Category Archives: Wines
It’s official…the 2009 Chardonnay is released and ready to enjoy!
Have you had a chance to try it yet? If so, what do you think?
Chateau Montelena Sauvignon Blanc deserves an ideal companion for pairing. Fresh lime, aromatic herbs, and shellfish compliment the bright palate and crisp finish of this varietal. For me, it’s a light lunch or first course of Bodega Bay Crab Vietnamese Spring Rolls. Our 2009 Sauvignon Blanc has a great acidity that champions both the citrus and the crunch in these delectable fresh rolls! No worries if you’re too far from Bodega – any fresh crabmeat rocks this dish, and so does shrimp. You can omit protein altogether for a veggie version-try adding sliced avocado! I use a spicy peanut sauce for dipping, but any Asian-inspired sauce (mango, lemon, or other prepared sauces) can boost your own kitchen creativity. These rolls take less than 30 minutes to make and plate if you have your ingredients prepped – but you do need to prepare them within 90 minutes of serving. Like sushi rolls, they will get soggy if you try to make them too far ahead.* The good news? Nutritious, delicious, low cal and a perfect match-up for our Chateau Montelena Sauvignon Blanc!
Serves 4 as a light lunch or 8 as an appetizer (makes 8 rolls)
- 1 cup shredded Napa cabbage
- 3/4 cup carrots, fine julienne
- 1/4 cup green onions, fine julienne
- ½ English cucumber, fine julienne
- ¼ cup snipped fresh cilantro, reserve whole leaves for garnish
- ¼ cup snipped fresh mint, reserve whole leaves for garnish
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 8 8-inch round spring roll wrappers
- 8 ounces fresh or frozen crab claw meat
- Prepared peanut sauce for dipping
- Juice of 1 lime
- For filling, in a large bowl combine cabbage, carrots, green onions, cucumber, cilantro and mint. Dissolve the sugar in the rice vinegar; combine with soy sauce. Toss lightly with the vegetables to coat.
- For the dipping sauce: in a small bowl stir together 1/2 cup of peanut sauce and juice of one lime; season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Place 1 cup of luke-warm water in a shallow dish. As you prepare each roll, dip each wrapper in warm water for 7-10 seconds until limp (as a cooked lasagna noodle). Place on damp dish towel for filling and rolling. Don’t over-soak; they will tear or rip if over-soaked.
- Center 1/3 cup of filling about 1 inch from bottom edge of one of the moistened spring roll wrappers. Top with 2 tablespoons crab meat. Driizzle with a bit of dipping sauce. Fold the bottom edge of the wrapper over the filling. Fold in sides. Gently, roll up tightly as you would a burrito, keeping filling snug. Repeat with remaining filling and spring roll wrappers. Cut in half on a diagonal; serve with dipping sauce. *Do-ahead tip: Prep all the veggies as early as the night before and submerge in ice water; drain well on paper towels before assembling the rolls.
Well, you get down the fiddle and you get down the bow,
Kick off your shoes and you throw ‘em on the floor.
Dance in the kitchen ’til the morning light:
Louisiana Saturday night…….
Montelena’s Estate Zinfandel truly is a versatile wine!
Thanks to my sister Hannah for sending me this picture!
Memorial Day weekend is fast approaching. Besides flying our flag in rememberance of our fallen soldiers and those who continue to protect us, I plan to spend time with my family and friends. What weekend celebrations do you have planned?
No, not referring to “The Rapture,” nor am I referring to The Governator’s Hollywood glory days; I’m talking about the famous day in Paris, 35 years ago today, when a few “kids from the sticks” beat the French at their own game. A tasting set up by Steven Spurrier, in Paris at the Intercontinental Hotel, made history when George Taber, a journalist for Time Magazine, documented this tasting. A group of judges, all French, and in esteemed professions in the food and wine industry, blindly picked the 1973 Chardonnay over the pack, including some top flight white Burgundies.
Not saying the French don’t make good wines. On the contrary, they are truly world class. What I am saying, and what this tasting showed, was that they’re not the only ones anymore!
Join me in a toast tonight, as we honor an important milestone in American history, with a glass of Chardonnay; and make it California…
Ok, so who said Summer is around the corner clearly is not living in Northern California! Wet, cold, and snow in Tahoe still? Just when you thought it was time to hang up the snowboards and break out the Cargo shorts, hold on there.
So the question is, will this affect 2011 harvest? I asked the experts (our dynamic duo of winemaker Cam Parry and his assistant, Matt Crafton), who gave me the assessment that bloom hasn’t happened yet, so we’re still good. Check back in two weeks…
We can all take a collective sigh of relief for now, and appreciate the respite from one of the worst hay fever seasons in years as the rain washes down some of those nasty nose irritants.
We’ve selected him as our winner to receive two VIP tickets to Franc&Blanc on June 25th. If you love this design, you’ll want to get your tickets to our summer party where there will be plenty more of Sean’s “Re-Imagined Chateau” for all party attendees to enjoy. Stay tuned…
Now that we’re in the second week of May, the sunshine is coming out of hibernation and we’re entering “patio season” when the warmer temperatures beg for refreshingly cool wines. The longer days mean I can come home, sit on the patio and relax while enjoying a glass (or two, let’s be honest) of one of my favorite summer whites – sauvignon blanc – as I unwind from the day and catch up with some of my favorite people. These days, I just want to stock up on all the the light, refreshing wines that I can get my hands on! I call them “patio wines” because these are the wines that make patio-sipping so enjoyable and usually bring about great memories. Very soon, we’ll be releasing our own 2010 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc which will likely become the summer wine for my house in 2011. If you’re curious to taste it, we’ll be pouring it for a patio party of our own on June 25th. So tell me, what’s the beverage that you stock up on so you can enjoy it all summer long?
Vintage 2007 of our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon represents the 30th bottling of the wine that fulfills Jim Barrett’s vision for excellence in winemaking. We thought it appropriate to offer a complete horizontal, six sizes from 375ml to 6 Liter, in the E-Auction of Auction Napa Valley coming up in early June. Each bottle is signed by Jim Barrett, and by Master Winemaker Bo Barrett. A cool add-on is that the case holding all the wine is constructed with reclaimed redwood removed during the renovation of the Private Residence in the Chateau. You can view the lot description here. One lucky bidder will get this treasure. Do you think we should make more for sale here at the winery? What do you think the auction lot will go for?
Recently I’ve had quite a few people ask me what is my favorite vintage of Montelena Estate Cabernet.
One of the great things about working at Montelena is that, as an employee, I’ve gotten a chance to taste almost ever vintage of Estate Cabernet since we started making it in 1978. I’ve definitely tasted all the way back to 1983 and I think I’ve tried a few of the even older ones as well. And, when I tell people this, they always ask me which one is my favorite. My gut response is that they are all great wines. But, I do have to admit that I have a few favorites – vintages that I think are truly exceptional. So far, my two favorite vintages are the 1998 and the 2002; in my opinion, these are the best wines we’ve made. But, I also always wonder, what you think.
What is your favorite vintage of Montelena Estate Cabernet? I would love to know.