Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wine And "Flowers"

Last weekend, I participated in a special "TasteLive" event for Flowers Vineyard and Winery. It was held on the same weekend as the 2012 North American Wine Bloggers Conference in Charlottesville, Virginia. For some of us who were not able to attend the conference, this was a great opportunity to sample some amazing wines from an amazing Sonoma Coast winery! I felt pretty special when my carton of samples arrived shortly before the event. For many years, I was always reading how Flowers Winery was named one of the top wineries of the year in Wine & Spirits Magazine. I had always been a fan from afar although I'd never actually sampled any of the wines and who'd have ever thought back in 1999 when I started drinking wine that I would even own a bottle of this wine, let alone a whole slew of samples! Wow... It was at that moment when I saw the bottles, that I knew this event was going to be something to remember and how far I had come in my wine education!

Joining us on this amazing evening via UStream were the winemaker, Jason Jardine and estate director, Christopher Barefoot. The title of the event was "Flowers Winery: Live From The Extreme Sonoma Coast." They were not kidding when they meant "Extreme"!!! Check out this video!

Just to throw a little history at you, Flowers Vineyard and Winery is fairly young, having been founded by Walt and Joan Flowers, two nursery owners from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. They purchased land on the Sonoma Coast in 1989 with the dream of combining their love of wine and agriculture. Today, they are the proud owners of a winery whose wines are highly allocated and sought after. One taste of these wines and you will see... Almost all the wines the winery produces are Burgundian in fashion--thus they make some spectacular Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. After watching the video above, who wouldn't want to pick up and move there?

The wine line-up for the evening went as follows:

2009 Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
2008 Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Chardonnay
2009 Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
2008 Flowers Seaview Ridge Pinot Noir
2009 Flowers Perennial Red

I could not wait to get started!!

The 2009 Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay was a dream come true!! Wow! From the moment my lips encountered this wine I was in heaven! It was perfectly balanced. White peaches and citrus with a crisp, minerally finish. Now, I thought the price point wasn't too crazy either. $40. (OK, that wasn't so bad, was it???)

The 2008 Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Estate Bottled Chardonnay literally made me drool! With beautiful aromas and a huge midpalate of baked apples, butter and toasted nuts, it was creamy yet had balanced acidity and a smooth finish. Another "WOW!" It doesn't get better than this! What a gorgeous wine! $58.

My favorite wine of the night, the 2009 Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir--like an angel came down from heaven and dropped it in front of me! Double "WOW!" Blackberries, dark cherries and spicy herbs rounded out this Pinot Noir. So tasty!!! I easily could have consumed it all but I didn't. I saved some for the next day! $45.

The 2008 Flowers Seaview Ridge Estate Bottled Pinot Noir was much heartier! Lots of dark berries, plums, dark cherries, spiciness. Fuller mouthfeel. Velvet finish. I'm smiling as I write this because sometimes I feel so blessed to be sampling wine like this! $68.

And last but not least, a really interesting wine with a blend I had never heard of before.

The 2009 Flowers Perennial which is a blend of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Pinot Meunier and a splash of Chardonnay. You heard me right. Makes for an interesting wine. It definitely needed some opening up. The first time I tried it, it was not my favorite but when I tried it again the next day, it had evolved and was doing just fine! Definitely worth trying! The wine had kind of a smoky flavor and would definitely pair up nicely with barbecued foods. $38.

I have to say, sampling these wines really opened my eyes to the Sonoma Coast and all the wonderful cool climate wines coming from this AVA. I would definitely be in for exploring this further. Aside from the winemaker and estate director joking that I would be driving some steep mountain terrain to get to the winery. (I don't think they were joking either! Yikes!!) I sort of volunteered to help them during harvest this Fall when I visit in October. Do you think I'll do it? Hmmm...That would remain to be seen. Maybe I'll hire a driver... Do yourselves a favor, check this winery out. A lot of their wine is allocated but they do have some for sale on their website, flowerswinery.com.

Cheers until next time everybody!

"You Saw It Here First"...This post was created solely for "Cellarmistress' Cellar Talk" by Grace Hoffman. Grace is an Italian-born, American-bred wine blogger/educator with an all-consuming passion for wine and all it encompasses.

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