Estate 1856 wines now available for tasting at Cellars of Sonoma!
After six vintages and countless hours spent daydreaming about it, we are thrilled to announce that we finally have a tasting room!
Our Bordeaux-style varietals are now available for tasting at Cellars of Sonoma, a cooperative tasting room in our charming hometown of Healdsburg, CA. Located downtown, just off the plaza, Cellars of Sonoma features wines from a handful of small, high-end, family wineries.
Winemaker Janice Schmidt, with Scott Jordan of Cellars of Sonoma
Prior to this, our small-production wines were only available online, making it impossible to meet our customers’ requests to taste the wine. Cellars of Sonoma now provides an opportunity for you to get to know our wines in a friendly and inviting atmosphere.
Cellars of Sonoma is located at 20 Matheson Street in Healdsburg, open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
This is an exciting time for the winery and we’re so happy to share this news with you.
We look forward to raising a glass of Estate 1856 with you soon!
Inspired by our recent participation at the California Artisan Cheese Festival (so many great cheeses at this fun event!), we sat down and pondered the influence of cheese on the perception of wine. We thought we’d focus on cheeses that are traditionally paired with deeply flavored red wines, specifically aged cheeses with some acidity, but then ventured into some aged sheep and goat cheese, to add some fun to the tasting.
Overall, we found that very young and fresh cheeses were best paired with the fresh flavors of approachable white and sparkling wines. With more complex white wines and medium bodied red wines, we liked medium aged dryer and more complex cheeses. More dense, aged cheeses, with more developed flavors, were complemented nicely by the richness and depth of flavorful and robust red wines like the ones we make. Here are a few cheeses we liked, that we thought be great alongside our own Estate 1856 wines.
Estate 1856 – 2013 MALBEC
Robust dark toned aromas offer hints of ripe berries woven with mocha and chocolate, but don’t disclose the delicious treat that follows. The velvety entry flows into a round mouthfeel and spicy texture that burst with flavors while caressing the palate. Lush blueberry and huckleberry mingle with traces of blackberry and baking spices, while a touch of violet joins the fruit near the long finish. Seamlessly integrated tannins and vanillin oak add structure and dimension to this concentrated beauty.
MIDNIGHT MOON by Cypress Grove – a smooth, nutty yet slightly crunchy aged goat milk cheese that allowed us to focus on the incredible fruit in the Malbec while allowing a smoothness and creaminess on the palate!
Estate 1856 – 2013 PETIT VERDOT
Savor the captivating aromatics of concentrated blackberry with traces of dark chocolate, caramel, fresh ground coffee, and coconut. The silken entry and lush monthfeel showcase layers of delicious dark berry and creamy mocha, along with hints of ripe dark cherry, Valrhona chocolate, and restrained black pepper. Supple tannins and fine-grained oak remain in the background, providing structure without interfering with the luscious, elegant flavors.
PURPLE MOON by Fiscalini Cheese Co. – a creamy cheddar cheese soaked in wine that enhanced the incredible fruit in the Petit Verdot and created complementary creaminess on the palate.
Estate 1856 – 2013 DUVALL’S PROSPECT Bordeaux Blend
Enticing aromas of ripe berries mingle with a hint of fine herbs and a mineral essence. A concentrated, velvety entry is infused with layers of black raspberry, dark cherry, currant, and a hint of blueberry. Dark chocolate, creamy coffee, and just a trace of eucalyptus appear mid-palate as the flavors expand and linger. Supple tannins and gentle oak notes are found among the flavors, staying in the background yet lending structure and weight to the wine.
BLACKSTONE by Bellweather Farms – a blended cow and sheep milk aged cheese covered with a thin coat of black pepper..earthy, peppery, spicy with lots of yummy that stood up to the complexity of this wine!
In the end, it comes down to what you most enjoy sipping and tasting…so pay a visit to your local cheesemonger, open your favorite bottle of Estate 1856, and bon appetit!
Most people assume that harvest ends once the grapes come off the vine. However, that’s just the starting point. The wine industry takes a longer view and considers “harvest” to be the series of steps that turn the wine grapes into stable wine, involving not one, but two separate fermentations.
- Step 1: Wine grapes are removed from the vine, or “harvested,” and taken to the winery.
- Step 2: The grapes are crushed and the crushed fruit, called “must,” has yeast and yeast nutrients added.
- Step 3: The yeast ferments the grape sugars into heat, carbon dioxide and alcohol.
- Step 4: The “must” is pressed after there is no more sugar left to ferment.
- Step 5: The new wine is put into barrels and freeze-dried malolactic (ML) bacteria is added to complete the secondary ML fermentation.
- Step 6: ML fermentation transforms malic acid to softer lactic acid, and the wine is pumped out of the barrel, then racked off the gross lees. The wine can now be considered stable and only then will “harvest” be complete!
The wine grapes we harvested this fall are currently undergoing the secondary ML fermentation, (Step 5), which typically takes 4 – 8 weeks to complete. Once the wine is racked, we will blend it, adjust the SO2, and then the wine begin can begin its barrel aging.
The video below shows Janice tasting each barrel after pressing and ML inoculation, (Steps 4 & 5), to make sure each barrel is quietly fermenting.
For the second year in a row, one of our wines has been named to Sonoma Magazine’s 100 Best Wines of Sonoma!
The publication selected our 2013 Malbec as one of the county’s best – an incredible honor, especially when you consider the sheer number of amazing wines coming out of Sonoma today. We’re thrilled to be included among so many distinguished wineries; congratulations to all!
Bottled in July of 2015 and released earlier this year, our 2013 Malbec has received a number of accolades, including:
BEST OF CLASS & DOUBLE GOLD
2016 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
95 POINTS & GOLD MEDAL
2016 Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge
2015 Grand Harvest Awards
Wine writer and reviewer, Linda Murphy, had this to say about the wine:
Estate 1856 Wines
2013 Tzabaco Rancho Vineyards Dry Creek Valley Malbec
Brian and Janice Schmidt (she’s the winemaker) won gold and achieved 95 points at the NCWC with this brawny, dense wine with blackberry, blueberry and mulberry flavors accented by chocolate, vanilla and baking spice.
The tannins are quite firm, suggesting a year or more of bottle age will reward the patient. (LM)
Check out this great article yourself in the online issue of The 2016 100 Best Wines of Sonoma…our review is located on page A109!