In the grand spirit of a birthday celebration that never ends, I was invited to open three bottles of wine from Pedroncelli Winery and Vineyards, taste each (not difficult at all!), and pair with a delectable dish. What makes this festive occasion even more so, is that the celebration is Pedroncelli Winery’s 90th birthday and, let me tell you, these folks know how to party!
In January, I had the honor to meet Julie Pedroncelli, third generation family member, who shared the story of this iconic winery in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County. (Click here for fascinating insights about the family and reviews of a few of their wines in my article, Pedroncelli Winery and Vineyards: A 90 Year Legacy of Family and Wines.) A few months later, I was one of a few wine writers who participated in a twitter chat as we tasted three wines (sent as samples) paired with a suggested dish. (Click here for the article about some of the most food friendly wines on the planet, You’re a Foodie? Pedroncelli Has a Wine for That.)
During these online chats, the powers behind Pedroncelli Winery tasted their wines along with the writers who savored each sip. To be honest, I lived vicariously through each member of the Pedroncelli team as they chatted about and anticipated their next cross-country sojourn or estate vineyard gala to help others honor what is now fondly known on social media as #Ped90th.
And now this. A few weeks ago, I received, once again, three bottles of wine (sent as samples) from Pedroncelli Winery and a recipe for Ribeye Steak with Black Trumpet Mushrooms and Blue Cheese for pairing. (Click here for the recipe.) I was thrilled. The Pedroncelli Winery wines, high quality and food friendly at an affordable price, have become my go-to-choice. They should be yours, too.
Pedroncelli Merlot Bench Vineyards 2015 ($18) – Complementing our Ribeye Steak with Black Trumpet Mushrooms and Blue Cheese was this wonderful Merlot, aged for 11 months in American oak, from Bench Vineyards in Dry Creek Valley. Beautiful aromas of earth, exotic spice such as cinnamon and cloves, and lush red raspberries were rustic and enticing. Balanced with mouthwatering acidity and round tannins, the Merlot offered flavors of juicy red fruit, black cherries, vanilla, more cinnamon and cloves, and a hint of black pepper and leather on the palate. The fruit and spice-driven finish lingered.
Pedroncelli Cabernet Sauvignon Wisdom 2014 ($36) – There’s a reason the wine is labeled “Wisdom”: intelligent wine lovers know that this is a stunning full-bodied wine. Smooth as silk at the first sip, this beauty is 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot, both varieties cultivated in Dry Creek Valley, and was aged for 19 months in French oak. On the nose, I appreciated each note of plums, mocha, dried roses, spice, and dry earth, a perfect entry to what was in store. Flavors of oak, blackberries, herbs, and mocha were woven with soft tannins and radiant acidity to produce a creamy, balanced, and full-bodied wine. My only disappointment was when the last glass was poured.
Happy Birthday, Pedroncelli Winery! Keep the party going!~ Cindy