Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Wine Closet

Terry post:

I envy people (like my brother) who have a huge wine cellar. While he has not yet filled that space, I have no doubt that he will shortly be looking for more storage space.

On the other hand, do not have a wine cellar: I have a wine closet. Thanks to Ikea I have four low-price metal wine racks in my bedroom closet. Once people find out that select wines for a fine dining restaurant, I am occasionally asked what kind of wine I own. Well, you didn't ask but here is a listing of what I hold in alphabetical order. Please note: I don't own cases of any of these and in several instances only own one bottle.

  • Château de Beaucastel, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 2005. I own one bottle which I'll save for a few years.
  • Cline, Zinfandel, 2003. Good everyday zin.
  • Les Frères Couillaud, Chardonnay Vin de Pays du Jardin de la France Domaine de Bernier, 2007. I have bought this since the 2004 vintage and found it to be an awesome value in a French white selling for around $10 at retail. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
  • Fireside Winery, Hearthside Red, 2007. I have already written about it.
  • Ferraton Père & Fils, Côtes du Rhône-Villages Plan de Dieu, 2007. Hold three bottles will open in a couple of years. When I tasted it, it was "tight" but not overly so for a Cotes du Rhone - I am hopeful for a great wine.
  • L'Illuminata, Barbera d'Alba Colbertina, 2002. Awful wine. Awful. Awful. Awful.
  • La Crema, Russian River Valley Chardonnay, 2002. Past it's prime. Still good, but no longer great.
  • La Creama, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 2002. One of the very few wines in which I could taste the soil - this is no exageration.
  • Dr. Loosen, Riesling Kabinett Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Graacher Himmelreich, 2005. Oranges, blossom and citrus. Will drink very soon.
  • Monte Antico, Toscana, 2004. Value priced, food-friendly Italian red. Humble but good.
  • Bernard Morey, Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot, 2006. The 2005 was lively and elegant - lemon on the nose and a lovely wheat color. Have not tasted the 2006 yet.
  • Castelo do Papa, Godello, 2005. Great value. Wonderful with fish.
  • Morgan, Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands Double L Vineyard, 2004. Best pinot noir I have ever tasted.
  • Purple Silo, Various Iowa varietals, 2008. Crazy winemaker enduring floods and subzero winters.
  • Ridge, Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains Santa Cruz Mountain Estate, 2005. Best American chardonnay I have ever tasted.
  • Ridge, Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Lytton Springs, 2003. Ridge has never let me down.
  • Ridge, Zinfandel Russian River Valley Ponzo Vineyard, 2005. Ridge has never let me down.
  • St.-Cosme, Côtes du Rhône White, 2006. Underappreciated white. Can't remember what I paid for it, but I think it was a good deal. If you find Cotes du Rhone whites: buy them.
  • Tardieu-Laurent, Côtes du Rhône Guy Louis, 2004 and 2005. My current favorite overall wine.
  • Yalumba, Shiraz-Viognier Barossa Hand Picked, 2005. Full flavored but not over-powering. The viognier rounds the shiraz edge. Lots of fruit and a nearly overwhelming nose.

I freely admit that I am able to aquire hard-to-find wines from our wine reps which has allowed to be buy a trophy wine, or two. I have missed some great ones despite having been affored the opportunity to buy them before they got famous - Molly Dooker comes to mind.

I have a bias against wines like Opus One and Silver Oak which make a fine product, but not so great a product to demand the significant premium. And, I take my greatest joy in finding the low priced gems.

If you have a wine that I should be tasting: let me know.

~ Terry


  1. My name is Kara and I work in a wine bar in Sacramento, CA. I am a HUGE wine geek. I have several different certifications in wine studies (Certified Wine Professional from the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, Advanced Certificate from WSET and I am currently starting the sommelier courses through the CMS). Anyway I am very lucky to have a boyfriend with quite an amazing collection of wine. Wines you should be tasting are Pinot Noirs from Anderson Valley in the North Coast of California. They are more acidic and not nearly as voluptuous as Santa Lucia wines, but beautifully balanced and full of earthy deliciousness. The wines are not always cheap however. On the lower price end, look for Navarro and Londer. Harder to find and pricier (try winebid.com) are Littorai and anything William Selyem makes - Anderson Valley or not. Anything from the Hirsch vineyard is likely to be pricey but spectacular. If you like your Pinot a little bigger, look for 2002s. Hope that gives you some ideas. Happy Hunting!
    -Kara Sheffield

  2. kara,

    thanks for the recommendation.

    we used to carry londer and flowers - for the moment, i can't remember why the fell off the wine list.