saltwater sommelier

Posts Tagged ‘Napa Valley’

“Summer in Sonoma” Wine Dinner

In Sommelier Corner on April 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm

BR Cohn Winery

One of the most amazing things about wine country in California is its diverse landscape, ever changing as you go from county to county. Traveling through counties like Mendocino, Lake County, and Napa make any wine lover long for a life on the vineyard. Each area, one more beautiful than the last, has plenty to offer from its valleys to its rivers, and its mountains to its coastlines. Having spent much time enjoying much of California’s wine country I am always compelled to return to that one place that feels so comfortable. Anything north of San Francisco is God’s country to me, but most of all I have grown to love Sonoma and I really love it in the summer time. Sonoma County is the home of many wonderful little towns like Healdsburg, Petaluma, Santa Rosa, and Sebastopol all just a little more than 1 hour north of San Francisco. Directly in the center of Sonoma Valley, are the beautiful B.R. Cohn Winery, and their Olive Hill Vineyard. Protected on the west by the Sonoma Mountains, which is its buffer to coastal fog, the valley floor is about 7-10 degrees warmer in the daytime. Less fog plus warmer daytime temperatures  along with its natural underground hot springs, creates a naturally frost free environment, and a longer growing season than other areas. B.R. Cohn was started in the early 1970’s by owner Bruce Cohn who sold his grapes to many other big name vineyards in Napa and Sonoma until 1984 when he started to produce his own wine with his own label. Now 25 plus years later the B.R. Cohn Estate has become one of the area’s largest Vineyards, producing many of Sonoma’s most sought after wines. Still the original owner, Mr. Cohn has a love for both wine and music, and at his vineyard he gets to enjoy both. Before getting involved with wine Bruce was the Manager of the very popular 70,s band, The Doobie Brothers. Every year Bruce hosts a fall charity music Festival at his Vineyard with numerous legendary bands and performers raising lots of money for The Valley of The Moon Children’s Foundation. If you get to visit the estate someday, I am sure you will enjoy seeing the lush vineyard of Picholine olive trees that were imported from France, and are used in the bottling of B.R.Cohn’s gourmet food, vinegar and Olive Oil Company.

The Litchfield Saltwater Grille is pleased to announce that on Sunday June 5th 2011 at 3:30 pm we will be hosting our first B.R.Cohn wine dinner in 3 years. It is planned to be held on both our newly redecorated outdoor patio, and in our main dining room. The afternoon will include a “Sonoma Summer Welcome Table” of fresh cheeses, flatbreads and California crostinis upon arrival to be paired with B.R.Cohns new release of their single vineyard Chardonnay, 2009 Sanglacomo.

Being as famous as the SWG is for its seafood we had to include an “East Coast/West Coast” Raw Bar as the second course, with lots of specialty shellfish and seafood delights from both sides of the USA. B.R.Cohn’s Russian River Pinot Noir is just the right taste to pair with this fresh and fun seafood selection. Both these wines will be available to enjoy with the first two courses.

Now that were settled into our seats for the afternoon our salad course of Heirloom Yellow and Red Tomatoes with California fresh fried Artichoke Hearts will go perfect with the Sonoma Zinfandel that B.R.Cohn produces. It compliments Chef Albert’s Famous “White Balsamic Herbal Vinaigrette” wonderfully,which is available retail at the SWG.  Main Course choices will be a either a wonderful Crab Crusted Filet of Sole, fresh citrus sauce and Grilled Zephyr Squash or a Wood Fired, Dry Rubbed Sliced Filet Mignon with Rich Raspberry Merlot Glaze and Vella Cheese Company Dry Aged Monterey Jack.   Our pastry chef never wants to be left out so all the stops have been pulled for us to enjoy a selection of homemade treats that would make any cellar worker happy. Lemon Panna Cotta with Pepita Brittle and homemade Wine Country Cookies will start the list. Topping off our wonderful evening we are pleased to be able to offer a rare gem on the east coast, a special tasting of B.R.Cohn’s Olive Hill Port.

Seats for this very rare event can be obtained by speaking with Brett Clugston at the Litchfield Saltwater Grille, 860-567-4900. There are a limited amount of seats so please reserve early. The price is $78.00 per person plus tax and service Charge. All food and unlimited wine is included.

I have enjoyed visiting the B.R. Cohn vineyard in Sonoma many times.  This is the best way for us at the Saltwater Grille to bring to you the pleasures we have enjoyed here in Litchfield.

Cellar Master, Chef, Blog Writer, Albe Galotta


2007 California Cabernet Sauvignon “Hit’s the Mark”

In Sommelier Corner on March 6, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Everything seemed to go right that year, just enough rain, the growing season was just the right length, and the yield was just perfect. All over California, throughout every region, growing grapes and making wine turned out great that year. As for Cabernet Sauvignon it looks like 2007 has turned out one of the best vintages in the last 15 to 20 years. And what’s great about this year, 2011 is that all the 2007 Cabernets are being released and now available in the local stores.

The 2007 California Cabernets have all the flavors, tastes and smells associated with the great Cabernets of the past. Rich Plum and Cherry fruit, Vanilla, Mocha and leather, and just enough spice of currants and earth. Best of all these still young Cabernets are perfect to enjoy right now or lay them down for their exceptional aging potential.

Top wine producers in the Napa Valley scored very high points with all the big wine critics and wine magazines. Vineyards like Schrader, Colgin, Hundred Acre and Joseph Phelps all scored between 97 and 100 points with their 2007 Cabernets.

While looking through your local wine shop shelves you might want to keep an eye out for some of these wonderful selections. My first recommendation is the Summers Estate Andriana’s Cuvee, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2007. Revealing a bouquet of sweet black cherries, plum, earth and spice, this medium-bodied, seductive red is ready for drinking now or great to enjoy over the next decade. If you’re looking for a highly aromatic Cabernet, seek out the 2007 Beaulieu Vineyard, Maestro Series, from Napa Valley. This wine is full of violets, cassis and blackberries with a hint of licorice to finish. With all this flavor and taste this gem is perfect for that special dinner keeping the $65.00 price tag in mind. Both Hall Vineyard and Far Niente in Napa have released their 2007 Cabernets to rave reviews both scoring 93 points and more from the top critics. Another special occasion wine from the 2007 vintage is the Anderson’s Conn Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, a full bodied deep red that evokes the quality and finesse of this great vintage  My value pick for this category goes to the Chateau Souverain vineyard for their Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007. This lush wine drinks like a much more pricy Cabernet with a more than fair retail price of about $14.00.

When great vintages like the  2007 hit the stores many savvy buyers stock up on their favorites planning to enjoy some now and over the next year or so, but also to put a few cases away so they can age them and enjoy the fine wine they become. If you have the luxury of being able to cellar some now you will have the pleasure of drinking them when they are no longer available in the market. Great vintages like this are what wine lovers are looking for. Take advantage of the market while you can and enjoy yourself all the way to the cellar. Oh yah I also just heard the 2008 vintage from California is going to be amazing. Who knows, but I can’t wait to find out.

Albe Galotta… Wine cellar Master, Chef

Many of these wineries and vintages can be found on the wine list at The Litchfield Saltwater Grille