2002 Deerfield Ranch Winery, Super T Rex – plus Soiree

I have a little history with this wine.  The first time I had the pleasure of drinking this wine was at a great Italian restaurant in historic “Railroad Square” in downtown Santa Rosa, CA, named Portofino’s.  Unfortunately, Portofino’s is no more, however, I was pleasantly surprised to find some of this wine left over at a “meet-up” hosted by William Allen of Simple Hedonisms at Deerfield Ranch Winery on August 26, 2010.  It was a fantastic event, for multiple reasons, first off I got to meet a ton of folks who I interact with on twitter and facebook.  I was super excited to meet Ben Simons and Ed Thralls of vinotology.com and winetonight.com respectively.  Two great guys who inspired me to kick my blogging up a notch and who just happened to be in my neck of the woods!  Oh, and to top it off, my birthday was the very next day.  Enough of the intro, let’s get down to business, here it is:

2002, Deerfield Ranch Winery, Super T Rex, California North Coast

2002 Deerfield Ranch, Super T Rex
2002 Super T Rex

The Nose (without soiree): A little hot off the bat, but followed quickly by a sugar-plum cherry, Tuscan flavored pipe tobacco humidor with saddle leather and sage brush.

The Nose (with Soiree): More of the same but the heat is not predominant and other notes are slightly subdued.

The Nose (with Soiree): I roped the wife in for one!  “Baked plum pie, sweet caramelized wood, yeasty, hints of tire rubber, specifically ‘bicycle tire’.”

The Taste: Spicy plum fruits backed by cedar wood overtones, creamy vanilla finish.

The Mouth Feel: Mild acidity and medium tannic structure, lingering a tad but fleeting.  Finish has nice viscosity and leaves dry.

The Color: Brickhouse Red, the wine is clearly concentrating, thin clear edges.

The Nitty Gritty:
Varietal Makeup – 43% Sangiovese, Sonoma; 28% Sangiovese, Lake County; 15% Cabernet Franc, Lake County; 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, Lake County; 4% Dolcetto, Sonoma
Residual sugar: 0.0%
Barrel aged for 32 months in 80% French an d
20% American oak, 35% new
SO2 (sulfite) at bottling: 18ppm, SO2 at release: less than 8ppm1500 Cases Produced
ABV – 14%
$27 Retail/Online

The Verdict: As this wine opens up, it grows closer to my heart.  It is moving closer to resembling what I consider a true Tuscan wine.  It has many of the desirable characteristics that remind me of my trip to Italy and more specifically, the Tuscan countryside!  I’m still a big fan of this wine, it’s a bit spendy but there aren’t many super Tuscans available from Sonoma County and Deerfield does a good job with this wine.  They have a new Tuscan blend that’s available, but I didn’t buy one while I was at the meet-up and I don’t specifically remember any of my thoughts on the wine (but I’m sure I’ll have it in the future).  It was a great time, so many of the Sonoma county Social Media crew were out socializing face-to-face, so I was more into having a great time with great people.  It was awesome to finally meet both Ben and Ed in person, Cheers to both of you!  If you get a chance, you should stop by the Deerfield Ranch Winery, their cellar was beautiful and their staff were gracious and accommodating.  Oh, and if you’re lucky, they may have a few bottles of this wine left.

On the Soiree:  I’m still a bit of a skeptic of the “instant decanter” but this device does seem to be helping this wine open up and live up to the name “Super.”  I had “the wife” take a video of me showing how to use the Soiree to open up the wine, so check this video clip out on how to get the most aeration out of your Soiree decanter.

* Some Nitty Gritty Details provided by Deerfield Ranch Winery Website

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Not Bad For a Thursday Night – Dinner for One and a Half

It was hard for me to work up the motivation for doing up a “Not Bad” this week.  The wife is out of town on business and that means I’m on 100% Daddy Detail.  Keeping up with a two-year-old boy is a full-time job, to be sure.  I have nothing but mad respect for stay-at-home moms/dads and even more for single parents who have this privilege/challenge.  That being said, I found some motivation on Tuesday and I was thinking that I needed to write up a review of the Ravenswood wine that I received a couple weeks back since I”m going to miss out on their “2nd annual Coming Out tattoo party”

So after picking up the boy at daycare, we cruised down to the local market, Oliver’s in Cotati, to see what we could rustle up for dinner.  I had a flash of inspiration the moment we walked in the door.  Their mushrooms are pretty close to the entrance and I thought to myself, “oh yeah… the wife’s gone, I can cook whatever I want.”  And what goes better with sauteed mushrooms than a great big NY Strip Steak?  So, I grabbed some veg (fresh green beans) and a nice big NY Steak, since I’d be sharing with the boy.

This dinner is a simple one to prep and cook.

Mashed Potatoes:

3-4 Red potatoes
2 Tablespoons butter
1/3 Cup cream
Sea salt
Black Pepper

In a large pot start heating some salted water.  Wash then chop potatoes in quarters add to water.  Boil until tender.  Strain potatoes and return to pot.  Add butter, cream, salt and pepper, mash with hand masher to desired consistency.

Cookin!
Cookin!

NY Strip:

12 Oz New York Choice or Prime Steak
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

Start gas grill and heat to 375 (Medium-High).  Salt and pepper steak on both sides (to desired taste)  Sear steak on both sides, approximately 3-5 min per side, reduce heat and move steak to indirect heat.

NY Steak
NY Steak - Indirect Heat

Continue cooking to desired temperature.  I went about 15 minutes and ended up with medium/medium-well.

Sauteed Green Beans:

8 – 10 oz Fresh Green Beans
2 oz olive oil
1 Clove garlic
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

Wash beans and chop off ends, cut beans in half.  Finely chop garlic.  In a 10″ skillet add beans, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat covered until beans are tender, but still crisp.  Stir frequently.

Mushrooms:

1 clove of garlic
2 Tablespoons butter
1-2 Oz Dry White Sherry
6-10 button mushrooms

Chop garlic finely, wash mushrooms then slice into thirds (I like thick cut).

Chopped Mushrooms
Chopped Mushrooms

In a skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat, until it starts sizzling then put mushrooms in.  Cook mushrooms until they begin to brown add garlic and stir.  Once garlic starts to brown add sherry and deglaze pan, remove from heat.

Sauteed Mushrooms!
Sauteed Mushrooms!

I started the potatoes first since they take the longest, this gave me time to prep the rest of the meal.  I then started the steak, once the steak is cooking over indirect heat you can start the shrooms and beans, they should finish about the time your meat is ready.  As I mentioned my initial motivation for this was the Ravenswood wine.  I paired this meal with the 2007 Ravenswood, Sonoma County, Cabernet Franc.

Not Bad 17
Not Bad!

The spicy character of this wine and great acidity really did this meal a great service.  The boy loved his steak and green beans, it’s kind of funny though, he really doesn’t care for mashed potatoes… Go figure?  Oh and he loved the sauteed mushrooms, I guess we’ll have to start doing those more often, even though “the wife” doesn’t!

Cheers
Brian

2007 Ravenswood Sonoma County Cabernet Franc

In preparation for Ravenswood’s second annual tattoo coming out party (which I am going to miss because of a scheduling conflict…Damn it!) I have to review one of the two wines I received courtesy of  Kristen Wastell the Ravenswood Visitor Center Manager.  I have been proudly sporting my Raven laden ink since my twenty-first birthday.  I had no clue about wine then I did however have an eye for a kick-ass piece of artwork (and the crow had just recently come out was inclined ink up with some black birds…)

Anyhow, I sent a pic over on Facebook and got a reply almost immediately.  They will be putting a nice pic of my ink on their wall of fame so I’ll at least be there in spirit.  And in that spirit, here it is:

2007 Ravenswood Cabernet Franc2007 Ravenswood Cabernet Franc

2007 Ravenswood Sonoma County Cabernet Franc

The Nose:  Full of spice and cherry this nose comes on assertively, it is backed up with some floral tobacco and then you are smacked with a cedar plank.

The Taste: Warm cherries with a dash of white pepper, this wine is full of great red fruit and the cedar cigar box is lingering out there, laying in wait.

The Mouth Feel:  Okay, In a sad attempt to mimic some of the sultry writing of Tamra Belgard at http://sipwithme.blogspot.com/, this wine has some characteristics that would be best described in what I would consider her style (Tamara, sorry if I botch this up)  This wine starts out like slipping into silk sheets naked, then the tannins kick in and rip the sheets off and light the bed on fire!  Then it finished you off with a massive velvety release…  (now back to regularly scheduled blogging).

The Color:  Purplish-ruby and glass coating

The Nitty Gritty:
14.5% ABV
200 Cases Produced
$20 At the Winery ONLY (may be wine club only too)
Couldn’t find any other Scores

The Verdict:  Well, I have to say that this wine rocked my socks off!  I paired it up with my “Not Bad –  Dinner for One and a half” New York Strip Steak, sauteed Mushrooms, and fresh green beans, and it was a perfect match.  The acidity stood up to the butter from the mushrooms, fat from the steak, and olive oil on the beans, let it be known, Ravenswood makes no “Whimpy Wines.”  I highly recommend you call the winery and order up a few of these before they run out.

90 Pts. / A-

In Vino Veritas:  This wine was provided to me as a sample (and because I have the tat) pretty sure they wanted me to review this but just so you know…

2007 Ravenswood Cabernet Franc
2007 Ravenswood Cabernet Franc