Beauty in the Valley
We have all heard the old adage “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” We each have different palates and prefer different wines. This month we are featuring a line of wines from Valley of the Moon Winery. The winery itself is a beauty, as are all of their wines—which one will you behold?
Located in the birthplace of the California wine industry, Sonoma Valley is home to some of the earliest vineyards and wineries in the state of California. If you see “Sonoma”—which is the Native American word for “valley of the moon”—on a wine label, that means the grapes were sourced from vineyards mainly in the Sonoma Valley. The Valley of the Moon Winery is aptly located in the heart of the Sonoma Valley and is one of the oldest wineries in the area. Its stone structure dates back to 1863, and in 1997 the winery was transformed into a contemporary winemaking facility while still preserving the historical heritage.
This winery actually produces two Chardonnays. One is oaked and the other is unoaked. Which one is right for you? Well, it goes back to beauty being in the eye of the beholder. Some people really enjoy the “oaky” taste, which is the result of wine aged in oak barrels. The unoaked Chardonnay is aged in small stainless steel tanks and obviously has no “oaky” taste, so the flavor profiles are very different.
We are featuring a Chardonnay that has been aged in oak barrels. However, if you have never been a fan of Chardonnay, it may be that you don’t like the “oaky” taste, so you may want to give an unoaked Chardonnay a try. Take a look at the tasting notes from these Valley of the Moon Wines, and you’re sure to find a beauty!
Valley of the Moon, Pinot blanc, Sonoma County, 2009
This wine is perfect for every drinker, from novice to expert. It separates itself from the white Zinfandel and Riesling crowd as a truly exceptional varietal, but is still sweet enough to approach for a first try. With notes of honeysuckle, peach and apple, this Pinot blanc challenges you to stand outside in the warmth and be immersed in the beauty of spring. Immerse often at around $15.
Valley of the Moon, Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, 2009
Harvested mostly from the areas along the Sonoma Coast including the Carneros and the Russian River Valley, this Chardonnay expresses itself as a lively—not overly oaky—and beautiful wine. Allspice, lemon, honeydew and a little bit of minerality make this a great spring and summer sipper or a dancing partner for light dishes such as pasta salad and white fish. Also found around $15.
Valley of the Moon, Pinot noir, Carneros, 2009
Eighty-five percent of the fruit for this wine comes from coveted lots in the Carneros area of Sonoma County; it is layered in with fruit from the Russian River Valley to add complexity. The result is a velvety smooth Pinot noir that is perfect for the hot weather wine fanatic who can’t part ways with her reds for the summer. Red plum and cherry hit you on the front end with vanilla, clove, and toasty oak on the back. Enjoy for around $17.
Valley of the Moon, Zinfandel, Sonoma County, 2008
People shy away from red wines in the warmer months—except the TRUE red drinkers—but Zinfandel has a way of standing up to everything. This Zin pops with flavors of ripe blackberry jam and black currant—perfect flavors for summertime in the south—and then lets you down easy with soft tannins and a well-balanced structure. This pairs nicely with spicy and strong summertime “grill” dishes such as steak and burgers. Find it around $15.
You can taste all of these beauties at one of our four wine events throughout the city in May—it’s a great way to try them before you buy them! You can find us on Facebook at facebook.com/BlueJeanWines for times and dates. Also, don’t forget to take this magazine into your local wine store and ask for these wines by name.