This coming July Pedroncelli Winery, one of Dry Creek Valley’s most storied and dependable producers will turn 90 years old. In honor of reaching that significant marker the Pedroncelli family is celebrating all year. One of the ways they’re doing that is through a series of Live Social Tastings. Since I was unable to participate in the one that features the wines below I decided to taste the wines in advance and post my thoughts about them here.
Pedroncelli 2016 Sauvignon Blanc ($15)
The fruit for this Sauvignon Blanc came from three vineyards, their own estate and two nearby growers. After slow, temperature controlled fermentation the wine is bottled without any oak influence. Yellow melon, citrus, grass and a hint of vanilla all burst from the nose. Citrus, stone and orchard fruit flavors are all in play through the palate. White pepper and limestone notes are evident on the crisp, refreshing finish. Dry Creek Valley is renowned for Sauvignon Blanc, here’s a fine example why.
Pedroncelli 2016 Dry Rosé of Zinfandel ($15)
Pedroncelli has been producing a dry Rosé from Zinfandel since the 1950’s. This is made from Dry Creek Valley fruit. Ripe wild strawberry and white pepper notes are evident on the nose. The palate is loaded with appealing red fruit flavors. The long finish shows off continued juicy red fruit and hints of vanilla. This beautifully dry expression of Zinfandel has a bit more heft than the average Rosé and is suitable for pairing with somewhat bolder foods than most.
Pedroncelli 2015 Sangiovese ($17)
This wine is produced from Sangiovese sourced at their Estate, Alto Vineyards in Dry Creek Valley. Aging took place over 15 months in neutral American oak. Red fruit and violet aromas are evident here. The palate shows off cranberry, sour cherry and bits of pomegranate along with copious spice notes. Wisps of earth are evident on the finish alongside black pepper. Firm acid lends to the mouthwatering and super food-friendly nature of this wine. It may be a Dry Creek Valley Sangiovese but it possesses the soul of Chianti.
One of the reasons that I’ve been reaching for Pedroncelli wines year after year is that they are produced with food pairing in mind. In addition as long as I have been aware of them they have made wines that speak of their origins and over-deliver on quality compared to the sticker price. All of those things remain consistent to this day.
Along with these wines, the Pedroncelli Winery provided a suggested family recipe. They specifically suggested it to pair with the Sauvignon Blanc, but I found that it worked pretty well with the whole trio of wines, and it’s delicious. So with that in mind I thought I’d reprint it here.
Feta and Kalamata Chicken
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ Cup + 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons finely chopped lemon zest
18 small garlic cloves, chopped
6 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
6 boneless chicken breast halves
6 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
12 Kalamata olives pitted and halved
Fresh ground pepper
Combine olive oil, lemon juice, zest, garlic, oregano and salt. Whisk together.
Marinate chicken in ¾ of the mixture (about 1 ½ hours) for a few hours or overnight, covered. Save the remaining marinade to serve over the chicken after it’s cooked.
Drain Chicken* when ready to cook. Pat dry if grilling.
Grill Chicken for about 10 minutes-5 minutes each side-or you can bake in a 400 F degree overn for 15-20 minutes.
Place chicken on a platter or individual plates and spoon over remaining marinade and sprinkle with cheese, olives and freshly ground pepper.
*If you want extra “sauce” you can boil drained marinade for 5 minutes and add to “saved” marinade.