black.  The perfumed cassis aroma was intoxicating, and the flavors were unexpected. I tasted roses, violets, boysenberry and rich, dark fruit. It filled my mouth with a luxurious silkiness and left me wanting more. At $24 for the bottle, this wine is a steal. Grown in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, Left Coast Estate is known for its role in creating sustainability. They explain on their website: “We take a holistic approach to everything at Left Coast, sustainability being at the core of all we do. We received the largest USDA grant in Oregon in 2008 to go solar, and the vast majority of our estate’s electrical needs are supplied by the ground and roof …

Bele Casel Prosecco ColFòndo

The natural wine movement is in full swing, and I’ve been on a hunt for a trendy “pét-nat,” or a sparkling wine that has used the pétillant naturel method. What is the pétillant naturel method? Basically, it is the process of bottling a partially fermented wine and completing the fermentation in the bottle, which produces the bubbles. The wine placed in the bottle is raw and often unfiltered – it is “natural.” This is considered the simplest way to produce effervescence, but it also has the most risk.  Since the wine in the bottle is unfinished, it’s always a gamble as to how it will turn out. Given the popularity of pét-nats, it was fairly hard to find one.  Finally, I found a cool, local wine store that had not one, but two pét-nats.  I purchased both and decided to try the Prosecco first. However, I quickly found out this Bele Casel Prosecco is not a traditional pét-nat. This one is made like a Champagne, with finished (versus unfinished) wine completing fermentation in the bottle.  Unlike …

Featured Wine of the Week – Sextant Wines 2014 “Portolan”

I heard today is National Red Wine Day.  And it’s Wine Wednesday!  I love every type of wine and tend to drink mostly white wines due to allergies.  However, my favorite single varietal is Syrah.  There was one time when my wine collection had a ridiculous amount of Syrahs.  I’ve been told Syrah is a “wine drinker’s wine,” so this makes sense.  It seems it doesn’t tend to sell well in general.  Syrah is not a well-known varietal to those who don’t drink wine regularly, Syrah is big and bold.  It’s an action-packed wine, filled with great fruit flavors, along with some spice.  It is definitely not a wine for those who want something that is simply easy drinking.  This may be one reason it’s not known well.  However, I like full-bodied wines.  I enjoy the character of them and the feeling that there is a story in every glass. The wine I chose to feature today was given to me by a dear friend when I had to cancel a wine trip to Paso …

Featured Wine of the Week – Left Coast Wines Chardonnay

It’s Wine Wednesday, and it’s the season to drink white wine!  I had the opportunity to drink and share 2017 Left Coast Estate Truffle Hill Chardonnay last week with two of my closest girlfriends. It was a balmy Southern California evening, and this was the perfect wine for such a night.  We dined poolside, where we caught up and told the type of stories that only close friends relate to each other. We laughed a lot and simply enjoyed the evening. Without further ado, here are the details: Description: Left Coast Estate Truffle Hill Chardonnay 2017 13% Alcohol Rickreall, Oregon, USA Willamette Valley   Tasting Notes:   This Chardonnay welcomes with a deep golden hue and gorgeous aromas of butterscotch, papaya, and elderflower.  Tropical fruit flavors of pineapple, lychee, and papaya are layered with creamy vanilla and poached pear.  There is bright acidity and a luscious, silky mouthfeel.  All in all, this is a delicious wine that is a great complement to any outdoor summer eating.   Estate Information:  Left Coast Wines prides themselves on being environmentally …

Featured Winery of the Week – Ampelos Cellars

I’ve been a longtime fan of Ampelos Cellars, but I had never been to their tasting room at the Wine Ghetto in Lompoc, California.  On my quest to discover more about biodynamic wines and farming, my Partner in Wine, Adrienne and I made a trip there and arrived just as they opened.  There is nothing better than having the tasting room all to yourself if you want to have a conversation with the person behind the bar. The wine lineup did not disappoint.  We tasted through a Viognier, Rose of Syrah, two Pinot Noirs, Grenache, Syrache (Grenache/Syrah – read my review here), and a Syrah.  I hoped to try the new bubbles, but none were open.  The tasting notes provided were fantastic and fun with descriptions like, the Pinot Noir is “your best friend from childhood.  The one who never told your mom.” Ampelos Cellars is known for using organic, sustainable and biodynamic farming techniques, and was the first vineyard in the US to be certified in all three. This means they focus on what …

Featured Winery of the Week – Liquid Farm

Happy Wine Wednesday! Today I’m featuring Liquid Farm and their beautiful new tasting room in Los Olivos. 🍷I first discovered Liquid Farm 7 years ago when I was working for a wine event company. At the time, I swore I would never touch a Chardonnay again. That is, until I tried Liquid Farm. They changed my mind and made me realize just how many ways Chardonnay can be crafted. True to form, Liquid Farm offers up 5 different styles of Chardonnay at the tasting room. The first, White Hill Chardonnay from Sta Rita Hills, a Chablis style, which @adrienneastrology described as “salty lemonade.” The last was Bien Bien Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, a voluptuous, creamy Chard. My favorite was La Hermana Chardonnay, which was right in between these styles. However!! We didn’t just taste Chardonnay, we had 2 delicious Pinot Noirs and my personal favorite, a rosé of Mourvèdre (also known as PC, or “pink crack” to LF aficionados). The tasting room has a delightful shabby/chic vibe with comfy couches, hanging plants, an electric …

Featured Winery of the Week – Story of Soil

  Story of Soil is a hidden gem located in a charming bungalow off the main hub in Los Olivos. It is tucked away and has that feeling of being a special place only few people know about. The rustic elegance inside alludes to the wines this place is dedicated to:  a balance of robust flavor with finesse. The lineup of wines is impressive – not just for their quality, but also for the unusual offering of a few varietals: Grüner Veltliner, Austria’s native grape and a relative newcomer to California, as well as Gamay, a French varietal known for being used in Beaujolais.  All are small batch wines, with grapes sourced from local vineyards.  The average case count is 150 per wine, with a total of about 1,100 cases. It’s clear Winemaker Jessica Gasca has dedicated her life to the crafting of wine.  From vineyard internship to apprenticeship to creating her own, her single varietal wines and winemaking style are undeniably a labor of love. Wines include: 2016 Sierra Madre Pinot Noir 2017 Martian Gamay …