French Bar Wines from Stanislaus County shine

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to taste two wines called French Bar from the Coleman Valley Vineyards. They’re produced by third generation California wine growing brothers Brad, Ted and Tim Coleman. The wines are 100 percent estate grown from the Rock Ridge Vineyard in the Sierra Foothills of Stanislaus County. The French Bar wine labels are striking, reflecting the spirit of the early gold rush miners with scattered specks of gold shining off an old gold background.

The 2016 Gold Dust Red is a blend of 82 percent Petite Verdot and 18 percent Teroldego. The grapes, like all their wines, are sustainably farmed with certified green standards. The wine is full bodied, fruit forward, with raspberry, black cherry and plum flavors, and smooth tannins for a nice long finish. The 2015 French Bar Petite Sirah is an intense deep, dark purple wine with loads of blueberry, black cherry, black pepper and a touch of vanilla flavored coffee. It’s big, bold and guaranteed to stain your teeth, but delivers a long, smooth lingering finish.

French Bar Wines shine on the label and definitely on the palate. The Coleman brothers have mastered their craft well and have certainly made their grandfather proud. I look forward to their Chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon which will be released soon. The Navigator and I agreed, the Gold Dust Red and the Petite Sirah will be paying a return visit to our table soon. The SRP for both is $19.99 but sales should bring it down in the $16/&17 range. Find French Bar Wines at your local Save-Mart or at

Barbera Lovers Gather

Amador Vintners will host the eighth annual Barbera Festival on Sept. 15, 2018, at the historic Terra d’ Oro Winery in Amador Wine Country. The outdoor wine and food festival will feature 70 California wineries pouring the star of the show, Barbera. Co-starring will be craft beer, gourmet food, music, arts and crafts. This event sells out quickly. Tickets are available at

September is California Wine Month, so be on the lookout for how your favorite winery or wine region is celebrating. Find out more at

What’s on our table

This month it’s the Matchbook 2017 Rose of Tempranillo. It was a best of class and a double gold medal winner at the state fair. Most markets will have it for around $12. The Navigator usually asks for a light red wine for dinner and reasonably priced pinots are rare. The solution is J.Lohr’s 2017 Wildflower Valdiguie for $10 or less. It has flavors of pomegranate and blueberry and lightly chilled it’s as tasty as a Cru Beaujolais. She really likes it! Cheers!

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