Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tablas Creek 2011 Patelin de Tablas

The site of Tablas Creek Vineyard was chosen for its similarities to the French wine growing region of Chateauneuf du Pape. The Perrin family and Robert Haas purchased the property in 1989 and imported varietals from their Chateau de Beaucastel estate, establishing a nursery to propagate their vines. Their nursery produced all the vines used to plant their own 100 acres of organic vineyards, and helped spread new Rhone varietals in California by offering vines for sale to other interested local growers.

The 1997 vintage was the first produced under the Tablas Creek Vineyard label. They have continued to aim for the production of wines in the traditional Chateauneuf du Pape style. Their estate vineyards remain the core of their production, particularly their much sought-after limited production wines that are only available direct from their winery. Their Patelin de Tablas wines are a recent additional to their extensive offerings, and combines fruit from their own vineyards with some sourced from other local growers.

Monday, September 15, 2014

White Mountains Fishing

I was really stoked Kristin and I were able to make it over to Arizona during our recent visit to the United States. Growing up, my family and I spent a lot of time in the White Mountains on holidays. Kristin came over with us a couple years ago over Christmas, but it was really nice for her to see summertime here instead of a frozen over lake and a foot of snow on the ground.

There are few things that can beat the cool evening breeze, a beautiful sunset, and being the only boat on the lake. Thanks to my talented mother, we have a great photograph of one such moment.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Carruth Cellars NV Surfing Madonna Bordeaux Blend

The naturally lit tasting room and winery of Carruth Cellars is tucked into the artsy center of Solana Beach. It is one of San Diego's urban wineries dotting the coastline, and the small team focuses on red varietals sourced from several different Central and Northern California vineyards.

But what about the label? Well, it's the Surfing Madonna.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

San Diego Bay Hornblower Cruise

It was the last day of our California visit, and I wanted to do something special for Kristin. Fortunately, my mom is always prepared to help make such things happen.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Wine Filtration - Depth Filters

Read previous Wine Filtration article - To Filter or Not?

Winemakers continue to learn how to best apply filtration. As research continues and technology improves, the options available have grown with the industry over the past several decades. Depth filtration, also referred to as dead-end filtration, has been utilized by winemakers for centuries. During the process of depth filtration, wine is directed in a perpendicular flow towards the filter medium (directly into it, thus the term 'dead-end'). The retentate (particles removed) is captured inside or against the filter medium, while the clean wine passes through. The retentate gradually builds up over time, pressure increases, flow rate decreases, and the filter eventually becomes plugged. At this stage, filtration must be stopped and the filter setup cleaned before further filtration can be done. The most common forms of depth filters are pressure-leaf, plate & frame, lenticular, and cartridge.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Birch Aquarium

The Birch Aquarium is basically the public interface of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Showcasing habitats from all over the Pacific Ocean, the Birch Aquarium provides a great learning experience for kids and adults alike. Their exhibits include the Hall of Fishes and There's Something about Seahorses.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Wine Filtration - To Filter or Not?

Another winemaking question that arrives at the answer, "well it depends".

I've never seen a wine marketing campaign discussing anything about a filtration program except for the absence of one. For quite some time, the debate over whether or not to filter a wine has intrigued wine professionals and consumers alike.

So what's the point, who's doing it, and does it help or hurt?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Fratelli Perata 203 Cabernet Sauvignon Riserva

The Perata brothers joined the budding wine region of Paso Robles in 1977 when they purchased a 40-acre plot just west of Highway 101. The Fratelli Perata winery was bonded in 1987, just a few years after Paso Robles was granted appellation status. Ever since, the family have been producing single vineyard wines of character on site.

Fratelli Perata presses all their Cabernet Sauvignon directly into new French oak barrels after fermentation. After two years of maturation, the family sets aside the best for their riserva. Its complexity and structure are aimed with aging in mind.