Mark and I brought home about 12 bottles of wine from our Napa Valley trip in October. Since we don’t drink wine on a daily basis or a lot at one time, we do a lot of skipping around and trying new things rather than sticking to one excellent grape/vineyard/region (although see my post on pinot noir which also factors in my love of pinot grigio). So we ended up with a 12 bottle hodge podge of things we tried an liked on the vacation.
Some of these bottles will need some aging, but there were a few that I felt comfortable opening sooner rather than later, knowing I might be foregoing better tastes ahead. Two of these were Chimney Rock Elevage Blanc (2009) and Sofia Rose by Francis Ford Coppola (2012): (Side note: I don’t know how to do accents on this Mac, so forgive my spelling of Rose, which is actually pronounced rose-ay.)
1. Chimney Rock – Elevage Blanc, Napa Valley, 2009 (Estate Grown): This white blend is 59% Sauvignon Blanc and 41% Sauvignon Gris and is quite smooth. My initial smells were of honeysuckle and grapefruit and the taste was of vanilla and pear with a citrusy kick at the end. Chimney Rock is a Terlato Wine and this is where I first saw Anthony Terlato’s book Taste that I subsequently read on the Kindle (where it was much cheaper).
2. Francis Ford Coppola – Sofia Rose, Monterey County, 2012: This rose is 55% Syrah, 35% Pinot Noir and 10% Grenache (one of my favorite grapes that goes into Cotes de Provence Rose). I smelled bright crisp florals that reminded me of Napa mornings’ aroma. I got some tangerine notes that turned to strawberry. The taste was crisp, not sweet, like juicy green apples with honey, giving a little acidity in the back of the mouth.
I wrote down my impressions upon tasting, and then, per usual, fact checked myself against internet descriptions. I’m pretty proud of what I tasted and smelled in the Rose as compared to the Winemaker’s Notes on wine.com: “Our 2012 Sofia Rose bestows a beautiful nose of strawberries, cherries, and orange blossom. Perfectly balanced with a zesty acidity and just the right amount of body, this year’s rose highlights bright, juicy fruit impressions of pomegranate, strawberries, kumquats, tea leaves and spice.” [Check on the strawberries, floral, tangerine/citrus]
As for the Elevage Blanc, I was in the ballpark. According to community reviews on cellartracker.com: “Pears on the nose, spicy and acidic on the palate with grapefruit/citrus notes. Long finish.” And: “white wine for red wine lovers” which is the perfect description because I chose to drink this white in the winter because I thought it could taste a little heavy – a great white wine for cooler temps! [Check on the pear, grapefruit]
I would definitely drink the Elevage Blanc again because it’s interesting and quite a different type of white wine. It would go nicely with winter comfort food like light stews or tomato-y pasta dishes (I wouldn’t do it with creamy dishes).
And while I wouldn’t turn down a bottle of the Sofia Rose, it was a standardly delicious rose – nothing earth shattering. I can’t wait for a little more springtime to spring so we can get into the real heart of rose season – the best time of year!!