Posts Tagged ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’


The 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition proved to be a breakout year for Livermore Valley wineries. With 143 award winners from the region, critics, wine experts and consumers are taking notice of the recent success from the Livermore Valley.

Now you have the chance to celebrate Livermore Valley’s big winners during an intimate winemaker dinner to be held Friday, February 24th at Wente Vineyards. This is sure to be a memorable evening highlighting the award-winning wines, smartly paired with tempting courses from The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards. The gourmet menu includes:

2009 Cuda Ridge Wines MerlotBest of Class- paired with ahi tuna carpaccio, black olives, pickled red onions, fried caper berries, micro greens and herb oil.

2009 Bent Creek Cabernet SauvignonBest of Class- paired with creamy herbed polenta, wild mushroom- oven dried tomato ragout, charred red peppers and focaccia crisp.

2008 Wente Vineyards Nth Degree SyrahBest of Class- paired with smoked grimaud farms guinea hen confit, braised white beans, radicchio, bacon broth.

2008 McGrail Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon ReserveRed Sweepstake Winner- paired with mesquite grilled flat iron, carrot puree, roasted cipollini and salsa verde.

A dessert reception will follow with specially selected wine from each winery.

The evening kicks off at 6:30 pm with a welcome reception. The winemaker dinner and dessert reception will immediately follow from 7:00- 10:00 pm at the Wente Vineyards Event Center. A limited number of tickets are available for purchase online for this intimate evening.

According to Heather McGrail of McGrail Vineyards, the Livermore Valley Winemaker Dinner is just one example of the collaboration evident among wineries throughout the region.

“Everyone was very excited about the results from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and Larry Dino from Cuda Ridge winery approached us about partnering for a winemaker dinner,” said McGrail. “Fortunately, most Livermore wineries enjoy working together and believe in the philosophy that working together creates greatness.”

McGrail Vineyards Winemaker, Mark Clarin, also agrees that the results from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition are just the beginning of great things to come for the Livermore Valley.

“The Livermore Valley has a rich and long history of producing exceptional wines over the past 150 plus years. Among the varieties historically recognized are Sauvignon Blanc and Petite Sirah,” said Clarin. “As we have moved into the 21st Century we are proving that many noble grape varieties can produce outstanding wines including our Cabernet Sauvignon. Livermore Valley AVA – We are cooler than you think.”


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The Single Vineyard Series Cabernets will be showcased at an evening of food & wine pairings

The Steven Kent Winery  continues its 2011 Winemaker Pairings Series on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 with a food and wine walk-a-bout. The evening features The Steven Kent Winery’s Single Vineyard Series Cabernets and the artfully crafted pairings of Chef Neil Marquis of Marquis Catering, and formerly of Eddie Papa’s in Pleasanton.

This event will take place in the Barrel Room where guests can casually stroll from station to station tasting the tempting pairings of food and the highly-regarded Single Vineyard Series wines.

Wondering just what kind of pairings to expect? Check out these descriptions:

First Station

2008 Home Ranch Cabernet, Livermore Valley
Cabernet Beef Bourguignon over Black Pepper Pasta with a Cabernet infused Sour Cream

Second Station

2008 Smith Ranch Cabernet, Livermore Valley
Cabernet-marinated and Smoked Flank Steak with Chimichuri Sauce on Sourdough Crostini

Third Station

2008 Ghielmetti Vineyard Cabernet, Livermore Valley
Mini Pulled Pork Sliders with Cabernet, Black Cherry BBQ Sauce and Cajun Coleslaw

Dessert Station

Steven Kent Cabernet Port
Coconut Black Bottom Cupcakes

This ultimate evening of food & wine pairings is scheduled for Wednesday, October 26. Reservations are required as this event is an intimate occasion limited to 50 guests. The cost is $55 per person for the general public and $50 per person for Steven Kent or La Rochelle club members. Call 925-243-6442 to reserve your spot.

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The Steven Kent Winery is quickly making a name for itself and setting the standard for quality Cabernet Sauvignon from Livermore. The wines are garnering acclaim from industry experts and tasting room visitors alike.

Recently, Wine Enthusiast Magazine rated several Steven Kent wines. Not surprisingly, these wines earned words of praise from the experts. Wine Enthusiast wine ratings are based on tastings by the magazine’s editors and other qualified tasting panelists, either individually or in a group setting. Tastings are conducted blind or in accordance with accepted industry practices.

The Steven Kent Winery tasting room is open daily from noon to 4:30 p.m.

Here’s what the experts at Wine Enthusiast had to say:

Steven Kent 2007 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley

93 points. This is a beautiful, intricate and appealing Cabernet to drink with upscale fare, like a very fine steak. It’s bone dry, but very rich and sweet in blackberry, cherry and currant fruit, and there’s a nice cut of acidity for balance. Steven Kent is producing today’s greatest Livermore Cabernets, wines that hearken back to the valley’s roots as one of California’s best wine regions. Drink now–2013.

Steven Kent 2007 Ghielmetti Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley

93 points. Give this Cabernet some time in the cellar. Right now, it’s a little tough in acids and tannins, although the blackberry, cherry, black currant and smoky oak flavors are rich and fine and enjoyable now. But it should soften and be even more approachable after 2013.

Steven Kent 2007 Smith Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley

91 points. This is a lovely wine to drink now. It’s so dry and elegantly constructed, with wonderfully ripe tannins and great integration of oak with the fruit. There’s a nice balance of acidity to balance the blackberry, cherry and cola flavors. Drink now, with a brief decant.

Two more Steven Kent Cabernet Sauvignons also received high ratings with Wine Enthusiast. The popularity of these wines with consumers is evident, as these are sold out.

Steven Kent 2007 Ghielmetti Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley

Steven Kent 2007 Home Ranch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley

Wine Enthusiast ratings are based on tastings by the magazine’s editors and other qualified tasting panelists, either individually or in a group setting. Tastings are conducted blind or in accordance with accepted industry practices.

Wine Enthusiast Scores:

  • 95-100 — Superb. One of the greats.
  • 90-94 — Excellent. Extremely well made and highly recommended.
  • 85-89 — Very good. May offer outstanding value if the price is right.
  • 80-84 — Good. Solid wine, suitable for everyday consumption.

Visitors can enjoy a seated tasting experience at The Steven Kent Winery, complete with artisan cheese.

Visitors to Steven Kent can expect a knowledgeable, friendly tasting room staff that will guide you through the tasting flight options. Visitors can choose between the Barrel Room Flight and Reserve Flight. There is also a special table tasting flight that is accompanied with hand-selected artisan cheeses. During the warmer months, tastings can also be done on the patio with views of the surrounding vineyard.

Steven Kent Winery is open daily from noon to 4:30 pm.

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My Favorite! The dessert table at Palm Event Center!

My Favorite! The dessert table at Palm Event Center!

Last night was the Livermore Valley Wine Growers Annual Taste of Terroir – A Food & Wine Experience held at the GORGEOUS Palm Event Center at Mitchell Katz Winery.  The event pairs local chef’s and local winemakers to create a food & wine pairing.  It is a delicious contest where the winner isn’t just the winery or restaurant but the attendees that get to sample 14 dishes and taste 14 wines!  I’ll get to it though – the winners from last night’s 2009 Taste of Terrior are:

Most Innovative
McGrail Vineyards & Campo Di Bocce:

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon and Cherry and Olive Tapenade with Lavender on a Gorgonzola Puff Pastry
Winemaker: Jim McGrail
Chef: Michael Wogen

Judges’ Best
Ruby Hill Winery & Casa Real at Ruby Hill:

2007 Estate Reserve Zinfandel and Summertime Braised Pork with Blueberry-Chipolte BBQ Sauce and Carrott-Ginger Slaw
Winemaker: Chris Graves
Chef: Adam R. Brown

Best Expression of Local Ingredients
Wente Vineyards & The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards:

2007 Nth Degree Pinot Noir and House-Cured Duck Prosciutto with Fregola Pasta Salad, Brentwood Corn, Garden Basil, Sweet Red Onion, Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese
Winemaker: Karl Wente
Chef: Arthur Wall

People’s Choice
Murrieta’s Well & Hap’s Original Steakhouse:

2007 Muscat Canelli and Tostones with Sweet Chili Prawn, Whipped Cream Cheese, Pineapple Habenera Jelly and Cilantro
Winemaker: Phillip Wente
Chef: Wilson Miller

Most Creamaginative (Creative + Imaginative)
Mitchell Katz Winery & Palm Event Center in the Vineyard:

2007 Sangiovese Reserve and Mearty Muffuletta style Empanada with Artisan Mortadella, Toscano Salami and Piquant Ollye Relish
Winemaker: Mitchell Katz
Chef: Alex Olsen

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