newsletterFall/Winter 2008

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Fast and Furious aka Rhone Ranger

Harts 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 years.
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!

Harts Desire Wines – Fall/Winter 2008

2007 Zinfandel Russian River Valley
The 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.
2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
This 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.
2006 Syrah – Sonoma Coast
We 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.
2007 Chardonnay – Ceja Vineyard
2007 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!

Pictured 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!

 

Wine Country Chef Richard Whipple

It 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!

Let Harts Desire help you plan your next wine country adventure

2062 Pinercrest Drive
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Phone: 707-579-1687
Fax: 707-578-7473
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