Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Adler Fels Winery

Founded in Sonoma Valley in 1979 by David and Ayn Coleman and perching high on a crest in the Mayacamas Mountains, Adler Fels (German for “Eagle Rock”) has views of vineyards in Sonoma to Napa and beyond. In 2016, they announced that they had updated their brand with new wines and new packaging. Winemakers Aaron Bader and Linda Trotta continue the tradition of making the wines from top grape growers who have worked with the winery for as many as three generations.

Adler Fels Winery

Tasting Notes:
2014 Pinot Noir: 76% Santa Rita Hills/24% Russian River Valley grapes; cassis, spices, and pepper aromas; black cherry and cassis flavors into a tart red berry finish; light bodied but well-balanced; 1,500 cases produced; SRP $27.99.
2015 Chardonnay, 50% Russian River Valley/50% Monterey County; Meyer Lemon, apple, and melon aromas; tropical fruit, honeyed almond, and toast flavors into a lemony finish; pleasing mouthfeel, well-balanced, and a pleasure to drink; 1,000 cases produced; SRP $19.99.
*Wine provided for editorial purposes - all opinions are my own.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Weekend At Turkey Run State Park

People primarily go to Turkey Run State Park to hike, and it's set up well for that. From the parking lot, where the Nature Center is located, a long and tall suspension bridge takes you across Sugar Creek to the more demanding trails in the park. Maps for the trails (and park in general) are handed out when entering ($9 for out-of-staters at the time of this posting) or in the Nature Center. Make sure you get one, because the trails are well-marked with sign posts, but it's still easy to get turned around when you are out there. I hiked this with our six year old and, while he's a gamer, none of the hikes were overly difficult for him (though he did tire about halfway through our second day).

A Weekend At Turkey Run State Park

We spent two days hiking the Park. On the first day we hiked Trails 3 and 10 and back on 3 - 3 has ladders and stairs and plenty of canyon time, while 10 meanders flatly through the forest. If you're reasonably fit, we highly recommend Trail 3 above the others, if you can only choose one. The second day we hike Trail 3 (ladders again!), briefly on Trail 5, then Trail 9. Trail 5 from Trail 3 starts with 140 stairs up the side of the hill, beautiful but taxing. Trail 9 was the most technical of the ones we hiked, with a lot of scrambling over boulders and so forth. There is a beautiful waterfall on this trail we hadn't heard about and that made the more difficult trek worth it for sure. Back onto Trail briefly, then the return to the bridge along Trail 3 made for a nice long hike.

A Weekend At Turkey Run State Park

While you can camp or find lodging outside the park, the Turkey Run Inn is on site, which makes it very convenient. Built in 1919, it has undergone expansions and renovations over the years. It's in reasonable shape, with some mustiness here and there, but overall clean and well-run.

The Narrows restaurant is onsite at Turkey Run Inn and, unfortunately, is only okay. Décor is dated and uninspired, but the restaurant feels clean. We ate both breakfast and dinner there, opting for the buffet option both times (Sunday we didn't have an option due to a holiday). The food tastes like it was provided by an outside food company like Aramark or Sysco. Nothing wrong with that, but not overly interesting, creative, or flavorful. I wish we'd opted for the pizza option, which can be eaten either in the restaurant or taken out - they looked and smelled great.
The Narrows Restaurant at Turkey Run State Park Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A Weekend At Turkey Run State Park

If you don't want to hike, or want to supplement that activity, the park does offer an outdoor pool during warmer weather, picnic areas, and other recreational activities. Next time we come back we plan on canoeing or kayaking Sugar creek or trying out the park's horseback riding.

How to get there: Turkey Run State Park is about 160 miles South of Chicago, IL an about 70 miles West of Indianapolis, IN.


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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Aberrant Cellars: A Winery Dedicated to Avoiding Convention


ab⠂er⠂rant
adjective: aberrant, departing from an accepted standard

Aberrant Cellars: A Winery Dedicated to Avoiding Convention

When I was offered samples of Aberrant Cellars wines, I jumped at the chance, based on the name of the winery alone. I love language and when someone shows imagination, that's a real bonus. Eric Eide, the winemaker, has an appreciation for Latin, and it is reflected in his wines' names.

Tasting Notes:
Philtrum Pinot Noir Blanc 2015: "Love Potion;" not a typical Pinot Noir in any shape or form; dry farmed grapes from the Eola-Amity Hills sub-AVA; whole cluster pressing; fermented for 52 days 53% stainless steel/47% barrel; aged 5 months in stainless steel and 25% new oak puncheons; white flower, starfruit and red berry aromas; orange peel, savory notes, into a spice filled finish; decidedly non-white in character, belying the color in the bottle; 344 cases produced.
Virtus Ex Pinot Noir 2013: "Strength;" LIVE farmed grapes from 3 vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills sub-AVA; each vineyard fermented separately; aged 15 months in 44% new French oak; 223 cases produced; smoky plum and black currant aromas; dark berry, tobacco, and tart red berry flavors into an earthy acidic finish; 223 cases produced.
These are some amazing wines, really a different approach than other wines I've had from the same sub-AVA. While I would recommend searching both of these wines out, definitely try the Philtrum, as it's unlike anything you've likely tasted before.

*Wines provided for editorial purposes - all opinions are my own.


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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Trivento Reserve Malbecs

Named after the three winds that blow through the Mendoza region: the Polar, Zonda and Sudestada, Trivento shows Malbec not as a signature style, but reflecting different temperaments, styles, and flavors. Their Reserve wines are a great way to see the differences side by side.

Trivento Reserve Malbecs

Tasting Notes:
2016 Reserve Malbec: grapes from Luján de Cuyo (50%) and Uco Valley (50%) in Mendoza; maceration before fermentation for 20 days in stainless steel; natural malolactic fermentation; aged in French oak barrels for 6 months, then in bottle for 5 months; red plum, pomegranate, and cocoa aromas; dark fruit, tart red berry and tobacco flavors; comparatively light and bright.
2014 Golden Reserve Malbec: grapes from Luján de Cuyo; definitely the Reserve's bigger brother - dark fruit, earth and tart berry aromas; dark fruit and cassis flavors into a earthy leather finish.
These are two very different interpretations of Malbec, fun to compare and contrast their styles.

*Wines provided for editorial purposes - all opinions are my own.


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