Super Bowl XLVII is here and as we all gather around with family to watch this historic game we are searching for the perfect wine to use in celebration of the event. Whether you are cheering on the San Francisco 49ers or the Baltimore Ravens, you will want something that will go with the Red or Purple setting of this event. What about Niner Wine Estates wines for those 49er fans or Ravenswood for those Baltimore fans?
Niner Wine Estates is the visionary initiative of Richard Niner, who has successfully blended exceptional people, proper tools, and innovative ideas to create a world class winery in the heart of Paso Robles along Highway 46 West. While growing up on a rural farm in West Virginia, Richard Niner’s path took him through Princeton and Harvard into 30 years of successfully investing in small businesses. In 1996 he purchased Bootjack Ranch vineyards, 224 of vines in eastern part of Paso Robles that became the foundation of Niner Wine Estates that was founded in 2001. Two years later he purchased the picturesque 139 acre Heart Hill Vineyard along Highway 46 West. Heart Hill gets its name from the natural oak-tree filled depression on the hillside that is in the perfect shape of a heart.
Winemaker Amanda Cramer operates in the modern state-of-the-art gravity flow winery behind Heart Hill in Paso Robles that opened in 2009. In 2010 the elegant stone barn design Hospitality Center opened along Highway 46 West in the Heart Hill Vineyard property. Niner is now a 10,000 case production winery focusing on Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Niner 2010 Merlot from Bootjack Ranch has everything you would expect from a fine Merlot with a nice mixture of the fruitiness of a California Merlot and the complexity of Bordeaux. It is known as a Cab-lovers Merlot. You will enjoy the aromas of raspberry, blackberry, black plum and blueberry plus some floral qualities. On the palate these same fruity flavors shine through along with spices of lavender, thyme, allspice and cedar along with a cocoa and cherry flavor that carries through to the finish.
The Niner 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon from Bootjack Ranch is a classic California Cabernet with aromas of cherry, blackberry, cola and spices including sage and allspice. On the palate enjoy the plummy quality with dark fruit, violets and lavender leading onto a long delightful finish.
Ravenswood Winery has the slogan of “No Wimpy Wines” indicative of their bold forward wines. Ravenswood got its start in 1976 when founder/winemaker Joel Peterson brought in his first vintage. As Ravenswood grew they began producing wines using grapes from some of the best California vineyards. Joel has developed a close relationship with grape growers from over 100 Northern California vineyards. While he had a particular focus on Zinfandel, you will enjoy many varietals from Ravenswood including Chardonnay, Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. But it is the Zinfandels upon which Ravenswood has made its name.
Ravenswood has their tasting room and only estate vineyard in Sonoma. Here they will tell you all about the history of Ravenswood and their Zinfandels. You can tour the estate vineyard for a better understanding of the unique agricultural practices by Ravenswood. They even host a Blending Seminar to help you make your perfect blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignane.
Once particular delight from Ravenswood are their Single Vineyard Designate Zinfandels. At the 2013 Zinfandel Festival they were serving barrel tastings of several of these excellent wines. The 2011 Belloni Zinfandel sample demonstrated a complex blend of dark fruit including raspberry, boysenberry and plum with flavors and aromas of tobacco and licorice.
The 2011 Barricia Zinfandel is cherry pie in a bottle with qualities of tobacco toast and dry earth. The Ravenswood 2011 Teldeschi Zinfandel picked up flavors and aromas of the dark fruits with some mocha, caramel and vanilla. The 2011 Old Hill Vineyard is their top of the line Single Vineyard Zinfandel that has a very balanced quality of ripe fruit, smoke, tobacco, coffee and dark chocolate. The finish goes on forever until you are ready for that next delicious taste.
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