Summer time means it’s grilling season! So bring out the glasses and fire up the BBQ. To complement ribs, juicy hamburgers or steaks, here are some rich reds that we’ve tasted recently from Washington, Oregon and California. In addition, don’t forget the reds that pair so well with salmon, halibut or swordfish barbecued on cedar planks.
Unfortunately we couldn’t make the event this year, but the winery kindly sent us four bottles to sample. And thanks to Snooth, we also viewed the video of Robbie talking about how much fun he has making wine. Indeed, Robbie’s passion as a winemaker shines in each glass of his food-friendly wines.
You can read our thoughts about the four wines below. But first, it’s important to note Murrieta’s Well credentials. It is one of California’s original wineries, propagated in 1883 with vineyard cuttings from Chateau Margaux and Chateau d’Yquem in France. The Livermore valley winery is owned by Philip Wente of Wente Vineyards, the country’s oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery. You can read more of their history here.
And now, the wines.
Sbragia Family Vineyards began in 2006 but its roots are in the love of wine by owner Ed Sbragia’s grandfather who moved to California from Tuscany in 1904. Much later, Ed’s father acquired his own vineyards near Healdsburg, growing zinfandel. And Ed himself began working for Beringer Vineyards in Napa in 1976.
The family tradition continues today, with Ed’s son and the rest of his family involved in Sbragia in the Dry Creek Valley. A 10th anniversary celebration is set for this fall.
The brand is well-known, so we were delighted to receive samples of two wines to taste.
2012 Monte Rosso Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($65)
This beautiful red comes from old vines planted in the 1880s in an historic California vineyard, and was rated 93+ from Wine Advocate.
The Cabernet Sauvignon (95%) was blended with 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot to give it structure and depth.
This is a big red, with notes of cedar, dark berry, black licorice and a bit of earthiness — a ripe, juicy wine that is drinkable now through 2022.
Pair it with steak, grilled meats, savory stew or dark chocolate. Delicious!
2014 Home Ranch Chardonnay ($30)
Home Ranch Vineyard is located at the southeast end of Dry Creek Valley, where temperatures are cooler than most of the appellation. This results in bright fruit flavors of apple, pear and citrus, a hint of oak with a gravelly minerality, good structure and balanced acidity.
On the nose of this 100% Chardonnay, you’ll find aromas of tropical fruit, pear and toasted almonds in addition to apples, vanilla and baking spice from the oak.
Pair it with smoked salmon or trout, crab, prawns, seafood pasta or with creamy vegetable soups in the cooler evenings.
Ed Sbragia is well-known for his Chardonnays. He established the Beringer Reserve Chardonnay program and currently serves as Winemaster Emeritus there. Robert Parker said, “Sbragia has always demonstrated a Midas touch with Chardonnay.”
Margot and Dave
As noted in an earlier post, Sonoma winery Ferrari-Carano is being featured June 16 at the popular Winemaker Series at the near-by and breathtakingly beautiful Semiahmoo Resort here in northwest Washington state, near the Canadian border.
Thewill feature Ferrari-Carano wines paired with a mouth-watering five-course meal created by the resort’s Executive Chef Bruno. Yes, we said mouth-watering – check out this ! David Mowforth, Ferrari-Carano Northwest Regional Manager, will also be available to answer your questions.
Dinner and luxury accommodations included with the overnight package start at $395 for two. Book tickets here. People like us who live in the area and would like to make dinner reservations only, without an overnight stay, please contact (360) 318-2044.
This is a perfect opportunity for wine lovers and foodies in Seattle, Vancouver and well, everywhere, to come to Semiahmoo Resort for relaxation in a scenic location, excellent wine and a delicious dinner. For those of us fortunate to live near Semiahmoo Resort, what a fantastic way to spend the evening!
Margot and Dave