Friday, February 25, 2011

2/25 Ian Blackburn, Lawrence Cohen Shares Featured Wines: Home Grown Field Blend 4, 2010 Gryphus Sauv Blanc, 2009 Leadbelly Pinot, Chef Michael Rossi

Ian Blackburn, Professional Sommelier and Founder of LearnAboutWine!

Ian drinks wine for a living and plans over 100 public and private events a year. Along with a series of notable wine credentials, Ian is the 2008 Distinguished Alumnus of Cal Poly Pomona, Collins School of Hospitality Management. Ian stays busy buying collectable wines for high profile clients, planning luxury wine trips for his membership, hosting corporate events, making appearances on radio, television and social media outlets and studying for his Master of Wine.

Since 1995, LearnAboutWine has done the hard work of building a better culture for fine wine, opening the doors for more quality products to enter into the marketplace and has taught over 150,000 students. With over 20,000 current subscribers, LearnAboutWine now focuses on its wine credential program which graduated over 250 wine students in the last 2 years with a Junior Wine Executive credential (JWE).

Lawrence Cohen, Wine Buyer & Educator, Talks About Our Featured Wines: Home Grown Farms "Field Blend 4," 2010 Gryphus Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 Leadbelly Russian River Pinot Noir

Home Grown Farms "Field Blend 4:" Home Grown “Family Harvest Red” is an Italian style field blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah and Barbera. It is rich and smooth without being heavy. Everyone loves this wine! Family-style flavor on your table at a family-style price.

Grown on misty cliffs, near a mysterious ocean, where the fog is cold, and the nights are perplexing, and the terroir is confusing, and the women are complicated but the men love them anyway, and the elves dance under the blah de bah de blah. . . . .
Ok, no hogwash: we created Home Grown Farms because we wanted an everyday table wine with some soul. We felt an obligation to rescue the American week-night wine from its castration-by-corporation and bring it back to the farm. It's SO HAPPY here!! You should see the smile on its face and the trot in its boots. . . And now that it has rolled around in the the sweet hay awhile, we're ready to share it with you: weeknight wine with a little mud on its shoes.Family-style, folks. The wine equivalent of a warm blanket or a deep belly laugh. Because things are just better when they're Home Grown. After all . . .even Elvis went on the air in a shirt that his mother made . . .

2010 Gryphus Sauvignon Blanc: Gryphus Wine Company produces one wine, a Sauvignon Blanc from the Valle De Rapel in Chile. Their Sauvignon Blanc grapes come from the famed "Los Lingues" vineyard, which is 2000 feet above sea level. The climate is heavily influenced by the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains, and receives strong trade winds which keep the vineyards well-ventilated and free from unpleasantries like rot, mildew, and pests. For you, the wine lover, this means less chemical residue from pesticides and fungicides in your wine.Climate and wind prolong the ripening, which is crucial to the flavor you taste in Gryphus Sauvignon Blanc. It is bright and vigorous but with a fully ripe mouth feel. It is zippy and clean but with loads of fragrant pear aromas. In other words, the grapes can get ripe while still maintaining acid—a delicate balance sought by winemakers everywhere, but which can only be achieved naturally when microclimate and varietal are perfectly matched.

Things to Note:
• Single SKU Sauvignon Blanc from Chile
• D.O. Valle de Rapel.
• Grapes come from the renowned “Los Lingues” vineyard,
which is 2000 feet above sea level. The climate is heavily
influenced by the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains.
The vineyard also receives strong trade winds, which ensure
ventilation and slow, even ripening.
• Careful maceration and temperature-controlled fermentation
help capture fresh aromatics and create a minerally,
complex wine.
• Vineyards are hand-picked for quality control.
• The wine is named for the Vultur Gryphus, the national
symbol of Chile and largest land bird in the southern hemisphere.

The 2009 Leadbelly Russian River Pinot Noir: This wine was a strategic blend of three Russian River vineyards in the Chalk Hill sub-appellation. Each vineyardadded something special--mocha spice from one, black cherry andanise from another, and apple skin and strawberry from the last. eresult is a beautiful, silky palate that balloons in the mouth at preciselythe right moment, then slips elusively away--just what we expect froma Russian River Pinot Noir.Classic Pinot-fruit aromas provide notes of anise and stawberry, whilethe lush mouth gives lots of loamy earth, forest spiciness and blackcherry. A perfect pairing for a mushroom risotto.

Varietal Composition: 100% PINOT NOIR
Alcohol: 14.1%
Aged in new French and neutral American barrels.
Production: 224 cases

Michael Rossi has been named as Executive Chef of The Ranch Restaurant and Saloon – soon to open in Anaheim, CA!

Prior to his post at The Ranch Chef Rossi worked at Brentwood's superb Italian eatery Vincenti Ristorante with Chef Gino Angelini, was Executive Sous Chef at Roy's Restaurant in Newport Beach, Sous Chef at Disney’s Napa Rose, Chef de Cuisine at Angel Stadium, Executive Chef of Anqi at South Coast Plaza and award winning chef at Orange County’s legendary Ambrosia Restaurant, located in the beautiful OC Pavilion in Uptown Santa Ana.

Raised in Orange County, Chef Michael Rossi's love of fine cuisine began at an early age. Growing up in a close knit Italian family that includes 24 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren; Chef Rossi found his calling in a culinary career that would take him across the globe. Rossi attended the prestigious California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, where he graduated at the top of his class and honored with the schools coveted Danielle Carlisle Walker Award as ‘Most Likely to Succeed’.

He then set forth on an international culinary adventure to perfect his skills and follow his passion of cooking. Chef Rossi traveled to Maui, Hawaii to work alongside famous Chefs Roy Yamaguchi & David Abella and learn all about the traditional Hawaiian fusion cuisine. Upon returning to California, Rossi took a different approach to his cooking style and began working with TV Food Networks "Two Hot Tamales", Susan Fenniger and Mary Sue Milliken, at Santa Monica's Border Grill to learn the heritage of Mexican cuisine.

In his quest for culinary perfection, Rossi embarked on another vision that took him to the world famous Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners in Costigliole d’Asti, Italy. It was here where Rossi would learn the complex techniques and savory flavors of regional Italian cooking. While there, Chef Rossi worked in one of southern Italy’s finest restaurants at Michelin starred restaurant Il Principe in Pompeii, before finally landing in Bologna to work alongside one of Italy's greatest chef's Bruno Barbieri at Michelin 2-star restaurant Locanda Solarola. Rossi’s signature ‘Seasonal Marketplace’ cuisine, embraces the special bounty of each season to create a dynamic balance between the finest foods and wines. His menus are built around what’s in peak season and Chef Rossi while working closely with foragers, creameries and fisheries, as well as local farmer’s markets, creates dishes that feature only the freshest indigenous ingredients.

1 comment:

  1. Michael,
    I enjoy your blogs and the knowledge that you share. Have you tried Leadbelly Cellars Chardonnay? I am trying to gain some insight on this chard and on Leadbelly Cellars in general. Cannot locate a website or telephone number for this operation. Any help would be appreciated.

    Mike Hall
    The Woodlands, TX
    Wine sales management