Category Archives: VinoChat

Sean Thackrey Orion 2010 California Native Wine Rossi Vineyard St Helena


Name of wine: Sean Thackrey Orion 2010 California Native Wine Rossi Vineyard St Helena

(Rhone-style field blend, St. Helena AVA, California) Alcohol 15.2%

Sean Thackrey, Bolinas, California

Price paid:  $90 Buy Now

Where purchased:  Vino!, San Francisco, California

Tasting Notes and my Comments:  This bottle is truly sublime.  Like no other wine that I have ever tasted before.  The fruit gets bigger with each sip.  One jammy mouthful after another.  Think Châteauneuf-du-Pape California-style.  A Rhone-style field blend  11 Varietals planted in the Rossi Vineyard. Tasted September 29th, 2012.

Color:  Medium clear.  The color of aubergine.

Nose:  Moderate nose.  Needs time to open up.  Please give this one some time!  Earthy chalk.  Woody. With a high note.

Palate:  Dry with some fruit.  Tannic with 15.2% alcohol.  Wonderfully chalky and unfiltered.  A noseful of quince.

Food:  This was my choice for this year’s birthday bottle, so I went BIG!  We paired it with our famous prime rib pot roast with organic vegetables.  Deee-vine!  Yes, you read that right.  Prime.Rib.Pot.Roast.

Winemaker notes:

From Sean Thackrey’s Wikipedia entry.:

Thackrey’s flagship wine is Orion (Sean Thackrey Orion Rossi Vineyard St. Helena California Native Red Wine), produced from 1986-1990 using Syrah grapes from Arthur Schmidt’s old vine vineyard near Yountville until this was bought by Clarke Swanson,[7] and since 1992 from the 5-acre (2.0 ha) Rossi vineyard in St. Helena, planted in 1905. Thackrey is uncertain what grape varieties are in the field blend, as UC Davis researchers have attempted a vineyard test without certain conclusions.[5]

The St. Helena AVA is located in the northern end of Napa Valley.  It is thought that 11 different varietals have been planted in the Rossi Vineyard since 1905.  The vineyard is thought to be dominated by Syrah that was once planted in CôteRôtie.

Have you tried any Châteauneuf-du-Pape?  You must check this one out soon as it is extremely limited each year.

About Peter Trapasso

Peter Trapasso, also known as “Vino Pete” is the founder of VinoPete.com. Subscribe and visit us weekly for our latest wine review. Now writing for Examiner.com

Owen Roe 2010 Sharecropper’s Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley


Name of wine: Owen Roe 2010 Sharecropper’s Cabernet Sauvignon

(100% Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley AVA, Washington) Alcohol 13%

Cellared and bottled by Sharecropper’s Wine Co., Saint Paul, OR

Price paid:  $15 Buy Now

Where purchased:  K & L Wines, San Francisco, California

Tasting Notes and my Comments:  Medium viscosity and a skim milk mouth feel.  Release Date: June 2012. Tasted September 28th, 2012.

Color:  Clear, bright, and deep ruby-red hue.

Nose:  Spice, dried cherries, and red currant.  Faint essence of rose hips.

Palate:  Off-dry and medium bodied.  Medium-high tannins and lower alcohol (13%).  Medium finish length.  Medium complexity.

Food:  Had this one with wild mushroom, cornmeal crust pizza and an organic garden salad with thick and creamy blue cheese dressing.  A well-balanced pairing!

Winemaker notes:

From the Owen Roe website.:

The History
During the economic recession of 2001, and Owen Roe’s first couple
vintages as a winery, Washington growers were facing hardship in selling
their fruit, come harvest time. At Owen Roe, we wanted to help our farming
friends and prevent missing out on such well-tended, beautiful fruit. We
were presented with the difficult and costly purchasing of grapes to
process, cellar and bottle, waiting several months to recover our costs on
the finished wine. To overcome this obstacle, we decided to bring back the
historical business practice of sharecropping, resulting in the aptly named
wine, “Sharecropper’s.” This partnership meant that Owen Roe would take
the fruit, make the wine and once it was sold, share the profits with our
growers. This remains an important part of our history and due to the
success of this wine; we are now able to pay our growers upfront.

The Columbia Valley AVA is located in Eastern Washington State.  A “sharecropper” is a farmer who works someone else’s land in exchange for room and board plus a share of the crop proceeds.

Have you experienced any Washington State cabernet from the Columbia Valley?  These wines are big and beautiful and not to be missed!

About Peter Trapasso

Peter Trapasso, also known as “Vino Pete” is the founder of VinoPete.com. Subscribe and visit us weekly for our latest wine review. Now writing for Examiner.com

Frogs Leap 2010 Zinfandel Napa Valley


Name of wine: 
Frogs Leap 2010 Zinfandel Napa Valley

(77.5% Zinfandel 22% Petit Sirah 0.5% Carignane, Napa Valley AVA, Napa County, California) Alcohol 13.8%

Price paid:  $13 (375 ml) Buy Now

Where purchased:  Vino!, San Francisco, California

Tasting Notes and my Comments:  Medium viscosity and a skim milk mouth feel.  Release Date: June 2012. Tasted September 17th, 2012.

Color:  Bright garnet and clear.

Nose:  Fruit and spice.

Palate:  Medium tannins. Medium alcohol and acidity. Short finish and medium complexity. Fruity with spicy high notes. I can taste the oak in this one.

Food:  I would most likely pair this with food that can benefit from this wines acidity. Roast turkey with gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce would work well.

Winemaker notes:

Frog’s Leap grows all of their grapes organically and uses organic fertilizers.  After harvest they plant cover crops in compost to help care for their soil.  They are also studying biodynamic farming too.

From the Frog’s Leap website:

A BRIEF HISTORY

Yes, we have noticed that the monster Zins of the ’70s are still in fashion. And yes, just like fashion they command monster prices based on their “big” alcohol, “big” flavors, and “big” bottles. But Frog’s Leap Zin is different: you can’t use this stuff to light your charcoal grill (find a good grill).

Maybe it’s that we found our early inspiration for Zinfandel from a different source — instead of reinventing Zinfandel, we looked to the past and the incredible Zins of the ’40s and ’50s. Those wines taught us the lessons that the old-timers knew: that field blends of Petite Sirah, Carignane, and Napa Gamay all picked at ripeness (not as raisins) added color, aromatics, and earthy complexity. In other words, the help of other varietals was needed to reveal the Zinfandel grape’s true flavors. These principles form the foundation for our wine today.

ABOUT THE WINE

Our classic “field blend” of old-vine Zinfandel, Petite sirah and Carignane continues to presents us with a rich, yet quaffable wine. Our 2010 Zinfandel welcomes you with enticing aromas of cinnamon and clove which underscore layers of brambly fruit and dried cranberries. Luscious flavors of cherry and boysenberry–laced with hints of earth and spice–delight your palate. The
resolved tannins and plush texture are balanced by a bright acidity. However, the beauty of this wine is its drinkability and with an alcohol of less than 14% you are assured a perfect partner for your backyard get-togethers..

WINEMAKERS

John Williams and Paula Moschetti

VINEYARDIST

Frank Leeds

The Napa Valley AVA is located in Napa County, California.  Zinfandel is an underrated varietal. Many still think Zinfandel = “White Zin” sweet wine, which is no longer true. Think big. bold flavours that marry well with backyard BBQ!

Did you know about red Zin? Would you try it?

About Peter Trapasso

Peter Trapasso, also known as “Vino Pete” is the founder of VinoPete.com. Subscribe and visit us weekly for our latest wine review. Now writing for Examiner.com