Monday, July 27, 2015

Pope Valley Winery Merlot Johnny Pepperoni Hoboken

Pope Valley Winery Merlot and Saved Red at Johnny Pepperoni Hoboken Dinner
Visiting son Alec in Hoboken, we picked up these two wines at Hoboken's SparroWine Shop and took them BYOB to Johnny Pepperoni neighborhood Italian Restaurant. Great value in the wine selection and the dinner for fresh pastas with fresh ingredients.

There were many tempting choices but I chose the Sicilian Baked Cavatappi & Cheese with sweet sausage, cherry tomatoes, garlic and parmiagana with seasoned homemade breadcrumbs. This  was a great pairing with the robust fruit filled flavorful wines, albeit a bit spicy that detracted from the wine slightly, but was mighty tasty in any event, and a good value dinner. I was tempted to try to blackened Flounder and thought about it the rest of the week. I'll opt for the fish of the day next time and prepare accordingly with a suitable wine.
Pope Valley Winery Eakle Ranch Merlot 2010
I remember visiting Lamborn Family Vineyards high atop Howell Mountain in northeast Napa Valley and looking over the crest of the hill to the east down at Pope Valley.

This Pope Valley Bordeaux varietal has great QPR in this moderate priced Merlot - dark garnet colored, medium bodied, black raspberry, black cherry and currant fruits with tones of tobacco and hints of spicy clove with dry firm earthy tannins on the moderate finish. 
RM 88 points.

Saved Red Wine 2011
This is the work of Clay Brock who grew up in Napa Valley where his dad managed vineyards. He has worked in the wine industry since 1985. His day job is Director of Winemaking at Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards since 2008.After Clay graduated from Cal Poly he worked in winemaking at Edna Valley Vineyards, Bryon Vineyards in Santa Maria and Zaca Mesa for seven years prior to joining Wild Horse.
This wine is a collaboration between Clay and Scott Campbell, Tattoo artist of Saved Tattoo shop in San Francisco. He was born in New Orleans in 1977 and grew up in a rural fishing village on the Mississippi delta. He traveled the globe seeking inspiration for his art before settling in San Francisco.
From the winery: "SAVED is a unique collaboration between two artists who come together to share in each other's craft. Scott Campbell is a contemporary artist, inspired by the enduring symbolism that wine brings to our tables. Clay Brock is a second-generation winemaker who excels at crafting Californian varietal wine blends. Named after Scott's acclaimed SAVED tattoo studio in Brooklyn NY, the name SAVED represents the freedom and sanctuary you get by committing fully to your passions. Scott finds freedom in art. For Clay, it is wine. Scott's label artwork embodies the symbolism of the life stories that are so often shared over a bottle of wine. SAVED Red Wine is a robust, powerful wine with a big personality and a generous finish. It is big, bold and rich, with pedigree sourcing from California's finest regions. An eclectic blend of grapes deliver rich color and full-bodied flavors: red currant, black cherry and black olive. Soft tannins balance well with distinct oak flavors - French oak for vanilla and coconut; American oak for caramel, créme brûlée and coffee." 
This wine sold for $20 in Hoboken, marked down from $30. It seems more appropriately priced at the SF Bay Area pricepoint of $18, especially compared to the Pope Merlot at $25.
A bit flabby and disjointed but a good wine for pairing with pizza and pasta - dark purple/garnet, medium bodied, black berry and black raspberry fruits offset by tobacco and tea flavors and a layer of graphite with moderate tannins on the finish. 
RM 86 points.