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Wilson Creek Winery Virtual Tasting Notes – 5/13/21

Posted on May 13, 2021 in Wine & Food, Wine 101, Wine Musings

 

Wilson Creek Winery Vineyard Update

Cab Sauv Block 1 Influresence – The Calyptra has popped off exposing the pistil and stamen, grapes are self-pollinating, which means we are right at the beginning of flowering season.  We have injected 1000 gallons of crab meal, fish meal, etc as fertilizers to prepare for the growing season.  We will need some supplemental watering as we didn’t get as much precipitation as needed and the cover crop didn’t quite take off, which usually preserves our moisture in the ground.  From a temperature standpoint, it’s been pretty cool, which has been a good start so far.  The USDA, NRCS & Metropolitan Water District is asking to partner with us because we are seeing a lot of success with low irrigation and high heat in our vineyards.

Wilson Creek Winery – Sparkling Rose

This is a classic french style rose.  In France, most roses are from Provence, which is similar to Temecula and is primarily Chardonnay and Grenache, which is almost identical to how we have blended this wine.  We added a touch of French Columbarde to the wine and overall we have created a very nice dry sparkling rose.  Some wines are great for drinking in an environment, like a sunset and some are great for food.  This wine is one of those great ones that is perfect for both.

Right off the nose the aromatics of this wine really bounce out of the glass with a floral bouquet and the hints of strawberry from the Grenache, which is indicative of the way we make this wine.  We use a base Chardonnay that is pressed, which is a beautiful grape for Temecula.  We then infuse Grenache grapes that we have left the skin on and press that in, which is what gives us the wonderful taste and color.  This is very similar to our Brut in that it is a traditional dry French-style wine.  The subtle hint of fruit and aromatics on this makes it a great wine to introduce people who normally don’t like dry wines and they will love it.  This will pair well with a fruit salad: honeydew melons, strawberries, cantaloupe, etc.

Wilson Creek Winery – 2019 Viognier

A Rhone Varietal that is grown in the north of rhone.  In Temecula, it truly matures, very floral with a hint of white flowers and fruit-driven with subtle tastes of apricot, pitted fruit, peach, honeydew melon with a great balance.  This would pair well with seafood and food with spice to it, it neutralizes and works well with Capsaicin. As a varietal, it doesn’t have high tannins because we harvest it sooner.  

Viognier is tough to get to maturity, but when it’s ripe it’s beautiful.  The Viognier is the last of our whites that we harvest because it does take so much to get it to maturity.  This year’s Viognier is really a perfect balance of the past few years in terms of dry and sweet.  It pairs really well with sweet peppers, paprika, and mustard flavoring. This is not good to pair with spicy food, because it does have a higher alcohol content.

Wine Fun Fact: In the Rhone Valley, there is an area called the Condrieu, which is the only appellation in France where you are able to produce 100% Viognier or Viognier blends.

How long would you store this: The reason to store a wine typically is to allow the tannins to break down and drive additional characteristics to the wine.  With grapes the longer it stays on the vine the more the skin (tannin) of the grape develops.  Since it does not develop particularly thick skins this is not a wine that we would suggest typically holding.  Max is 2 years.  It will develop a more “round” characteristic to it with a bit of storage.  Heat, Light, and Movement are the biggest factors that will age your wines faster and to the detriment of the wine.  Don’t put your wine above the Fridge!!!!  Underneath a staircase in a long deep dark closet is perfect.

Q – This wine tastes sweet, but you have described it as dry – why is that?  

A – The Residual Sugar on this is less than .05% – however, it does have a lot of fruit characteristics which make it appear sweet.

Wilson Creek Winery – 2019 Roussanne

A meaty and beefy, white wine. More dense ripe fruit, rich, melons, mandarin oranges, and even a hint of spice – cumin and coriander. If you like Chardonnay then this might make a nice transition into a different wine. Thials – Thick mouth feels – makes for interesting aging.  

It’s problematic and needs lots of attention.  We are typically ½ done with reds and then come back and get the Roussanne.  We actually spray down the Roussanne with catlinite clay in the vineyard to ensure that it can stand the 105-degree temperatures later in the growing season. 

Really wants to be paired with Food:  White Pepper or Indian Food – Not heat spicy, but more of an aromatic food.  Really treads the line of Palate Cleanser and Complimentary Wine to go well with a dish like an herbed chicken, black pepper in a white sauce.  

Wilson Creek Winery – Non-Vintage Ecclesia-Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

Named after a group of greek politicians – that would get together and share knowledge and have a good time together.

  • Cab Sav – 51%
  • Petite Syrah- 19%
  • Malbec – 14% 
  • Tannat – 6%

It’s a beautiful mix of young and new fruit  It’s incredibly thoughtful, so we would recommend opening it up earlier than you plan on drinking it to allow it to breathe.

Blends are like groups of friends and cultures, the more the better and this wine is no different.  The non-vintage blend allows us to really have a wonderful mix of young and old fruit, which creates this very interesting variation of a wine that smells different than it tastes.  It’s incredibly thoughtful, so we would recommend opening it up earlier than you plan on drinking it to allow it to breathe.  Chocked full of dark fruit and earthy flavors: cooked strawberries, cherry, jam, tar, pencil shavings, with a bit of petrichor the smell after the rain. 

This is a wine that will need to open up a bit, decanting may even be a good idea for this.  At the very least try and open the bottle about 10-15 minutes before drinking.

Food Pairings: Beef Bourguignon, Mushroom Burgers, 

This is very comparable to Double Dog and at a lower price point. – Like Greg’s Perineese that he is training to bring sheep in the vineyard.

More about Tannat: Tannat is the last grape we harvest every summer and is historically grown in South West France in the Madiran AOC, which is very close to Bordeaux.  There are two very different types of Tannat grapes: Clones 1-4 are the old school blenders very bitter, very tannic, very colorful.  We have a few blocks of these currently.  Clones 5-8 is the new world style that is more likely to deliver a full varietal.  We just planted 5 blocks of this and in 5 years we will have something very special to look forward to.

Wine Club BBQ is in August – 3 day event!!

 

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Sparkling Wine Recipes

Posted on May 11, 2021 in Recipes

Wilson Creek is well known for our selection of Sparkling Wines, our most popular being our Almond Sparkling Wine! Our Sparkling Wines now consist of Watermelon, Limoncello, Peach Bellini, Coconut, Sangria, Rosé, and Orange Mimosa! All these flavors have become very popular over the years with more and more guests coming to the winery and requesting their favorite mix or even making them at home! 

Here are a few ideas on how to make your favorite Sparkling Wine recipes come to life at home! 

RECIPES TO MAKE WITH OUR ORANGE MIMOSA SPARKLING WINE

CHAMPAGNE DREAMS
Orange Mimosa with pomegranate liquor, garnish with orange slice

CHOCOLATE OBSESSION
Orange Mimosa with chocolate liquor

THE INCORRIGIBLE
Orange Mimosa with pomegranate liquor and raspberry

AMERICAN GLORY
Orange Mimosa and lemonade

ORANGE BLOSSOM
Orange Mimosa and ginger liquor

ORANGE ROYALE
Acai berry liquor and top with Orange Mimosa

CHAMPAGNE COBBLER
Orange Mimosa with curacao and add lemon juice

MORNING GLORY
Orange Mimosa and cherry brandy with a dash of Bitters

MOON over MIMOSA (Beermosa) 
Orange Mimosa with Blue Moon or Shock Top (Belgium White Ale)

RECIPES TO MAKE WITH OUR ALMOND SPARKLING WINE

COCO CRUSH
Almond Sparkling Wine, chocolate liquor and add coconut rum

CHAMPAGNE SHERBET PUNCH
Almond Sparkling Wine, mix with raspberry and Midori, top with whipped cream

BERRY BLUSH
Almond Sparkling Wine and strawberry liquor

FRENCH KISS
Almond Sparkling Wine and raspberry liquor

DAHLIA
Almond Sparkling Wine and Crème de Cassis

PIMM’S ALMOND ROYALE
Almond Sparkling Wine with Pimm’s # 1, garnish with a lemon peel 

CHANEL No 6
Almond Sparkling Wine, raspberry liquor, vodka and add pineapple juice

JAYNE MANSFIELD
Almond Sparkling Wine with strawberry Liquor and add aged rum

BLACK VELVET
Almond Sparkling Wine and an Imperial Porter

RECIPES WITH OUR PEACH BELLINI

PEACH ROYALE
Acai Berry liquor and top with Peach Bellini

BEERLINI
Stella Artois with Peach Bellini

 

RECIPES WITH OUR COCONUT SPARKLING WINE

A LOTA COLADA 
Coconut Sparkling Wine and pineapple juice

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Earth Day 2021

Posted on April 21, 2021 in Uncategorized, Wine 101

One year ago, on earth Day 2020, at the beginning of the Covid-19 shut down, I stood in the vineyard under clear skies, a complete lack of smog with the snow-covered mountains in the background so clear as to almost seem like I was looking at them through binoculars. I mentioned that events like this allow us to give pause and think about the potential quality of life for ourselves and all beings if we learn to make better decisions through a better perspective. 

The cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, as a young man, auditioned for the first time in front of Pablo Casals, perhaps the most famous cellist of all time. After he audition Pablo Casals told the young Yo-Yo Ma his playing was good and then offered some advice.  He said that he sees himself first and foremost as a human, secondly as a musician, and finally as a cellist. He then he added but don’t forget to make time for baseball. 

Earth Day is not necessarily about the earth but rather, what does it mean to be human?  The word “human” comes from the Latin “humus” referring to the earth or soil. We still use the term humus to describe the living organic fraction of the soil. The Greeks knew that we are not from this earth we are of this earth. Modern life often leaves us separated from the natural world, separated from our origins.

 Change your perspective, change the outcome.

One year ago, I asked why are we so willing to settle for this lower quality of life? What we do to the earth, we do to ourselves, our children and all our fellow creatures large and small. If we have the perspective that we either can have a high quality of life or a robust economy that is the choice we will have. If we have the perspective that we can have a robust economy because of our demand for a high quality of life that is the choice we will have.

As we return to the “new normal” I hope we return a little more human, a little more empathetic, a little more true to who we are, where we came from and where we are going.

I look forward to a future of regenerating ecosystems, economies, and communities where we can enjoy a baseball game under crystal clear blue skies with a glass of regenerative wine.

All the best for Earth Day 2021, 

 – Greg and the Vineyard Team

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Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Posted on February 17, 2021 in Recipes

Skip the store-bought and make strawberry shortcake from scratch! This mouthwatering Strawberry Shortcake is such a fun, easy dessert and so delicious.  Layer your biscuits with juicy strawberries and fresh whipped cream for a new spring favorite dessert!

Pairs well with our 2019 Spring White

Ingredients

  • 6–7 cups quartered strawberries
  • 1/4 cup & 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Biscuits:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream or buttermilk
  • Coarse sugar, for sprinkling

Instructions

Place the strawberries and the sugar in a large bowl and stir to combine.

Make the biscuits: Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the cubed butter and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter. Pour buttermilk on top. Fold everything together with a rubber spatula. Pour the dough onto a floured surface and bring together with floured hands. Flatten into a thick rectangle with floured hands or rolling pin. Cut into 3-inch circles with a biscuit cutter.

Arrange on a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Brush the tops with 2 tablespoons heavy cream or buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before assembling.

Make the whipped cream: Beat the heavy cream, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until peaks form, about 3 minutes. Slice the biscuits in half and layer with strawberries and whipped cream. Serve immediately.

Enjoy! 

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The Perfect Pair

Posted on January 7, 2021 in Wine Musings

Due to the amount of time we have all been spending at home, do you find yourself binge watching movies or a TV series? Sometimes you need just a bit more help deciding these days. Below are some movie pairing suggestions directly from our winemaker expert, Gus.

2019 VIOGNIER

Viognier has a light straw color with fresh fruit aromas of apricot, peach, honeydew melon and guava, with a floral background.

MOVIE: ROMANTIC COMEDY.  The lighthearted nature with a background of fruitiness makes this wine the perfect pairing to a romantic comedy. The movie and wine should be paired in the early evening with light movie snacks.

2018 TANK 15 ZINFANDEL

This supple Zinfandel reveals aromatic notes of sweet red fruit, oak and spice. Layers of cherry, blackberry, and raspberry cascade over well incorporated oak and fine tannins on the finish.

MOVIE: PIRATE MOVIE. Pair this wine with your favorite pirate movie like “Pirates of the Caribbean”. This wine is a treasure chest of flavor with layers of fruit, spice and oak. Think of Blackbeard when aromas of blackberry cascade like the surf in your palate.

2017 MALBEC

Malbec possesses a clean, clear delicate fruit reminiscent of blackberries. Tannins are soft but controlled adding to the wines structure. Subtle light tones of American and French Oak-vanilla.

MOVIE: AMERICAN HISTORICAL. This wine is aged in both American and French oak barrels making this wine well suited for movies featuring the American or French revolutions.

2018 DOUBLE DOG

Named after the Wilson Creek dogs seen at the winery as well as the two distinct grapes that were used in making this wine Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. A balance of fruit and spicy notes with a long silky finish.

MOVIE: DOG MOVIE. It goes without saying but this wine is a natural pairing with dog movies, Lassie Come Home, Ol’Yeller, etc.

2017 PETITE SIRAH

Petite Sirah presents supple aromas and flavors of blackberry, herbal and ripe plum with undertones of black pepper. It is dry and soft with supple tannins and well-integrated American Oak.

MOVIE: HORROR MOVIE. This wine is deep and very red perfect for your favorite horror movie. Serve it slightly chilled at midnight while watching a chilling horror movie.

2017 CABERNET FRANC

A full-flavored Cabernet Franc with a long and lingering finish. This wine distinct aromas of oak marked perfume and spice under-notes on the nose. The palate has pronounced layers of blackberry, spice, oak, and nutmeg.

MOVIE: FOREIGN LANGUAGE MOVIE. Pair this wine with foreign movies that have subtitles. Enjoy a few sips then read the back label on the bottle. Repeat this step throughout the movie. This pairing will help you understand a foreign language.

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