BRAND Napa Valley Launches #FromBRANDwithLove Giveback Sharing Package

Pritchard Hill winery, BRAND Napa Valley is running a giveback program, #FromBRANDwithLove for customers and Covid-19 first responders around the nation. Sharing the gift of wine, the “BRAND Care Package” is essentially a buy-1-get-1 for customers to spread the love with a distinguished bottle of wine and send another to a first responder as a token of appreciation for their selfless service.

Credit: BRAND Napa Valley, at Harvest 2019

BRAND Care Package

With the purchase of a $150 “BRAND Care Package”, worth $300 in value, customers receive a bottle of the prestigious 2016 BRAND Napa Valley BRIO Red Blend—an estate produced Bordeaux-style Red Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot—for the customer and for a first responder of their choice, who will receive an identical bottle at no cost to them. Customers can purchase the “BRAND Care Package” online, nominate their first responder, include a personalized note, provide shipping information.

My Favorite Wine Tasting Experience at Caymus Vineyards, Napa Valley

(Contributed by K. Mead) My absolute favorite wine tasting was at Caymus Vineyards, one of the oldest Napa wineries, started by the pioneering Wagner family winemakers. Located just north of Napa in Rutherford, Caymus is situated amongst vineyards that produce some of the highest quality grapes Napa Valley has to offer. Each year they craft highly-regarded wines, such as their signature Caymus Cabernet.

Outdoor Tasting at Caymus Vineyards. Credit: Meyer Sound for Caymus Vineyards

Cozy Wine Tasting on a Cold Fall Day

I had the pleasure of stopping by Caymus for a tasting in late fall of 2019. Grey and overcast, it wasn’t the most pleasant of conditions for the occasion. Luckily, Caymus thoughtfully offered guests a fleece blanket, along with a complimentary Caymus wine glass. If visitors prefer staying indoors, Caymus welcomed them to a comfortable lounge area which emulates the personal Wagner family living room.

Friendly and Knowledgeable Tasting Associates

With top notch service, the Caymus tasting staff are not just inviting and friendly, but passionate and knowledgeable about the entire Wagner Family wine portfolio. Adding a personal touch to every tasting, they tailored each conversation according to the guest and the mood, gladly answering all questions, regardless of level of wine knowledge.

Delightful Wine Tasting Selection

The wine tasting menu consisted of a variety of wines from not only Caymus, but other wines in the family portfolio, such as Emmolo, Mer Soleil, and Conundrum. I was delighted that the final wine of our tasting was the celebrated Caymus Vineyards 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon. Words fail me each time I have the pleasure of tasting this wine. It tastes like a warm summer evening, when you can smell the crush in the air. Its full and comforting flavors were the perfect ending to a rather cold and dreary weather day.

How Does Casarena Winery Produce Such Distinctly Different Argentinian Wines?

Nestled on the sandy soils of Luján de Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina, Casarena Bodegas y Viñedos is recognized for its single vineyard wines, with an estate that encompasses four vineyards each with its own distinctive micro-terroirs to create seven varietal wines for its flagship line, Casarena Single Vineyard wines.

Casarena’s sandy vineyards below the Andes. Credit: Casarena Winery & Vineyards

Winemaking expertise

Combining rich tradition with expertise in wine growing and winemaking, including collaborations with Michel Roland and his team, single blocks of high-quality and low yield are identified. 30% of the grapes are fermented in new French oak barrels, and the remaining in stainless-steel tanks, after which the fermented blend is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, resulting in an expression of unique, premier Argentinian terroirs which garnered many awards.

Casarena’s flagship single-vineyard wines from four distinct microclimates.

A Curated Portfolio

All wines of their single vineyard portfolio have consistently received over 90 points from acclaimed critics. The seven wines are: Malbec in three different expressions, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.  

Kicking Off with Kenwood Winery – First Fall 2015 Tasting of SSU Wine Sense Club

SSU Winesense Kenwood Winery Tasting

SSU Winesense Kenwood Winery Tasting

Contributed by Sophia Fish – Cheers to a great first Wine Sense Club meeting for Fall 2015! We were very excited to welcome Maxwell Burns and our very own VP of Operations Matt Lopez from Kenwood Vineyards to come speak with us about their fabulous winery.

Kenwood Vineyards – Historic & Sustainable Cellar

Kenwood Vineyards was established in 1970 formerly the Pagani Brothers Winery, a historic cellar dating back to 1906. Kenwood Vineyards is devoted to producing premium wines truly representative of Sonoma County’s world class vineyards.

Kenwood Vineyards is committed to making the finest wines and treating the earth with the utmost respect. They are doing this by following sustainable growing practices . They stand by this philosophy and make every effort to reduce waste, recycle and lower their energy consumption.

Tasting of 4 Magnificent Kenwood Wines

2014 Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc: The first is a Sauvignon Blanc with fruit sourced from vineyards located in five different appellations in Sonoma County. Aromas of white nectarine, honeydew melon and lemongrass combine with citrus and tropical flavors that give a crisp and refreshing finish.

Kennwood wines2012 Sonoma County Reserve Merlot: Next we had a 2012 Reserve Merlot from Sonoma County. The production of this reserve wine was limited to less than six percent of Kenwood Vineyards’ Merlot production. This wine is full of enticing fruit aromas of fig, plum and black cherry join with spicy notes of nutmeg.

2012 Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel: We felt incredibly lucky to taste the 2012 Zinfandel from Kenwood’s Jack London Vineyard. It was interesting to learn that over 30 years, Kenwood Vineyards has exclusively crafted wine from the single vineyards of Jack London’s historic ranch. The flavors from these vineyards emanate fruity aromas of raspberry and fig mixed with subtle notes of vanilla and pepper.

2010 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon: Last but certainly not least, we were inspired by Kenwood’s 2010 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon. The art featured on every bottle incorporates fine wine to make each new Artist Series release an event and every vintage a prime collectible. The Artist Series originally highlighted works by contemporary artists, then 1987 vintage broke with tradition by featuring a painting from Joan Miro.  In the years since, the Artist Series has presented works from other important artists including Pablo Picasso, Henry Miller, Alexander Calder and Vincent van Gogh. This wine is full of fragrant fruit aromas of cassis and black cherry joined with spicy notes of cinnamon.

Favorite Wines of the Evening:

At the conclusion of the tasting, and before prices were revealed, we voted on our favorite wines of the evening.  The winners were:

2010 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel

 

 

B.R. Cohn and Shone Farm Shine With Millennials

By Guest Author Jenna Riggan – SSU Wine Sense welcomed Shone Farm and B.R. Cohn for the latest Food & Wine Pairing event. A total of 36 students enjoyed learning about both wineries, and a few attentive tasters walked away with a bottle of B.R. Cohn Estate Grown Olive Oil, and a bottle of B.R. Cohn California Golden Balsamic Vinegar thanks to a raffle hosted by B.R. Cohn’s Stephen Winston!

Favorite Wines

Shone Farm Winery, located in the heart of the Russian River Valley AVA, is where the Santa Rosa Junior College wine students have the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of the winemaking process. Their presence provided the unique occasion for SSU Wine Business Students to gain insight and knowledge on what the SRJC students are producing. The favorite wine from Shone Farm was the 2009 Estate Chardonnay ($28) from Russian River Valley with rich tropical fruit flavors. 80 cases produced. For more information on the winery: http://www.shonefarm.com/winery/index.shtml

Located in Sonoma Valley, B.R. Cohn produces not only excellent wines, but also quality olive oil. B.R Cohn prides itself on their Olive Hill Estate Vineyard, which was named for the winery’s Picholine olive tree grove. The favorite wine was the 2008 B.R. Cohn Olive Hill Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley ($55).  This wine was an instant favorite, with its intense plum, berry and cherry flavors. 3600 cases produced. For more information on the winery: http://www.brcohn.com/

Food Pairing

Our chefs provided a delicious traditional Italian-American food menu including baked pasta, Caesar salad, garlic bread, and tiramisu trifle.