Tag Archives: Mirassou

On a white wine bender

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One of my top favorite red varietals is pinot noir, which MacMurray Ranch does quite well. Their 2010 Russian River Valley Sonoma County pinot noir ($27) is nice, but a bit too much acidity for my palate. The growing season for 2010 was met with challenges of record-breaking low temperatures in spring, and then lots of rain — leading to late bud break and more acidity in the grapes. It works if paired with the right dishes, such as bacon-wrapped double cut pork chop, a recipe courtesy of MacMurray Ranch.

But what really caught my palate in a pleasurable taste sensation was MacMurray Ranch chardonnay ($20), a 2011 made with grapes from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County, California. This cool climate varietal is perfection in a glass, aged in a mixture of new and used French, European and American oak barrels at medium-plus toast levels. With this chardonnay, I enjoyed dinner of lobster ravioli covered in Parmesan cheese, lemon, butter, wine and garlic sauce.

Now I wanted to explore more white wines. So I did.

A Mirassou 2012 sauvignon blanc ($12) proved luxurious, a wine you can choose to drink on its own or paired with appetizers. I chose to offer it alone as a welcome sip to arriving dinner guests. This gave a feel of high society somehow — to simply sip and greet guests. Once the appetizers were brought to the table, the wine remained loyal in taste. Perhaps it’s the Meyer lemon aroma, but it seemed the perfect wine to cleanse our palates before the main course.

On a separate occasion I opened a bottle of 2012 Mirassou moscato ($12) made with California grapes — 35 percent from San Luis Obispo County — a destination I have yet to taste my way through. When I first sipped this wine, I craved brie cheese. But I didn’t have any, but I did have an event to attend — a lobster festival of fresh steamed lobsters and clam chowder. This sweet wine is best served with friends.

Finally, I opened a 2012 Mirassou riesling ($12), a fruity concoction made with grapes from the Central Coast and Russian River Valley in California. Now, I am not the biggest fan of riesling, especially when it comes to the acidity. But this riesling was quite enjoyable two nights in a row. The first night, I enjoyed a glass with dinner of organic chicken pie, applesauce and Brussels sprouts. The next night, I enjoyed the remainder with a friend, dipping chips in a cheesy sour cream dip before dinner of creole shrimp and sweet potato grits. We both agreed this was a stand-up riesling.

Will my feast on fine white wines continue for a while? Probably. In fact, with Champagne season fast approaching — holiday parties and New Year’s Eve on the horizon, it’s a safe bet.

For more information, visit www.Mirassou.com or follow them on Facebook.

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In the company of good friends on a chilly Sunday afternoon, the tables on my deck were filled with plates of cheeses, tomato drizzled with olive oil, mozzarella and basil leaves, and dip and chips to munch on, as well as three wine glasses filled with Mirassou 2011 California Merlot. The oaky flavors and smoky aroma felt right in keeping with the cool weather. One guest went so far as to rate it “85” points, which I can only assume referred to Parker points. Flavors from this merlot are red cherry, raspberry and vanilla.

Made with grapes from the Central and North Coast of California, it’s no surprise this young wine offered such deep, wonderful concentrated flavors. Two glasses were saved for dinner of charcuterie and red sauce over pappardelle pasta — it worked.

Next, I opened a bottle of Mirassou 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine, my deck friends stated, had “impressive legs” and a fruity, hearty bouquet. It was a smooth wine with a full-body and perfect finish. The grapes of this wine hail from California’s Central Coast, Lodi and several North Coast regions. The longer growing season results in the more expressive flavors.

Now for the Mirassou California 2011 Pinot Noir, made by David Mirassou, sixth-generation winemaker whose great-great-great grandparents, Pierre and Henrietta Pellier traveled from France to California to find gold — and in a way they did — but in the form of vineyard potential. From France, they preserved their pinot noir cuttings in potatoes they purchased on-board the ship, and due to this creative thinking, the first pinot noir grapes entered California. The process in growing and harvesting pinot noir grapes is delicate and intricate, so this is a wine to be appreciated if not for its fruit-driven flavor profile of cherries, strawberries and red currant, but by the process to create such a wonderful wine.

Follow Mirassou on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mirassouwinery or visit www.mirassou.com for more information.

Each of these three wines retails for approximately $12 a bottle.Image