and Furious aka Rhone Ranger
Desire want to continue our tradition of giving props where props
are due. This issue we will give a big SHOUT OUT to Phil
Staley, pictured on the right, doing one of the things
he loves to do: race cars. This picture was taken at Infineon
Raceway and as you can see, Phil looks like he is in the lead!
What does this have to do with wine? Well, Phil has been in the
wine business since the early 1980’s. Phil was the founding
winemaker at Alderbrook Wines until 1994. At that time he started
his own boutique winery focusing on Rhone-style wines. Phil has
been in the “lead” as far as innovation goes for many
Phil received a degree in Analytical Biology from UCSB a couple
years ago. He decided to continue his education and earned a DDS
Degree and started a Dental practice. But wine has been his passion
for most of his life. He currently runs a custom crush facility
in the middle of the Alexander Valley, when he’s not pulling
teeth, racing cars, fishing, or tending to his vineyards.
That’s where Harts Desire comes in. Recently we moved our
lab and all other facets of our enterprise to Phil’s place.
Since then, John doesn’t have to lift barrels, move picking
bins, pitchfork grapes into the crusher, or any of the other backbreaking
labor that was associated with wine making. John now can focus
on making high quality, hand crafted wines for your enjoyment
(or play golf, as you will read later in this issue).
John and Phil make a great team. Often times John will rely on
Phil’s expertise to add that little extra finishing touch
for his wines. Harts Desire is very grateful that Phil Staley
and crew have opened their arms and welcomed us into their facility!
Desire Wines – Fall/Winter 2008
Zinfandel Russian River Valley
grapes from this perennial award winning wine come from the
front block at Ponzo Vineyards. The head pruned old vines
are about 80 years and producing consistent high quality fruit
year after year. Consistency is the key to this deep ruby-colored
Zinfandel. Aromas of current, cherry and plums lead to a solid
mouthful of juicy cherries and brambleberry. Spice and white
pepper dance off your tongue with a long, blissful finish.
There is depth and richness to this wine, along with a natural
bright acidity which makes for a perfect accompaniment with
grilled foods. 410 cases produced.
wine is the bomb! 2004 was an excellent growing year in Alexander
Valley. Particularly at Hidden Spring Vineyard. We held back
5 barrels of 100% Cabernet for this single vineyard gem. Then,
we added a slash of Merlot and a pinch of Cab Franc to round
out this beauty. The nose on this wine is very characteristic
of big Alexander Valley Cabs: Earth, spice and a hint of stone
fruit. From here on it is seductive pleasure in the mouth
and finish, with jammy blackberries and cassis with a smooth
light tannin finish. There were only 125 cases of this wine
originally, but we are running low, so make this the last
minute stocking stuffer you so desperately need.
Syrah – Sonoma Coast
are fortunate enough to have access to Syrah grapes from Rockin’
H Ranch in the Sonoma Coast Appellation. This Syrah makes
delicious wines reminiscent of Northern Rhone classics. Intensely
dark purple in color, this wine offers up aromas of dusty
cherries, cola and fresh violets. Flavors are juicy wild berry
and dark plum with a hint of plush Corinthian Leather (yes,
Corinthian Leather. But you don’t want to spill this
on your leather couch!) We added 3% Viognier to bring up the
aromas and 2% Grenache to fatten up the mid palate. Black
current and minerality finish off this mouth-watering delicacy.
240 cases produced.
Chardonnay – Ceja Vineyard
was a dream year for Chardonnay in Carneros. Moderate weather
and a long growing season allowed the fruit ample time on
the vine and we were able to pick at the optimum time. This
is very important with varietals such as Chardonnay. Balancing
sugar/acid levels with even ripening are keys to quality fruit,
and that is what we have here: A world-class Carneros Chardonnay.
Armando Ceja produces the highest quality fruit for many top-notch
wineries. We were honored to receive 3 tons of fruit, picked
at night under lights to ensure ice cold clusters. The fruit
was then lightly crushed and pressed off and barrel fermented
in 40% new and 2 year old French barrels. Rich golden color
with aromas of Bartlett pear and honeyed apples announce this
wine to your senses. Voluptuous and fruity, with pineapple
and toasted oak as the fruit carries through with enough acidity
to keep you refreshed and wanting more and more! Only 175
cases produced, so don’t delay.
Harts Desire wins big on the links!
on the right, (l-r) Jeff Noble, Chief Grape Picker; John
Hart; Gary Hendricks of Rockin’ H Ranch; and the
Ringer Aemon Sharkey accepting the first place
trophy at this years Battle of the Vines at The Links at Bodega
Harbour. The Harts Desire foursome took first place in the competition
against 30 other wineries in Sonoma County, largely because of
the Ringer Aemon. This is what John and friends do with their
spare time now that they don’t have to do any heavy lifting.
Thanks again the Phil Staley and crew for allowing John to golf
all the time!
Country Chef Richard Whipple
is time once again to recognize a shining star in the culinary
world. Pictured above is Richard Whipple, the executive chef
at the Hyatt Hotel Vineyard Creek in Santa Rosa. Richard has
been a friend and huge supporter of Harts Desire Wines, so it’s
time to give back.
Richard Whipple has over 25 years experience preparing fine
food in wine country restaurants. He has worked at several prestigious
establishments including Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Saddle
Creek Resort, Deuce Restaurant, Domaine Chandon and Mustards
Bar and Grill. He worked under the tutelage of Philippe Jeanty
of Domaine Chandon for nine years, where he refined his palate
and honed his skills as a chef.
Richard describes his cuisine as Contemporary American with
French influences. He enjoys sourcing outstanding products,
which includes selections of locally grown produce and the freshest
fish and meats. Richard demonstrates this vision by changing
menus throughout the year as the harvests yield their excellence.
He respects the purity and essence of the ingredients and strives
to enhance their outstanding flavor.
Richard was kind enough to send along a wonderful recipe for
Grilled Ribeye Steak with Blue Cheese Potato Gratin, Sugar Snap
Peas and Green Peppercorn Sauce, but we have run out of space.
If you would like the recipe, and it is scrumptious, please
send us an e-mail and we will forward it along. Cheers!
Harts Desire help you plan your next wine country adventure
Santa Rosa, CA 95403