Tuesday, August 2, 2011

St. Francis Wines Review

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Hey, all you wine lovers have you tried St. Francis Wines?   Their wines are excellent!  For this review I received one bottle of 2009 Sonoma County Chardonnay and one bottle of 2008 Sonoma County Old Vines Zinfandel.  My favorite was the Chardonnay, but the Zinfandel was pretty awesome! 

I had a get together last Saturday and I had to let my guests try the wines, they loved them!  They are very flavor-able, tasty and great to serve your guests!

About the 2008 Sonoma County Old Vines Zinfandel

The grapes in their Sonoma County Old Vine Zinfandel comes from vineyards in Russian River Valley, Sonoma Valley and Dry Creek Valley.  These vines range in age from 55 to 100 years old, producing low yields of fruit with highly concentrated, intense flavors.

All grapes are hand-picked, gently de-stemmed and crushed before cold soaking for three days to extract optimal color and flavor.  The fruit is then inoculated with many different yeast strains to build complexity, then fermented in separate lots using a combination of pumpovers and delestage to soften tannins. Secondary malolactic fermentation occurs in 50% American and 50% French oak barrels - 25% of which are new.

A classic old vine Zinfandel that pays tribute to its heritage, this wine offers aromas of cigar box, raspberry, pepper and spice,. Flavors of ripe black cherry and vanilla bean are followed by a long luscious finish.

About the 2009 Sonoma County Chardonnay

An ideal growing season with mild summer temperatures, 2009 produced exceptional fruit.  After a dry winter and budbreak in early March, heavy rains in May gave the soil much needed moisture.  After two weeks of warm, sunny days, the weather cooled to below normal temperatures that lasted throughout the summer.  With none of the usual heat spikes, the fruit ripened slowly, developing focuses flavors and complexity.

The grapes in their Sonoma County Chardonnay comes from their estate vineyards in Sonoma Valley and Russian River Valley, as well as from growers in Sonoma County's other top appellations, including Carneros and Alexander Valley.  Each carefully selected vineyard contributes distinctive and individual qualities to the finished wine.

The fruit for this Chardonnay is picked at night to preserve the wine's delicate flavors, aromas and acidity.  Grapes are pressed 100% whole cluster and fermented in different lots.  Aging occurs for six months in 75% French and 25% American oak barrels, with lees stirred by hand to achieve a rich and lush mouthfeel.  This wine undergoes 100% malolactic fermentation.

Aromas of fresh melon combine with hints of hazelnut and citrus.  This medium-bodied Sonoma County Chardonnay displays fresh flavors of butterscotch and pineapple, followed by crisp acidity and a rich, lingering finish.

‘Turn Up the Heat’ Photo Contest

Sonoma County pioneer St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, known for big, bold and full-bodied wines, gets summer grilling off to a seasonally fresh start Friday, July 1, with their second annual ‘Savor the Flavor’ grilling campaign.  Celebrity chef Dave Lieberman joins their flavor-forward initiative sharing his expert grilling techniques and offering meal-enhancing St. Francis wine pairings in a free, down-loadable ‘Fast and Flavorful Guide to Grilling’.  Grilling fanatics, confident in their favorite bold-flavored recipes, will welcome the return of the ‘Turn Up The Heat’ photo contest for a chance to win an epicurean adventure at St. Francis Winery and claim the coveted title of St. Francis Grill Master.

Grilling enthusiasts and novices alike will find a variety of resources at StFrancisSavorTheFlavor.com; recommended tools for the grill, techniques to maximize flavors, tips on wine and food pairing and chef Lieberman’s favorite fast recipes.  The St. Francis ‘Fast and Flavorful Guide to Grilling’ is a condensed information-packed reference guide created by chef Lieberman and available exclusively on this website.  “My approach to food is simple,” says chef Lieberman, “I strive for straight-forward, really tasty recipes with a twist for people with busy lives.  The St. Francis ‘Savor the Flavor’ campaign shares my love for bold, hot-off-the-grill foods and offers insider tips to extracting the most flavors in minimal time.” He added, “I’m hopeful participants will apply these techniques in the ‘Turn Up the Heat’ photo contest.”

Wine lovers, passionate cooks and food photography aces nationwide can enter the ‘Turn Up the Heat’ photo contest.  Starting July 1, entrants can post original, mouth-watering images to the winery’s Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/stfrancissavortheflavor/, accompanied by captions illustrating how their smoky flavors are maximized with any St. Francis varietal.  Creativity is encouraged, as is classic and innovative interpretations of grilled food and daring St. Francis wine pairings.  St. Francis Winery President and CEO Christopher Silva admits, “Last year’s campaign taught me that grilling is, unquestionably, the best way to draw out succulent, bold flavors with just a few ingredients.  I’m looking forward to learning new ideas from this year’s entrants.”

St. Francis Winery will be on Facebook and Twitter, answering questions and inspiring consumers to show off their grilling masterpieces paired with its bold varietals.  A master panel of food and wine experts, including chef Lieberman, will determine the winners of the top three prizes in September.  Silva concludes, “We look forward to consumers experimenting with the full-flavors of grilled cuisine and our wines, handcrafted from 100% hand-picked Sonoma County fruit.”

For more information on St. Francis wines, the ‘Turn Up The Heat’ photo contest, chef Lieberman’s approach to grilling and more, head over to www.StFrancisSavorTheFlavor.com.   Submission Deadline: August 31, 2011

About St. Francis Wines

For over 35 years, St. Francis Winery has produced top quality varietal wines from superior mountain and valley vineyards in Sonoma County's best appellations and earned a reputation for bold-flavored, fruit-forward wines that showcase the terroir and varied microclimates unique to Sonoma.

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 A product  SAMPLE was received for review.  I was not paid in any form of cash for this posting.  The opinions expressed are my own and were NOT influenced in any way.

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