All posts tagged: Sustainable Farming

Cline Cellars – 2011 Live Oak Zinfandel

I’m finding this time in quarantine to be a wonderful time to drink those wines I’ve been holding on to. This week I finally opened up a 2011 Cline Cellars Live Oak Zinfandel from Contra Costa County. I love Cline wines and I love what they do. They practice their own sustainable farming they have named “The Green String Method.” With minimal human intervention, they use sheep and goats to clear the weeds from the vineyard and cover crops to feed the soil. They reuse all organic waste and compost it, then introduce it into the vineyard through the drip irrigation system. Volcanic rock is crushed to add minerals to the earth and owls are used for pest control. Furthermore, 100% of the energy used on the farm is solar. These sustainable practices are not only good for the environment, but the wines are also absolutely fantastic! I used to belong to the wine club because I love every one of their wines and their winemaking style. Big, bold, delicious! The 2011 Live Oak Zinfandel …

Featured Wine – 2018 Ampelos Viognier “Phi”

Yesterday was such a bummer. I moved my wine collection and found a couple of mystery bottles that I thought would be fun to blind taste.  However, I quickly found out they had gone bad. So, I decided I needed to open up a bottle of wine I’ve been saving: Ampelos 2018 Viognier “Phi”. First, let me start by saying, I have a very high affection for Ampelos. They really take the environment seriously and have certifications in organic, biodynamic, and sustainable farming. Their website states, “In growing grapes, we believe in taking care of and respecting the environment and that our vineyard needs to be in balance with nature…” From that, they have produced some extraordinary wines, and this Viognier is no exception. Fresh and aromatic, the 2018 Ampelos Viognier has intoxicating aromas of honeysuckle and jasmine with orange marmalade, melon, and papaya. The first sip is greeted with bright acidity and notes of stone fruit and white flowers. It’s a luscious wine that immediately makes me feel like I’m running through a field …

Elegance in a Glass – Left Coast Estate 2016 Latitude 45 Estate Pinot Noir

By now it’s no secret how much I love Left Coast Estate. Family owned and operated, the wines are lovely.  They are well crafted, delicious, and often surprising!  Left Coast Estate is certified sustainable through LIVE, and has even partnered with the US Department of Fish & Wildlife to restore the oak forests in the Willamette Valley in Oregon.  A majority of the Estate is solar powered. They walk the walk. A few weeks ago, they sent me a bottle of 2016 Latitude 45 Estate Pinot Noir – just in time for the holidays! Sure enough, this is the perfect wine to sip during this season. The deeply hued garnet color of this wine is unexpected since Pinot Noir is usually a lighter color. The nose is intoxicating, with a bright, aromatic bouquet of flowers: roses, candied violets, and lilacs. Luscious, earthy flavors tickle the tongue: mushrooms, freshly plucked thyme, red bursting berries, and forest floor. The mouthfeel is finessed with a silky/satiny beginning and a velvety finish.  It is elegance in a glass. This …

2015 Predator “Six Spot”

A ladybug with six spots symbolizes a bountiful harvest. “Six Spot” is the perfect name for this enticing red blend from Predator Wines, by Rutherford Ranch.  With 48% Petite Sirah, 30% Zinfandel, and 22% Malbec, this wine fills the mouth with delicious flavors of raspberries, blueberries, ripe dark fruits, sugared plums, and mint. It is a cornucopia of luscious, silky flavors with an equally aromatic bouquet of perfumed cassis, red licorice, and juicy blackberries. It is deep, it is rich, it is bodacious! What’s better than that? Predator Wines is committed to sustainable farming practices, including introducing ladybugs to the Vineyards to keep out harmful pests. They also use reclaimed water (such an important practice in drought-prone California) and solar power. Cheers to that! Stats: 2016 Predator Wines “Six Spot” 48% Petite Sirah, 30% Zinfandel, 22% Malbec Lodi, CA, USA 13.5% Alcohol      

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 …

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 …