Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cali Acorns

Yesterday I went to Califonia Vintage for a fantastic flight of wines.  There was even the added bonus of being led through the wines by Susan AND vineyard owner, Betsy Nauchbaur.  If you haven't been into CV before, you simply must.  It's a little touch of good ole USA right here in HK.

Soho Location

Acorn (Healdsburg, CA) was founded by Betsy and Bill Nachbaur in 1994 and currently produces 8 different wines annually:

Acorn Hill (proprietary vineyard blend)
Cab Franc
Dolcetto (we'll get back you )
Medley (proprietary vineyard blend)
Syrah- Axiom
Zinfandel, Heritage Vines

I got to try 7 of these bad boys

We began the flight with the 2011 Acorn Rosato.  This was a blend of some Italian favorites; Sangiovese, Docetto, and some International favs; Cab Franc and Viognier.  This was tart and creamy and went absolutely perfectly with the salmon it was served with!

Next up was the 2009 Dolcetto.  Hands down this was my favorite! Perhaps I'm a tad biased here and I recently found an Australian Dolcetto that just blows my socks off, but I loved this wine.  It was smooth with berry flavors and it had a phenomenal nose!  I should also mentioned that there was a tiny bit (<3%) of Fresia and Barbera grapes blended in in typical Italian fashion. 

I should also note, Betsy mentioned that since Dolcetto is traditionally grown in  North Western Italy, it is the perfect match for food of the region, ie, butter and cream based dishes and roast meats.  Alfredo + Dolcetto = match made in heaven.

Round 3: 2009 Sangiovese.  I must admit, this wasn't my favorite.  The acid caught me as a little biting, although if i had been sitting down to a proper meal and not just nibbles it probably would have been just fine.  It was definitely reminiscent of an Italian Sangiovese though!  And I had my share of those last week.....

My highlight of this round was definitely the bruschetta; fresh brioche topped with caramelized mushrooms, a thin slice of Camembert, and topped with a fresh walnut.  I could eat this everyday.

The third red we sank into was the 2008 Cabernet Franc.  This was another exceptional wine.  Spicy, with dark choclate coming up to my nose, this was really special despite it's thinner than expected body.  I ordered this by the glass after the flight :)

Then we took a bite of a wonderful tri tip beef topped with Chipotle sauce.  Divine, and perfect with the 2008 Acorn Syrah. According to Betsy this was the most ready to drink wine, and I couldn't agree more.  It had wonderful rich body, blackberry flavors, and ripe tannins.  This is one of those wines that sticks in your mouth.

Finally, Betsy informed us that Zinfandel is normally their flagship wine, but unfortunatley 2009 was a horrific year weatherwise so they scrapped it to maintain their quality standards.  Instead they created an unusual wine; 2009 Alicante Bouschet.  This is traditionally a blending grape, but here it stood centre stage.  I really enjoyed this wine. It also had a lovely chocolatey nose with some spice and plum flavors. 

The food finale served with the Alicante was a pot of chocolate mousse, garnished with mint.  I could have eaten a gallon of this stuff.  It was sooo rich and smooth and chocolately.  Perfection in a ramkin!

So yes, if you have a chance, get down to CV.  Preferably go when you can catch with the winemaker because the passion and enthusiasm really does transend into your glass!!

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