The original title of this blog was…Friday  is pizza and Bordeaux night at our house.  But, I wanted the name to be in the title and it was a bit too long. Soooo, Friday night is pizza night at our house.  The biggest difference between our house and any others is the wine we drink with it.

Last night we ordered from our favorite pizza place with a few wings on the side.  I went downstairs and pulled a wine that I really just wanted to drink not really caring if it was a “pizza wine”,  as if any wine is NOT a pizza wine.  And WOW did I get it right.

Chateau Lamothe-Cissac, a Haut-Medoc favorite, from Domaine Fabre.  The Fabre family offers a whole selection of wine for every price range.    What a beautiful wine. The blend is a perfect balance of Cabernet, Cab Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.  The nose is filled with aromas of ripe red fruit.  Hints of floral notes follow.  The sirens of ancient lore could not better entice.

The luscious, I repeat luscious, liquid rolls over my mouth.  The soft velvet coating is soothing.  So many flavors bursting through.  Plum, cherry, dark fruit ripe and bursting with flavor.  Oh the lovely, soft, elegant tannins that linger for a long long time.  An invitation to enjoy more.  And so I did.  Enjoy.


Look at dark rich color
of course with the pizza

wpid-wp-1448236052331.jpegAnother great wine from one of my favorite wine makers, Brigitte Rullier-Loussert.  Brigitte learned the business from her father Michele Rullier. The estate is set in one of the primo locations in bordeaux.  Nestled in between Pomerol and St. Emilion it invokes the best of both appelations.  The estate works to maintain sustainable – organic farming techniques.  The terrioir tells the story of the wine.  In her own words, ” My urge isn’t to produce muscly wines that have been excessively leached-out and whih are often, too woody, this is not what my vision of what wine should be.  Wine should offer both body and substance, without forgoing elegance symbolizes perfect harmony as far as I’m concerned.”  A great philosophy from a great wine maker.

Now to the wine.  The nose gives off aromas of cherry and spring flowers. The squid inky color is not disappointing, just a tease.  Oh, and when it hits your mouth the lovely, luscious, velvet coating that covers your tongue is a never ceasing stream of taste.  Licorice, dark berry, plum all cover your mouth and move gently down your throat.  Oh what a thrill.

I should also mention the earth tones that linger in the aftertaste.  Not a full barnyardy effect, but more of a dirt/mineral flavor.  Not off putting, just another depth of flavor.  Quality, and yes the terroir shows through. I believe Brigitte’s philosophy shows through in this wine.




Overlooking the valley just behind the estate. One of the most beautiful scenes in France.

Dolcetto is a red wine grape from Northwest Italy.  Known for making softer fruitier wines than say Nebbiolo or Barbera.

But, let that fool you.  The wines made from Dolcetto also have strong  intense tannins and usually higher levels of acidity.

Tonight’s pick is the Mauro Sebaste.  A more medium bodied wine that packs a punch of flavor.  Mauro Sebaste is known for producing high quality wines.  Barolo, Barbera and this Dolcetto for a few.

The ink black color of the wine is reminiscent of the dark color of the grape skin.  A mysterious dark color that tantalizes and teases.

The bouquet gives a strong nose of pepper, rose, violet and rich dark fruit; black cherry.

Putting the glass to your lips you get the aromas still pouring out.  The wine hits your tongue-the soft and playful notes  dried fruit, almost sweet save for the tannins.  The intensity of the flavors are overpowering.  Wow. Lots of fruit.  You get it, that plum, cherry, all the dark forces rolled into one.  The medium finish does not give it justice.

Tonight’s bottle was a 2014.  I cannot imagine what this will be like with a few more years under  the belt.


Fruity, medium bodied
Fruity, medium bodied

The man of LaMancha, Don Quixote tilting at windmills.  Why is it that as I get older I find fewer people, even my own age who do not understand the reference?

I have a LOVE of Spanish wines.  The past decade has seen the quality of these wines take ginormous leaps forward.

This great little Tempranillo is spectacular.  Tempranillo is the most widely used grape in this region, and then more so over in Portugal.

The nose on this is just wonderful.  Fruit aromas and floral notes abound.  The ruby red color glows like a gem in a crown.

Pouring the wine into my mouth I am automatically hit with the richness that goes with that crown.  Currant, blackberry, spices that linger for an eternity.  The quivering in my tastebuds excites me, my mouth is begging for more.  The taste explosions remind me of the popper candies from when I was a kid.  Oh the joyride.  The sweet succulent tannins that come at the end are a result of 14 months in French oak.

This Don Quixote needs no Sancho to back it, go after all the windmills you want this one wins.


Smooth, rich, elegant.and a pretty bottle too
Smooth, rich, elegant.and a pretty bottle too

So before I talk about the #ceja wines let me tell you a little bit about their history.  A family of immigrants (yes I am going there Trump), who through hard work, perseverance and the desire to live the American dream have succeeded in building one of the most respected and hi end wineries in Napa.  Working in various jobs in Napa the family literally learned the business from the ground up.  A true American success story..Amelia Ceja was named woman of the year in 2005, she and her daughter, Dalia, have graced the cover of many magazines and continue to build the brand in powerhouse fashion.  From the beginning with the first 15 acres purchased by Amelia and her husband Pedro and family members Pablo, Armando and Juanita.  Armando is now the winemaker at Ceja (and doing a magnificent job).  OK enough gushing about the family and their success.  (Just for the record.. I visited the vineyards a couple of years ago and was treated to a winetasting and food prepared by the matriarch  yummmmm.

Now to three of their wines.

Ceja Chardonnay Carneros;

First that beautiful color, golden straw, sunset, you take your pick.  Aromas that revel with citrus and green apple.  The mouth is coated in refreshing light crisp citrus notes, followed by notes of tree fruits, pear and apple.  Very well balanced.  A perfect summer refreshing white.

Ceja Pinot Noir Carneros

A light ruby color.  The nose is very floral, with hints of ripe red fruits.  The wine coats your mouth with so many flavors wow the depth of complexity is amazing.  Ripe red fruit flavors, plum and cherry followed by a spicy finish.  Beautiifully balanced with elegant soft tannins.

Ceja Vino de Casa Red Napa

Everyone loves a great red blend, a common table wine.  But this is anything other than a common wine.  Dark red, not quite garnet.  The bouquet erupts with aromas of violets and cherry.  Very fruity on the palate.  Rich red fruit, a long finish

Fruit and spice and everything nice.


Look at these gems….Enjoy

Well slap me down and call me silly.  Ginny Lambrix and Truett Hurst have done it again.  What a beautiful rich wine.  The nose exudes so many layers.  Aromas of rich ripe dark fruits freely flow from the glass.
The dark juice smoothly caresses your mouth, flavors so complex and concentrated coat your tongue.  Concentrated fruit, red berries, ripe and full, pepper and cinnamon linger in the back.  Mouth watering and luxurious, long finish begging for more.  Oh what I love about thee.
Truett Hurst is known for producing ripe full bodied wines. They practice bio dynamic farming and produce high quality wines.  Dry Creek offers a spectacular view as well as perfect terrior.  The winery sits right on the creek, if you have the chance to visit, plan a few hours to sip some wine and enjoy the surroundings.



Oh yea Baby