November in the Wine Country

The harvest and crush have come to an end in both Sonoma and Napa counties. Mary Claire and I returned home in late October after six weeks in New York and London. We made a slight detour on the way and had a wonderful day in Toronto with Ann and Earl Bederman, the founder of Investor Economics.

The harvest and crush have come to an end in both Sonoma and Napa counties. Mary Claire and I returned home in late October after six weeks in New York and London. We made a slight detour on the way and had a wonderful day in Toronto with Ann and Earl Bederman, the founder of Investor Economics. This is the city where Isadore Sharp launched the Four Seasons Hotel brand in the early ’60s. Their new hotel, which is approximately one year old, is magnificent and has the delightful Café Boulud, where we joined the Bedermans for a special dinner.

 

After catching up on all the things one needs to do, we headed to Healdsburg on the first Saturday in November with our friends the Riggs. The weather was absolutely perfect and it reminded us why we are always pulled back west. We went to a pick-up party at Copain (www.copainwines.com). Their vineyard at 7800 Eastside Road in Healdsburg, has spectacular vistas and was enhanced by tastings of their most recent Syrah, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay releases. As we packed our wine in our car and headed to downtown Healdsburg for dinner, we all agreed that Wells Guthrie’s wines continue to be outstanding.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to mention several other vineyards. I am asked regularly for my latest recommendations and remind friends that I have an eclectic palate and love discovering new wineries, as well as revisiting my favorites.

 

Arietta Wine
The Hattons, Fritz & Caren, have long produced several of my favorite wines. This is a small vineyard and you will need to get on their mailing list, but I trust that once you get on you will be a longtime member. One of my favorite wines is their Proprietary Red H Block Hudson Vineyard. Robert Parker in the Wine Advocate describes this Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend as “a Cheval Blanc or Ausone-like composition.” (www.arietta-wine.com)

 

Bryant Family Vineyard
While we were home, I went into our cellar and brought out a 2009 DB Four, the second wine from the Bryant Family Vineyard. Antonio Galloni wrote in the Wine Advocate, “This is a fabulous wine to drink now and over the next decade-plus. The 2009 DB 4 has always been sexy, but today it is even more harmonious than it was last year.” (www.bryantwines.com)

 

Colgin Cellars
Ann Colgin and her winemaker, Allison Tauziet, produce several outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon releases, but my personal favorites are their Syrah releases. While we were home, we received our 2010 IX Syrah Estate order, which recently received a perfect score from the Wine Advocate. Parker wrote, “The 2010 IX Syrah is one of the most compelling Syrahs ever made in California.” I have laid it down to age and evolve and will save it for a special occasion. (www.colgincellars.com)

 

Finally, as most of you know, I love to discover new small wineries that are starting to have an impact, but have not yet been discovered by everyone. A friend, Jim Fowler, introduced me to a new winery, Mansfield-Dunne, based in the Santa Lucia Highlands. John and Lynn Peterson have just released their first effort, the 2011 Mansfield-Dunne Peterson Vineyard Pinot Noir. It is an excellent wine, and while it needs to age some, I recommend that you go to their website, www.mansfield-dunne.com, and join their mailing list. They will also be releasing shortly their first Chardonnay.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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