Enriching Wine Tasting with La Crema and Murphy Goode Wineries

Halloween Wine Tasting

Halloween Wine Tasting

Cheers to our fourth WineSense Club meeting of the Fall 2015 semester!  We were very excited to welcome back alumni Kate Hansen from La Crema and Emily Creaven from Murphy-Goode to come speak with us about what their wineries offer.

A Little Bit of History on La Crema and Murphy-Goode Wineries

La Crema Vinera meaning the “Best of the Vine,” founded in 1979, is a family owned and operated winery that focuses exclusively on the exploration of premier West Coast cool-climate appellations.  When La Crema was first founded, the Russian River Valley had yet to establish itself as one of California’s most important regions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  However, as time passed, La Crema expanded its collection of vineyards to include some of the most esteemed sites that include: the Sonoma Coast, Green Valley, Fort Ross-Seaview, Mendocino, Carneros and Monterey.

The tale of how Murphy-Goode established itself is quite original! In 1985, during a friendly game, Tim Murphy, Dale Goode and Dave Ready decided to make their love of fine wines official.  They first began with two wines, they created Fume Blanc and Chardonnay from Murphy Ranch and Murphy-Goode Vineyard in Sonoma County.  Now, Murphy-Goode has over 20 vintages.

Kate and Emily Lead a Wine Tasting at SSU

Featured Wines of the Evening

Featured Wines of the Evening

La Crema’s vineyards are all harvested by hand and their winemaking techniques are primarily traditional to ensure that the wines are true to both the variety and the terroir.  We were fortunate to try a selection of 6 wines from both wineries.  We tasted three wines from La Crema: a 2013 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, a 2013 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and a 2013 Green Valley Pinot Noir.  We also tasted three wines from Murphy-Goode: a 2014 Russian River Single Deck Chardonnay, a 2012 Snake Eye Zinfandale, and a 2011 Terra A Lago Cabernet Sauvignon.  

Favorites Wines of the Evening

At the conclusion of our fourth meeting, the club members were asked to vote for their favorite wines of the evening as they do for every meeting.  Each participant could vote a total of two times and the two winners of the evening were:

  • 2013 La Crema Russian River Valley Chardonnay
  • 2013 La Crema Green Valley Pinot Noir

It was a great meeting, costumes and all, that the members will not forget any time soon!  We can’t thank Kate and Emily enough for coming!

 

Raving about Rare Cat Wines at SSU WineSense Meeting

coins(1)Contributed by Sophia Fish – The name of Rare Cat Winery was inspired by an ancient Carthaginian coin dating back to 320 BC, with a beautiful picture of a majestic lion on one side and the Goddess Tanit on the other side. Since the goal of the winery was to make “exquisite wines, something truly beautiful and a little hard to come by: in short something of a ‘rare cat’” this was a perfect symbol and name.

Rare Cat Wines – The love of wine began in Bordeaux

Sharon Harris is the owner and director of winemaking, and her passion for wine started over 30 years ago. She spent her junior year abroad in France where Sharon studied at the Universite de Bordeaux. Years later, armed with a remarkable Bordeaux experience, she returned to the states to Napa Valley and founded Rare Cat Wines.

“Creating wine is so much more than cultivating and bottling great fruit. It really is a passion. It’s a passion that drives us to create something rare and exquisite, something elusive, but something that once discovered remains with you forever,”  says Sharon Harris.

Tasting of Two Rare Cat Wines

Rare CatWe were honored to taste these two wines from Rare Cat Winery:

  •  2010 Russian River Valley R.Cat Chardonnay: Ginger root, spicy pear, pineapple, lemon curd backed by hint of minerality with a creamy yet lively texture. 
  • 2011 Napa Valley R.Cat Cabernet Sauvignon: Soft yet powerful tannins with characteristics of blackberries, mint, leather and wet stone.

Most everyone agreed that their favorite was the Rare Cat Cabernet Sauvignon.