2007 Secolo

Sonoma Red Blend

$35.00 a bottle

A few weeks ago I was invited out for a private tasting at Sebastiani Winery in Sonoma, California by James Marshall Berry @Winotone on twitter. I think I literally almost tried everything they had that day. James so generously spoiled me with their flights of Chardonnay, Pinot, Zinfandel, and Cabernert Sauvignon all from Sonoma County. Sebastiani’s wine making all began nine years after Samuele Sebastiani emigrated from Tuscany in 1895. As a stone mason he worked long hours to save enough money to buy land in Sonoma County to make wine. Sebastiani Winery was the only Sonoma County winery to stay operating through prohibition, making wine in small amounts for medical and religious uses. Today Sabastiani is operating under Bill Foley an entrepreneur who acquired the winery in 2008. The grounds of Sebastiani are beautiful and I found they make some pretty great wines as well. I was very excited to find a new, great Sonoma County red blend to blog. Sebastiani’s “Secolo” meaning century, is a bordeaux-style blended red wine. This 2007 Secolo is a pefect blend of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petite Verdot, 8% Malbec, 8% Merlot, and 1% Petite Sirah. Secolo has huge aromas of blackberries and blue berries with a hint of coco. First tasting dark berries, lots of spice and finishing with a musty light chocolate cherry. A very rich bold blend complex in flavors but very surprisingly elegant. Definitely a great example of an awesome Sonoma County Cabernet blend. This wine was given 92 points in June of 2011 from Wine Spectator. This bottle is great to enjoy now but has the potential to really improve with time if you are disciplined enough to wait. If venturing to Sonoma, be sure to make a stop at Sebastiani Winery to taste their wine and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to meet James Marshall Berry @Winotone.

I attended a perfect pairing event yesterday in Healdsburg, California. This pairing event was of oysters and wines, held at a little gem in the wine country right on the Healdsburg Plaza called “Vintage Wine Estates”. The pairing of local Tomales Bay oysters and Sonoma County wines was superb! When I fist arrived I was greeted with live music and a little sparkling.

Our first pairing called “Pink & Sassy” was with an 07 SCV “Sea Fog Cuvee” Blanc de Noirs paired with Hog Island Kumamoto and a sassy pink mignonette. Our second pairing was called “Fresh Kiss” paired a 2010 Windsor Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc from the Russian River Valley and a Tomales Bay Miyagi with a classic rice wine mignonette. The next pairing called “Purely Naked” was definitely my favorite pairing. A 2010 SCV Sauvignon Blanc Laguna Vista with a Hog Island Kumamoto with a naked mignonette. The oyster literally melted in my mouth. Fourth pairing called “Tropical Thrill” was an 09 Windsor Sonoma Chardonnay Russian River Valley pairing with a Hog Island Kumamoto in a mango chutney mignonette. The last pairing that day finished off sweet, hence the name “Sweet Finale”. A 2009 Windsor Vineyards Muscat Canelli pairing with a Hog Island Kumamoto with a mango chutney, naked mignonette. Vintage Wine Estates was truly an awesome way to spend a Saturday afternoon in the wine country. A must stop on the Healdsburg Plaza.


2007 Napa Valley

Vino de Casa

$20.00 a bottle

I was invited to come out last month to Ceja Vineyards in Napa Valley, California. to attend a virtual wine dinner put on by Amelia Ceja and Chef Robin White @Canapes45. I am still so grateful to have been invited to such a special crazy event. To be there live at Ceja Winery while people from around the world joined in the cooking and pairing of Ceja’s wines was a pretty incredible experience. It was a pleasure to meet and spend an evening with winery owner Amelia Ceja. She is truly an amazing women. So full of spunk, charisma, and kindness. Amelia’s joy of life is so contagious. I also got the pleasure of meeting and sharing wine that night with the wine maker Armando Ceja. I Really enjoyed our conversation that night, Armando was so willing to share his knowledge of wine making and teaching more about the Carneros region. I felt honored that he wanted my input on his wines and really was interested in what I thought of them.

This virtual dinner was by far one of the best wine events that I have attended. That night I was able to try their wines paired with exquisite dishes. One bottle that night really stood out among the rest, Ceja’s 2007 Vino de Casa. I had never tasted a red blend of this make up before. A blend of 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Syrah, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 23 months in a variety of oak barrels. I instantly became a fan. This red blend has complexity and spice but yet is light and smooth in the finish. Amelia told me she calls this, “Her breakfast, lunch, and dinner wine.” The aromas of this blend are of strong red cherry and dark fruits. First tasting cherry, plum, and light blueberry, then finishing with spice and light carmel. An extremely tasty wine. Ceja’s Vino de Casa red blend is truly a gem from the Napa Valley especially at its price point. Ceja Vineyards also makes many other great wines, Sparkling, White Blend, Sauvignon Blanc, Carneros Chardonnay, Dry Rose, Merlot, Syrah, Carneros and Sonoma Coast Pinot, Cabernet, and a Dessert wine.