On the eve of 9/11 I sat on my front porch rocking my cares away while overlooking towering trees. Three hummingbirds jockeyed for position at the feeder while our closest neighbor unleashed rounds of high power ammunition from his Uzi and something that sounded like a cannon. Yes, life in the country is very different from life in the city and my thoughts at that time were focused on the freedom we enjoy to pursue the things we enjoy and cherish.
Whether it’s a love for wine, art, literature or even guns, we’re lucky to live in a country that allows those freedoms. One freedom I certainly take advantage of is imbibing on great tasting wines. This week’s sample, Simi Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, comes from the longest continually operating winery in Sonoma. So determined to succeed, Prohibition couldn’t keep this break this winery.
Aromas full of cinnamon, strawberry and oak. Flavors of blackberry, plum and cassis provide a nice balance to the medium body, light tannins and vanilla finish. The wine isn’t your typical powerhouse California Cabernet but instead is more subtle and delicate. We paired with breakfast for dinner consisting of left over smoked pork butt, purple potatoes and onions turned into a hash.
Varietal composition: 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot
Total acidity: 5.7 g/L
SRP – $23.99
Founded by Italian immigrant brothers, Giuseppe and Pietro Simi in 1881, the brothers left their home in Tuscany following their quest for fortune in the California Gold Rush. After making a living selling wine on the streets of San Francisco, the brothers purchased the winery in Healdsburg and planted their first vineyards in AlexanderValley.
The first harvest was in 1890, unfortunately both brothers died in 1904 from the Spanish flu, leaving Giuseppe’s daughter, Isabelle, at the reigns. In 1920 with the start of Prohibition, Isabelle sold the vineyards but held onto the winery by making sacramental wine. Once Prohibition was repealed in 1933 the winery had an abundance of wine to sell to the thirsty public. In 1934 Isabelle opened the Simi tasting room crafted out of a 25,000 gallon cask, gaining the attention from visitors around the world.
In 1970 Isabelle retired and sold the winery to Russell Green, a leader in obtaining AVA status for AlexanderValley. Green expanded the winery’s reach by purchasing vineyards in the AlexanderValley and RussianRiverValley, keeping with the wineries tradition of obtaining quality grapes from top growing regions. Simi now owns 600 acres of vineyards in AlexanderValley and 100 acres in RussianRiverValley.
Watching the news this week and witnessing the violence unfolding and the harm that has come to our fellow Americans is heartbreaking. Just have to wonder if everyone could just gather around a table with a couple of bottles of wine, could we become fast friends? Maybe we should give it a try sometime.
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