Chianti Classico Adds “Gran Selezione”– Reviews of 4 levels of Ruffino Wine

“Wine and life…They are as inseparable as the sun
and the warmth it brings.”
—Gabriele Tacconi, Ruffino Winemaker

Recently Que Syrah Sue and I participated in a Ruffino Chianti tasting of four wines hosted by Snooth and with a video chat. The occasion for the tasting was their release of their new top of the line “Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010.”

There were four wines in the line-up, and we tasted them in this order. Reviews of each follow.

Ruffino Chianti DOCG 2013
Ruffino Aziano Chianti Classico 2012
Ruffino Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico Riserva 2011
Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010 

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PS I Love You: Time for Dark and Delicious and a Glass of Rock Wall Petite Sirah!

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One of the best ways to get to know a type of wine is to taste a whole lot of them at the same time.
And the best way to discover which wines pair with which foods is, again, to taste a lot of foods with that wine!
Coming to your rescue on Friday,  February 20, 2015 from 6-9pm at Rock Wall Wine Company in Alameda CA is DARK & DELICIOUS, the preeminent, Petite Sirah event organized by PS I Love You, Inc, a Petite Sirah advocacy group.

Mezzacorona Wine Takes You to the Alps!

Today January 31, 2015 is the final day to enter Mezzacorona Wine’s trip to the Dolomites so it seemed the perfect day to write about their wines and to encourage you to enter via this link. http://woobox.com/8ognsr/dgfbi0

Plus, after Tuesday’s Slow Wine Continue reading

Try These $15 Sauvignon Blancs from Touraine, France

Vineyard_in_the_Loire_Valley Getting ready for tomorrow’s Vouvray twitter tasting with Snooth.com (Weds Aug 6 2014 (5:30pm PST; we’ll be trying two dry wines and two sparkling wines  and learning how Chenin Blanc thrives in the region, and the effects of that terroir) made me recall how many great wines from the Loire Valley in France I’ve had the pleasure to meet in the past year or two.

When it comes to white wines of the Loire Valley, people may think of Muscadet which grows along the river closer to the coast or Vouvray’s Chenin Blanc which is further up river.

The Loire River demarcates France’s weather between the northern climate and the south, adding a few degrees of temperature.  Spring is cool with frost while during grape harvest months it may have rain. Hot summers are moderated by the Atlantic breezes.

The Loire’s Sauvignon Blanc grows in the Touraine region even further up the Loire Valley.  There, under conditions too harsh for other white grapes with high winds and freezing temperatures,  its late bud break and early ripening allows it to flourish in the region’s limestone soils.

Last fall, we gathered at Que Syrah Sue’s and tasted five Sauvignon Blanc from the Touraine region of the Loire Valley in France with the TasteLive crew at a twitter event, and what impressed us most about the group was the range of expression in the wines and the great value , with most of them $15 or less.

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#ArrogantFrog New Releases: Plenty on the Lily Pad for $10

Arrogant Frog $10 French Wine

Arrogant Frog $10 French Wine

I admit that I always have the best of intentions to do a blog post (or two or three) following each twitter tasting I do (and I do 1-4 a month or thirty or more a year), but more often than not, even though I usually have one person dedicated to taking notes, and we usually have some great images of the wines and the food we paired them with from posting them on twitter, too often that’s all it is–best intentions for a dedicated post although I often sneak in a reference or a review into another blog post. I figure I did my “job” of tweeting and I better move on to other writing projects (on this or another of my blogs or poetry or essays or?)

I know of at least one blogger and prolific tweeter, Marcy Gordon, who is cutting back to only six twitter tastings a year so she can focus more on other activities. I know for me sometimes I wonder if my time that I spend on a twitter tasting would be better spent on writing.

However, at this point, I will continue to say yes when I am invited to participate because I always learn something–maybe something new about the region or wine making, or, in the case of the #Arrogantfrog twitter tasting, about the farming and the sustainable practices of the Paul Mas brand which you can watch here on this ustream link: .

We tasted these four wines which all retail for a remarkable $10 a bottle:

  • 2013 Arrogant Frog Chardonnay
  • 2013 Arrogant Frog Pinot Noir
  • 2013 Arrogant Frog Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2013 Arrogant Frog Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot

Notes and other details follow. Continue reading

Next Twitter Tastings: #NZSAVVY, #AlsaceRocks

Twitter  wine tastings are fast and fun–and you get to taste wine in a community of friends without leaving your own home! You can compare notes, learn from experts, test your palate against other wine influencers, consumers, and bloggers, and also get ideas for food pairings.

Open to everyone, thevillamariasunflower trick is to find out about these tastings in time to get the wine so you can join in! Some of the wines are obscure, and the point of the tasting is an introduction to them. Other times, the wine is a new release.

For this week’s tasting, which takes place from 5-6pm PST Weds June 18, the wine, Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc, is easy to find at most grocery stores while next week’s tasting  which features Crémant d’Alsace Bruts will likely need you to go to a specialty wine store.

So what wine do you need to get and how do you take part?

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No Joshin’ –there’s a Josh behind these wines

10468204_10152169319010924_8613646936386690334_nIn time for Father’s Day are some notes about three wines from Joseph Carr’s second label, Josh Cellars: 2012 Chardonnay, 2012 Pinot Noir, and the 2012 Legacy, a red blend.

This is no ordinary second label–the name “Josh” comes from his dad, and the wine shows substantial respect for this “legacy.” Joseph Carr created the label in honor of his dad, Josh with varietals to embody his spirit: “Bold and expressive, but unassuming and approachable – it’s funny how these characteristics remind me of someone I knew. It’s a wine I made for family, friends, and a man I called dad.” Continue reading