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Melanie's Wine Reviews

Melanie’s Wednesday Wines ~ August 1, 2007


Melanie Hoffman

Bless the wine industry open houses of the season! It is a great place to see friends of past, and meet new people, all while sipping awesome wines and tasting delectable nibbles.

Front Street wineries in Healdsburg hosted an amazing outing on July 26th. The wines were terrific, food pairings to match and music to make the mood.

Huntington Wine Cellars, 2006 Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County ~ Lemongrass and sage with wisps of vanilla in the nose. A full mouthfeel exhibits blood oranges and clove spice with a cantaloupe finish. $12.00

Huntington Wine Cellars, 2004 Merlot, Reserve, Alexander Valley and Bennett Valley ~ Gorgeous nose of blackberry flowers and mint with black pepper on the back and a hint of horse saddle. Palate displays essence of honey upfront with toasty oak and blackberry jam mid-palate and a vanilla bean finish. Enjoyable tannin and acid balance. $28.00

Huntington served a delectable slow roasted smoked duck seasoned with a scrumptious spice blend, in which I detected a trace of cardamom; the duck was dished up over a corn, arugula and cherry tomato salad.

Sapphire Hill Vineyards, 2006 Rose of Pinot ~ Aromatic bouquet of rose petals and apricot with enjoyable vanilla. Palate follows nose with more apricots, rose hips and honeycomb. Finish is long and a bit creamy. $18.00

Sapphire Hill Vineyards, 2005 VINEAGRA ™ Zinfandel, Alexander Valley, 16.9 alc., 1.5L only, because size matters. ~ Nose opens with blueberry pie and fine cigar smoke, aromas of German car leather linger in the senses with touches of berries and cream in the back end. Holy huge palate! Stiff tannins, leather on the palate as well, with raspberries and a red currant finish that’s on steroids. $85.00

Sapphire Hill served a plethora of cheese bites and scrumptious prosciutto, and I’ve decided prosciutto goes with everything. They also had tasty little grilled shrimp that paired oh so well with the Rose of Pinot.

Holdredge Wines, 2005 Pinot Noir, Wren Hop Vineyard, Russian River Valley ~ Ooh, wonderful nose. Sweet floral bouquet with added strawberry jam and that smell of your favorite leather jacket. Added notes of oak and vanilla linger. I took my first sip and it was so good I actually drooled on myself. So much for the cream colored top I was wearing. Why I wore it to a wine tasting… but I digress. Smooth, smooth, smooth. Well balanced with a blueberry finish that leaves me wanting more. $38.00, 3 btl limit

Holdredge Wines, 2005 Late Harvest Pinot Gris, ‘Grace’s Cuvee’ ~ Mint ice cream nose with succulent Mandarin orange, lemon and vanilla. An added hint of honeysuckle lingers in the aroma. This is a sexy wine. Exotic fruit envelope the palate, passion fruit and orange marmalade showcase upfront with a mid-palate of apricot jam and long lingering honey sunshine finish. Well balanced acid allows this wine to be enjoyed as either a dessert wine or with the main course. $25.00, 2 btl limit, 2% R.S.

John Holdredge and I brain stormed a mouthwatering recipe to go with this wine. Cedar plank salmon glazed in a reduction of this wine over a bed of wilted arugula and herbed couscous.

Christine Vineyard, 2006 Sauvignon Blanc, Estate Bottled, Dry Creek Valley ~ Fresh grass and peaches in the clean aromas of the nose. Added honeysuckle fragrance and even a little flinty characteristic. Palate displays a touch of smoke. Nectarine palate all the way, from the front to the mid-palate, to the long lingering finish. $24.00

Christine Vineyard served “baby makin’ barbeque oysters” with a sweet smoky sauce, oh yeah!

Camellia Cellars, 2004 Sangiovese, Merlo Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley ~ Nose opens in sweet cream heaven, and raspberries; my lord I can get lost in this bouquet. Milk chocolate and rose hips dominate my senses. The palate shows juicy plums and a toasty smoky quality. Delicious! Easy, smooth drinker that has a nice balance and makes you come back for more. $25.00

Camellia Cellars, 2005 Syrah, Labyrinth Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley ~ Oh that bouquet! Opens with vanilla crème, coffee bean and raspberries round out the nose. Smoked meaty palate also shows caramel and cassis. Coffee and vanilla reveal themselves on the palate as well as in the nose. Good firm tannins will allow this wine to be cellared but it is also wonderfully smooth to enjoy tonight as well. $27.00

Camellia Cellars served a wonderful goat cheese and tapenade spread that was perfectly paired with both wines.

And I’m spent.

I didn’t get a chance to get to Davis Family Vineyards across the street, so that will have to be another day.

One Response to “Melanie’s Wednesday Wines ~ August 1, 2007”

  1. Raoul Duke says:

    Somebody’s eating well!!