Wine and Food Experiences at California Wineries

If wine goes well with everything, then why shouldn’t you look for wineries that include everything with their wine? That’s an interesting question, and a good one to consider when voyaging around wine country. Fortunately in California this is more of a philosophical question than a real one, as so many places allow you to pair great food and great wine in the same visit.

Herzog Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Lake County 2014

Herzog releases a complex, full-bodied and cellar-worthy 2014 wine featuring notes of ripe blackberries, smoke and leather

Two French Wines to Pair with Seasonally-Inspired Meals

French wines are generally all-weather in their appeal, yet that doesn’t mean that they cannot be paired selectively with seasonal dishes. Two such wines are Crus Bourgeois in Medoc and Côtes-du-Rhône Villages for the Rhône Valley.

Parrish Family Vineyard releases new Clone 6 Cabernet Sauvignon

The family-owned and operated Parrish Family Vineyard has introduced a Clone 6 varietal of Cabernet Sauvignon. Recently the 2014 Clone 6 Cabernet Sauvignon earned 94 points from a top wine critic.

“Clone 6 is a very low yielding grape, producing 2-3 tons per acre due the small berry size and shatter,” says David Parrish. “It’s one of those special grapes that I love and hate. The grape grower in me hates the Clone 6 as yield is light and we often see very few berries per cluster, but the winemaker in me loves it because of the wine it creates. It’s a very distinct wine, dark in color with solid tannins and a strong flavor profile.”

Imported to California in the 1870s, Clone 6 – also known as the Jackson Clone – is notoriously noted as one of the most difficult Cabernet varietals to tame. Owner and Winemaker David Parrish planted four different clones of Cabernet Sauvignon including Clone 6 in his Creston Vineyard in 1995. Due to its location and unique terrain, the grapes thrive in the area’s terroir of calcium rich, granite-based soil. Warm daytime temperatures and cooling coastal breezes at night allow the Parrish Family to produce distinctive, elegant full-bodied wines that represent the true character of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Parrish Family Vineyard produced its first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon in 2004 after discovering how ideally suited Paso Robles’ terroir is for growing exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon. Parrish then planted an additional 80 acres in the Templeton District and 30 acres in the Adelaida District in 2013 and 2014. Today, the esteemed winemaker and luminary in trellis technology, David Parrish, cares for 150 acres of superior estate vineyards in the Adelaida, Creston and Templeton AVAs of Paso Robles.

More information at

Ryan Cochrane Wines release three new 2014 Vintages

California wine maker Ryan Cochrane Wines has announced the release of its newest vintages. These include a Chardonnay and two Pinot Noirs. Recently Ryan Cochrane’s Pinots were ranked as some of the top by TasteTV at the annual Pinot Days festival in San Francisco.

The new wine releases are the 2014 Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley Solomon Hills Vineyard, the 2014 Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Solomon Hills Vineyard, and the 2014 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills Fiddlestix Vineyard. As of this writing TasteTV has only had the opportunity to sample the 2014 Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Solomon Hills Vineyard, but we are quite pleased with its finish and flavors. It is definitely worth adding to a home wine cellar or restaurant list.

According to Ryan, “The 2014 wines were the first ones made in the City of San Francisco. The new facility was quite the adjustment, but the wines couldn’t have turned out better. No matter where they’re made, both of these sites in Santa Barbara County continue to produce wines that amaze me with their range of flavor, aromatics, structure, freshness and delicacy.”

Fortunately, the new vintages are already getting great reviews, not just by TasteTV, but by leading wine gurus:

2014 Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley Solomon Hills Vineyard

100% Clone 4 • Full malolactic fermentation • Lees stirring
Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 33% new

Three barrels produced • 13.3% Alcohol

95 Points “Editors Choice” – Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast Magazine

“Along with a fascinating nose, this bottling from the appellation’s westernmost vineyard offers the rounded ripeness of cherimoya, nectarine and white peach but with a laser-sharp line of crushed sea shell and flint minerality alongside scratched lemon skin. The palate rides that chalky line the whole way, offering hints of lime pith, tangerine, sea salt and just enough almond warmth.”

92 Points – Dr. Rusty Gaffney, “The Prince of Pinot”

“Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Aromatically pleasing with scents of yellow apple, yellow peach and brioche. Slightly creamy on the palate, with flavors of lemon, peach, honey, baking spices and toast. Highly flavorful, with a good acid spine, and a cleansing finish.”

2014 Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Solomon Hills Vineyard

33% Dijon 115 • 33% Dijon 667 • 33% Pommard 5 • 25% whole cluster fermentation
Native Yeasts • Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 20% new
Ten barrels produced • 13.5% Alcohol

94 Points – Matt Kettmann, WIne Enthusiast Magazine

“The eponymous winemaker of this brand is based in San Francisco, from which, in this bottling, he turns out a stunner. Focused, intense, energetic and yet delicate, the nose is full of just-ripe raspberries, bay leaf, thyme, eucalyptus and chipped slate. A sip reveals crushed herbs galore, from oregano to anise, set against tart pomegranate and red plums. Menthol shows on the finish.”

2014 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills Fiddlestix Vineyard

60% Dijon 115 • 20% Dijon 113 • 20% Dijon 667 • 20% whole cluster fermentation
Aged nine months in French oak barrels, 20% new
Five barrels produced • 14.2% Alcohol

90 Points, Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast Magazine
“This is a very light expression of the grape from a San Francisco-based producer, with thyme, chaparral, cranberry, tart pomegranate juice and wet clay on the nose. The palate shows light, tangy cherry juice, fennel, crushed olive and peppery spice.”

92 Points – Dr. Rusty Gaffney, “The Prince of Pinot”

“Moderately light cherry red hue in the glass. Aromas of cherry, strawberry and sandalwood lead to a mid weight flavored wine featuring dark red cherry, cranberry, strawberry and raspberry fruits complimented by a hint of spice, The tannins are tame, the wine is nicely balanced, and the finish is pleasantly exuberant.”


Ryan Cochrane Wines