Category Archives: Varietal

In The Cellar At Joel Palmer House Restaurant On THE VARIETAL SHOW

Levi Seed is the Sommelier extraordinaire at the amazing Joel Palmer House Restaurant! THE VARIETAL SHOW huddles with him in the wine cellar to discuss the history of this mushroom centric eatery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, as well as the ‘Omakase’ Experience, and the largest selection of Pinot Noir in the country: We celebrate with some Ribbon RidgeRR‘ Reisling & Authentique Pinot Noir!

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Chappellet LOVES Chenin Blanc On THE VARIETAL SHOW

At my monthly educational wine lunch we dove into Chenin Blanc, which of course had to include Chappellet in the lineup! THE VARIETAL SHOW snagged Dominic Chappellet for a wee discussion about his winery’s story and their first vintage in 1969. We rounded it out discussing some of the other amazing contenders present; Haarmeyer 2021 Cresci, The Sadie Family ‘Skurfberg’ South Africa, Domaine des Baumard 2017 Quarts de Chaume & Domaine Huet 2016 Vouvray, Cuvee Constance.

LIKE, SHARE & FOLLOW my You Tube channel, for notification about upcoming episodes, most Tuesdays @12:30pm:Watch the classic TVS interview with Haarmeyer Wine Cellars!

Pinot Paradise On Thursday August 18th At Gravenstein Grill!

Join Gravenstein Grill & Sawyer Somm on the patio to enjoy wine tastings with 15+ top Pinot Noir producers! Talk to winemakers & growers while enjoying paired hors d’oeuvres from Chefs Bob Simontacchi & Makana Colunga.

Guest wineries include: Marimar Estate, Scherrer Winery, Anaba Wines, Davis Bynum, Calstar Cellars, Dutton-Goldfield, Keller Estate, Bacigalupi, Ancien, Radio-Coteau, Benovia Winery, Kobler Estate, Bucher Wines, Papapietro-Perry, Lombardi Wines, Porter Creek Vineyards, Freeman Winery, Kanzler Vineyards, Balletto Vineyards, Purple Pacyderm & More!

TICKETS are $50 preorder and $60 at the door, and includes tastings with ALL of the guest wineries as well as light seasonal appetizers.

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Rosé & Aromatic White Wine Tasting – July 21st At Gravenstein Grill!

Enjoy the Gravenstein Grill Summer Wine Series, with Sawyer Somm on the patio and enjoy wine tastings with 15+ top Rosé & Aromatic White Wine producers Thursday July 21, 5:30-7pm! Talk to winemakers and growers while enjoying paired hors d’oeuvres from Chefs Bob Simontacchi & Makana Colunga.

Guest wineries include: Acumen, Paradise Ridge, Acorn Winery, Flanagan Wine, Carol Shelton Winery, Radio Coteau, Red Car Wine, Talisman Wine, Trecini Winery, Marimar Estate, Balletto Vineyards, Bucher Wines, Vine Wrangler, Chenoweth Wines, Cornerstone Cellars, J. Cage Cellars, Kobler Estate Winery, Claypool Cellars, Crux Winery, Viszlay Vineyards & More!

TICKETS are $40 pre-order and $50 at the door, and includes tastings with ALL of the guest wineries as well as light seasonal appetizers.

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THE VARIETAL SHOW Explores Extraordinary Vintages Of The Past Decade!

What is a great vintage? Join THE VARIETAL SHOW in the Sawyer Cellar to find out lessons learned from the extraordinary vintages of the past decade. Join me to delve into Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, tasting an example from O’Shaughnessy Estate Wines, and Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, with special nods to Fel Wines & Papapietro Perry. CHEERS!

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Rhone Rendezvous Is Back! At Gravenstein Grill on Thursday May 12th

Join me at Gravenstein Grill for the 3rd Annual Rhone Rendezvous! We will be featuring incredible wines from some of the best wineries in Sonoma County, along with small bites by Chef Simontacchi, hosted on our spacious outdoor patio.

Get your TICKETS, which include a tasting with ALL of the guest wineries, including Acorn, Anaba, Bee Hunter, Crux, Donelan, Enkidu, Jeff Cohn Cellars, Longboard, Miner Wines, Ramey, Ram’s Gate, Scherrer, Trentadue & Truchard!

See you there! Christopher

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NVL: #MerlotMe Month In Napa Valley!

It is MERLOT MONTH and timely to share my varietal article that appeared in Napa Valley Life. Here is a starter to lure you in, finish it up by following the READ MORE link to their site. . . Cheers!

MERLOT: Tracking its renaissance in Napa Valley

Over the past 50 years, it’s hard to imagine where the wine mecca of Napa Valley would be if not for Merlot’s early success, the noble red grape variety that burst on the scene in the late 1970s. Especially when one considers the series of phenomenal accomplishments that this amiable grape made as the leading wine purchased by American wine consumers, retailers, and sommeliers in the 1980s and 1990s.

In the beginning, Merlot was mainly used as a blending grape in the famous wine-growing region of Bordeaux in France before it arrived in the New World. But that started to change after classic Napa Valley brands like Louis M. Martini, Newton, Sterling, and Trefethen slowly worked with the grape after World War II, and Duckhorn Vineyards became the first winery to bottle the variety on its own in the late 1970s.

When the inaugural  Duckhorn releases hit the market in 1978, the  Merlot was priced at $10.50 and the Cabernet Sauvignon at $10.00. According to veteran winemaker Tom Rinaldi, who crafted the spirited Duckhorn wines for the first three decades, the price differ- ence reflected not only the great potential of Merlot in the marketplace but also the challenges that go along with finding the best sites to plant a grape that performs best in more moderate climate areas. . .

Passion For Pinot at Gravenstein Grill on Sept 30th!

Enjoy an outdoor Sonoma County Pinot Noir wine tasting paired with light appetizers by Chef Simontacchi & Chef Garcia at Gravenstein Grill, located at 8050 Bodega Ave in Sebastopol.

Passion For Pinot/Thursday September 30th/ 5:30-7:30/$55 per guest

The stellar wine guests include Trombetta Wines, Marimar, Belden Barn, Keller Estate, Balletto Vineyards, CalStar Cellars, Carpenter Wines, Emeritus, Thomas George Estates, Freeman Vineyard, Bricoleur Vineyards, Halleck Vineyards, Hartford Court, Moshin, Papapietro-Perry, Radio Coteau, Rodney Strong, Joseph Swan Vineyards, Benovia, Bacigalupi & MORE!

GET YOUR TICKETS!


NVL: Rosé Style Wines for All Occasions

With a nod to National Rosé Day on June 12th, read my varietal article from the April 2021 issue of Napa Valley Life! Here is a starter to lure you in, finish it up by following the READ MORE link to their site. . . Cheers! Christopher

Drink Pink

“Pink sunshine” and “freshness in a glass” are catchy phrases Robert Sinskey winemaker Jeff Virnig uses to describe the winery’s latest release of the 2020 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir, a complex pink wine with bright, fruity flavors, crisp acidity, and long dry finish. With a brilliant pale salmon hue, this signature style has become the benchmark for where classy pink wines have come over the past thirty years and one of the many reasons wine lovers flock to Napa Valley in the springtime to get their hands on these energetic young wines before they sell out.

The road to rosé’s popularity in Napa Valley did not happen overnight.

When Virnig started making rosé in1991, his goal was to create a fun, quaffable, food-friendly wine that added instant excitement to gatherings any time it was served. But at the time, the impression pink wines were making on American consumers was swayed by the sugary imports like Mateus and Lancers, which flooded the marketplace in the late 1960s. When Sutter Home Family Vineyards winemaker Bob Trinchero released their White Zinfandel in 1975, people went crazy for it, but it was still snubbed by serious wine drinkers.

As a result, the first few vintages of the Robert Sinskey Vin Gris were sold to wine buyers and sommeliers in New York City, who catered to world travelers that were already familiar with the drier  styles  of rosé produced in France, Italy, Spain and German. As the years passed, this learning curve gave Virnig and other adventurous winemakers of Napa Valley time to develop special techniques now being used to create various expressions of rosé wines.