WOW!! It’s been awhile since my last blog post! I got kinda busy with harvest. What a great looking vintage this year! All of Passaggio’s fruit is in and all I can say is “Whew!”
It seems to me that this harvest was fast and furious. Everything wanted to come in at once. The only thing I had to wait on was the Barbera. Now we can breathe a little while everything gets through fermentation and pressing. I can’t wait to see how this vintage turns out. I believe it’s going to be great.
I brought in Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauv Blanc, Rousanne, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Tempranillo, Mourvedre, Merlot, and Barbera.
Next up – bottling in February!!
Here we are…in the thick of harvest!!! Phoebe will be 11 weeks old this Thursday!! The Sonoma Tasting Room is doing great! The San Francisco Tasting Room is doing great! The 2014 Harvest looks great! Have I said the word “great” yet…? I have been known to say “awesome” a lot…(thought I’d change it up a bit 😉
Just a bit tired but will keep you posted on this “awesome” harvest (there’s that word) – So far I have brought in Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauv Blanc, Rousanne, and some Pinot Noir. It’s looking good!!!
If you get a chance, stop by the Sonoma Tasting Room. We are pouring some “great” wines. Open today (Sept 15th) from 12-6pm…
Cheers to a “great” harvest
If you love Pinot Noir you probably have heard of the PinotReport. It’s a wonderful newsletter written and published by Greg Walter, former Wine Spectator Editor. Greg calls himself the writer, taster, editor, publisher and chief bottle and wine glass washer for PinotReport. In 1981, Greg took a job as an editorial assistant for The Wine Spectator. He had a 14 year career with them, rising from editorial assistant to senior editor and ultimately serving six years as the magazine’s president. He left The Wine Spectator in 1994. He has since written a book and been a consulting editor and publisher for several magazines through his firm, The Carneros Group.
As I read the first line of the PinotReport, I knew it was something special. He says that his fascination with a great Pinot Noir is as much about the people involved in making the wine, the wine regions, and the foods that match well at the table. – in short, the lifestyle surrounding the wines. (sound familiar…?) If you’d like to read the PinotReport newsletter you must have a subscription. You can subscribe here.
I sent Greg a bottle of the Passaggio 2012 UNMARKED Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir a few months back for review. I have held my breath ever since (well, not literally but you get the picture) Much to my surprise, I received an email this week stating that my Pinot Noir had been reviewed in the PinotReport. Needless to say, I was a bit apprehensive to open the email. When I did, I was very surprised and humbled. The Passaggio 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot got a 92.
There is nothing like getting together with wonderful friends. This video displays the fantastic evening with wonderful friends, great food, and awesome wines. Passaggio Wines loves these small intimate gatherings…I think we will do more of them 😉
My good friend, Dan Goderis, better known as the Iowa Wino, contacted me a couple of months ago to do a talk radio show. I was excited to do it but then when the show was to air, I wasn’t available. We finally were able to put the show together yesterday. Wouldn’t you know it, Dan called and said his computer shut down and he was having a hard time rebooting it. 😉 Ain’t technology grand?
I waited and waited – listening to that interesting music (well, maybe not so interesting LOL) and finally Dan was able to get his computer to work. I wish I could have seen him behind the scenes… 😉
This is what he said on his blog page. “All I can say is that old groundhog better never show his face around me. Right before we are going live for this weeks BlogTalk Radio show my internet and power glitch turned this relatively calm individual into 2 year old tantrum mode. Not only would nothing boot up quickly but it appeared it wanted to mess with me and start loading all sorts of updates. Note to self screaming at the router and laptop does not help nor does threatening to throw it in the foot of snow outside. Yes and while this was going on it was snowing outside and the poor winemaker was on hold thinking “I agreed to do what?” With music clips wiped out and the opening vanished we managed to duct tape the show together and had a fun little time. Thanks Cindy for being such a sport.
I invite you to listen and learn more about me…here’s the link CellarCast with Passaggio Wines
Cooking with The Sassy Kitchen – Passaggio Pinot Noir Braised Lamb Shanks
This evening with The Sassy Kitchen was so much fun, and a lot of people are waiting for this recipe!! So here we go…straight from The Sassy Kitchen.
4 Lamb Hind Shanks. 4 to 5 pounds total weight. *
3 Large Carrots
2 Large Stalks Celery
1 Small Yellow Onion
1 Small White Onion
5 Cloves Garlic
12 Oz Tomato Paste
4 Cups Water
2 Cups Passaggio Unmarked Code Seven 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Tsp Chopped Fresh Rosemary
8 to 10 Sprigs Fresh Thyme**
4 Bay Leaves
Salt and Pepper
Heavy, well sealing Dutch Oven.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Give the carrots, celery and onions a rough chop and smash the garlic cloves. Put them in the food processor. Chop until you have a chunky “paste”. Set aside.
Put flour in a bowl and season well with salt and pepper.
Coat Dutch Oven liberally with olive oil and place on the stove over medium high heat. You want a HOT pan.
Dry Lamb Shanks with paper towels then coat them with flour. When the pan is hot, work in batches. Be sure not to crowd the meat and steam it – not brown it. Brown the meat well. Take the time to get it browned well on all sides. Set aside to rest and cool just slightly.
Drain the fat from the pan. You really don’t want all that extra meat fat in this dish. Add a little more olive oil to the pan and then add the vegetable mixture and salt and pepper to taste. This should be sort of searing as well. Cook while stirring for 15 to 20 minutes. You’ll want them brown but not burned. Move it to one side of the pan and add the tomato paste. Let this “brown” too. You will see it go to a richer deeper red. Stir both the vegetables and the tomato paste, separately for about 5 minutes and then blend them together.
Reduce heat to medium, add the Passaggio Pinor Noir and stir well. Let the wine reduce for a few minutes. Add the rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and water. Stir until well blended.
Place the lamb shanks in the pot. They should be almost totally covered. Place the lid on the Dutch Oven and put it in the oven. Total cook time is about 3 hours. Check and turn the lamb shanks in an hour and a half. If the liquid has reduced too much, add some water. (Skim fat if needed)
I served the lamb shanks over roasted garlic and olive oil mashed potatoes. I got the recipe from watching Lidia’s Italy. Click here for the link to Lidia’s garlic and olive oil mashed potatoes.
For the plating I also added some Chardonnay carrots. (recipe coming soon)
** For the Thyme, either tie with kitchen twine so you can easily pull the stems out OR remove the leaves from the stems and toss them in.
***I was serving the next day so I transferred them to a smaller, cool pot and refrigerated them overnight. They reheated well the next day. About 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven and they were up to temperature and ready.
Harvest has finally settled down. We have a few things still fermenting but all is well. The grapes looked fantastic this year! I’m predicting another great vintage! I am looking forward to sharing this vintage with you!
Here are just a few photos from Harvest 2013 – Enjoy