Free Compliments of our Advertisers
Sonoma County Gazette
Joseph Jewell Winemakers
Joseph Jewell Winemakers Micah Joseph Wirth and Adrian Jewell Manspeaker

Spring Tastings

Mar 28, 2018
by John Haggard, Sophie's Cellars


Spring is in the air and Sonoma County is putting on its best show right now in its beauty. The perfect compliment to Spring in Sonoma are Spring release wines... Here is a selection to seek out and enjoy. Most wines are from small artisan producers with very limited production. Explore and enjoy!

County Line Rose 2017: A nose of candied watermelon intermingled with flower petal. The palate is tart red berry also with subtle floral qualities, bright acidity with a minerality finish. Pair with seafood dishes such as salmon filet, seared or roasted and this wine will also be a great companion for some richer flavors such as triple crème organic brie (Cowgirl’s Mt Tam being a local favorite of mine) and “Purple Haze” fresh chevre from Cypress Grove another great compliment. The chevre is blended with pollen of lavender and fennel (not from the bee but from the plants) and particularly works with this dry rose. Enjoy now through 2022, if properly cellared. Produced at the borders of Sonoma and Mendocino counties, for more information on County Line visit:

Thomas Henry Sonoma County Chardonnay 2016: A deep straw color reveals a fragrant nose of peaches, pear and baked apple. The palate shows apricot and pear with bright acidities. This value chardonnay is a nice sipping wine but would also pair with poultry dishes and salads. Enjoy now through 2019. For more information on Thomas Henry wines visit:

Cazadero Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2014 - Parmeter & Fort Ross Seaview Vineyards: Double Gold Winner Sonoma County Harvest Fair.The nose is of a lovely lemon verbena and refreshing apple - the palate is lemon custard and vanilla. I tasted this chardonnay at room temperature and the acids were well-integrated into the fruit and the oak. An exceptional food companion, pair this chardonnay with grilled scallops in a mustard Dijon sauce, or how about a Waldorf salad (perhaps the perfect companion). Only 125 cases produced. For more information on Cazadero Winery visit

Starfish Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2015: The nose is custard and sugar beet, almost the caramelized sugar of a crème brulee. The palate is raspberries and rhubarb with an intriguing spice that lingers throughout the palate – a quality of Chinese five-spice. This wine is really youthful and expressive now but in two years this will truly be one of the hidden secrets of Sonoma County wines that are too often over-looked. A perfect companion for seafood dishes and it would also be a great pairing for pork dishes. Enjoy now through 2023 if properly cellared. For more information on Starfish Pinot noir visit:

Joseph Jewell Floodgate Vineyard Russian River Valley

Pinot Noir 2013: A pomegranate and strawberry nose yields to a palate of fleshy plum and blueberry with lingering mint. This pinot deserves food and would be a wonderful pairing for salmon and also duck breast dishes. With the cherry season only a month away, it’s a great time to start thinking about a recipe with sautéed duck breast and fresh cherries paired with this delicious pinot noir. Enjoy now through 2024. For more information on Joseph Jewell wines visit:

Upcoming Event:

Russian River Spring Fling

If you live in or have the great pleasure to visit the Russian River Valley, come explore the annual Russian River Spring Fling wine and food extravaganza event presented by the Russian River Chamber of Commerce. On April 28th from 1-4 pm local food purveyors and wineries will be serving up a variety of Sonoma County gourmet foods and delicious wines. The event is taking place in the tree-lined, center of town right next to Lark Drugs. Nearby you’ll find art galleries and shops to browse after enjoying tastings from world class restaurants and wineries in the casual and relaxed atmosphere of Guerneville along the Russian River. Cost is $50 for unlimited Food & Wine, $30 for food only. INFO & tickets visit:

Wine Banter by John Haggard



Login to Make a Comment

Please support our sponsors:

Eco-Friendly Garden Tour

This FREE self-guided tour will be held Saturday, May 4th. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

Cloverdale Performing Arts Center - Clairdee
Order Bees Now from BeeKind

Package Bee Installation Demonstration
April 13, 14, 20 and 21, 2 ~ 3pm 
Doug will install a package of bees into a box to demonstrate how simple and safe this can go.

Earth Day ON STAGE Courthouse Square April 27, 2019

Your GUIDE to support locally-owned garden businesses and natural landscaping practices.

Fine Tree Care - Sonoma County Tree Services

Visit Fine Tree Care WEBSITE for a List of our SERVICES - Testimonials and to request a FREE Estimate

Locally-Owned Jewelry Businesses in Sonoma County

Find Goldsmiths and Jewelers who create custom designs, offer jewelry repair, estate appraisals, and gems.

Flower Shops and Florists of Sonoma County

Please support locally-owned businesses and tell them the Gazette sent you - THANK YOU!