Hidden Gems

Hidden Gems
Farpointe Cellar
Tasted Saturday, November 06, 2010


2008 Vincent Girardin Santenay Terre d’Enfance – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Santenay Really chalky and mineral-driven on the nose, with violets and dried cranberry and currants playing a backup roll. The palate had the stone flavors as the nose and great acidity. The fruit seemed more like fresh red fruit, as opposed to the dried ones on the nose. It finished with a lovely rose petal taste. (91 Points)

2006 Roth Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley What a nice nose. Nothing really dominated, but it all seemed to weave together. There was blackberry and nutmeg, cherry and mocha, toasted oak and plum. There was a little more fruit upfront on the palate, mainly blackberry and plum, but underneath was a spicy chocolate layer framed in oak. (91 Points)

2009 Saint-Cosme Côtes du Rhône – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône An initial attack of fresh cut flowers on the nose, with small amounts of tobacco and tar, supported by black raspberry and black cherry. The palate flavors actually went in the reverse order of the nose. Lots of dark fruit upfront, followed by tar, charcoal, and violets. The mid palate was a bit hollow, but other than that, it was pretty good. (87 Points)

2008 Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon Next of Kin Margaret River – Australia, Western Australia, South West Australia, Margaret River This had a very spicy nose, but also quite a bit of plum. There was also some oak, but not too much. The palate was not as good as the nose. Tannic and overly acidic, it really had nothing except a little bit of plum.

2006 Château Laforge – France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru I loved the earth and berry mixture on the nose of the this wine. Unfortunately, it also had a creamy oak aspect that over-powered everything else. It was more obvious on the palate that this wine was over-oaked. Creamy, but not in good way, green and tannic, with nothing to make it worth drinking. (72 Points)

Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

It’s starting get cold here, so I thought it would be a good time to make some soup. And since I’ve been in the mood for something spicy, I thought I would make Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped (about 3/4‚Äù pieces)
  • 1 celery rib, sliced (1/2‚Äù pieces)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. Polish pork sausage or Italian pork sausage, cut into 1/2‚Äù slices
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 3/4 lb. shrimp, cooked
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped


Heat the oil in a large pot; add the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until the vegetables are tender. Add sausage until lightly browned. Sprinkle meat and vegetables with flour and stir well. Add chicken stock, sprigs of thyme, and shrimp; bring to a simmer. Season with salt, if needed. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in parsley and remove sprigs of thyme immediately before serving.

Ridge Tasting

Ridge Tasting
Farpointe Cellar
Tasted Monday, November 01, 2010


2006 Ridge Monte Bello – USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains The nose had had earth and black currant, chocolate and sweaty socks, and a little vanilla at the end. The palate was rich, with dirt and raspberry, mocha and black currant, and a big oak finish. (91 Points)

2008 Ridge Zinfandel Ponzo Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley The nose had lots of earth and black currant, some cherry and espresso, and a very brambly finish. The palate was juicy, with cherry and raspberry, chocolate and dirt, and a nice brambly finish. (90 Points)

2007 Ridge Zinfandel East Bench – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley The nose had bramble and raspberry, cherry and vanilla, mocha, and a little cedar. The palate was smooth, with raspberry and cherry, chocolate and vanilla, and a nice dirty finish. (89 Points)

2008 Ridge Zinfandel Paso Robles – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles The nose had earth and raspberry, mocha and cherry, and a little vanilla. The palate was soft, with cherry and mocha, raspberry and dirt, and a good vanilla finish. (89 Points)

2008 Ridge Lytton Springs – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley The nose was a bit tight. I got a little cherry and raspberry, vanilla and dirt, and a little oak. The palate was soft, with black currant and chocolate, bramble and oak, vanilla, a good cherry finish. (88 Points)

2008 Ridge Three Valleys – USA, California, Sonoma County The nose had pepper and black currant, chocolate and cherry, bramble and vanilla, and a good bit of oak at the end. The palate was rich, with black currant and pepper. mocha and dirty bramble, and a nice cherry vanilla finish. (88 Points)

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