California, Monterey, Pinot Noir, Red wine

Chalone Monterey Pinot Noir 2007

Winemaker: Robert Cook
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir
Region: AVA Chalone, Monterey, California

Being the oldest producing vineyard in Monterey County wasn’t enough for Chalone vineyard. They even have their own appelation! Chalone Vineyard is the sole winery in the Chalone American Viticultural Area (AVA), a federally designated area that has climatic, geologic and geographic features distinguished from the land surrounding it.

This unique teroire, with temperatures changing literally hour to hour with hot days and cold nights, fog and cooling winds from the Monterey Bay, allows the ideal conditions for Burgundian varieties like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Their flagship wine, Chalone estate Pinot Noir, (every bottle has its own unique serial number), belongs in my opinion among the top Pinot Noirs produced in California today.

The Chalone vineyard was originally planted back in 1919. The first wine produced under the Chalone label was made here in 1960 by famous winemaker Philip Togni. He runs a very successful boutique winery, carrying his name today. The production of Philip Togni highly rated wines is so small that it’s almost impossible to get it.

Around early sixties Dick Graff tasted the wine from Chalone grapes and loved it. Discovering its great potential, he ended up buying the vineyard and later co-founded Chalone Wine Group. Dick made his first commercial vintage here in 1966. The Chalone estate is currently comprised of almost 1,000 contiguous acres, of which nearly 310 are planted to vines.

This 2007 Chalone Monterey Pinot Noir was sourced from Chalone grapes throughout the Monterey County. The conditions for correct ripening were just spectacular. Moderate temperatures that summer allowed wine to ripe evenly developing just the right amount of sugar and acidity,in a great balance.

Tasting notes:
Nice ruby color and lovely aroma of fresh cherries and dark fruit. On the palate ripe dark fruit with a light dust of cocoa on the finish. Velvet tannins and very well balanced acidity creates a long, satisfying finish. Great quality and value!

Dry – Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Retail price: under $ 17.00

Ideal food pairing:
salmon and other rich fish, risotto, chicken or turkey dishes,tapas, grilled veggies and many more

California, Chardonnay, Monterey, White wines

Hess Select Chardonnay 2008

Winemaker: Dave Guffy
Grape: 100% Chardonnay
Region: Monterey, California

See other wines from this producer:
Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvingon Mt. Veeder
Hess Collection Chardonnay

The Hess Collection Winery was founded by Donald Hess over a quarter century ago. True to his vision of what a New World wine should be, Mr. Hess established his winery on the volcanic slopes of Mount Veeder in the Napa Valley and defined a whole new approach to winemaking.

The Hess Collection Winery produces three tiers of wines and has distinguished itself as a premium producer of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Hess Collection wines from its Mount Veeder estate vineyards as an expression of the unique mountain climate. Collection wines are distinguished for their complexity, structure and elegance.

Single Vineyard wines from Napa Valley sites, each of which was handpicked for its superior climate and location. All of Hess Collection’s estate vineyards are sustainably farmed in accordance with its founder, Donald Hess’ philosophy; “nurture the land, return what you take.”

Hess Appellation Series wines are benchmark wines from their perspective regions in both quality and price and are designed for immediate enjoyment.Hess Select Chardonnay aged in French oak for 9 months.

“To create Hess Appellation series wines, we seek out the regions best suited to growing fruit-forward wines true to their varietal character. We use grapes from our estate vineyards and a select group of growers in Napa, Monterey, Lake and Mendocino Counties, with whom we’ve had long-term relationships. We adhere to the philosophy of sustainable farming and work exclusively with family owned vineyards.”

Tasting notes:
Aromas of pineapple and green apple at first, followed by crisp citrus flavors. Medium-bodied and refreshing, this wine has a rich mid-palate, with just a hint of oak. Well-balanced acidity gives this wine a clean, crisp mouth feel, with a zesty, fruit forward finish.

Dry – Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Retail price: under $ 12.00
Sustainable farmed

Ideal food pairing:
fish just like My happy Tilapia, seafood, mild cheeses, chicken dishes, salad with tuna