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  • Writer's pictureThe Bluebird. A Midtown Eatery.

I'm glad it worked out that I am able to feature the 2020 Trentadue 'La Storia' Merlot. I have a soft spot for this winery because I was able to visit when I was in California last year. Trentadue is located in Geyserville (north of Heldsburg).Way back in 1959 Evelyn and Leo Trentadue decided to flee, what is now know as the Silicon Valley, and purchased over 200 acres of land in Sonoma's county's Alexander Valley. Their farming practices "reflect our commitment to exceptional fruit quality and our stewardship of the land from which it comes. We strive to balance the traditions of the area's early Italian growers and the ever-evolving viticulture industry."

Trentadue vineyards in the fall.

I'm going to go as far as to say this is my benchmark California merlot. I'm not sure why the guy in the movie Sideways was so worked up about drinking Merlot. I had my mental notes from my visit but I recently revisited this wine with some gourmet left overs recently. The meal in question was Insta-pot pork roast lovin', locally foraged mushroom medley and herbed polenta.

Chicken of the Woods Mushroom

Baby Chantrelles

I worked up such an appetite foraging for the mushrooms is probably why I enjoyed my meal and this wine so much. This classic Bordeaux varietal has great flavors of dark cherry and plums. New oak works its magic with flavors of vanilla and produces a soft well balanced wine.

The white wine selection for the Indigo is a lesser known grape and the more I drink it the more I like it. It's a nice change of pace from your usual white wine suspects like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. Speaking of Sauvignon Blanc...if you like Sauv Blanc's then you will like the 2022 Husch 'Mendocino' Chenin Blanc. The moment the wine hit my mouth the, it reminded me of a spring day. Fresh grassyness, like a Sauvignon Blanc, and flavors of honeysuckle and citrus washed over my mouth and it melded into a round mouthfeel and a long satisfying finish. The Husch winery boasts the earliest varietal plantings in the Anderson Valley. In 1979, Hugo Oswald Jr. bought the Husch winery, at the time the Oswald family had been grown pears. Today the winery is owned and operated by the 3rd generation of the Oswald family and still have not lost its reputation for great wines.

If we had more mushrooms I would make a mushroom risotto with them and drink this wine with it. 🤤

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  • Writer's pictureThe Bluebird. A Midtown Eatery.

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

Well September snuck up on me. One minute its all hot and summery and the next thing you know its September. This month I'm keeping the summer vibes alive with California wine month. I've said it before and I will probably say it again, there are so many wines to choose from, like most months I hope I choose good. There are more the 6,000 wineries to choose from. Washington has about 1,300; Oregon is at 939 and Idaho has 115.

Again it was really hard to choose. It was easy enough to pick a wide variety of wine, there are over 100 varietals grown with Chardonnay being the most widely planted grape. I won't keep you waiting any longer......

I was quite torn on the white wine selection for the Indigo level. Of course I had a few to choose from and I had in my mind that I was going to pick a Sauvignon Blanc...until I tried this little number. The 2022 Husch Chenin Blanc is the best of both worlds. This family owned (3rd generation) is about 2 1/2 hours north of San Fransisco close to the Mendocino coast. Husch produces 22 different wines with Quality being the key word. The grapes are grown and managed by the winery, allowing the winemakers to have total control from the vineyards to the winery.

The red wine selection for Indigo level is the 2020 Trentadue 'La Storia' Merlot.

Poor little merlot grape after the movie "Sideways" came out. I hope you haven't been avoiding this varietal because of a sad, desperate character from a movie that came out almost 20 years ago. Paul Giamatti's character hated it because was so easy to drink-remember that his life was pretty miserable, so I would imagine it would be hard to impress him.

It would be kinda lame if I didn't include a Chardonnay, this month I'm featuring a wine from Paul Hobbs, my wine rep-Lisa's favorite wine maker. If it wasn't for her enthusiasm for this wine and the other wines he makes, my life wouldn't be boring. This month you are in for a treat with the 2021 Crossbarn 'Sonoma Coast' Chardonnay. I wanted to use more Paul Hobbs wines this month, but I will revisit some Paul Hobbs wines when we have S. America/S.Africa month in November.

Then there is the 2020 Eberle Paso Robles Zinfandel. Gary Eberle first produced wines in 1979 and they helped co-found the Paso Robles Appellation in 1983. Gary Eberle went to college and graduted with a Bachelor in Biology, he then went on to LSU for undergraduate work in cellular genetics. This isn't the first winemaker we've had in the wine club that is a smarty pants, and after intense schooling they change careers to a winemaker. I'm not complaining, it's just interesting.

For the peacock level this month we are featuring the 2018 Taub Family 'Rutherford' Cabernet Sauvignon. Marty Taub ran a successful wine import business in the 1970's with his son David. David's son, Marc, was immersed in wine his whole life-he dreamed of going west, he wanted to make wine. Fate worked it's magic and led Marc to Mendocino and that is where he discovered Saracina vineyards.

I didn't plan it, but the wines featured this month are all family run wineries that showcase the one of many varietals that California is known for.

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  • Writer's pictureThe Bluebird. A Midtown Eatery.

Rounding out Washington wine month is the 2017 Dumas Station Cabernet Sauvignon. I like my unintended theme of the month - simplicity in wine making. Dumas Station winery has been quietly going about their business creating solid wines. The awards are too numerous to mention. Dumas Station is located in Dayton (Northeast of Walla Walla on Highway 12). The winery/tasting room is located in a historic train depot that was built in 1906 and was used as an agricultural train depot.

Again with the theme of simple, back-to-the-basic of winemaking. This summer, I luckily was able to taste thru the Dumas Station line up with the winemaker Dirk Brink. (worked briefly at Coeur d'Alene Cellars). I really do appreciate any time we get with a winemaker. I try to absorb as much info they have about the wine, the process, and all the other tangents. What I walked away after tasting thru all the Dumas Station offerings is they are all solid, beautiful, well made wines. I've noticed when I taste a wine that is really good, I'm not sure if its so good it leaves me speechless, it's probably more like I don 't want to say something dumb in front of the winemaker. Maybe it's more like with a wine like this I'm taking a moment to savor all the layers and the pure expression of the fruit. This wine has all the big flavors you'd expect of a Washington Cabernet. Cherries, I leaned more towards a cherry pie cooked on a cool late summer day. There is a layer of baking spices and laser focused tannins frames the luscious mouthfeel.

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