A great review (on a GREAT blog), by Nelson Tucker, "The Wine Guy" 


Bourassa Vineyards
2010 Harmony ³ (Napa Valley)
An intriguing version of Napa Valley's answer to this Bordeaux blend. Right off the bat I was pleased with the dark purple color, floral and spice aromas, and rich, spicy, ripe dark cherry and berry flavors that followed.
This wine is expected to age nicely over the next ten to fifteen years. These grapes were picked at the right time to produce a well structured wine. It is a beautiful wine for sipping or with prime rib or rich and spicy pasta.
It's partner wine was one of the Top 100 Cabs of the Napa Valley. Once again, Vic Bourassa has hit a home run!
Winery price: $59.00

Click image to read Nelson Tucker's Blog. "The Wine Guy" 

Guy Downes
February 16, 2011 | Guy Downes

The Origins of Zinfandel

Of all the grape varietals, Zinfandel is the one with perhaps the most confusing history and lineage. For years experts have weighed in with their opinions on the origins Zinfandel with many believing it had to have originated in southern Italy's Apulia region, where you can find the genetically related Primitivo (di Goia) variety. Yet other research suggested that there was a possible parent/offspring relationship with the Plavic Mai grape from Croatia.

The current accepted theory is that the roots of Zinfandel are most likely in the Dalmatian province of Croatia where DNA matches have been made with a variety locally known as Crljenak Kasteljanski. Research work completed in both Croatia and UC Davis certainly supports this theory. California's Zinfandel and Italy's Primitivo certainly share a genetic link but their long geographic separation has meant they evolved with quite different vine and wine characteristics. 

When you consider the wine style of Zinfandel, or 'Zin' as it's so often known these days, the story is equally engrossing. Zinfandel can show so many different characteristics and can have an almost chameleon like quality. From up front, berry-fruity reds to spicy tannic blockbusters and even tart roses this variety is certainly versatile. The range of soft, simple blushes, unique sparkling wines, desert and fortified wines means you can never really categorize Zinfandel which is perhaps part of it's wide appeal to so many wine enthusiasts.

Here in California Zinfandel has always been a steady favorite even as consumer tastes move from one trend to the next. yes it's true that here in Napa we are well known as home to some majestic Cabernet Sauvignons (we produce one or two ourselves!) but Zinfandel comes pretty close in terms of total acreage and volume of grapes crushed. Today Zinfandel is recognized as one of the stars of Californian wine production planted all over the state in a wide variety of climactic zones. Outside our state you will be able to find Zinfandel planted in Oregon, Mexico and South America but I'm sure you'll forgive us if we still think Californian 'Zin' is the best of the bunch!

(Sources AppellationAmerica / Flickr)

Time Posted: Feb 16, 2011 at 12:26 PM
Guy Downes
February 11, 2011 | Guy Downes

Port & Chocolate - A Perfect Pairing

With Valentine's Day almost upon us our thoughts are turning to all things chocolate and the best wine to accompany our favorite sweet treat. 

Simply put chocolate is delicious accompanied by red wines with their often matching and complementing flavors but where it really shines is with a good quality Port. Port has the perfect balance of fruit, spice, acid, sugar and alcohol to be paired with a wide assortment of chocolates. 

Even in the glass Port is a pleasure to behold. A color that is deep and brilliant with aromas and flavors that typically show hints of spice-infused blackberry deserts, mixed nuts and of course chocolate! 

As part of the 10th year anniversary events taking place here at Bourassa Vineyards, on Saturday (tomorrow!) we invite you to a 'Smokin Good Time' where among the wines poured will be our very own Solera Port. It will be a perfect opportunity to pair our Port with the fine chocolates from Napa's Vintage Sweet Shop as well as enjoying a cigar from Baker Street Cigar.

There's still time to RSVP by calling (707) 254 4922!


Time Posted: Feb 11, 2011 at 9:33 AM
Guy Downes
February 7, 2011 | Guy Downes

The Five Bordeaux Varietals

Today, with a total production of 3,500 cases, Bourassa Vineyards devotes much of it's attention to the five Bordeaux varietals: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot. So let's take a moment to introduce you to these famous varietals in a little more detail and tell you about their delicious characteristics!

Cabernet Franc

Flavors - Violets, blueberry, earth, black olive, coffee

Cabernet franc is an essential component of the world famous Bordeaux blend. When enjoyed as a single varietal wine it displays a a more tannic and earthy character than it's cousin Cabernet Sauvignon. Here in Napa and other warmer lands outside of Europe it's best known for violets and blueberry notes and the ripe tannins that produce a wonderful fresh roasted coffee scent. 

Cabernet Sauvignon

Flavors - Bell pepper, green olive, herb, cassis, black cherry

It is the primary varietal of our Bordeaux blend here in Napa Valley and is famous the world over. The blending process softens it's sometimes intense tannins and contributes thick and ripe flavors and aromas. Often layered with expensive new oak scents it is the one varietal that almost single-handedly created the phenomenon of cult wineries.


Flavors - Cherry, spice

While it's certainly one of the lesser blending grapes of the Bordeaux blend it's a key element to our wine making as shown in the 2004 Harmony5 Bordeaux Blend. As a single varietal it has risen to prominence in Argentina where it makes spicy wines that age well in new oak barrels. 


Flavors - Watermelon, strawberry, plum, cherry

Versatile is the best word to describe Merlot. Easy to like, easy to pronounce and much like a chardonnay of the red wine world! In Bordeaux the shining example of the varietal is Chateau Pétrus where it comprises 95 percent of their blend. It also makes up 23 percent of our Flagship wine, as shown in the 2003 Harmony3 Bordeaux Blend

Petit Verdot

Flavors - Blackberry, molasses, herb

Wine makers tend to use the Petit Verdot grape in a Bordeaux blend as chefs would use seasoning. Its careful inclusion to a blend adds dense fruit, dark color, powerful flavors and heavy tannins. There are also rare examples of single varietal wines such as our own 2006 Petit Verdot which when handled by an expert wine maker like Gary Galleron can be outstanding wines.

(Sources Flickr / Wine Enthusiast / Wine Pros)

Time Posted: Feb 7, 2011 at 11:53 AM
Guy Downes
February 4, 2011 | Guy Downes

Zinfandel & BBQ Beef Ribs - A Perfect Match

With the big game coming up this weekend it's the perfect chance to pair some delicious BBQ Beef Ribs with a glass or two of Bourassa Vineyards Napa Valley Zinfandel. This wonderfully sticky ribs recipe is sure to satisfy the sports fans in your home and is a crowd pleaser every time.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 50 minutes

Serves: 4


4 to 5 pounds beef back ribs (about 10 ribs)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup honey
1 4 ounce can green chilies, diced
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard


Trim excess fat from beef ribs. Combine salt, pepper and cayenne. Rub over the ribs. Preheat grill and prepare for indirect grilling with a drip pan. Place ribs on grill over drip pan and close the lid. Cook for about 3 to 3 1/2 hours over a medium low, indirect heat (try to keep the temperature under 265 degrees F.).

To prepare sauce combine onion, honey, ketchup, chili peppers, garlic and mustard in a sauce pan. Heat over a low temperature, stirring until even and warm. When the ribs are nearly finished begin brushing the sauce on them until you get a thick coating.

When you're thinking about which Zinfandel to pour let us suggest our 2006 vintage. It delivers wonderful ripe fruit, beautifully balanced with layers of dark cherry, warm spice and hints of vanilla. The American oak we use brings out the subtle nuances that enhance the finish of this terrific wine. It's a perfect balance of fruit, acid and tannins and will pair perfectly with those sticky ribs!

Time Posted: Feb 4, 2011 at 4:57 PM

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