Posts Tagged ‘Napa Valley’

I’ve not sipped any bubbles since my Yuletide binge began with a ghastly Prosecco on Dec 12, 2010 and toasted the new year with Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin at the stroke of midnight, January 1st, 2011.

This special occasion is in celebration of the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I’m pursuing some international education opportunities and moving to the mid-western USA to be with my beloved partner of almost 9 years.

Why Mumm Napa?  We’re planning a winery tour for March 2012 so I thought it a good idea to explore offerings from wineries in and around the northern edge of the Napa Valley.

Once the mousse subsided, the nose is slightly yeasty, slightly spicy, and slightly floral. The dance of bubbles on the tongue assisted in delivering mid-weight mouth-feel, faint flavors of melon and lemongrass, decent acidity and a flat finish.  I was totally unimpressed with the lack of yeastiness that failed to carry through to the finish – ESPECIALLY from a vino produced in the méthode Classique.

Drinkable to be sure, but a vinoboy recommendation, not really. Pricing in Ontario, like certain Australian vinos, is injurious. I’ve seen this vino in the USA at ~$20/btl.  Here in Toronto at the LCBO, this bottle of non-vintage California Sparkling wine cost me ~$39!!



images credit – The Winery. makes no claims to ownership and republishes under fair use provisions for review and critique.

California and its counties are a patchwork of appellations from its southern border with Mexico to its northern border with Oregon.  Much like here in Ontario, there are cellaring wineries that buy grapes from all over to produce wines under their own label.

This wine’s full name as seen on the label is: Stonehedge Reserve Amador County Zinfandel 2008 Special Vineyard Select.

I like quite a few California wines – Napa Valley is, after all; on the same latitudes as Ontario’s viticultural zones.  Seeing the various narrowing of appellations on this label and liking the rich, full-bodied structure of old vine Zins, this LCBO/Vintages purchase at ~$18 seemed like a great value at the time.

In an attempt to refine my wine-tasting skills, with the help of a vino-friend; I’ve been tasting most of my new entries blindfolded.  I carefully ponder all the non-visual aspects of a vino and as I ramble and consider, my vino-friend takes notes.

The alcohol-forward (14.9% alc/vol!!!!!)  nose is jammy and smokey with scents of charred wood and cloves. Very full-bodied and slightly off-dry, the funky charred flavor fills the mouth with dried fruits and concentrated vanilla extract.  The result is an overpowering complex finish that creates the urge to wash my mouth out with Borax.

I must reiterate: I love a lot of California wines and honestly appreciate a good Zinfandel, but this one is TERRIBLE!!!



**image credit – me!  I took this image myself as so many ppl must hate this wine as much as I do to NOT wish to immortalize its likeness online.  Label design and other stuff owned by the winery.  Published under fair use provisions for review and critique.