Sunday - Jackson Family Wines

Feel much fresher and more alive today!

Relaxed and laid back start, headed to Pier 39, in what can only be described as a hummer minibus, its quite extraordinary! Pier 39 is a San Francisco tourist destination, where we took a bay cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge which is just spectacular - I have a feeling this could be a very snap happy trip! Lunch was a San Francisco speciality, clam chowder. 
An hour and a half journey to Sonoma then a visit to Jackson Family Wines.

Jackson Family Wines is an impressive company that remains family owned with 40k acres of land (80% owned by the family) and 35 brands internationally, making it the 9th largest producer in America. They've even got an air conditioned vineyard up on Alexander Mountain as its so hot up there, it's a misting system attached to the vines which can reduce the temperature by 20*F in 15 mins! Tasting, visit and dinner hosted by Carol Howard,   International Business Development Manager.

Tasting up Alexander Mountain;

Sauvignon Blanc Stonestreet 2010, California
Truly tropical nose jumps out of the glass! Clean crisp minerality with some smokiness, full and generous, different due to the 10 months spent in neutral oak. Tried with tuna, honeydew melon and coleslaw canapés.

Chardonnay 'Vintner's Reserve' Kendall Jackson 2010, Alexander Valley
100% estate grown fruit, this has been the top selling Chardonnay domestically since 1985! 100% barrel fermented, seductive subtle butterscotch nose, lovely texture, good acidity. Great with the goats cheese and apricot appetiser!

Tasting with dinner;

Blue cheese, pear and walnut salad | 4 x Coastal Chardonnays

Chardonnay Byron 2010, Santa Barbara
Fresh melon fruit nose, light and fresh on the palate with tropical hints of pineapple, clean.

Chardonnay 'Katherine's Vineyard' Cambria 2010, Santa Maria
Richer and more developed, elegant toffee hint nose, ripe and rich throughtout, really seductive.
Chardonnay Carmel Road 2010, Monterey
Blimey - you would not believe you were smelling a Chardonnay here! The nose is completely different, so aromatic, juicy and succulent on the palate, sweeter tropical notes, fruit forward style with vibrant juicy texture. 7 months in French oak and a much cooler climate region. It's a really attractive little wine!

Chardonnay La Crema 2010, Sonoma
Deep nose, rich and enticing, with lots of lovely layers of complexity on the palate.

Bourbon mustard pork with garlic potatoes | 4 x Distinct terroir Pinot Noirs

Pinot Noir Byron 2010, Santa Barbara
Really pretty lifter ripe and bright cherry fruit, lighter again in style, easy going.
Pinot Noir Carmel Road 2010, Monterey
Absolutely gorgeous blueberry pastry nose, soft and wonderfully silky texture, it just rolls with delight! My highlight of the night. And it's certified sustainable too!
Pinot Noir 'Julia's Vineyard' Cambria 2009, Santa Maria
Very violet lifted nose, white peppery hints and almost peaty. Really quite Burgundian in style.
Pinot Noir La Crema 2010, Sonoma
Earthy, spicy character. A much more serious and more masculine style, that works best with the food course in my opinion.
Beef short ribs and asparagus | 4 x Mountain and Hillside reds

Zinfandel 'Vintner's Reserve' Kendall Jackson 2010, California
Slightly cooler climate so this isn't a Zinfandel as you might expect it. Blackberry and raspberry jam nose, which follows through onto the palate. It feels fresh and clean yet with mouthfilling flavours and an almost peppery kick.
Cabernet Sauvignon Freemark Abbey 2008, Napa
From the first female owned and run winery in the state! A distinctly Cabernet nose, cassis packed palate, bright and pretty.
Legacy Stonestreet 2006, Alexander Valley
A Bordeaux blend made up of all 5 Bordeaux varietals (predominately Cab Sauv) Elegant and serious with majestic structure and firm tannins so this will need time to show its full potential. Real blackcurrant finish which is just to die for!
Cabernet Sauvignon 'Monument Ridge' Stonestreet 2009, Alexander Valley
Sweet blackcurrant cassis flavours, tannins still firm but will soften with time, great balance now though and so varietally correct, its like textbook Cabernet!
Overall, a really great tasting that allowed us to experiment both with and without food and also allow us to see the differences between each region. Thank you to Carol for being such a lovely and enthusiastic host!
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Posted on 25/06/2012
by Danielle
in categories:
California 2012,


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