Friday Winedown – Crazy-Good California Juice

It’s going to be one helluva’ Winedown this Friday my friends.  If you like California wines that taste twice as good as they cost, you should make it a point to come by. We will be sampling nothing but small production, hand crafted wines from all over the Golden State, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.  The tasting runs from 4 to 7 p.m. and the cost is just $5 to sample 8 delicious wines and light palate cleansers will be served as well.

John O’Shea from Juice Wine Purveyors will be on-hand to pour and tell you about all of the wines. Come and try them and buy them before these folks get the recognition and press that is inevitably coming their way.  In short, come and try and buy before the prices go way up. Here’s the lineup:

1. 2011 L’Oliveto Sauvignon Blanc “Louvau Vineyard” – A 600 case production, Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc that will make your head spin.  Lime, peach, pea shoot and herbs – buy a bottle and head to the nearest Thai restaurant, as this one loves spicy fare.

2. 2010 Bench Chardonnay – Just 112 cases of this brilliant, clean, Chablis-like Chardonnay were produced from vineyards in the Russian River Valley.  It sees little oak treatment leaving us with a clean, lemony-crisp, refreshing style of Chardonnay.  Great with all types of seafood.

3. 2010 L’Oliveto Chardonnay – 600 cases on this Russian River Valley Chardonnay.  This one does see a little more oak, but it’s still bright and fresh.  Baked, spiced apple, citrus, vanilla and creme brulée notes galore.  Perfect with or without food.

4. 2011 Bench Pinot Noir – If I remember correctly, this one comes in at about 1,800 cases, and it is a “killer” as my friend George Lowe likes to say.  All Sonoma Coast fruit coming from the Sangiacomo Vineyard, this will soon be replacing the very popular Bonaccorsi Pinot Noir which ran out.  Smells like cherry pie dusted with nutmeg and vanilla bean.

5. 2010 Cyprus Pinot Noir – 381 cases for the entire world! This is basically the reserve bottling of the Bench Pinot Noir, as it comes from a block of older, lower yielding vines.  It will make your head spin with notes of cherry liqueur, exotic spices and a silken texture.

6. 2010 Trim Cabernet Sauvignon – About 3,000 cases of this extreme value Cab were produced for the vintage.  This is the latest project from veteran Napa producer Ray Signorello, and he and his team source great fruit from sites in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino.  It is medium to full in style with notes of ripe black cherry, raspberry, cinnamon, clove and toasty oak.

7. 2010 Bench Cabernet Sauvignon – Just over 1,500 cases for this one from benchland sites in Alexander Valley.  It is a lot of wine for the money showcasing lovely dark berry fruit, firm tannin, cedar and spice box.  Drink now with steak or cellar for up to 10 years.

8. 2009 Orin Swift Zinfandel “Saldo” – Orin Swift makes plenty of this wine, but it is consistently superb.  Winemaker Dave Phinney sources fruit from the Zin sites of Northern California to make this wine, and it is a boisterous, fruit and spice filled, hedonistic delight.

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